For the past year, I’ve been mentoring a college student from our church. We meet weekly to talk about life, discuss a chapter in a book we’ve chosen to read together, and pray together. I look forward to these meetings every week. It’s exciting to walk alongside someone in their faith development. We’re currently reading through the book Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples by Francis Chan and Mark Beuving.
Here’s an excerpt from the book that really stuck out to me this week.
In response to Moses’s second question (“Who are You?”), God said very simply, “I AM WHO I AM.” This is not a dismissive statement. It is very significant, and there’s much to be learned from this declaration. God was explaining that He cannot define Himself by pointing to anyone or anything else. The name I AM speaks of His eternality. Where as an appropriate name to describe us would be “I became” or “I was brought into existence,” God’s name is “I AM” because He has always existed. He is who He is, and that is who He will always be. This is a statement of absolute being, absolute power, absolute importance. God is who He is, and He never changes. (p 177)
So much meaning packed into this short statement. So much that we can easily miss. God cannot define himself by pointing to anyone or anything else. We do this all the time. Consider how you answer the question “Who are you?”…Our family name identifies who we are based on our lineage. Our address identifies us based on where we live. Our career, hobbies, interest, etc are ways of defining ourselves. God doesn’t need to do this. He is the All-powerful creator of the universe who has always existed and always will.
Moving from head to heart…this truth offers me a tremendous amount of comfort. Knowing that God is constant and unchanging helps me to be at peace in the midst of the unknown. Knowing that I can depend on God to be who He says He will be and to do what He says He will do makes me feel secure. Like a child playing at the playground feels safe knowing that Mom or Dad is there watching over them, I feel safe knowing that my God is who He is, and He never changes.
Think being teachable as a follower of Christ is important?
I’d say so! Being a disciple of Christ means you place yourself under the tutelage of our great teacher – Jesus Christ. To be a disciple means to be a learner.
And we have a lot to learn.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Have you ever had an unteachable employee or co-worker? It’s miserable!
Have you ever witnessed a young athlete with a boatload of talent, yet their promising career fizzles because they were uncoachable?
We are charged to constantly grow in our knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
So how can we develop a teachable / coachable spirit? Let me suggest 5 ideas:
Talk less. It is a known fact – if you’re talking you can’t possibly be learning. A teachable person isn’t always talking; instead they know to…
Listen more. BOOM! That’s when you learn!
Read his Word. Developing such a specific habit indicates you know you don’t know it all and that you do have a lot to learn.
Ask Questions. A teachable person is inquisitive.
Find a mentor. This would not need to be an expert – just someone a little bit further along than you. And then when with them: talk less, listen more and ask questions!
What additional ideas do you have for developing a teachable spirit?
I’m a HUGE Cubs fan. I have high hopes that this season will be extremely successful!
A few weeks ago when their young star slugger catcher / outfielder Kyle Schwarber went down with a season ending knee injury it was a major blow to the team. But pretty much everybody, including me, remained upbeat and optimistic. Why? Because even though Kyle being out was a definite bummer, the team is so deep that the Cubs should be able to carry on just fine! That is real good news.
As you are probably aware, our Worship Arts Pastor Scott Williams recently departed from ACC. A huge loss for our team. We will definitely miss him a lot. Yet I remain excited and upbeat. Why? Because Scott left behind a team of musicians and techies that is deep. Talented. Dedicated. Ready to fill the gap to assure that quality, dynamic worship continues on at ACC! A ton of behind the scenes planning has been taking place to assure just this.
Melissa Reddin will be serving as our interim Worship Arts Director. Melissa has long been active on the team and just concluded being on staff as our Children’s Ministry Coordinator. I’m confident God will use her in awesome ways!
Dan Grueber will be serving as our interim Tech Director. Lights. Sound. Computer stuff. Stage design. Yeah, that’s all Dan! Already serving on the team as both a musician and a techie – Dan is ready to go!
Please pray for Melissa and Dan as they assume their duties.
We have also begun the process of finding our next Worship Arts Pastor. We already have been receiving resumes and initial interviews will begin soon. This search needs to be empowered by your prayers. I know God has someone just right for us!
Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. Romans 6:5
In his classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote:
“I can have the resurrection life of Jesus here and now, and it will exhibit itself through holiness.”
When we cross the line of faith by placing our trust in the saving death of Jesus Christ and his triumphant resurrection we are at that instant identified with his death and resurrection. We die to sin and self and we begin a new life excelling in loving God and loving others (holiness).
Yesterday in church we baptized 6 individuals. They all verbalized their love for Christ and the difference He is making in their lives. As they were placed under the water it clearly symbolized their co-death with Christ and their coming up out of the water a second later represented their co-resurrection with Him.
A few questions come to mind:
- Have you yet experienced the life changing power of Christ? (Authentic change is possible!)
- Have you yet been obedient by being baptized as a public profession of your faith? (We’ll be having another baptism Sunday sometime this summer.)
- Do you see your life steadily increasing in your love for God and others? (It’s not about perfection but progress!)
I pray the death and resurrection of Christ changes your eternity as well as you’re here and now!
I like being a servant. Until somebody treats me like one.
Recently I was waiting in line to pay for my food at a local pizza joint. Suddenly a 2nd cash register opened with the announcement, “I can help the next person in line.” Faster than a speeding bullet, the lady behind me cuts in front of me and over to pay – before I even flinched. At first I was just surprised, maybe even slightly amused by her rudeness. But within about 10 seconds my dominating emotion was anger. I just stood there, continuing to wait in line but I was mad. At the cutting in line lady. At the behind-the-counter pizza lady for allowing such an injustice. At the pizza store manager for not properly training employees in such a manner as to prevent such miscarriages of justice. I almost said something snotty but kept my mouth shut because one of these Cretans might visit my church someday. So I smoldered in silence.
In retrospect, I began to analyze my inordinate emotional reaction to the situation. Why did I get so angry??!!!
After all – this incident merely resulted in my paying for my pizza about 60 seconds later than otherwise. I wasn’t in a hurry. I still got my food. What was the big deal?
The answer? I was treated like a servant. And I didn’t like it. Not one bit.
If the lady had asked if she could go in front of me – I would have said, “Yeah, no problem.” And meant it. On one of my better days I might have even gotten the idea myself and invited her to go before me. But that is not what happened.
And what happened exposed me for who I am. (Or at least who I was at that moment.)
Proud. Easily provoked. Impatient. Uptight.
That doesn’t sound like the description of Jesus – does it? Or a servant of Jesus?
I know he calls me to be humble. Gentle. Long-suffering. Without anger or malice.
So I confess. I acknowledge I still have some growing to do. I need God’s help to keep my spirit in a good place. Especially when I’m in line at the pizza joint.
Maybe it would be easier if I just stopped eating pizza…