Devotions

  • Persistence

    By in Devotions on

    Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

    “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ “

    And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8

    Insight

    Persistence, boldness and diligence. Are these words that define your prayer life? Or are terms like weary, disillusioned and disenchanted more apt descriptions?

    What keeps you from approaching God’s throne with boldness? What has caused you to lose heart?

    Prayer can be summed up in one simple word: communion. It goes beyond communication to communion. Unfortunately, many of us find it very difficult to land at this place of refuge. Before we even start, inadequacy paralyzes our prayers.

    Weariness in prayer stems from a distorted view of God’s character.

    This is fueled by the assumption that God has better things to do with His time (bringing peace during wartime, ending poverty, curing AIDS, etc.) then listen to our silly requests concerning our insignificant lives and the decisions we face.

    Through the telling of the Parable of the Persistent Widow, Jesus is nudging us to see the heart of God from a different perspective. Jesus contrasts the vast differences between an unjust judge and a gracious God who cares about the condition of our soul.

    God longs for us to participate in His story by lifting up our requests to Him confident that a loving Creator cares about our wants, needs and desires. He is interested in the situations we face.

    Today’s parable echoes Paul’s message of persistent prayer found in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. It is a simple message of two words: pray continually. With our busy schedules and all the demands that come with living life, keeping this command seems nearly impossible.

    How can one pray without ceasing and not grow weary? What Paul is saying is that prayer is a “heart-set” that keeps the lines of communication with God perpetually open.

    Prayer is about creating an atmosphere where constant communion with God can exist.

    Reflection

    • How would you describe your prayer life?
    • What does it look like to pray continually?

    Prayer

    God, forgive me for doubting that my concerns are important to You. I desire to trust You with all my hopes, dreams, fears and concerns. May I be persistent in pursuing Your heart and aligning myself with Your story that is unfolding before me. Allow me to have the humility to come to You in faith with all that I am. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

     

  • Wide-Eyed

    By in Devotions on

    And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

    Insight

    There is something glorious about the golden age of childhood. Oh to be wide-eyed, full of wonder, and innocent again!  Of course, children can be sneaky and selfish too, but there is something magical about the nature of a child.

    Children are little reminders of the beauty we find in curiosity, trust and simple wonder about the world and people around us.  But as we grow into adults, we lose our child-like senses.  Some of us lose the innocence of our childhood earlier than others.  We may even be able to boil it down to a moment we experienced the cruelty of the world.  Little by little, day by day, we become cynical.  It is surely easier to be cynical than it is to risk being hurt.

    As a parent, I teeter between the desire to shield my children from everything and the desire to paint a realistic picture of the world in which we live – a world simultaneously full of beauty and brokenness.

    Adam and Eve’s choice to consume the fruit from “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” carries collective consequence for all of us.  God granted them the freedom to disobey, to choose their way over His, and their choice paved the way for our great awakening: the painful awakening in which we become conscious of the distinction between good and evil.  All of us have this sense:  life is not as it should be.

    Personally, the more knowledge I have about brokenness and the more I see brokenness in myself and others, the less my heart is inclined to trust that God is actually real and in the midst of it all.  “Where in the mess of things are you, God?”, as Ann Voskamp so honestly asks.

    But God has not left us alone in the garden of our lives with a head and heart full of knowledge about evil.  He wants us to turn toward Him and remember that He is finishing His work.  He does have a plan and purpose for us, for our neighbor, for our broken world.

    As followers of Christ, we will all doubt this truth at times.  Yet, if we spend more time learning about God and the promises He has for us than we do fixating on the evils around us, He will prove faithful to sustain us and regenerate our hope and trust in what He is doing.  Even as the world makes no rational sense, we must resolve to lean on Him and not our understanding of it.

    God tells us, “I am making everything new” (Revelation 21:5)!  Through Christ, He has given us a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31), a new song (Psalm 40:3), a new name (Isaiah 62:2) and a new heart & spirit (Ezekiel 18:31).

