Wednesday, January 07, 2009

How do you count success?

At church Sunday night in an impromptu business meeting I received more information on my church's financial status. Our pastor was required to complete an end of the year report, and in the year we have prospered. We're not rich, not even really abundant, but for a small church of approximately 40 or 50, every need has been supplied.

And while I'm pleased that we're doing well financially, and I'm glad to know it. I wondered if another report is available.
How many souls have we we won? How many have been baptized? How many received the Holy Spirit this year?

... almost as quickly as those thoughts came to me, I realized thinking about my churches spiritual numbers is just another distraction from me focusing on my own.
How many people did I witness to in 2008? How many accepted Christ as a result? How many seeds did I plant, and water? How many people have I prayed with and encouraged to seek the Holy Spirit?

I focus on so many things, and I tend to use words like "We" or "Christians" but in truth, I need to passionately focus my attention to the one thing that I am required to account for.

So, when you read my posts for this new year of 2009, listen closely to this one thing. I'm not lecturing you. I'm not lecturing the world around me.
I'm lecturing me.

I want better. I want best. I want my actions to display my heart. I want my words to display my depth rather than shallow surface words that dull the sharp pierce of the gospel of truth.
And I want my words to apply to me. Not you. Me. So brace yourself and if you see me go awry, please comment strongly.

I want to grow. I want God. I want more. I want most.


SLW said...

I like the way the pointing finger was turned back on yourself. Not a bad reaction for any of us when we are tempted to get critical. But also, don't be too hard on yourself. When the fingers get turned and point back at us, we need to realize all the effort in the world at self-improvement won't really improve us at all. We're flawed beyond our own ability to repair, but we can walk with a God who'll get us where we need to be.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. The flesh avails nothing, neither then does trying to improve it. We do best when we get our minds off it and instead are focused on Christ.

It's nice to see your spark firing again. God's best to you.

Anonymous said...

there is a place where i strongly agree with slw.

"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. The flesh avails nothing, neither then does trying to improve it. We do best when we get our minds off it and instead are focused on Christ."

if i have learned anything in the last few years, it is that when i am focused on Christ, that is when God can grow me the best, because He will guide me where i need to be for my best growth and for my best service. i did not say that i can always accomplish keeping my focus on Jesus, but, the Holy Spirit does a great job of always bringing me back into focus.

now the keeping in focus on Jesus and the being brought back into focus on Jesus. i think that this can have something to do with my choices in following. being alert to the Spirit of God and the Love of God for me and others.

all in the living of the moments as we are given them.

i think that we are given ideas within the life that we are living at the time as we are taught and learn new things.

all i have to do is look around me and see the imperfections in myself and others and the whole world because of all the outcome of sinful nature. and the only way to do anything about it is through Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father.

i have tried and continue to try other paths becasue of my sinful nature, but, i always find a dead end there. i know this, and still my nature takes me there time and time again, and always will. but, thank God that i am always led back onto the path, by rod and staff, and continue along on the journey.

if i look to Jesus, and act in His Love, then in God's time and God's counting, He will bring others to Him. and i might not know if it as long as i live here on earth. i might not see what part i was used in as He brought some one to Himself. the Holy Spirit does not always show us. but, sometimes we are blessed with the outcome that has come through us or come through many other's faithful following.

i love you, and appreciate all your thoughts and your zeal for Christ and the Kingdom of God.

we all learn through eachother.

i know i have learned through your thoughts here.

flyawaynet said...

SLW, nice to see you again. I'm glad to know you still are watching.

I read both your comment and Nancy's and hoped that I'd be able to do just what you were saying. I don't want change that comes simply by doing something different. I want the change that comes from being changed.

I could easily start doing physical things differently, and my works will get me no where.
But if I focus on the one who changes me, I will be changed - thus my works changed.

I want to be new. Again.