Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Choosing Between Better or Best (Elegir Entre Bastante Bien o Lo Mejor)

Do you prefer good enough or the best?

Prefieres lo bueno o lo mejor? (Para leer esto en español haga clic aquí)

I'm cracking up at the thought of what I'm about to tell you because I really can’t believe it myself: recently I started to listen to sermons online!  It cracks me up because I remember my Grandma Lee listening to sermons on the radio or on tape and thinking to myself “why does she do that? She goes to church every Sunday, and she still wants to hear more preaching!?” I totally didn’t get it, but I did know it was because she loved the Lord, that much was obvious. I loved going to her house, it had a different feeling about it. She had a different way about her. But I did not understand her desire to read the Bible so much and listen to “extra” sermons all the time!

But OH! What God has revealed to me this week has completely blown me away! The more I listened, the more I wanted to hear! The more I learn, the less I realized I know and the more I wanted to study! Now, I must confess, I am nowhere near my Grandma Lee yet, but I am so excited to finally understand her!! I hope to one day be as good as she is at reading the Bible regularly and emanating the love of Christ as she does. 

I am so excited about this that I decided to begin blogging about what God’s teaching me to share with you these amazing sermons and see if we can all grow closer to Him together.

The first one I want to share with you is from Pastor Mike Fabarez from www.FocalPointMinistries.org and his series called “Adding to your faith”. They are available on their website if you want to listen to it yourself (HIGHLY recommend you do! It’s amazing! You can find the series here.)

He focused on the word “goodness” in 2 Peter 1:5, which says:  “…make every effort to add to your faith goodness…”

The word for goodness Peter used here was “agathosune” which meant more than just our word for good; it meant noble, moral, and excellent.

So God’s standard  for us is excellence- but we often think of our Christian walk as just a choice between good and bad. For example, if we don't kill anybody that means we are good!

But here we see that is not what God intended! He wants us to choose between better and BEST!

For example, when I wake up in the morning, I don't think to myself “Should I love my husband today or hate him?” But God wants me to take it further than that...

Pastor Mike goes on to show how this standard of excellence should affect our thoughts and our words:
  1. Excellent Thoughts: Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

    So if God demands we have excellent thoughts, then we have to do better than believing we are doing good because we don’t think about stealing when we go in a store. No, God wants excellence in our thoughts, so we have to be careful what we put in our head that guides our thoughts. Like that movie playing at the theatre. We don’t go see “bad” movies, but that’s not the choice! Are the movies we are watching excellent? What about the TV shows? Are they excellent? Preaching to the choir here because I know my favorite show probably would not fall into the excellent category.

  2.  Excellent Words: Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

    WOW!  So not only does God want us to avoid unwholesome talk, but He wants us to use ONLY words that will build others up according to their needs (which may not always be necessarily easy to hear) AND to benefit the other people listening as well!! That’s a lot to think about before choosing our words!!

I wanted to share this because these words from Pastor Mike Fabarez really challenged me. I have blogged about how I feel God calling me to do MORE with my faith, my life. Hearing this message really felt like God was speaking right to my heart, challenging me to add to my faith.

Why should we want to add to our faith? That will be my next post. Please come back and read it; the answer to that question shook the foundations of my comfy life. I’ll leave you with a quote from Pastor Mike:

“In Real Estate, buyers often want to buy the nicest house at the cheapest possible price. Well we Christians do the same: we want all the best blessings of a good Christian life the cheapest possible price.”