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Archive for September, 2014

Philippians 4:11: “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:”

“A restrictor plate or air restrictor is a device installed at the intake of an engine to limit its power. This kind of system is occasionally used in road vehicles (e.g., motorcycles) for insurance purposes, but mainly in automobile racing, to limit top speed and thus increase safety, to provide equal level of competition, and to lower costs; insurance purposes have also factored in for motorsports.”– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restrictor_plate . This type of engine governor is used in NASCAR to level the playing field by limiting how much a race car team could “soup up” an engine, and thus drive the ability to win (pardon the pun) to be in a driver’s skill in handling the machine, not just the machine itself.

The devil likes to use worry as a “governor” to limit us Christians; unlike NASCAR, who mandates restrictor plates, some of us (me included) allow the devil to use that tool. Worry is probably one of the worst sins I have to fight; it takes energy from us and wastes it, when we could use that same energy for God’s purposes. Paul wrote here in the Philippians letter that he learned to be content, no matter what the circumstances; that contentment comes from God, not the world. This is something I’ve tried to add to my daily quiet time: the prayer that no matter how the day goes (good/bad/somewhere in between), that I thank God at the end of the day for the day…it’s one more day of life that I didn’t have to begin with, and that that day came from Him…and to thank Him for it.

So, for your information, don’t let worry be a restrictor plate on your Christian engine; rev it up and live for Jesus every day. The race is still on.

Something to think about.

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Ephesians 4:11: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,”

There was this Saturday morning cartoon that was on television for only one season back in the mid-1980’s called Mighty Orbots. It was a futuristic anime-style cartoon about a team of robots and their human creator who battled the evil galactic criminal organization SHADOW on behalf of the Galactic Patrol. The inventor, Rob Simmons, was their leader. There was 6 robots, each with a special ability:

• Tor – the “strongman” of the team
• Bort – the shape-changing robot who could reconfigure himself into any type of machine
• Bo – could manifest air, fire, water, and earth (the classical elements)
• Boo – had powers of light and energy, usually used as invisibility, force-fields, levitation, holograms, etc.
• Crunch – the ever-hungry “comic relief” of the group, but who could consume any element and channel it as energy (a walking battery)
• Ohno – Rob’s right hand assistant and robot leader

When all the robots merged together they formed a super-robot named Mighty Orbots, who could utilize all their powers. Ohno, in this configuration, was the “ignition key”; without her, the super-robot form couldn’t come online and activate.

I thought of this old cartoon when I read the above passage. As Christians, some of us are given gifts to use as pastors and teachers, others evangelists, and so forth. Jesus gives us gifts that we need to use for the glory of His Kingdom. Each of us Christians, like one of those individual robots, have a gift that we use to further the Kingdom (the entire body…the Mighty Orbots union, in my above analogy). But without Christ as the “key” to using these gifts, we can’t use these gifts to their utmost. You see, the gift is to be used to glorify Christ, not for selfish reasons. It is a wonderful thing to receive a gift, but how much more wonderful when we “unwrap” it and use it for what it was intended?

Something to think about.

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Galatians 4:11: “I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.”

I remember once helping my father on a local job site one weekend years ago. We were building a new chimney and fireplace for a neighbor who lived a few miles out of town. While my father was building the fireplace inside, 2 more brickmasons were building the narrow chimney outside. Now, this man’s house had a very steep-pitched roof, so it was a tall skinny chimney. On top of that, he had 2 different sets of bricks; they were not noticeable to the untrained eye as different, but one set was a little longer than the other set. The 2 brickmasons had to mix those bricks as they laid the chimney; they were using short levels to keep their work straight. The chimney was capped by a 4-inch thick concrete chimney cap (and boy, was it heavy to have to lug and to pull up to that chimney top!)

Since he finished first, Daddy was able to go outside and look at the other brickmasons’ progress. Up close, everything seemed fine. It wasn’t until the owner called my father down the long driveway to look at the chimney from the main road. Then, he saw that the chimney was not straight but was actually cork-screwing around as it went up! If the brickmasons had used long levels, they would’ve seen that their progress was going off course. As to be expected, Daddy had us tear down the entire chimney back to the roof AFTER we removed the 4-inch chimney cap which had been put in place. Needless to say, we were all exasperated that our work had been in vain, and that we had to build it right, all over again. However, it would have been wrong to leave the chimney the way it was.

Paul was stating how afraid he was for the Galatian Christians; he didn’t want them to become mired in the legalism that the Judaizers were trying to push on them. He wanted his fellow Christians to grow and to mature in the faith. He didn’t want all his efforts to be in vain if it didn’t result in the church growing the right way in Christ.

Remember, Jesus died for our sins. His sacrifice is a free gift to us, that we have the choice to accept. If we accept it, we are guaranteed life eternal in Heaven with Him. To say no to this gift…would be that His death would’ve been in vain.

Something to think about today.

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