    He is taking what we have spoiled and making it new again.  He is showing us the way back to living more like the image in which we were created – His image.  He is taking our brokenness and making us new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) and ultimately God will fulfill His promise and usher in a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17).

    But how are we to live in the meantime?  What if we don’t feel new?  How do we keep from feeling like a character in the play of human tragedy?

    We learn more about the truth of God and who He is.  We grasp tightly to that truth by writing it down and hanging it on sticky notes if we have to.  We cling to the person of Christ in us.  We remind ourselves that while our world is broken God is good.  We choose to walk with others who live by this manifesto while humbly serving those who don’t.  We choose to trust, we choose to sit at His feet daily, we choose faith.

    Reflection

    • Make an honest evaluation of your heart today:  do you find yourself trusting God or drifting away from Him?  If you are honestly trusting God, spend a minute to simply thank Him for that grace and pray for someone else who may need to trust God more.  If your heart is drifting, spend some time reminding yourself about the truth of God’s love for you.  Ask Him to show you something new about Himself and give you fresh eyes to see His love.

    Prayer

    God, thank you for creating this world.  Help me to use my knowledge of evil and brokenness to fight for what is good and just.  Help me to trust You more.  In Jesus name, Amen.

    PC3 writer Gina Fimbel wrote today’s devotional.

  • Prepare Your Mind

    By in Devotions on

    Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13

    Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2

    Insight

    Proverbs 25:28 says that a person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls. Each one of us must have a way of dealing with the world when it doesn’t make sense. This is why resting, renewing our minds and capturing out thoughts is so critical to our spiritual formation and battle over freaking out.

    Captive thoughts prepare one to see correctly. When we rest and meditate on His word, we become well attuned to hear those quiet voices inside of us that are quite simply a whisper from God. Scripture spends a great deal of energy focusing on the importance of conquering our mind: setting our mind (Colossians 3:2), renewing our mind (Romans 12:2), submitting our mind (Psalm 26:2), and preparing our mind (1 Peter 1:13).

    Our thoughts and what controls our mind determine the way in which we experience God. Yet, the importance of capturing our thoughts and renewing our mind is rarely stressed in Christian circles and even more rarely practiced as a spiritual discipline. We let our thoughts run wild in our mind with little to no self-control. This, in turn, causes us to struggle to experience an intimate relationship with Christ and trust in Him when our world is thrown off kilter. We don’t realize there is a battle going on for our heart and mind.

    The struggle over our mind is really a struggle over who we are. Beginning to live in the knowledge that we are His beloved will help us in any struggles that we might face in life. In this war we find ourselves in, we must replace all those lies we focus on with the truth of who we are in Christ.

    What controls our mind often determines our actions. We become what we set our minds on. The first step in renewing our minds is remembering who we are in Christ. It is crucial we align our perspective with what it is true, solid, good and right. Only then will we begin to realize that God is ultimately in control of every situation we face.

    Reflection

    • How does your mind control your actions?

    Prayer

    God, often when I am freaking out my mind is all over the place. Help me to renew and prepare my mind for those moments when I am tempted to worry or overact. May I see the situation I am facing through a different lens, one that is guided by Your love for me. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

     

  • From Death To Life

    By in Devotions on

    But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. ROMANS 5:8

    So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.JOHN 8:36

    I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove your stony heart from your body and replace it with a living one. EZEKIEL 36:26

    Insight

    Mark Allen heads up Refuge, PC3’s addictions ministry. When he shared his story from the stage last Sunday as part of a special message on Wilmington’s opioid epidemic, I was in awe of two things: the depths to which he spiraled during his addiction to heroin, and the tenacity with which God pursued Mark despite his rebellion.

    “I couldn’t change my past, but God had a plan to save me from it,” Mark said. That is the Gospel, right there! For everyone has sinned. We all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23) We’ve all messed up. Some in shocking, obvious ways. Others in insidious, hidden ways.

