Be All You Can Be

One of the most well-known advertising slogans that I can think of is the slogan that the US Army used for years, from 1980 to 2001, and I feel is one we can apply to our lives as Christians. Slogans are easy ways to get a message across and make sure that others get your message out.

As Christians, I feel that we can embrace this mentality when it comes to walking with Christ and becoming what He calls us to be. I urge you to take a close look at your life and examine if you are being all you can be when it comes to serving the Lord, sharing the Gospel, and making disciples. If not, let me offer a solution so that we are not AWOL (absent, without leave) when it comes to spiritual matters.

In order for us to embrace this mentality we must realize that our lives are not about us. We have to be aware of our responsibility to deny our own desires, take up the cross, and follow Christ. If we fail to do so we will find ourselves struggling to make sense of it all, we will find out that only through complete sacrifice can we fully embrace who we are called to be in Christ.

Becoming all we can be takes acknowledgement that we are not in control of our lives. It takes sacrifice on our part. It takes our realization that we are children of God, created to serve Him with lives of complete surrender, fully devoted to the plan that God lays out for us in His word.

Romans 12:1-3 gives us insight to this type of lifestyle:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:1-3 KJV)

This life is a life full of blessings and rewards, if only we will embrace it in full assurance of the faith, knowing that God’s promises ring true throughout our lives and generations. The truth is that we serve the same God that created Adam and Eve, saved Noah and his family from the flood, and thought enough of His children to give up all the glory and splendor of heaven to become man, walk this earth, and died on a cross for the sins of each one.

If God thought that highly of you, is it too much to ask that we give up everything for Him? The truth is, it is the only way we will ever get to where we can be everything we were created to be. Part of fully embracing our potential is denying our carnal desires, our worldly tendencies, and devoting our lives to the One that gave us life and desires to live in us.

Examine your heart today and make sure that not only are you making room for God, but that you are allowing Him to work through the Holy Spirit to make you all you can be. Becoming all you can be begins with letting go of all you think you are and taking hold of all God has intended for you. Take hold of His promise today!

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord , thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

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What Makes a Father?

I know that many reading this either knew my dad, Jim Greene, or knew of him.  One of the most amazing and unique things that I can remember about my dad was how well he was known just simply by his voice.  We could not go anywhere it seemed where he didn’t know someone or wasn’t recognized, mostly by his voice.

We could go into a restaurant and someone would hear him talk and come over and introduce themselves.  It is with this in mind that I want to thank everyone for being a part of his life.  He loved Avery County and the residents of the County.  This was his home.  I knew what Avery County meant to dad, and when he went on to his Heavenly home, we found out what Jim Greene meant to Avery County.

One of the most important things that my dad taught me during his time here is that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is key to a happy life.  This is a lesson that I feel needs to be shared, because a good father will make sure that his children know who Jesus is and what He did on that cross for their sins.

I would encourage each of you out there who are fathers to take heart and make a vow to raise your children in a good, Christian home, showing them right from wrong, showing them what a good prayer life looks like, and live what you claim to live.

One of the major factors in my dad’s example to me comes in seeing that not only did he preach the Word on Sunday mornings as the Pastor at Minneapolis Christian Church, he lived the life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  My dad knew that worship was a lifestyle, and he made sure that we knew it as well.  My dad lived the example at home, behind closed doors, away from the public eye, just as much as he professed it each day on Glory1130.

The greatest legacy that he left with me is the knowledge of Jesus Christ, something I hope to pass on as I grow older.  I will make it a point to pass it along to my children when I have them, if the Lord wills.  I want to continue the legacy of showing Christ to others, just as my dad did.

I would encourage each of you who are fathers to do the same.  Do not let another day go by without coming to know Christ for yourself, and then, pass it along to your children so that they can know the saving grace of God that came through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The best thing that a father can do is give his life to his Heavenly Father, and raise his kids in a home that glorifies God daily.

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

What Would You Do

I think one of the funniest commercials I have seen has to be the older Klondike ice cream commercials that asks the question of: “What would you do for a Klondike bar?”

But that has gotten me thinking this week about that question…only in a different light.

I have started thinking about the question of, “What would you do for Jesus?”

I think that is a question that many of us need to ask ourselves when it comes to our walk as Christians. Too many times we seem to want to ask the question of what would Jesus do for me? That question has already been answered by looking at Scripture and realizing that Jesus died for your sins as he did all who will trust and believe.

Get involved in the church and seize each chance you get to share the Gospel with someone so that they can come to know the hope that you have that can only come through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and getting to know who it is that saved you from the sinful nature that can dominate your life.

Today we have to make sure that we are not to eager to be what this world wants us to be. We have to be on our guard for the ways of the world and allow the Lord to do his work in us.

Open the Word and let the Lord tell you what He wants for you today. He is always speaking to us through His Word but it is up to us to make sure that we are looking for it. Pray today that God will reveal something to you each time you read and put your full trust in Him.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” (Psalm 37:3-5 ESV)

Letter to the Graduates: Remember Your Chains

As we approach that time of year again, a song that I remember hearing growing up continues to echo in my mind.  The song is “Remember Your Chains” by Steven Curtis Chapman.  This song has absolutely nothing to do with graduation, but as it has played over and over in my head I realize that it can be applied to each of our lives as we look to turn the pages to a new chapter in our lives.

The song deals with remembering the prison of sin prior to our salvation.  Remembering the chains of bondage that held you down and kept you from moving forward, but also remembering that those chains are now gone…you have freedom. The hook of the song says:

“Remember your chains, remember the prison that once held you before the love of God broke through; remember the place you were without grace, when you see where you are now, remember your chains and remember your chains are gone.”

What a great message for us today no matter what we pursue in our lives…remember where you came from and remember that you are no longer that person.  You are no longer held by the chains of your past…you have freedom.  The message goes even deeper in the second verse of the song with the lyrics:

“There’s no one more thankful to sit at the table than the one who best remembers hunger’s pain; and no heart loves greater than the one that is able to recall the time when all it knew was shame. The wings of forgiveness can take us to heights never seen, but the wisest ones, they will never lose sight of where they were set free…love set them free”

This message is the one I want to convey to the graduates, but also to us all as we pursue a life of happiness and contentment…No one is more thankful than one who works to achieve a goal.  Letting go of our past and moving forward in forgiveness for others, but also for ourselves…God forgives, and our past is our past…mistakes we may have made only make us more thankful for the future and the things we now have.  Life may not always go our way, but little experiences will always help us to see the beauty of the moment we are in.

Today, as you look to the future, remember the past.  Remember where you were set free…remember the work that you had to put in to accomplish this moment…the long hours, the long roads, the lessons learned and the love…the love of others, your family and friends.  I urge you today, do not lose sight of all the work that got you to where you are today…and go with God…

Allow God to work in your life today, submit to his ways and allow Him to lead your steps. Seek him for clarity in the path that you feel led to take, and at the end of the day…Remember your chains and remember that your chains are gone.  Nothing is holding you back from becoming who God wants you to be, the chains are broken and the world is awaiting.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge HIM and HE will direct your steps.” – Proverbs 3:5-6