Being united means being joined together. Being united means that you share a common purpose. Again and again the Bible speaks of unity. We are to be united as brothers and sisters. We are to have unity in the church. We are to have unity in our families. We also are to be united with Christ. We cannot have any other true unity without having union with Christ.
The Bible says first we must receive Christ. Once we receive Jesus, then we are to walk with Him. The Apostle Paul writes often of walking with Christ. We are to continue the race. We are to press forward with Him. To the Colossians, he said they should regulate their lives so that they could live in this union with Jesus, even so much that we conform to Him.
Being united with Christ is not a difficult thing. Sadly people complicate this union. It is a simple union. A perfect union. A union like no other. It requires a heart for Jesus. It demands surrender. But it is simple and it is satisfying.
As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. – Colossians 2:6 [AMP]
Rules. Instructions. Decrees. Commands. Regulations. Directives. Orders. Laws. Statutes. Stipulations. Guidelines. Directions. Requirements. Ordinances. Mandates. What words that bring us joy! Not usually. Many people skip over instructions. Some people try to figure out a way to break the rules or twist the laws. Some people barely like to make the requirements. Ordinances really do not include me. But in Psalm 19, David speaks about God’s Commandments “bringing joy to the heart.”
David says many things in today’s verses. He uses the words: perfect, trustworthy, right, and clear. I love this description. There’s no twisting His commands. There’s no way to barely follow. There’s no chance that it doesn’t include me. We typically think of rules as a negative—as a way to restrict us from doing what we would like, but look at how David describes the instructions of the Lord. They REVIVE THE SOUL. They MAKE WISE THE SIMPLE. They BRING JOY TO THE HEART.
Finally, he says they are clear—they GIVE INSIGHT FOR LIVING and they BRING JOY TO THE HEART. We look at so many self-help books and watch so many videos on how to do things. But everything is right here for us—and the Lord’s instructions are CLEAR. Why do we make it so complicated? Today, consider what the Lord’s instructions mean to you. When you start seeing the reason the Lord gave them to us, you will start to have this JOY that David spoke about in this psalm. You will start to say, “He loves me THAT much” and “He cares for me THAT much” – and it will bring joy to your heart. As your love grows, you will start to find joy in all of the Lord’s commands. You will even enjoy reading Leviticus.
“The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.” – Psalm 19:7-8 [NLT]
A customer who I see quite often told me of something she enjoys doing whenever she sees little kids nearby while shopping. She said if she spots some little children lurking around, she takes some pennies from her wallet and walks near them and drops them on the floor for the children. She said her reward is watching the children with smiles on their faces gathering the pennies. With such a small gesture, she brings joy to so many children.
The lady does something so simple, yet so intentional. She doesn’t have much but she has constructed a way to use what she has to bring joy to others. That is what we all can do—use what God has given us to love and serve others.
Remember that you reap what you sow.
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” – Galatians 6:7 [ESV]
At some point in life we begin to question if we are making an impact in the lives of others. We go through periods where we doubt or wonder if we are making a difference at all. The problem is that with having such a huge social media network and newspapers and television programs all over the globe, we see others that are doing such grand things and we might not be building a children’s hospital in a third world country or speaking about Jesus at a large conference in a huge stadium.
We need to be mindful of the fact that every single thing that we do for the Lord, whether it is something our human minds see as large or small, to God, it is a great thing. I do not see anywhere in the Bible where it says that God will rate what we do on the attention it gets on the 6 o’clock news or the grand nature of a project. Every single thing that God calls us to do matters to God—it’s not about the job itself but the heart of the person doing the job. Being fruitful can result from being a door holder to a housekeeper to a pastor to a truck driver who shares the Gospel along his route.
On a recent trip, I was waiting in line to use the restroom when I got in a conversation with a lady waiting in line behind me. We did not say much but we shared for a bit. The conversation lasted only a few minutes. Two hours later, we arrive at our hotel and checked into our room. As we begin unloading the car, the same lady I spoke with earlier was outside in the parking lot asking me if I was following her because both our families ended up at the same hotel hours later. I’m not sure why God had us meet up again but I’m sure He had a good reason. But I do know that she likely would not have remembered me if I would have kept facing front, not said hello, and walked out like I was never there at that gas station.
Today I challenge you to connect with people. Don’t walk through the grocery store while on your cell phone. If you are doing business with a bank teller or a cashier, smile and address them by their name. If you are taking your dog for a walk, say “hello” to those you pass. With these simple gestures, we can share Christ. Remember that God uses everything you give Him.
Don’t forget that you are part of “a chosen people.” You are special to God and if you give Him something, He will take it and use it for His glory.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9
There are often moments in life when we see someone who needs encouragement, comfort, or help. Typically we will see a friend or a co-worker who is not feeling well. Or we will come across a person from our church family who needs some comforting. Even our own family needs to be shown compassion. The problem is that we are so busy today that we do not always realise it. When we do see it happening, we are so accustomed to handling everything online, that we may not know how to approach the situation. Some situations may seem so difficult, we shy away because we do not know what to say or how to act.
When Peter, James, and John went up the mountain with Jesus during the Transfiguration, they were witnesses to something very special. When they heard the voice from heaven, they fell on their faces in fear. They were “terrified” the Bible says in chapter 17 of Matthew. Jesus could have responded in any way; however, He simply did three things.
*He went to them.
*He touched them.
*He spoke to them.
Even the words He spoke were not part of some grand dissertation. He simply told them to get up and not to be afraid. He didn’t pull out a miracle and do something to show them things were okay. He did not address the voice they heard or their fears. The situation was left untouched. He could have given them more insight into the situation or attempted to discuss their feelings. Instead, it was short and sweet.
If you know someone who is in need of some comfort, some encouragement or support, do not worry that you will not know what to say or how to act. Keep it simple. Go to them. Give them a hug or pat on the back. Speak with them. In actuality, you may be listening more than anything. There’s no need to make the situation more difficult. Just being there makes all the difference. It is okay to admit you do not know what to say. The person will appreciate that you care.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
– 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 [ESV]