I'll guarantee you the first time I read that verse, I blew right past it. And since I've read 2 Corinthinians multiple times, it probably happened more than once. Then one day in a bible study that passage was referenced. It happened to hit me at a high time in my faith, when I was bursting at the seams with excitement and wanted to share it with anyone who would listen. And guess what? I got it!! In those times of utmost excitement in my faith, it was never about anything else other than to bring glory to God. I was nearly out of my mind with excitement and I wanted everyone to feel that. But in those times, we are often labeled as "Jesus freaks", "bible thumpers", or "they think they're better than everyone else". Guess what often times happens next? That inner fire is doused, worldly influences step in and the excitement is gone.
So what do we do about that? How do we not let that happen? Or, how do we get that excitement in our faith lives for the first time, or if we have it, keep it there? In honor of the end David Letterman Show, I'm going to give you my top 10 list on how we can do this.
1) Surround ourselves with people of faith. With positive people and with those who aren't self-serving.
2) Get involved, no matter what our age! Get our hands dirty. Help others through our church or community based service organizations. Retirement might be from work, but it's not from faith or from service.
3) Share, share and share some more. Share our stories of faith. Share our hopes and dreams as to the direction our faith is heading, where we hope it will go and what we doing to get it there. Share with others, like those that shared with us, to help us along in our journey. Share our ideas and dreams for the direction of our church. Share our time.
4) Step out of our comfort zone and don't be afraid of change, especially when it furthers His kingdom.
5) Read the bible every day and allow the amazing gift of His word into our lives and share (there's that
word again) it with others
6) Encourage others.
7) Use our gifts.
8) Be accepting of all.
9) Be a reflection of Jesus in all that we do and say. OK, this one is really difficult. How about, try our best in all that we do, every day, big or small, to be a reflection of Jesus.
10) Don't be negative and most definitely, don't be judgmental, even when it's something we may
not particularly like or agree with.
OK, I lied, it's really the top 12.
11) Make disciples.
12) Last and definitely not least, HIS KINGDOM FIRST!!
So here's a few questions I ask of us all. Are we excited about our faith? Do we get excited about going to Sunday School and/or to church? Does our faith energize and sustain us? Or, are church and/or Sunday School something we do because it's what we're supposed to do on Sunday? Is faith something we talk about, but not something we live?
In my next post, I'm going to reveal where I got my top 10, I mean 12 list. And no, it's not from some Christian web site, or amazing book and most definitely not of my own doing. I actually obtained those 12 ideas from an unbelievably amazing and inspiring source. One that has re-energized my faith to a new level and one I hope will do the same for you. Until next time, don't let anything douse your flame and keep that excitement alive for all to see!