Appreciating Others’ Talents and Skills “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIV We all have different skills and talents given to us by God. Each of these skills and talents is important in the world and in the church. Part of treating others with respect is being able to appreciate their talents and skills. Everyone brings something to the table. For example, some people might shine when speaking in front of a crowd, while others may dread being in front of a large group of people but know how to hold a good one-on-one. One person might have artistic abilities that can be used for good in the church, … Read More
Respecting Others and Treating Them With Dignity “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10 NIV Treating others with dignity and respect entails treating others as worthy. Sometimes Christians may be perceived as judgmental or hypocritical by people with different beliefs. This is one reason it is important to honor others and not look down on anyone — so others can see a good witness for Christ, and we do not contribute to a bad reputation for the Christian faith. The Bible encourages us to honor others above ourselves and to love one another. Treating others with respect and dignity is an excellent way to show that love. Rev. Carol D. SparksHate Hurts. Grace Heals. Love Wins!
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35 NIV Knowing that we are all made in the image of God should prompt us to see value in others. God calls us to love one another. Seeing value in everyone is not the same as agreeing or being best friends with everyone. Instead, it means showing all people the love of Christ through what we do and how we treat them. Each person brings value to the world and to God’s kingdom. We all have a purpose, and we should treat all people mindfully and with great respect because God has deemed them of value. Rev. Carol D. SparksHate Hurts. Grace Heals. Love Wins!
Made in God’s Image Billions of people live on Earth today, each created by God with a unique story. At times, it is easy to forget that each person we encounter in our day-to-day lives is God’s handiwork and deserves to be treated with love, dignity and respect. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27 NIV God created humans in His image. We have the distinction of being designed on the model of our creator and Lord. As such, we are treasured by Him. As Christians, we should take note that those around us are also made in the image of God. That person in line at the grocery store, that face on social media, that server at dinner — all are made in God’s image, and God cherishes them all. They … Read More
The gospel tells me that Jesus can make me truly righteous with a righteousness that is acceptable and enduring in God’s sight, one that will stand up at the final judgment. Jesus alone gives me this firm and authentic gospel hope. And Jesus also gives me a perfect example of godly speech and humble service. The Gospels record many of Jesus’s conversations, and we see in them what it means to be perfect in speech. Because he is the truth (John 14:6), Jesus always spoke honestly, never deceiving through passive-aggressive speech or other means. Jesus never tried to meet his own needs through his words. Instead, he consistently served others through what he said. Rev. Carol D. SparksHate Hurts. Grace Heals. Love Wins!
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21) Our relationships change and become more complicated as we grow. We start out as children with parents and (probably) siblings and cousins. Then, as time goes on, friends, neighbors, coworkers, spouses, in-laws, and more come into the picture. As relationships change, we need time to adjust to new roles. It is not always easy to look up to a new boss who used to be your peer, nor for a newlywed to appreciate the close bond that his or her spouse may have with family. Paul says, “In your relationships with one another, you should have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Christ gave up his glory in heaven and humbled himself to become a human being like us. As a result, we have a Savior “who has been tempted in — every way, just as we are — … Read More
Too often, people feel free to criticize others, and to spread rumors and gossip without any sense of responsibility. Sadly, this activity takes place even among Christians! But the Bible warns us against actions like these. It teaches the importance of accountability. In the Law, for example, no one was to be convicted based on anonymous rumors. In the case of blasphemy, nothing would happen until a person’s accusers came forward. In public! All who witnessed the sin were to “lay their hands on his head.” They had to name the charge and then personally participate in the punishment. This procedure made them think carefully before making an accusation. Jesus taught a similar principle when He said that if we see someone sin, we should show them their faults in private. We are not to gossip. When He saw men confronting a woman caught in adultery, Jesus taught, “Let any … Read More
“And they shall call his name Emmanuel which means, God with us.” (Matt. 1:23) Christmas for my family is such a precious time of decorating, celebrating, and remembering the gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love that only God can offer. This Mother’s Day, I am drawn to the story of a young mother named Mary and her infant son. God offered us a marvelous mystery of presence. God broke through the sounds of hate and violence so that some might believe that God is always with us. In these days of warring madness and uncertainty, I’ve been clinging to “Emmanuel” as the anchor of my soul. Only when I am grounded in this truth can I then be a witness to the hope that peace is possible, to the joy that love can prevail, and to the belief that God is with every one of us. Rev. Carol D. … Read More
Facebook, Twitter, email… how long can you last without checking them? The Bible… how long can you last without reading it? Maybe it’s just me, but I get the feeling for a lot of us, we find it hard to stay away from social media, but easy to stay away from the Bible. What’s influencing your life? The Internet, movies, television, and songs can have a massive impact on our lives. They can affect how we see ourselves and others, how we make decisions and how we spend our time. All this noise and information speak so loudly into our lives that they actually shape who we are. And, often, we are not even aware it is happening. So, how much time do you spend every day watching TV or a movie or on social networks? Now compare that to the amount of time you spend with God. Who or … Read More
Everything changed at that moment. Everything changed with that event. Easter is a new start, a new creation. The season after Easter is where we consider what it means to walk with Jesus into eternity. As disciples, we claim a responsibility, or better yet, an opportunity to be proclaimers. We are to share the experience of how it feels to live in the kingdom on this side of death. How does it feel to live in the kingdom on this side of death? How you answer that question brings everything into focus on how you live in relation to others. The Good News you live is the Good News you proclaim. It is time to ask some real questions about our commitment to grow into the likeness of Christ. When you look into your spiritual mirror, what to you see? Rev. Carol D. SparksHate Hurts. Grace Heals. Love Wins!