Friday, April 7, 2017

Day Twenty-five - Fixing Our Minds on Christ

Welcome back.  Can you even believe we are almost to the very end of the book of Colossians? It has been such a wonderful journey. Thank you so much for joining me as we have fixed our minds on Christ and walked through daily devotions through the book of Colossians. 

“Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills. For I testify about him that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis. Luke, the dearly loved physician, and Demas greet you. Give my greetings to the brothers in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her home. When this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.” 
Colossians 4:12-16

Two Great "Abilities" 

Here Paul expresses great gratitude and appreciation for his fellow servant,  Epaphras. In my years in ministry working with volunteers, there are two abilities that mean more than anything else. The first is dependability and the second is availability. Those are two abilities that reach far into kingdom work. It doesn’t matter what your skill set is. If you are available and dependable you can accomplish kingdom purposes.

So, I’d like to ask you today are you available? Are you dependable? Without some level of margin in your life, you are not available for kingdom work. Believe me, I am one of those moms who had my kids so overscheduled that there was no room in our calendar for anything else. I can remember many nights coming home from baseball late and eating dinner after 9 pm. Then it was: get the kids into bed and get ready for the next day. 

There was no margin. There was no room to breathe. There was no room to even think kingdom-minded thoughts. It was just one task to the next to the next. Mike and I were both working full time and the kids were highly involved in sports and activities. It was a zoo. It was really hard to accomplish anything, let alone hold our family together.

Today's Challenge

So, as I encourage you today, I ask you the questions “are you available?” and “are you dependable?” My challenge to you is this: take a look at your schedule and see what it is that you can free up. Yes, for the Lord. Yes, for the sake of your family. What is it that’s got you so strapped and so burdened that you can’t even think straight. And find something you can eliminate. Your kids are going to survive. They are going to be stronger. They are going to be better having served the Lord alongside you or even just spending close-knit conversation and sharing time as a family unit.

So, challenge number one is big. And it is going to take a long time, a lot of family conversations and a ton of prayer. But what is it that you can give up in your packed schedules so that you can be more available and more dependable for Christ?

There is often a tendency to let something go so that you can serve the Lord and then before you know it you are back in that rat race -  only this time you are doing ministry work instead of work with the kids and other things. That is not our aim. We don’t want to move from one over-strapped situation to another over-strapped situation. Seek the Lord and ask Him “What is it that you would have me do and how do I find time to do it?”

A lot of times when speaking to volunteers and asking them how they would like to get involved in ministry, one of the questions I would ask is “What are willing to give up so that you can serve the Lord in this way?” Most people don’t like that question. They think “well I don’t need to give up anything. I’m just gonna do this and the Lord is going to provide.” And He will provide, but often times He provides best when we give up something else.

There are only 24 hours in a day. So use those hours wisely. And ask Him how you can be more available and dependable for Him. 

Be strengthened by the word today. I hope you are encouraged and blessed. I’ll see you right back here tomorrow.

Cathy McIntosh is the author of Victorious: Finding Triumph When Hope Seems Lost. When you can’t see God’s activity in your situation, you might begin to feel hopeless. You’re tempted to doubt His care and involvement in your life because He feels so . . . absent. Victory feels elusive as if God intends it for everyone but you.

But God is never absent. He is as involved in your life today as He was when He protected Queen Esther and the entire Jewish nation from annihilation, and He will bring victory.  Click here to purchase.

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