    My own journey with addiction took the form of an eating disorder that nobody knew about. From age 18 to 28, I was enslaved to food and a distorted body image. Bulimia didn’t place me around drug dealers or in dangerous situations. But it consumed all my thoughts, kept me from being truly known and smothered me in guilt and shame.

    Amazingly, Jesus came to my rescue while I was still a stony-hearted unbeliever who used His name in vain and scoffed at His church. It would be 15 years before I realized Jesus was the One who had resurrected me from the spiritual death of bulimia. But now I have all of eternity to praise His name.

    Christ wants to unshackle each of us from whatever bondage we’re in. As Mike Ashcraft shared last Sunday, the Gospel is the power of God to change our identity from death to life. It’s the only power that can truly set us free.

    Reflection

    • Is there anything in your life that’s making you feel trapped?
    • Have you ever asked Jesus to deliver you from it?
    • What would life be like if you were free of this bondage?

    Prayer

    Dear Father in Heaven, the enemy tells us we’re unworthy of Your love because of what we’ve done in public or in secret. He also whispers that we should handle our sin by ourselves. But Jesus proved Satan wrong on both counts! He died and rose again so that we can have new life. Remind us that no addiction or life-dominating sin can enslave us when we turn it over to You. In Christ’s holy name we pray. Amen.

    PC3 writer Katy Davis wrote today’s devotional.

  • Markers Of Growth

    By in Devotions on

    For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:9-12

    Insight

    Everybody prays when they are freaking out, in a difficult situation or dealing with a tragedy. We naturally lift up our concerns during those times when we face weakness head on. Unfortunately, if one were to look at the prayers of most Christians during these moments, they would see something surprising.

    We tend to think that God should strengthen us so we get what WE WANT.

    God give me the strength to control my kids, my husband, my finances, etc. God let this situation pass so I can get back to my normal routine. We want God’s power in our life so we can control the situations we don’t think God is doing a good enough job controlling.

    We ask God to change our circumstances rather than transform and shape our heart.

    Stability, gratitude, and generosity are markers of spiritual maturity. God never promises for a believer’s life to be easy and free of troubles. The purpose of a walk with God is not status quo.

    Stability shouldn’t be mistaken for predictability, the absence of difficulty or a life void of weakness. Rather, we can witness if stability is taking root in our character by judging how we react, or in some cases overreact, to the circumstances around us. Do we rely on God’s grace when our strength isn’t enough?

    Stability measures the way we walk by faith and not by sight.

    The emotions we feel towards the circumstances we face are very important. They can serve as markers towards our growth.

    This in no way undermines the legitimate emotions of worry, grief, anger or disappointment, but instead, it helps us measure the condition of our hearts in response to the circumstances that often damage it.

    We think self-control happens as a result of sheer will power and is not a fruit of the Spirit. But, today’s Scripture reminds us that sober mindedness and self-control are needed for our prayers. There needs to be a level of endurance in the situations we face. Controlling yourself is critical for surrendering yourself.

    Reflection

    • Ask God to open your eyes to areas where you are struggling to exhibit stability, gratitude, and generosity.

    Prayer

    God, I want my life to be marked by stability, gratitude, and generosity. Do the work on my heart in order to get me there. Help me to realize I sometimes cannot control my circumstances, but I can take ownership in regards to my response to those circumstances. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

  • Heavy Sleeper

    By in Devotions on

    “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” –C.S. Lewis from The Problem of Pain

    The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17-18

    Insight

    It’s funny how God brings two complete opposites together. My wife is a morning person. She’s chipper as soon as her feet hit the floor. Not me. Most days I’m like a groggy grizzly bear who has just risen from a month long hibernation.

    The slightest noise will wake my wife up. Not me. I’ve slept through hurricanes, fire alarms, thunderstorms, barking dogs and crying babies. Side note to new fathers: never yawn, stretch and say, “What a blessing…our newborn didn’t even make a peep” to your bloodshot eyed wife. This never ends well.

