Wednesday, June 03, 2009

WFW - Living A Life that Honors Christ


Receiving Christ is but the first step to our journey of living a life that honors Him. The Greek word for receive is paralambanō. This verb means:

1) to take to, to take with one's self, to join to one's self
a) an associate, a companion
b) metaph.
1) to accept or acknowledge one to be such as he professes to be
2) not to reject, not to withhold obedience
2) to receive something transmitted
a) an office to be discharged
b) to receive with the mind
1) by oral transmission: of the authors from whom the tradition proceeds
2) by the narrating to others, by instruction of teachers (used of disciples)

I love the descriptiveness that the Greek transliteration offers. I am especially fond of these: to take to, to take with one's self, to join to one's self, and not to reject, not to withhold obedience. Receiving Christ in our lives truly transforms who we are into becoming more like Him.

"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ." ~ Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)

As we live out a life that honors Christ, one of our missions is to reach other people around us for Him. We have to first tend to ourselves first if we are to make a lasting impact on others for Christ. What are some ways we can honor Him?

Continuing to Live in Him

The Greek word for continue is peripateō. This verb means:

1) to walk
a) to make one's way, progress; to make due use of opportunities
b) Hebrew for, to live
1) to regulate one's life
2) to conduct one's self
3) to pass one's life

Doing regular self-checks allows us to see where we are in our walk with Him and our conduct with Him. Are we making the most out of the opportunities He has available? Are we reading our Bibles every day? Are we praying daily? Are we maintaining our conduct and bearing the fruits of the Spirit for Him? If not, why not? Have we become complacent, just doing what's good enough to get by? If we have, it's time to adjust ourselves and get back on the straight and narrow path He has set before us.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." ~ John 15:5 (NIV)

Staying Rooted and Built Up in Him

The Greek word for rooted is rhizoō. This, too, is a verb that means:

1) to cause to strike root, to strengthen with roots, to render firm, to fix, establish, cause a person or a thing to be thoroughly grounded

What are the basics we learned early on in our walk with God? We need to establish regular times of quietness and devotion to Him, reading and studying our Bibles, praying, praising, and planting those roots deep for Him. The basics are what we need to turn to when we find ourselves adrift and just going through the motions. Most of our roots run deep. The deeper the root planted by the stream, the more water to fill it up in times of need.

"He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." ~ Jeremiah 17:8 (NIV)

We were also built up in Him and should continue to remain so. The Greek word for built up is epoikodomeō. This verb means:

1) to build upon, build up

and comes from the root word oikodomeō, also a verb, which means:

1) to build a house, erect a building
a) to build (up from the foundation)
b) to restore by building, to rebuild, repair
2) metaph.
a) to found, establish
b) to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness
c) to grow in wisdom and piety

These are some excellent standards to measure how we are building ourselves up in Christ and remaining rooted in Him. They also beg us to ask the tough questions, are we promoting Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness and are we growing in wisdom and piety or humility? Our foundation is rock solid in Christ, but if we're building our lives here on earth with earth as our mindset, we're building our faith on the things of this earth, things that will one day be no more. What will last?

"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind." ~ Isaiah 65:17 (NIV)

Perhaps on the new earth some things will be in Heaven, things that Christ chooses to restore and make last for eternity, but the principle theme is that He makes all things new and for His glory. Are we storing up for ourselves treasures for Heaven or treasures for earth? Perhaps the better question is, "Are we building a life that glorifies ourselves or God?"

Staying Strengthened in Faith

The times are troubling. We have the threat of nuclear weapons coming out of Iran, North Korea, and the rumors of war are rumbling once again. Health scares top our list of concerns, with the recent outbreak of swine flu. Concern grips us about even every day life. We take precautions everywhere we go and who among us does not lock their doors at night? (Don't answer that if you live in the boondocks and have only family around for miles, ha!)
For those of us who are watching the news and seeing Scripture literally come to fulfillment in the headlines of the news, remaining strengthened in faith is essential.

