Monday, September 8, 2008

Devotional: Attitudes That Put You On Top

Proverbs 28:20 tells us that, "A faithful man will abound with blessings."   Faithfulness is what enables you to do something that you desire to do.   Faithfulness is what enables you to fulfill the plan of God for your life.   Jesus wasn't a "freelancer" doing His own thing.   He said that He came to do what "My Father wants." He was submitted to authority. Hebrews 5:8 says, "though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered."He submitted to the cross. Philippians 5:8 says,"And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."   Jesus had the attitude that put Him on top.   If you ever see a turtle on top of a fence post, know that he did not get there by himself.   He submitted to authority.

Your attitude towards authority will either exalt you or debase you.   It will decide whether or not you'll proceed to the next level.   Authority is designed to free you up.   Submission to authority in life will propel you forward to fulfill your destiny and your mission in life.   We read it in scripture, "a faithful man who can find?" (Proverbs 20:6).   A faithful man is one who knows the right attitudes. Not just going through the motions of the attitudes, but those attitudes are an actual part of their character and their integrity. It is their governor just as a governor is placed on a moving truck's engine to keep the engine from being blown, these attitudes towards authority will be what will make or break you in life. Whether in everyday living, ministry, or even in our relationships, faithfulness is a precious thing.   As the Bible says those who are of such are hard to find.   I believe that is one of the reasons "many are called, but few are chosen."   1 Corinthians 3:16 tells us, "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"   Being Born Again changes everything.   As a good steward we should submit to the authority of our Master, our Lord and our King.  

Notice the story that Jesus told in Matthew 7:24-29."Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."

As a wise man or woman, where is your house built? Jesus said "whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them."   We must be doers of the Word not hearers only (James 1:22). We must be good stewards of His Word. Here are some points about good stewards.

1. Stewards listen to their master. We trust in the Lord, not man or our own thinking (Proverbs 3:5-6). We must make our choices based on the principles of God's Word. Think about this: bearing witness is a response. It is your character responding to His Word, walking it and living it.  

2. Stewards don't just do something to be doing it. Is what you're doing serving a purpose? If it is, then you should be faithful to it and watch where it leads you. No matter how big you get, you'll always give an account. You'll always answer to somebody. Whether an employer, parents, bills... and you are going to always give an account to the Lord.  

3. Stewards will always seek the counsel of the Lord and His Word.   What does God say? What does His Word say?   Did you seek His counsel or did you just do it based on the emotions of the moment? Remember Matthew 7: a wise man will build his house upon the Rock.

4. Stewards always produce substance.   Jesus said that the Father is glorified when we bear much fruit (John 15). Let's not be caught maintaining, but let us be pushing ahead and going forth.  

5. Stewards will take an inventory of their life.Goals should be defined by measure and fulfillment. How you take care of your time, your money, and your relationships with others defines who you really are.   Paul said, "I press toward the prize" (Philippians 3:14).   To consistently press toward something, you evaluate your progress and adjust yourself to move forward to hit the mark.  

In closing let me give you four valuable attitudes that I consider to be paramount in my life through the years and in everyday living. We read in 1 Peter 4:7-11 these words,"But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."  Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."   Based upon those verses, here are four attitudes to always have in life.

ONE: Have a reverent spirit. Acts 23:1 says,"Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, "Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day." Always separate position from personality. Not separating position from personality is the difference between walking in the flesh, driven by emotions, and walking in the spirit, living in promotion.  

TWO: Have a grateful spirit. Psalm 62:5 says, "My soul, waits silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him." Your expectation is from the Lord.   He is your boss, your employer and He is the One Who is signing your paycheck. Keep your heart right and be thankful. Always be grateful in all things and at all times.

THREE: Have a servant's heart. 1 Peter 4:10 says, "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." Don't grumble, don't complain, have a faithful servant's heart. Mark 10:44 reminds us that if we want to be first, we must have a servant's heart.  

FOUR: Have a quiet spirit.   Psalm 62 says, "Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved." That's just verses one and two! The entire Psalm is so good.

You see, our trust is in God and what He's called us to do.   Where He wants me to be is the ultimate place to be. No matter what the storm is, His purpose will be fulfilled. Let's strive to be faithful at our jobs, to our families, and in our relationships.   Let's live a life of character and integrity, showing forth good stewardship in our lives. It's always a testimony to all. I heard a preacher say this, "Live your life so that the preacher doesn't have to lie at your funeral." "Amen" or "Oh me!" Remember, Proverbs 28:20 tells us, "A faithful man will abound with blessings." Live His Word and let it be WHO you are so that you are always abounding.

Prayer: Father, it is my desire to be faithful and keep the attitude of a servant in how I live. Thank You that Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.   Amen.