    If heavy sleeping were an Olympic sport, I would be a lock for a gold medal. Being a deep sleeper, I’ve devised many tricks to see the light of day at a reasonable time. My iPhone has 5 alarms set. The fallback plan is the radio setup on the opposite side of the room that blares the local rock radio station at full blast.

    Those screeching sounds are the only way to shock my system into wake up mode. Without them, I’d still be sleeping and not in front of a keyboard. In some regards, loneliness serves as a similar wake-up call.

    When life is going well, we can sleep walk through our days not realizing our desperate need for connection with God and others. The pain of loneliness rouses us from our slumber. It awakens our eyes to see our brokenness and separation.

    Colliding with pain forces us to come face-to-face with our deepest spiritual needs. Our natural tendency will be to hit the snooze button, roll over and try to go back to sleep. But, the alarm ringing again is inevitable.

    We’ve got to get out of bed and answer the call. But, more importantly, we have to realize there is a beauty and purpose behind the pain. God is not so much concern with changing our circumstances. He is more focused on mending our heart.

    God desires to redeem our loneliness. If we lean into the pain, God can use our loneliness to transform our heart and mind as well as bring us in a deeper intimacy with Him. He wants to speak to us through His megaphone of pain.

    The alarm is ringing, are you going to answer it?

    Reflection

    • How has God used moments of loneliness to shed light on your need for Him?

    Prayer

    God, often I struggle to hear Your voice or sense Your presence. Yet, in those lonely moments when I can no longer ignore the pain, I can feel You are with me. During these times when I am all alone, I can sense You shouting to me, reminding me that You will never leave me nor forsake me. Redeem my loneliness. Let the pain bring me closer to Your side. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

     

  • An Escape Clause

    By in Devotions on

    Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right. Psalm 17:2

    Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:16-19

    Insight

    Forgiveness doesn’t seem fair. Instead of forgiveness, we’d rather have justice.

    The person who caused us pain must be held accountable for their offense.

    Our desire for the offender to accept responsibility before we extend forgiveness holds our freedom hostage, unable to live life fully and freely.

    Forgiving others without witnessing what we believe to be vindication for the offense feels oppressive and even unjust.

    We don’t see forgiveness as liberation; we see it as an escape clause for the offender.

    However, extending forgiveness to those who have offended us is a true act of liberation – not for the offender, but for us.

    When un-forgiveness remains in our heart, we wound ourselves all over again.

    We are bound by our past. It is impossible to walk in freedom when we are shackled to the need to vindicate ourselves.

    By understanding the implications forgiveness has on our own lives, we are able to deal with the implications it has on our relationships.

    Forgiveness is where freedom is found. His wounds bring us wholeness.

    When we separate forgiveness from reconciliation, we can look at forgiveness long enough and close enough to experience the freedom and the healing we find through it.

    But, many of us don’t get to this point. Because we don’t know how restoration is going to look, we wonder if forgiveness is even possible.

    This is why we must focus on forgiveness first. The restoration of the relationship is secondary.

    Forgiveness paves the way to trust but it doesn’t guarantee it. It also doesn’t eliminate the cost or the consequence.

    At its core, forgiveness frees us from the need for vengeance and vindication.

    We no longer hold the offense against the other person. We wish them no ill will.

    There will be some relationships where restoration and reconciliation are unattainable. There are others where boundaries must be established.

    Yet, in all cases forgiveness is available.

    Reflection

    • Do you view forgiveness as an act of liberation? Why or why not? What makes you answer in the way that you do?
    • Where are you seeking vengeance and vindication? Why do you want to be right in this situation?

    Prayer

    God, No longer will I demand vengeance. No longer will I seek vindication. No longer will I let past wounds define my present and determine my future. Instead, I will lay the burden of unforgiveness down at Your feet. I will remember that I have been forgiven much and the same grace You extended to me is given to all. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

  • Three Promises

    By in Devotions on

    No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34

    Insight

    Regardless of what people might say, to forgive is not to forget.