The Greek word for strenghtened is bebaioō. This verb means:

1) to make firm, establish, confirm, make sure

The root word is bebaios and means:

1) stable, fast, firm
2) metaph. sure, trusty

How firm and sure, stable and fast is our faith in God? Do we only have faith for the good times and not the bad? Though we may be shaken by tragedies that come our way, do we choose to praise Him in advance, trusting that He is still God no matter what? Our faith must be strong during times such as this, not only the news-y events of the world, but for our day to day lives as well. Many of us don't know what tomorrow holds for a loved one we are praying for or what a medical test may report. Some of us have been gripped by the loss of children or loved ones, physically or prodigally speaking. Can we say that our faith is strong? We must. If it's not, we must increase it by calling on the name of our God and asking Him for more of it and to strengthen what little we do have, then cling to the promise He shares in His Word.

"He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." ~ Luke 17:6 (NIV)

The Greek word for faith is pistis. It is:

1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it
a) relating to God
1) the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
b) relating to Christ
1) a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God
c) the religious beliefs of Christians
d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same
2) fidelity, faithfulness
a) the character of one who can be relied on

Search the list. Do you have this kind of faith? If so, are you allowing God to strengthen it in you? Living a life of faith says that we don't know what tomorrow will bring, but we know that our Savior is going to be there to walk with me so we need not be afraid. Living a life of faith says no to the things the world screams for you to do when you know it goes against your moral beliefs. Living a life of faith says that you quietly trust and rely on God when everyone around you is panicking. And living a life of strong faith says, "No matter what, I will praise the Lord for the simple fact that He is the Lord."

Continuing to Overflow with Thankfulness

What are you thanking the Lord for today? God is a God of blessing and love. He loves to endow us with blessing and favor. He provides us with the best of things He knows we need. When I was growing up, I learned that manners were more than those little fish that swam in Uncle Jimmy's pond. When you received something, you said, "Thank you."

Just as we thank others for things they do for us, we should never neglect being thankful to God. In fact, our thankfulness should overflow.

The Greek word for overflow is actually another word for abounding, perisseuō. This is a verb that means:

1) to exceed a fixed number of measure, to be left over and above a certain number or measure
a) to be over, to remain
b) to exist or be at hand in abundance
1) to be great (abundant)
2) a thing which comes in abundance, or overflows unto one, something falls to the lot of one in large measure
3) to redound unto, turn out abundantly for, a thing
c) to abound, overflow
1) to be abundantly furnished with, to have in abundance, abound in (a thing), to be in affluence
2) to be pre-eminent, to excel
3) to excel more than, exceed
2) to make to abound
a) to furnish one richly so that he has abundance
b) to make abundant or excellent

We should offer God our most high form of thanksgiving, lavishing Him with praise just as He lavishes us with the blessings we may not even deserve. If God has given us things we ask for, how much more so we should overflow with thankfulness for that good.

I have found that through the years that excelling in offering our thanksgiving to God sometimes requires a sacrifice. It's hard to overflow with thankfulness when crises arise, but we must maintain an attitude of thankfulness in our hearts and sacrifice that to God. Looking for the sliver of good that comes from a horrid situation with the mindset Christ has offered us through the power of His Holy Spirit will enable us to still overflow with thankfulness.

The Greek word for thankfulness is eucharistia. It means:

1) thankfulness
2) the giving of thanks

The root word speaks to the attitude of thankfulness. Eucharistos means:

1) mindful of favours, grateful, thankful
2) pleasing, agreeable
3) acceptable to others, winning, liberal, beneficent

Are we mindful of favors, grateful and thankful to God in the way He chooses to bless us? Are we pleasing and agreeable to Him? Do we pass His blessings on, being acceptable to others in our attitude of thankfulness to them? Are we liberal and beneficient, willing to to share the love?

The Psalmist offered a precious prayer of thankfulness in Psalm 111. I encourage you to read it and see how his heart overflowed with thankfulness.

Wrapping it Up

Questions for Reflection: Are you choosing to live in Him, staying rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in your faith and overflowing with thanksgiving? If not, why not? What are some steps you can incorporate to change your attitude? If you haven't made the decision to follow Him, please email me at magnoliaheartbeats@yahoo.com and let me introduce you to my Savior.

