Monday, September 12, 2016

It's All In The Presentation




Last week my son and I went to a Labor Day cookout. Tyler took his frisbee and his football with him. When it was time to go it was dark and the hostess and Tyler were able to locate the frisbee but not the football. She told me that when she found it, she would let me know. And she did, via Facebook. 

So, let’s get to Sunday. First off, let me say this. Service was so awesome yesterday!!! During Praise and Worship Ms. Lovi acknowledged she had something for me, and I went over to get it. What grabbed my attention immediately was the packaging. I knew what she was bringing but I didn't anticipate the packaging. 

She had placed the football in a blue gift bag with blue tissue paper. In my mind I thought, she didn’t have to do that she could have put it in a Kroger bag or just given it to one of us. But she didn’t. She took the time to package it in such a manner that it felt like a gift. It looked like a gift. I knew that I would write about this. I just didn't know the direction I would take. So, I started talking to God and thinking about Joseph’s coat of many colors, and I thought about the scripture where it states that God’s gifts are good and perfect. I’m trying to make sense of this and then it hits me. The very same way that Ms. Lovita took the time and care to package the football is what God does to us. 

This seemingly ordinary toy was packaged in a manner that made it stand out. That made it set apart. If you saw me with the bag you would think that someone had given me a gift. You too, would want to know what was inside. And the more I think about it, it was a gift. And we are God’s gifts. He has set us apart. In Leviticus 20:26 it reads “You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.” God has set us apart from everyone else to be his own. Didn’t the praise team sing this yesterday? You own the world and yet You still want me? Me, who’s scared to step out on Your promises. Me, who messes stuff up on a continuous basis? Me? 

I challenge you to write out all of the reasons  why you believe God would not want you to do things for His kingdom. Get a real good, long list. And then this is what you to do next. Scratch out the list and rip that paper to shreds. Let go of the negative self talk. That's not God. His word says that you can do all things through Christ. Not somethings. Not one thing. But all things. 

A lot of times we know that we are set apart, that we are different but we want to fit into the idea of being “normal”. You don’t want to stand out or be different because then people might accuse you of being stuck up or acting like you’re better than other people. And it’s not that you think that you’re better but God has put a call on your life to do great things. And to be honest God expects you to do those great things. Say to yourself, I’m not stuck up. I'm different.

He didn’t create you to fit in with everybody else. He created you so that everybody else would say, “If they know God, I want to know Him too.” Pastor Mike kinda touched on this yesterday, “What do people see when they see you?” Is your face all scrunched up and mean looking where no one wants to speak to you? Is the tone and language of your voice driving people away from you? What’s your social media presence like? Are you presenting an image that invites other people to want to know Jesus?

It’s all in the presentation. One of my favorite episodes of the Cosby Show was when Vanessa brought Dabnis Brickey home to her parents. If you remember this episode her parents were not happy. Her father pretty much asked Dabnis what if his favorite meal, a Porterhouse steak, crispy potatoes and sautĂ©ed mushrooms was served on a garbage can lid, would  he still want it? Bill Cosby went on to tell Dabnis that this situation was Vanessa’s fault in how she presented her fiancĂ© to her family. 

God has called us to do great things, to do amazing things. He does not want to serve one thing to us on a garbage can lid. Nor does our Father want us to represent anything less than the kings and queens that He destined us to be. Let’s pray.

God we thank you for another day in your presence to attempt to get things right. God you said that we are a royal priesthood, a peculiar people God’s special possession. And this morning we are going to receive that. We no longer will try and fit in but we accept that you set us apart to do greater works for you. I pray that we collectively step out on faith and be the person that you created us to be so that we can draw more believers for Your kingdom. In Jesus name we pray amen. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Shana Wilson - Press In Your Presence

He Intercedes For Me ~ God, Kirk Franklin & JoJo