Hey y’all! I hope the two of you reading are having a great week =) I am getting excited about the JBA WMU Luncheon next weekend! I am getting a little nervous though because since it is at our church I have to do the welcome. And then they asked me to do a short devotion. And despite what you might think…I hate public speaking! I am really not very good in front of a big crowd. I get really nervous…then couple that with the fact that I just don’t do “short”…and I am starting to sweat! =)
So I thought I would use you guys as the guinea pigs to see what you think. I think I am going to do the devotion on Hebrews 12:1. The WMU theme verse for 2010-2012 is Hebrews 12:1-2. And when we did our 5k last year I memorized verse 1 because it was also the theme for the race. In fact…as I reflect back it kind of became a life verse for me. So I think it will make a good devotion…here is a rough draft of what I am thinking of saying:
Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
How many of you are moms or grandmas? Have you ever tried to do housework or cook supper with a baby on your hip? (I promise not to sing it Gretchen Wilson style *wink*) Or a toddler clinging to your leg? Or a young child hanging on your back like a monkey? I spent many Saturdays with a vacuum cleaner in one hand and a 2-3 year old on my hip…and I can testify that it takes three times as long to get the living room floor clean! Not too mention my back was aching and my vacuuming arm was overworked. That extra weight and awkwardness was a major hindrance to daily activities. Not until my children were big enough to go into another room by themselves away from the noisy vacuum did I have a peaceful cleaning experience again…that is if you can call cleaning peaceful! ha
So why is it as Christians we try to live life everyday with a child riding piggy back? Why do we carry around on a daily basis the things that we know are going to trip us up and hinder our Christian walk? Every piggy back rider is different. My piggy back rider might be the hindrance of pride or selfishness. Your piggy back rider might be the hindrance of jealousy. Someone else’s piggy back rider might be addiction. Others might be hindered by holding a material possession too closely. Think for just a moment of what hinders you daily in your walk with Jesus. What are some ways we can drop those piggy back riders onto the couch and tell them we are not carrying them around any longer?
I’ll share an example from my life. I struggle with the hindrance of pride. One of the most liberating moments in my life came about 8 years ago. It was the first year I was WMU Director of this church. I was constantly trying to do mission projects and other things to make me look good and feel good about myself. I have always been a people pleaser…and when folks would set me up on a pedestal I would soak it up like a sponge. I really didn’t do anything for Jesus’ name…it was all for Kristy’s recognition. That first few months as WMU Director I was prideful in our accomplishments and I was self serving in the way I went about completing things. Everything we tried to accomplish through our WMU was hard, barely supported, and just plain miserable!
Then I enrolled in a Discipleship Training class we offer called Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. And I experienced the power of God like I had never imagined. I developed a thirst for seeking Jesus that I had never experienced. I learned how to listen to God for direction and to follow Him instead of my own desires. Seeking Jesus wholeheartedly became my desire. And suddenly being WMU Director became a much different role. It became a “joyfully serving others role instead of a taking the credit and setting myself up high” role. We began making differences in the community through our mission projects and a lot of times we even did it anonymously. I am convinced that nothing can bless you back like doing something anonymous for another person. Seeing the joy they experience without receiving any credit is priceless!
I learned that first year through some very hard lessons from God that life is not about me. I learned humility like I never want to forget it. I learned firsthand the true meaning of Phil 2:3 “Do nothing out of self ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
Once I threw off the hindrance of pride and began to truly put others before myself with humility…life has never been the same. Serving Jesus as WMU Director and Women’s Ministry Leader at this amazing church has blessed me more than I could ever express. And recognizing that I am nothing without Jesus has been the most freeing and wonderful realization of my life; understanding that it is not about me and is all about Jesus puts a lot of this world and what it offers into perspective.
Please don’t think that my life is now perfect, and please know that I still slip into my prideful nature from time to time, but with the help of Jesus I recognize it quickly, repent and turn and put someone else in front of me. Nothing seals repentance from pride and self absorption like immediately finding someone else to serve and thank. So think about what hinders you. And how you can throw it off and seek Jesus unhindered. And experience life serving Christ like you have never experienced life before!
Let us pray...
So what do y’all think? Too long? Too boring? Too personal? Too weird?
I can’t decide…email me if you have feedback =) Thanks ladies!