Serving God: Go and Leave Sin

Serving God: Go and Leave Sin

It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others.  There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others.  Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season.  I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.

This is day five in the final week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”.  This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others.  Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.

Serving God:
Go and Leave Sin

Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’  ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’
John 8:10-11 (NIV)

What is your favorite sin?  Are you shocked that I would ask such a question?  Are there things that God calls sin that you have renamed and allowed to remain in your life?  How does dragging sinful behavior along with you affect your ability to serve others?  When Paul writes about the “sin that so easily entangles”, is there a particular thought or action that comes to your mind?  What does it take to completely leave sin behind as you serve in the name of Christ?

For many Christians, sin is the thing others do.  We’re Christians so we compartmentalize and justify our pride, lust, greed, envy, jealousy, anger, hatred, etc. and choose labels for them that are anything but sin.  God want us to go and leave all of that sin behind because it separates us from Him and is a hindrance to our serving effectively in His Name.  God say that when we have been buried with Christ, we have put to death the sin the reigns in our body and it no longer is our master.  With Christ as our master, we can call sin out for what it is and completely leave it as we serve others.

As you pray, ask God to help you identify all traces of sin that you need to leave behind as you serve others in love.

In prayer,

Tom

Encouragement and Prayer: Go and Show Mercy (04/07/21)

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This is the audio from the April 7, 2021 live social media broadcast of encouragement and prayer by Impact Prayer Ministry’s director, Tom Lemler.

You can find the live video feeds of these encouragement and prayer times on Impact Prayer Ministry’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

In prayer,
Tom

Serving God: Go and Show Mercy

Serving God: Go and Show Mercy

It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others.  There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others.  Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season.  I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.

This is day four in the final week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”.  This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others.  Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.

Serving God:
Go and Show Mercy

‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’  The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
Luke 10:36-37 (NIV)

How vengeful are you?  Are you sure?  How long is the list of people in your mind that deserve punishment for what they have done to you?  Are there people that you have refused to serve because you believe they deserve the situation they are in?  What does God say you deserve because of the sins you have committed?  How much mercy has God shown in your life?  How much mercy does He expect you to show to others as you serve them in His name?

Most of us, when reminded of God’s mercy toward us, would not readily admit our lack of mercy extended toward others.  Yet our actions and attitudes often tell a different story.  By its very nature, mercy is something that is not deserved.  So, if you are waiting for someone to deserve having you serve them in the name of  Christ, you are not extending the mercy that they need.  When you consider the relief that comes from God’s mercy extended to us, one of the greatest acts of service you can do for the people around you each day is to show mercy to them.

As you pray, ask God to help you understand more fully His mercy toward you so you will be more inclined to show mercy.

In prayer,

Tom

Encouragement and Prayer: Go To Your Family (04/06/21)

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This is the audio from the April 6, 2021 live social media broadcast of encouragement and prayer by Impact Prayer Ministry’s director, Tom Lemler.

You can find the live video feeds of these encouragement and prayer times on Impact Prayer Ministry’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

In prayer,
Tom

Serving God: Go To Your Family

Serving God: Go To Your Family

It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others.  There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others.  Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season.  I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.

This is day three in the final week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”.  This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others.  Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.

Serving God:
Go To Your Family

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.  Jesus did not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’  So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
Mark 5:18-20 (NIV)

What does your family think about the faith you have in Christ?  Do you have family members that are currently not living in relationship with Jesus?  What is their attitude toward you?  How do you think serving them in love would impact their attitude?  When you talk to family members, are you more likely to try to tell them what they need to do “to get their act together” or tell them about God’s mercy in your life and what He has done for you?  Which do you think will be more effective?

Sometimes family members can be the most difficult for us to go to when it comes to serving and sharing our faith — especially if they are indifferent or even antagonistic.  Often they know us so well that they can see the inconsistencies between the good we know we ought to do and the things we actually do.  Yet many times that wall can begin to crumble when we approach them with a goal of serving and through that serving, wait for an opportunity to share about God’s mercy to us.