    There is no magic in forgiveness where the moment it is accepted that the memories of hurt are instantly erased from the hard drive of our memory and our deep wounds suddenly disappear.

    But, what do we do with passages like Jeremiah 31:34? If God forgets our sins when He forgives us, shouldn’t we do the same to those that hurt us?

    The word “remember” in Jeremiah 31 is not dealing with a memory issue, but rather a promise.

    God doesn’t suffer from amnesia.

    He made a covenant not to treat us as our sin deserves. Jesus took the cost of our sins on His shoulders when He was nailed to a cross in order to fulfill that covenant.

    Debunking this idea that forgiveness is forgetting helps one to better see forgiveness as an event and process.

    When we show grace to someone it is an ‘event’ as words are expressed in “I forgive you.” There was a time and place when the original act of forgiveness occurred.

    Yet, every time their hurtful words or actions get brought back to our attention we must continue to forgive and not give in to any desires for revenge or anger. This touches upon the ‘process’ of forgiveness.

    Failure to see forgiveness through the lens of being both an event and process will cause considerable frustration, disappointment, and guilt for an individual.

    A chain reaction will be set off where they try even harder, using sure will power, to erase whatever sin they’ve forgiven from their memory completely.

    Flipping the off switch on a hot oven doesn’t instantly turn it back to room temperature. Stand anywhere near the oven you can feel the heat radiating.

    However, over time the warmth of the oven lessens. The same is true with forgiveness.

    It does not eradicate the hurt, lack of trust or anger you hold towards the person you have forgiven.

    By forgiving someone, you are absorbing the cost of their offense against you.

    This transaction comes with some requirements on your part.

    By counting the sin no more, you are also committing to uphold three promises to the individual whom you have forgiven. These promises are:

    “I will not bring up this offense again or use it against you.”

    How easy would it be for us to keep the guilt of their sin in our arsenal for a fight in the future. We very well could use it time and time again as our trump card in an argument: ‘remember the time when you…’ This does not mean it cannot be talked about again. Instead the promise you are making is not to bring the sin up anytime you are angry or bitter as a way of getting back at an individual.

    “I will not bring it up to others in gossip or bad mouth you in front of others.”

    Depending on the gravity of the sin, appropriate care may help you handle an offense against you. This promise deals more with not having loose lips around others. We put a clamp on our mouths and do not play the blame game as we gossip about the person to others.

    “I will no longer personally dwell on this offense.”

    This promise is at much for your benefit as it for anyone else. You no longer replay the sin on videotape that shows the transpired events on a continual loop inside your head. Rather than dwelling on the past, you look to the future and the change God has in store for both you and the individual.

    One has to trust they have forgiven even if there is some warmth coming from old wounds. This awareness forces you to have consistent motive checks where you ask God to reveal your attitude towards this person.

    Reflection

    • Of the three promises above dealing with forgiveness, which promise do you most often break? Which one do you believe people find the hardest to commit to upholding?

    Prayer

    God, open my eyes to the places where unforgiveness resides. Also, help me to trust that true forgiveness has occurred in other areas even when I can feel the sting of old wounds. It brings me comfort knowing that You identify with my pain and comfort me when I am weak. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

  • The Attitude Of Our Minds

    By in Devotions on

     So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:17-24

    Insight

    In this passage, Paul makes a bold statement. He says the Gentiles were “separated from the life of God.”

    Take a moment and re-read the passage. What does Paul give as the reason for this separation?

    It was due to their futile thinking, darkened understanding and the hardening of their hearts. The Gentiles missed out on the life God had to offer because their hearts and minds were not right.

    However, we are called to live differently. We must learn to walk by faith. Paul urges us to put off our old self and be made new in the attitude of our minds.

