A Devotion from Daniel
I have really been enjoying our time together strolling through the book of Romans. I know for most of us that this is not the first time that Paul’s letter to the Church in Rome has been opened up for you and/or by you. There is good reason for this as this letter is rich in information that is useful and applicable to us as “modern” humans. For myself approaching this letter specifically for this sermon series as a user’s manual has brought new perspective and appreciation for the apostle Paul’s longest letter.
I thought it may be useful to recap some of the steps or commands that we have been given so far.
- The remembrance of our sin, both past and present helps us to remain humble, and keeps us true to our mission.
- Our Mission is to open the eyes of the foolish to the love letter that is creation all around them.
- Do not be ashamed of the Gospel that saved you.
- Do not be a hypocrite.
- Understanding your audience will help you build a Christian testimony that is impactful.
- Jesus changes everything.
- Choose a master that will have you harvest the crop you desire.
- Our dollar store barbie bow is never going to hit the bullseye.
This list will grow over the next 9 weeks. It is important to remember that unlike your owner’s manual for that piece of particle board furniture you recently purchased these steps while numbered above are not in any particle order. I would hope that each of us could look over this list and see not only what step they need to focus on, but I hope you have seen why each step matters. That you have seen why getting each particle step right is going to make your walk with your savior more impactful, for yourself, your household, and to the world that you come into contact with each and every day.
Think of it this way. Maybe you have step 6 down. You know and believe that the life death and resurrection of Jesus changed the game completely… but you’re still walking a line trying to serve two masters. Step 7 is where you need to focus before you keep moving forward.
Maybe you are sold out and you are serving the King with everything you have, serving no other master than Him. But you are not being effective reaching the non-believers in your community. Perhaps you need to take some time and learn step 5 and understand the audience you are trying to reach. Learn their fears, learn what brings them joy.
Perhaps you know your audience well, you know that God wants you to reach out to those who you have the ability connect with on a level as piers, but fear has a hold of your tongue and the idea of sharing the Gospel publicly sends shivers down your spine. You need some step 3 in your life and remember that you are to be unashamed of the Gospel that saved you.
Hopefully you get the point, don’t tune out if one week, one chapter is not the one that speaks to you where you are. Be encouraged to know that it is speaking to someone. Helping them to become the disciple they are called to be. Look at the list honestly and earnestly, the truth is no one has it all figured out. No one can open the book of Romans, yawn, and declare that they have no need for the wisdom and insights found within.
Each day is new. Each day we have the opportunity to continue the process of becoming more like our master. It is a new day here at Meadowbrook, let’s make the most of it together.
Message from Anthony
Relational Worship: Keeping Our Pride in Check
The condition of our heart directly impacts the quality of our worship. “Too often we assume that the prime prerequisite for serving Jesus well is great giftedness, immense talent, or impressive academic credentials. Yet Peter and most of the disciples were ordinary fishermen from a backward part of the country. They were nobodies until Jesus called them.” (Dave Earley & Ben Gutierrez, Ministry Is)
I’ll reluctantly admit, I’m a fairly skilled musician. I can play several instruments, and while I’m not a prodigy at any of them, I can effectively and mechanically use them to play most music that is thrown my way. I’m also a halfway decent vocalist. I’m no Whitney Houston but I can stay on pitch and lead as well as follow vocally. These are just a few of the gifts that God has loaned me to use as I seek to teach others about Him.
Every gift we have been loaned by God can be a great blessing if used for its intended purpose, but it can also be a huge source of pride. That pride is a killer when it comes to a relationship with God. Pride causes us to take the spotlight for ourselves when we really should be pulling back the stage curtain for God. Often, we neglect relationships as a result of our increased self-focus. Most importantly, we neglect our relationship with God.
I’m intimately familiar with this danger because I’ve been through it myself. As a brand-new worship leader many years ago, I was excited at the opportunity. I’d never been “the guy” before, and I was quite proud that I was “in charge” of worship. After all, I believed that I was the most capable guy on the team. I was so focused on myself that I didn’t notice the worship team shrinking. I didn’t notice the hurt feelings of those around me who desired nothing more than to offer their gifts up to God. I didn’t understand why I was having difficulties effectively leading others.
I certainly didn’t understand why the pastor and elders called me in on a Saturday afternoon and asked me to step down as the worship leader. I had completely missed the mark when it came to leading the team, and I had gotten so far off course that I didn’t even know where I had gone wrong. I had taken my eyes off God, and therefore stopped following Him.
“Getting sidetracked is so easy… What you do for God is only a reflection of the relationship you have with God. If you want to do great things, you need to have a great relationship.” (Ali Worthington, Breaking Busy).
We cannot put ourselves in the way of our relationship with God, there just isn’t any room for self-centeredness in a truly dedicated Christian heart. We have to be totally about God’s glory and serving His people with encouragement and humility. I had to learn that lesson very painfully as my pride was broken to bits in that church office.
But I can honestly say it was one of the best lessons I’ve ever had as a worship leader, and it was crucial in preparing me to lead our team today. When our pride is kept in check, we see how much others truly matter. I’m okay with not being “the guy.” That’s not what God wants of me or anyone else. He wants us to be PART of the body, not trying to be the whole body on our own. We’ve got to be more concerned about others than we are of ourselves.
As Paul says in Romans 13:3-12:
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body, we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
In essence, “Your lifestyle should reveal what and who you really are.” (Oscar Thompson & Caroline Ritzman, Concentric Circles of Concern). Toss that pride aside and find the joy in serving.
Emergency GAP Meal Pack for Ukraine
The Ukrainian people are still facing the threat of the Russian invasion. IDES has sent four shipping containers – over 1 million GAP meals to our partners in surrounding countries in order to assist them in caring for the refugees that have fled to their refugee camps.
IDES is working with additional partners to get GAP meals to those who remain in Ukraine. IDES in Noblesville, IN is hosting an Emergency GAP Pack in order to have another container shipped to their partners.
Emergency GAP Meal Pack Details:
May 9th – 14th 2022
(355 Park 32 West Dr. Noblesville, IN 46062)
Monday – Thursday
10am – 12pm
1pm – 3pm
Friday – Saturday
10am – 12pm
2pm – 4pm
6pm – 8pm
IDES needs volunteers like you to help pack 260,000 meals for those in need! If you would like to volunteer at this food pack, please reach out to Mike Tingley. If you are unable to volunteer, but would like to donate, please place your donation in the offering plate indicating IDES in the memo line. Together we can bring Help & Hope to the Ukraine people in their time of need! Thanks for your support!
Summer camp registration starts May 1st. Come see Anthony for camp dates and registration help. Financial assistance available on a case by case basis. Want to sponsor a child for camp this year? Connect with us and bless one of our youth this summer!
Our MCC youth group will be meeting off-campus for the summer from June through August on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm. If you are interested in hosting the youth group at your home and providing a meal and space for the youth, please sign-up for a date in the summer on the sign-up sheet in the foyer.
There will be a VBS team meeting after service on June 12th for all volunteers. Haven’t signed up yet? Many spots are still available to help!
Phil Newton – May 1
Randy Gilbert – May 13
Peyton Sweigard – May 13
Kiersten Zaremba – May 13
Logan Elwell – May 21
Larry Esterline – May 25
Gene & Nancy Paul – May 28
Joe & Mimi Romaella – May 14
Tom & Andrea Schwartzenberger – May 25