Monday Motivational – Looking to Easter
Welcome to another Monday Motivational! I am glad that you are taking time to read this and I hope that it helps propel your week into something great! With Easter just around the corner it seems only fitting that I do a post about it, right? Well, you’re in luck! This week we will go over some things that give us a better grasp of what Easter is and means, as well as figure out what we are supposed to do with this information. Lets get underway.
What is Easter? It is a wonder time of year when we get to break out all of our wonderful pastel colored shirts and dresses, have a delicious potluck meal after church, hunt eggs that are filled with candy, and wake up way to early so that we can go to a sunrise service! I don’t know if these were required Easter festivities for you growing up, but they certainly were for my family. All of these are great and somewhat force your hand into having times of fellowship with your church family, but they don’t really express the true meaning behind Easter. A quick google search of the definition of Easter tells you that it is the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church. This is a bold statement considering how much importance the church puts on Christmas because of the birth of Christ, but in my personal opinion it is an accurate one. We needed the birth of Christ to fulfill Old Testament prophecy about a Savior that was to come, but at the end of the day, it is not through His birth that we have been redeemed. It took His sacrifice on the cross for that. Merriam-Webster gives us a more specific definition by saying Easter is “a feast that commemorates Christ’s resurrection”. So again the question must be asked, what is Easter? For believers it is a time to reflect on the power of the sacrifice of Christ that has given us our relationship with God the father. For the lost it is opportunity to experience the power of Christ’s sacrifice for the first time. Easter is all about Christ, the things He has done for us as believers and the things He can do for those who have not yet surrendered their life to Him.
Easter seems to be a season of time that believers place emphasis on witnessing and inviting people to church. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, and if you have not yet taken time to invite someone to your church so that they can hear the redemptive story of the cross please do so! There is less than a week until Easter, and witnessing is not something we should procrastinate with. I am reminded of the hymn based on Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble.”. We have been redeemed and because of that we should have a lifestyle revolving around saying so! Take time to understand and put to words what Easter means to you. Figure out how you can witness to others this week and invite them to church so that they too can experience Christ and have an understanding of what His sacrifice means for them the same way you understand it. People are more open and willing to accept an invite to church during the Easter season, don’t miss out on an opportunity this week when the Spirit lays it on your heart to invite someone.
I pray that this week will be full of intentional reflection on what Christ’s sacrifice means for you and when the Spirit puts you in a position to “say so” you will witness boldly and without fear! We serve a Christ that was willing to lay down His life for us, it is our turn to put our faith into action and fill up the seats of our churches so that others can hear and hopefully walk away having a relationship of redemption in order that they too can “say so”!
Monday Motivational – Connecting and Staying Connected
Welcome to another Monday Motivational! During the last week or so I have had the opportunity to meet with some new people and catch-up with some others. Overall these meetings were great, and helped to show me more concretely that when working in ministry, and in life in general, the networks we make and pursue are very important. I spent some time reflecting on what a good first impression means, what accessibility involves, and wondering how you remain connected to the numerous people you get to meet in your weekly life. All of these things are important in your adult life while navigating your career path, but little time and effort goes into teaching how to do and manage them.
The culture we are living in revolves so heavily around technology, which seems like a great outlet for accessibility and connecting, but if we are not learning to use our technology for these things we are missing growth opportunities. How then do we start using these social media outlets in a way that strengthens our presence in the lives of others while also expressing our purpose as believers? Being someone who fails miserably at using technology I don’t know the answer to that. I do know that people look through our social media platforms and make assessments and judgments about who they think we are so we need to start treating these platforms as avenues to point others to Christ.
John 13:35 says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”. Are you using your social media to show love to others? Are you using it to uplift and encourage others? Or are you the type of person who likes to scroll through and judge other people because you know they are doing the same to you? Regardless of what your method has been in past, make an intentional effort to use your social media presence to encourage, uplift, and point others to Christ.
Now, of course this is easier said than done, but as a believer we have the Word of God to help us! We can look to the life of Christ and learn from the way he treated others. Christ also gives us the perfect outline for how to stay connected through His discipleship of the twelve. What better way to remain connected to those we meet than by joining along side them in discipleship growth? In my personal opinion there is not one! Christ tells us that the two greatest commandments are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” in Luke 10:27. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant then yourself.”.
If we want to connect and stay connected to the people we come into contact with throughout our week we must make a life style out of loving God and loving others!
I apologize for not having a Monday Motivational last, and I will continue to try my best to get one posted every week! I hope that your week is full of successful opportunities to love God and others is such a way that they see Christ living and working through you!
Monday Motivational – Focusing on Christ
Welcome to another Monday Motivational! This week I am going to try and be candid again. I didn’t realize it until after I started doing these weekly posts that for someone without a lot of fun stories or relatable life situations or vast biblical knowledge presenting something new every week is difficult! This brought me to the conclusion of what I needed to share this week. The reality of that statement about this being difficult is only true when the focus I have for these Monday Motivationals is on myself. How can I relate to the readers? How can I help someone get through a tough week? How can I make a difference in the lives of those who are reading these posts? My hope for these posts is not for me to help or change your life, but to point you in the direction of the person who can—Christ!
At some point from starting these Monday Motivationals to now I have lost focus on that. I hope that it was not obvious that this happened, but it definitely did. Amidst the chaos of what I viewed as a busy schedule I allowed myself to get distracted and take ownership of these posts rather than doing what I set out to do—encourage you guys to focus on Christ at the start of your week and surrender the week to Him. It is a testing step of faith to place our week in the guiding hands of the Spirit before the week gets under way, but it is a liberating step when we do it. If our focus is on anything other than Christ we will fall victim of sinking into the storm just like Peter in Matthew 14:22-33.
It is impressive to others when they see us swimming strong in the middle of a storm, but our goal should not be to impress others. We serve a God that wants us to walk atop the water with our focus solely on His son and our Savior! I hope that when your life gets chaotic, busy, and stressful you will align your focus on Christ who is in control of the storms and has everything we need to make it through them victoriously.