Jump Start # 3488
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
For the past ten years, our congregation has developed a theme for the year. This is much more than just a cute or catchy phrase that we come up with. We produce a detailed booklet that everyone gets at the first of the year. Our theme becomes the backbone of all that we do for that year. Our meetings, VBS, summer series, and even our adult classes are wrapped around the theme for the year. Multiple times throughout the year that theme is developed in sermons. Our folks will mention the theme in prayers and even conversations. A lot of thought, prayer and energy goes into building just the right theme.
This year our theme is “Bringing the Best.” I love that expression. It’s built upon two major concepts. First, God has always given us the best. From daily blessings, to His grace, His word, and especially, His Son, God has demonstrated that He has always brought the best. The very nature of God reminds us that He is the Best. Elijah proved that when the prophets of Baal saw that their god Baal did not exist. He could not stop a famine and he could not bring fire to a sacrifice. The prophets mocked the idea of cutting an image out of wood and calling it a god. The lifeless god could not hear. The lifeless god could not speak. The lifeless god could not move. Those gods were useless, worthless and powerless.
Our God is so different. He created a beautiful world that is fascinating, complex and wonderful. God’s holiness lifts man’s eyes to what is good and right. God’s power sent fire from Heaven, closed the mouths of lions, opened prison doors and parted rivers and seas. God is simply the best. Who can we liken to God, Isaiah asked. Who is equal to God?
The other aspect about Bringing the Best is that God expected His people to bring their best. None of this shoddy, pitiful looking lamb for a sacrifice. Don’t offer the diseased. Don’t bring a crippled lamb. Unblemished, is what God called for. The priests were to be cleansed before they could stand before the Lord. No one unclean was permitted in the presence of the Lord. Bring the best!
And, it’s that spirit and the nature of our God, that leads us to our theme of “Bringing the best.” Here are some applications of that:
Bring the best when it comes to worship: Anticipate worship. Psalms 100 talks about shouting joyfully to the Lord as one enters the gates to worship God. Get to bed early on Saturday night. You want to bring the best to God. Get down to the church house early on Sunday, you want to bring the best to God. If you are serving, get those songs picked out, go over the Powerpoint one more time, think about what you want to pray. Anticipate. Prepare. Bring the best to the Lord.
Bring the best when it comes to our work in the kingdom. Make those handouts sharp and readable. Check your spelling. Put a smile on your face as you greet one another. Be happy to be in the presence of one another. When you talk to others about the Lord or your place of worship, be positive, inviting and upbeat. Bring the best.
Bring the best when you lead your family. Don’t allow work to drain all your energies so your family only gets the left overs of your heart. Take moments and turn off electronics and have fun. Really talk. Lower the nets and have some really deep conversations.
Bring the best of your generosity. It’s not the amount but the heart that really matters. Find ways to help others. God has been very generous towards you. Be like the Lord. Bring your best. There are so many ways and so many people that need help.
Bring the best attitude towards life. Our times are negative, angry, complaining and mean. Don’t be that way. Don’t get caught up in talking people down. Get that chip off your shoulder and stop being a victim. You are a child of God that is Heaven Bound. Be that light that Jesus wants you to be. Put your judgmental radar gun away. You don’t need it. Be forgiving. Look for the good. Be thankful. Be kind. Be tender-hearted. Be the reason someone smiles.
The world is falling apart. We are not. The world thrives on drama. We don’t. The world can’t see beyond today. We can.
This is the year that you Bring the Best to the Lord. You are not trying to be the best in the brotherhood. You are simply trying to be your best. Improve. Study. Grow. Learn. Talk to others. Observe. Ask. God has being giving His best for a long, long time. It’s time we gave the Lord our best!
Bringing the Best…