Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Two Challenges.

Last evening for the visitation challenge, C. chose I Corinthians 9:19-24 as his *charge*. It was a very simple, straightforward message without all the *bells and whistles*, as we like to say. The end of verse 22 caught my attention: "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." C. then made an excellent observation by stating that being "all things to all men" is going to require some sacrifice. So then he began to list some things that are sacrifices. He concluded with the point that it is worth it to sacrifice time, clothing, convience, etc. so that we might save some. We might not save all, but there's a chance to save some! What an encouragement, but what a challenge...

This evening my Pastor preached from Ephesians 4:29 ("Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.") by using the Bible Study Step Tool. This is a tool that my Pastor put together well over a year ago, in an effort to encourage us to pick a verse and study it word by word basically. There are seven steps to this tool, and it's great help to understanding more about a verse. Anyway, there was so much information packed into this little verse, but the basic point I walked away with was this: as a Christian, I have an opportunity to minister to others through my words. My talents are few, but this is an area that God gives to me and to every Christian: a ministry to share grace. But as my pastor so wisely pointed out, there's also an opportunity to do the exact opposite. Oooh. That hit close to home.

So here's my pastor's challenge to me (and the rest who heard the message): at the end of the day, for the next month, sit down and recount every conversation from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. Check out the times that corrupt communciation comes out. If it's 27 times the first day, aim for 26 the next.

In a way, the two messages seem to fit together. In order for me to be "all things to all men", I need to make sure I don't let "corrupt communication proceed out of" my mouth. This is going to require some work, but that's what the Christian walk is all about. Perhaps along the way, I can have a ministry of grace too...

3 comments:

Jessica said...

What a great idea!! I will definatly have to try that, it will make me more aware of the things I say. Thanks Anne!!

You should post that Bible Study Step Tool that your pastor made on your blog!! It sounds interesting, I'd love to read it. (Or if it's too large to post all of it, at least post the main ideas!!)

Anne said...

The Bible Study Step Tool has been a great help in studying verses! There's a book of explanation that goes along with it, and we've now published it in English and Spanish; just in time for Pastor and Mrs. H.'s trip to Chile:D Perhaps I'll be able to post about it in the future... I know we as a church have benefited from it, and I'm sure others would too:).

Happymama said...

Great post, Anne. I enjoyed reading that.

~Kristi