You’ve probably heard that pride comes before the fall.
You might be that central hub or the connected, but you need to realize it’s by God’s grace! It’s not all about you! It’s about what God is able to do in and thru you. How can you and will you leverage your position to give God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name?
Turn back to God before it is too late! Give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory! And be generous! Allow God’s inflowing into your life to overflow into the lives of the people around you so that you can make a difference for the glory of His kingdom!
It’s interesting to come to this type of a reading as the annual review process is kicking off! God’s timing is perfect! He is never late and rarely early – He is right on time! God is good all the time! All the time God is good!
Are you one in authority? Are you a manager? Are you someone in leadership? Are you someone who has influence?
Don’t allow your heart to think you are god! Don’t allow in your mind thoughts that you are a god!
Choose to be a humble servant! Choose to be a servant leader! Consider how you have and can serve those you have authority over! Consider how you have and can serve those you are managing! Consider how you have and can serve those who are following you! Rather than lording it over them, instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who leads like the one who serves.
Remember and realize that you don’t know everything! Remember that wisdom comes from God! Don’t waste or lose it by allowing your pride to trip you up! Let’s choose to lead with love! Let’s choose to lead with compassion! Let’s choose to be ambassadors of peace!
We need to remember that everything belongs to God! We need to be good stewards of it and provide a good return! What will you provide as a return? Will it be 1x because you hid it in the ground and didn’t grow or develop it? Will it be 2x because you took it and invested in it and developed it? Will it be 2x because you found more opportunities and were a good steward so that you will get to hear well done my good and faithful servant?
Let’s align to God’s will and live out our lives in alignment to His plans and purposes!
Be a good neighbor! Don’t be one who nobody wants to be around! Be one who loves! Be one who shares! Be one who cares! Love your neighbor as yourself!
Let’s choose to have Jesus as our Lord and Savior! Let’s invite Him into our hearts so that His ways will be written in our hearts and minds! Let’s be transformed! Let’s be adopted into the family of God! Let’s live and share the redemption of Jesus with the world around us that they too may come to know Him and invite Him into their lives! Let’s bring unity! Let’s not forget how thankful we are! Let’s praise God for it all!
Let’s read Ephesians together as we consider this together…
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To Godʼs holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Godʼs grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are Godʼs possession—to the praise of his glory.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all Godʼs people, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
So let’s produce a result that will glorify God today! Let’s share the love and grace of God with the world around us in faith which surpasses any fear from threats! Let’s live lives that give God all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Let’s live to please God! Let’s live to share the truth, the hope, the love! Let’s build unity in the body of Christ! Let’s love the people God’s brought into our lives! Let’s encourage them! Let’s comfort them in the trials! Let’s urge them to live lives that will glorify God!
As we conclude, let’s read thru 1 Thessalonians 2 together…
Paulʼs Ministry in Thessalonica
1You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7Instead, we were like young children among you.
Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
13And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of Godʼs churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews 15who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
Paulʼs Longing to See the Thessalonians
17But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. 19For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
–1 Thessalonians 2