So here we go...lately I have wanted to blog about "the rest of the story." While I indeed borrowed that phrase from the legendary Paul Harvey, this post is not about his masterful storytelling skills on the radio, but a whole other topic. "The rest of the story" for me today would relate to the many things that I had planned to share, but, for some reason, did not in the course of preaching and teaching. Truth be told, this could probably compile a book in and of itself, but I will limit myself to two recent thoughts that I had really hoped to share, but never did.
Cooperation- We had a message recently in which we looked at various aspects of Jesus' prayer in John 17. I loved the time that we had in God's word as it was also a very special day in which we celebrated the awarding of the Eagle Scout badge to my friend, Isaac Ritenour. While I knew that we would not be able to cover all of the ground that I needed to, there was one aspect that I had really hoped to consider more. Cooperation. Not just the Co-op Store down the street where we get all kinds of cool country toys, but this aspect of working together for a common goal in the Kingdom as Jesus prayed that we would do. Why is it that we have such a hard time with this? It should be so simple. In the context of a church, we should work and serve together for a common goal. Not that we micromanage the work that someone else is doing, but is there a better way to get the same job done so that we can be more effective? (and maybe even lighten the load of a brother and sister) Cooperation means that we strive for God's glory together and see if there is more than one way to accomplish the goal for God's greater glory. I pray that people see this modeled in me and the ministry that I strive for. My heart is to welcome other ideas and input, but at the end of the day...I have to decide the directions that we go in as a church as I work with our elders.
Obedience- The other aspect of the passage in Matthew 3 that we looked at last Sunday was that in the midst of John questioning Jesus about baptizing him when it should have been the other way around, Jesus was ultimately demonstrating obedience. This profound obedience confounds the minds of man as we do not comprehend why the Son of God would need to be baptized much less die on a cross for our sins. This obedience to the will of God was rendered by the NLT in Matthew 3:15 as, "It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires. So John agreed to baptize him." Are we dedicated to carrying out all that God requires? That is at the heart of obedience. I'm not referring to a list of rules that we follow like a bunch of Pharisees, but walking the walk that God desires for us in supreme devotion to he who paid our debt.
I just needed to share these two truths as "the rest of the story" today. I did not feel like I did them justice in the messages that I shared recently. For those who made it all of the way through, thank you for joining me on this brief journey and to everyone else...Good Day!