Deacon's Digest (12)

Levels of friendship

Levels of Friendship

Friendships can be among the most rewarding and the most frustrating relationships in our lives We are told that friends love at all times (Proverbs 17:17), only wound us in ways that are trustworthy (i.e., tough love; Proverbs 27:6), are more loyal than family at times (Proverbs 18:24), provide mutual edification (Proverbs 27:17), can impart wisdom (Proverbs 13:20), and they may even sacrifice themselves for us (John 15:13).

Level 1. Associate

This one has some gray area. Most of the time, you see your associates more than your own family. You all spend enough time with one another. You get to know them better, understand their likes and dislikes, and have a grasp on their personality. This might cause you to consider these people friends, but answer this: Can you bring your associates around your current non-work/church/ friends and not feel uncomfortable? If you can’t then they are strictly associates nothing more. If you feel the need to separate your associates from your life outside the home, then they are far from friends!

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Obedience

BibleWhat Does the Bible Say about Obedience?

Faith is necessary to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and if our faith is genuine and true, we will live a lifestyle characterized by righteousness, modeling the example set for us by Jesus Christ. We obey His commands, not because we have to, but because we want to, because we love Him. We are enabled to obey because, once we believe in Christ and are saved, we are remade. We are not the same people we once were. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

When we obey the Lord, we can live a life of joy, without shame, rooted deeply in the Lord and confident in our eternal hope. Our obedience is actually part of our assurance that we truly know God (1 John 2:3).

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The wise

Old age is a blessing from the Lord. We should never be afraid of aging. Christians have a responsibility to show kindness, respect, and to take care of the elderly. Yes we are to respect all people, but there is a certain type of respect that we give to the elderly unlike our own age group. There is a certain way we talk to them and give honor to them.
When living by the Word of God old age brings wisdom that is able to help and guide others in need.  Senior Christians carry so much wisdom and they give great advice.
Job 32:7 I thought, those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.
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Teamwork

The Perfect Story for Teamwork! A Powerful Team Tale & 4 Tips

by Michael Rogers

The following teamwork story illustrates the need for every member of the team regardless of their differing talents and gifts. It is a powerful reminder of why leaders and team members must embrace diversity.

Have you ever heard of the Aesop Fable, “The Belly and the Members?” As you read the following story I encourage you to think about your own teams and how this might apply.

One day it occurred to The Members (parts) of the Body that they were doing all of the work while the Belly got all of the food. They believed the Belly was lazy and unproductive.

It was decided that they would hold a meeting that evening to discuss how unfair this seemed. After what was a very long meeting that night it was voted on that The Members of the Body would go on strike until the Belly agreed to take its proper share of the work.

The unhappy body parts didn’t do anything for several days in an attempt to stop feeding the Belly. The Legs stopped walking, the Hands stopped moving and the Teeth stopped chewing.

As a result of this inactivity and the starving of the Belly, the Legs became more and more tired, the Hands could hardly move anymore and the Mouth became parched and very dry.

Eventually the entire Body collapsed and passed away as the Belly completely starved.

What is the moral of the story? Team dynamics are complex. Here are four important team tips to remember:

1. Some members of the teams contributions may seem less significant or of less value than others. Especially as it compares to those louder and possibly more prominent members of the team.

It is important that every member of the team understands their unique roles and what they bring to the team. It is also important that they clearly understand everyone else’s roles and contributions.

2. Another moral of this story is the need for teams to refrain from evil speaking of each other, gossip, jumping to conclusions and a whole host of other potential team illnesses. Doing so weakens teams and organizations.

3. While team member accountability is critical, it should never become personal or be based on ill-fated assumptions. Accountability must be based on trust, which is not something that magically happens it must be built consciously and over time.

4. Because everyone in the organization or on the team plays an important role to the success of the agreed upon goals, the vision and goals of the leader must be cascaded up and down the organization so everyone is in alignment.

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Submit Yourself to God's Purpose

Submit Yourself to God’s Purpose

Christian worker has to learn how to be God’s man or woman of great worth and excellence in the midst of a multitude of meager and worthless things. Never protest by saying, “If only I were somewhere else!” All of God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose He has given them. Unless we have the right purpose intellectually in our minds and lovingly in our hearts, we will very quickly be diverted from being useful to God. We are not workers for God by choice. Many people deliberately choose to be workers, but they have no purpose of God’s almighty grace or His mighty Word in them. Paul’s whole heart, mind, and soul were consumed with the great purpose of what Jesus Christ came to do, and he never lost sight of that one thing. We must continually confront ourselves with one central fact— “…Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

“I chose you…” (John 15:16). Keep these words as a wonderful reminder in your spirituality. It is not that you have gotten God, but that He has gotten you. God is at work bending, breaking, molding, and doing exactly as He chooses. And why is He doing it? He is doing it for only one purpose— that He may be able to say, “This is My man, and this is My woman.” We have to be in God’s hand so that He can place others on the Rock, Jesus Christ, just as He has placed us.

Never choose to be a worker, but once God has placed His call upon you, woe be to you if you “turn aside…to the right or the left…” (Deuteronomy 28:14). He will do with you what He never did before His call came to you, and He will do with you what He is not doing with other people. Let Him have His way.

James 4:7-8 (This scripture is on my license plate)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

 

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What is Friendship?

What is Friendship?

The Japanese have a term, kenzoku, which translated literally means "family." The connotation suggests a bond between people who've made a similar commitment and who possibly therefore share a similar destiny. The closer we look for the answer the more elusive it becomes. The characteristics that define a kenzoku relationship most certainly are.

1. Common interests. This probably ties us closer to our friends than many would like to admit.

2. History. Nothing ties people together, even people with little in common, than having gone through the same difficult experience. As the sole glue to keep friendships whole in the long run, however, it often dries, cracks, and ultimately fails.

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What Does It Mean to Serve God?

“We trust moment-by-moment that what we need, in serving Him, He will supply.”

“As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord” (Joshua 24:15), what does that mean? 

  • It means to do what He says in a way that makes Him look supremely valuable in Himself.

  • It means to submit to Him in a way that makes Him look thrilling.

There are ways to submit to God that only make Him look threatening, not thrilling. There are ways to do what He says that only call attention to the fact that He is an authority not a treasure.

That kind of service is not the service God commands.

What’s the difference?

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