    We are invited to believe, trust and depend on God. This isn’t something to take lightly.

    Our very hearts are at stake.  Notice the end of the passage.  Hard hearts create callousness, which eventually leads to indifference in the way we live.  This is a dangerous cycle, especially when you consider the weight of the decisions you often face.

    The choices you make not only impact you but your family, friends, and others within your sphere of influence.

    Your decisions speak volumes about your belief in God. So, instead of leaning on your own understanding, walk with God. He offers you forgiveness, life and a footing for your steps.  Trust Him and forsake the futility of your own thinking.

    Reflection

    • How would you describe the condition of your heart? What causes a heart to become hardened?
    • What does it look like to be made new in the attitude of your mind?

    Prayer

    Lord, there are so many times when doing things Your way doesn’t make sense.  I confess the areas where I have tried to get You to operate according to my thinking.  Help me to be aware of those tendencies and reveal to me Your ways so I can trust in You.  In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

  • Try It On

    By in Devotions on

    So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:11-16

    Insight

    Being a father of two girls, I have developed quite a gift. Name a department store here in town and I can tell you the exact location of each “honey” chair. What is the honey chair you might be wondering? It is the place, often right outside the fitting room, where your wife hands you her purse and says, “honey, sit right here. Can you hold my purse? I’m going to try a few things on. Don’t worry, I’ll only be a minute.”

    With the first day of school outfits needing to be purchased, this chair was my home for numerous weekends in August. Store after store we went looking for that perfect outfit. My thumbs up to their first outfits were met with eye rolls and a huffing back to the changing room. So off they went trying on tops, button up shirts, skirts, dresses, shorts, long-sleeve shirts and short-sleeve shirts for what felt like hours. And, don’t get me started on the shoe shopping. I might be wrong but I think my girls have tried on every piece of clothing in the greater Wilmington area.

    But, here’s the thing. Eventually, after all that time trying different outfits on, they found the right fit. Having plenty of time for reflection while in the “honey” chair, I began to realize how shopping for clothes has a lot in common with serving. As Christians, often we fall into this trap of being paralyzed over what God is calling us to do with our lives. We desperately want to know what “our” thing is when it comes to making an impact or leveraging our life for impact. Since we are unsure of what the right fit is for us, we remain idle. Instead of jumping in, we sit on the sidelines.

    Sometimes envy even sets in as we see someone serving in his or her sweet spot. We look at them and think, “man, they were made for that” and quietly, we fume over not having what they have. What we don’t realize is that this individual didn’t just find that position. They had to start somewhere. They had to take that initial step to jump in. There were many steps along the way. They first had to get into the fitting room and “try things on.”

    The reality is there are plenty of opportunities for people to use their gifts and talents here at PC3. The need for volunteers who have a heart for service is now greater than ever. As we attempt to position our church to make an impact in this city, region, and world, we need a greater sense of shared ownership. The task before us as a church body is too great for anyone to remain on the sidelines.

    We are asking each person who calls PC3 home to jump into service and be a part of what God is doing all around us. Yet, our impact won’t be felt if people continue to have a spectator mindset. The time has come to move from the sidelines and begin to own the mission of reaching people and helping them walk with God.

    So, if you haven’t done so already, take that leap of service. Don’t worry if it is the perfect fit. Remember, you find THE thing by first doing A thing. Maybe the first thing you try on won’t feel right. That’s okay. There is always something else to try on. God will honor your willingness to possess a proactive heart set towards service. By engaging in service, God will bring to light your gifts and your passions.

    Reflection

    • What are the major differences between a spectator and an active participant in their attitude, actions, and mindset?
    • Reflect on your move from spectator to active participant. What compelled you to own the mission of reaching people and helping them walk with God? If you are still a spectator, what has kept you on the sidelines?

    Prayer

    God, I desire to reflect Your heart through my actions. May my life be defined by humility and service. Help me to trust that my part matters. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.