Ubuntu – Messages For The Journey

for you do not regard people with partiality…  Though we don’t always know what it is nor are we always able to see it in one another, each of us is given a gift. We live according to our experiences and prayerfully, hopefully we learn from our joy and our pain. With our head and heart to the sky we seek to find our own rising star. Once we’ve found it and we begin to live according to God’s impartial love, one person’s success is everyone’s benefit. From the African Bantu dialect (Nguni from South Africa) it’s called Ubuntu – I am because you are. Together we celebrate. Together we cry. Together we rebuild. Together we love, for none of us is born hating one another. None of us is born to compete for God’s attention.

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What’s Your Passion?

Christ’s ministry began with two signs, discreetly performed and perhaps with some reservation but not without desire or passion to use the gift of the Spirit that was upon him. Mostly the word ministry is attached to ordained persons of some religion, but in reality that is merely one discrete definition. In the larger picture, ministry is service, an act of helpful activity or aid enhanced by the desire and passion to use our gifts. Upon meeting people we have a custom of asking what they do. For some, this can be an uncomfortable situation. Yet, if we form a new custom of asking what is their passion, at the very least it’s the beginning of a different conversation that may lead someone on the path towards a new ministry. All are not ordained to sacred ministry, neither are all ordained to rocket science. Large or small each of us is ordained with some gift and the passion to use it. If we find our passion, we discover our ministry. How we use it, is what makes the difference. How we use it, is what’s seen by God.

Lord God help us to find the passion for the gifts you have given us that we may use it to your glory.

Agents Of The Gift

Do not love the world or the things in the world. 1 John 2:12-17  “Don’t chase the dollar, chase the dream.” A line straight out of the movie “BIG” is excellent encouragement from the producer of a gifted, young, up and coming rap star. It worked, but unfortunately short-lived, when the part of the “world” that is rivalry; physically took his life. 1 Timothy 6:10 reads; “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” This reminds us that our desire to use our gifts successfully can not be driven by riches. Cultivating any gift whether in music, sports, dance, etc., requires discipline. If our desire is to have success in that gift we have to work at it. Such is our spiritual relationship with God. When we focus on the gift that is life in the Spirit as expressed in the life of Christ. We then participate as producers and agents of the gift of the Spirit that God has given us. Focusing on the world takes away from God. Focusing on the gift of the Spirit gives back.

The gifts he gave were … for building up the body of Christ…until all of us come to the unity of the faith… Ephesians 4

Forerunners In Faith

From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’  Matthew 4:12-17  What John the Baptist began in faith according to the prophets is confirmed and now propelled forward in the ministry of Christ. Each of us is given a gift. We are forerunners of that gift. It is up to us to nurture it for the glory of God, for it is God who plants the seed and through Christ he will make it grow.

He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, … ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.  1Corinthians 1:20-31

Many Gifts One Spirit

Lent: Day 25 – We know that there are people among us who do not operate under the one spirit that works for the good of God’s people. They are the ones who allow the yeast of pride, selfishness, greed and arrogance to rise within and distort God’s plan for his creation. They are the ones trapped in the limitations of the physical world. They are the ones who fully believe they have some power and authority that others do not have. The Pharisees of yesterday and today still believe this to be true. Our ancestor Joseph may have at one time believed this to be true but by the time of his father’s (Jacob) death he knew this not to be the case. The good news is that the Apostle Paul in his transformed wisdom assures us that this is in fact not the case. In one Spirit, with many gifts among us working together, as we walk in his grace we can and will manifest God’s glory and not our own. Only this, God’s glory, is what’s important and we are the beneficiaries.

Genesis 50:15-26 ‘Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear…

Mark 8:11-26 …and he (Jesus) cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.”

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

Psalm119 Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it. I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts. Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is the truth… Your decrees are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.