As you pray, ask God to help you love each member of your family as He loves them.  Pray that you would serve them well.

In prayer,

Tom

Encouragement and Prayer: Go To the Streets (04/05/21)

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This is the audio from the April 5, 2021 live social media broadcast of encouragement and prayer by Impact Prayer Ministry’s director, Tom Lemler.

You can find the live video feeds of these encouragement and prayer times on Impact Prayer Ministry’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

In prayer,
Tom

Serving God: Go To the Streets

Serving God: Go To the Streets

It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others.  There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others.  Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season.  I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.

This is day two in the final week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”.  This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others.  Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.

Serving God:
Go To the Streets

Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.  Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’  So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
Matthew 22:8-10 (NIV)

How comfortable are you talking with strangers?  How much do you deliberately try to live in a way that people “see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven”?  When you are out in a crowd, would you rather be noticed or blend in?  Why?  In the places of life where you normally go, where is the place most likely to have people that do not yet follow Jesus?  In what ways can you serve them as you go?

For far too long, a primary strategy of many churches, and Christians, is to allow the church building to be the place of evangelism in the community.  While there are some who will be reached through special programs and events at a church building, there is still a need for people to go to the street and invite people to Jesus.  While we’ve all likely seen examples of people “preaching” on the street corner that seems to do more harm than good, that shouldn’t stop us from going to the street to serve people with the love of Christ.

As you pray, ask God to give you a heart of compassion for the people you pass by on a daily basis.  Pray for wisdom and courage to take your faith outside of the walls of a church building and learn how to effectively serve those on the street.

In prayer,

Tom

When Jesus Joins Your WALK (Sermon Audio)

When Jesus Joins Your WALK (Sermon Audio)

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This is the audio from the April 4, 2021 Resurrection Sunday sermon, “When Jesus Joins Your Walk”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.

Text:  Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-35

If you’ve experienced any times of worry, asking questions, life that’s routine, or knowledge that doesn’t make sense then perhaps it is time to consider what can happen when Jesus joins your Worry, Asking, Living, and Knowledge.

Because of the resurrection, you can have hope as Jesus joins your:

  • Worry.  Luke 24:13-17, John 14:1
    • As the two followers of Jesus return home from Jerusalem following the death and burial of Jesus, they are filled with great concern and worry.  It is in the midst of this worry that Jesus shows up to join them in their walk.  When we trust God with our worry, He is always willing to walk with us through it as He longs to bring us to the other side.
  • Asking.  Luke 24:18-24, John 16:17-19
    • For these followers of Jesus, nothing had turned out like it should have . . . at least not from their perspective.  They got caught up in the “what-if” game of being filled with questions that had no answers.  It is in their asking that Jesus shows up to join them with a few questions of His own designed to get them to think.  When we allow Jesus to join our walk, He not only knows the questions we are asking, He also knows the ones we don’t know how to ask.
  • Living.  Luke 24:28-30, Colossians 3:17
    • Even with worry and questions, there was a life to be lived and these followers of Jesus went about that normal routine upon arriving home.  Yet they did not do life alone . . . they invited this stranger who had walked with them to join them for the night.  It was in doing life together that the realized who Jesus was.  When we include Jesus in every part of our life, we find that He has joined our walk in a way that makes Him real to us.
  • Knowledge.  Luke 24:31-35, 1 Corinthians 13:12
    • It was when their eyes were opened to who Jesus was that these followers could see how Jesus had joined them in their longing for knowledge.  The things that they knew, things that had spend their walk talking about with Jesus, were all made clear when they became aware of the presence of Jesus.

And now for the part we skipped, Luke 24:25-27.  When Jesus joins your Worry, your Asking, your Living, and your Knowledge, He always brings truth.  As you consider all of the elements of your daily life, will you invite Jesus to join your WALK and fill it with His truth?