Verse of the Day: "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." ~ Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

Prayer: Father, we have received Your precious Son as Lord of our lives. Help us continue to build on the faith You have given us, living in Him, attached to the Vine. Help us to remain rooted and built up in Jesus, strengthing our faith in Him daily, and having an attitude that overflows with thankfulness. Your grace alone causes my cup to overflow, and I praise You for that, Father. Thank You so much for loving us enough to send Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins, a debt we could never pay on our own. I praise You that death could not hold Him and that He rose again on the third day, and that we, too, will rise in the newness of life in Heaven with You one day since we have accepted Him. May all we do be for Your glory and not our own. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

Living a life that honors Christ requires us to constantly monitor our growth in Him.

G - Glorify the name of the Lord. "I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." ~ Psalm 86:12 (NIV)

R - Reverently live your life in a way that bears the fruit of the Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

O - Obey God's commandments. "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love." ~ John 15:10 (NIV)

W - Wisely seek God's will for your life. "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." ~ Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

T - Trust in Him for your strength. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." ~ John 14:1 (NIV)

H - Help others develop a love for Jesus. “He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” ~ Mark 16:15 (NIV)

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. e-Lisa, from Extravagant Grace, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.


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23 comments:

Denise said...

Beautiful WFW.

Laurie said...

Wow sister... overflowing with thankfulness.. I fall short:( Thanks for breaking down God's Word and encouraging me today!
Blessings!

Susan said...

As always, an incredible word over here! What a gifted teacher you are Laurie Ann!

Great verse today!!

Blessings to you♥

Raye Ann said...

Laurie Ann,

Blessed as always. In this time when the world say's we should be in a panic we are not. Some of the world is panicked for us. Our faith is strong. Reading post like this helps keep it that way.

Love Ya Sweet Sis

Blessings

LisaShaw said...

Hi Laurie Ann,

I'm new to your blog and I enjoyed this message today! Powerful insights and truth.

I joined in for the first time with Lisa at Extravagant Grace also on WFW. I look forward to making my rounds to read all of the blessings spoken today from God's Holy Word.

Blessings and peace.
Lisa

Kristi said...

Incredible...blessings to you!

Cathy said...

Thanks for that encouraging verse ~ You give me things to think about. And thanks for your sweet prayer.

godsown said...

Hi Laurie-Ann

Thanks for your comment...you read it and saw it so right ......
I will come back (when i am not distracted by my kids..) and digest this post..I know a lot will be in it to learn.

Blessings
Bernice

Chelle said...

Beautiful lesson today. Thank you.

eLisa said...

Laurie Ann, thanks so much for participating today. Your contributions are rich and sincere!

Blessings, extravagantly!

Joan said...

Thank you for being such a faithful steward of God's word.

Happy WFW!
Blessings

ellen b. said...

Hi Laurie Ann!
Love how you illustrated this great reminder from the Word! Awesome material...

Dawn said...

As always your post are amzing :)

Amydeanne said...

always interesting!!!

Lauren said...

wow! this is an amazing post and a really cute WFW!!! I love that verse and your commentary is just awesome! I'm so glad I stopped by your blog... it definitely blessed me!:)

~Lauren

lori said...

Girl...you need to write a book....these are great...

as for GROWTH...I know that the Lord is growing me these days....this was just perfectly timed!

peace,
lori

Shauna said...

Come on over and check out my new book giveaway blog :)

Peggy said...

WOW...Laurie Ann...May we be staying rooted & built up in Him as we continue to live in Him! May we live a life honoring Him that shows much GROWTH...Your graphic did not load as I read through this :( my problem but I always enJOY your teachings & soak in His WORD as He fills us this day! Thank you!

Beth in NC said...

Laurie Ann, you do so much research and put so much effort into your posts. This was wonderful.

Like a piece of tasty steak.

Love,
Beth

He And Me + 3 said...

Thank you so much for this awesome reminder.
You truly break it all down. Thank you so much!

Michele Williams said...

Thank you for another wonderful post. I always have to read your post a couple of times to digest it all! So much truth and wisdom in your posts.
God bless.

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Amen! Thank you for this wonderful reminder of where we should get our strength. May we remember to plug into our Heavenly Father.

crittyjoy said...

I so love the phrase of this verse...rooted in Him...

Beautiful verse and photo...and thoughts! :)