Members Only

By Linda Tancs

Remember the popularity of Members Only® clothing in the 80s? It isn’t hard to imagine why. After all, who doesn’t like membership? Folks flock to membership in country clubs, interest groups and social media organizations. But belonging has its setbacks, especially when it’s used as a means to exclude others. Even the apostles fell prey to a “members only” mentality. In Mark’s gospel, he relates their disapproval of someone who is not a part of Jesus’s inner circle doing wonderful deeds in His name. But Jesus applauds the effort, showing an attitude of inclusion (Mark 9:38-40).

In Christ, “members only” takes on a different meaning. We are all members of His body (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). It’s the same membership, the same calling. No one member is greater than the others (Matthew 20:26). And the primary purpose of the membership is to serve Him by reaching out to others in love (Galatians 5:13). That’s a club worth joining.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

Earth Angels

By Linda Tancs

The American doo-wop group The Penguins sang a song called “Earth Angel.” It evokes an important message about angels. You have heard of the angel Gabriel and the angel Michael, but there’s another kind of angel – earthly angels – as in “you.” In the Bible the Hebrew word for “angel” is “malach”; in Greek, it is “angelos.”  In English, the word “evangelist” has the word “angel” right in the middle! Both the Hebrew and Greek word for “angel” are used not just for heavenly beings, but for flesh and blood people – as in John the Baptist, called an “angelos,” and Haggai, called a “malach.” An angel is one who is a messenger of God, who carries forth the gospel. And that’s exactly what you are to be.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Mind of the Staircase

By Linda Tancs

The French expression “esprit de l’escalier” literally means “mind of the staircase.” It refers to that comeback, response or witty remark that one frustratingly comes up with only when the moment for doing so has passed. No doubt you’ve been there. And, in many cases, it undoubtedly worked out for the best. How many hard feelings may have been averted simply for lacking mastery of the comeback? As Proverbs instructs, life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Don’t be quick to applaud those who are never left without a response. It can be a curse just as easily as a blessing (James 3:9-10).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

Live Like You Were Dying

By Linda Tancs

How would you live if you knew you were dying? That’s the gist of the hit Tim McGraw song, “Live Like You Were Dying.” In a certain sense, we’re all living as if we were dying. After all, each day expended brings us one step closer to physical death. And in a spiritual sense, every Christian aims to die to self, a reckoning that occurs day after day (Ephesians 4:20-24). That means rejecting things like malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander (1 Peter 2:1), living for the will of God rather than for human passions that bear no eternal fruit (1 Peter 4:1-2; Luke 9:23-24). Do you live as if you were dying?

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Rejoice in Others

By Linda Tancs

You may be familiar with the concept of Schadenfreude, a satisfaction derived from someone else’s misfortune. It’s as old as time. The prophet Jeremiah was acutely aware of it, noting that his “friends” were on the watch for any misstep (Jeremiah 20:10). Maybe you’ve experienced it—at home, at work, online. It’s an act of betrayal, and it hurts. Nonetheless, the Lord commands that we love our enemies, do good to those who hate or mistreat us (Luke 6:27-28). Rejoice in others, even when it hurts. God will extend to you the same mercy that you extend to others (Matthew 6:12).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

A Seat at the Table

By Linda Tancs

Most everyone is undoubtedly familiar with the term “having a seat at the table.” It’s a metaphor for inclusion, particularly as it relates to the ability to exercise power and influence. As the Scriptures make clear, the Pharisees wouldn’t let just anybody have a seat at the table. Even sections of the temple precinct were off limits except for those carrying the proper “credentials.” Just like today, it was all about who you know. Then came Jesus, the master table-turner. Literally. He overthrew the tables of the money changers in the temple (Matthew 21:12-13). He turned the tables around in other ways as well. He ate with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:11). He made a seat at the table for the lame, the poor, the crippled and the blind (Luke 14:12-14). He prepares a table for the faithful in the presence of their enemies (Psalm 23:5). Indeed, anyone willing to hear His voice has a seat at the table (Luke 14:23; Revelation 3:20). Like the servant in the parable of the great banquet (Luke 14:15-24), you’re commissioned to make a seat at the table available for anyone, not just those who think, act or look like you. Make room at your table.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

First Impressions

By Linda Tancs

American artist Andy Warhol once observed, “You can never predict what little things in the way somebody looks or talks or acts will set off peculiar emotional reactions in other people.” No doubt you can relate, whether you’ve been on the giving or receiving end. Oftentimes, love at first sight is more movie legend than practical reality. Yet Scripture reminds us not to focus on outer appearances (1 Samuel 16:6-7). Get to the heart of the matter instead. Strive for love (Colossians 3:14).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Let’s Dance

By Linda Tancs

Television shows like Dancing With The Stars introduce us to the beauty of various dance forms, like the tango, foxtrot and quickstep. Watching the professional dancers navigate the dance floor is inspiring. Is your “dance” with life that beautiful? It takes practice, like the contestants show us.

Which steps do you need to practice? Reconciliation (Romans 12:18)? Honor (Romans 13:7)? Love (1 Corinthians 13)? Faith (Matthew 17:20)?

Keep dancing.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Let Him In

By Linda Tancs

“Let ‘Em In” is a song written and sung by Paul McCartney with his band, Wings. It’s about real and imagined friends and relatives of McCartney who knock on the door or ring the bell of his house and he exclaims, “Let ‘em in.” Unlike some of the lyrics of this popular song, there’s nothing imagined about God calling. Indeed, He reminds us that He stands at the door and knocks, waiting for you to answer (Revelation 3:20). He’s the best house guest you could ever want because He’ll live year-round, and always, in your heart (Ephesians 3:17).

He’s knocking at your door right now. Will you let Him in?

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Stay Interested

By Linda Tancs

Publius Syrus was an ancient writer. The saying “a rolling stone gathers no moss” is attributed to him. He also said, “We are interested in others when they are interested in us.” That’s as true today as it was in ancient times. After all, don’t we tend to shower attention on those who behave favorably toward us? However, the Bible exhorts us to love those who hate us, to act outside your social circle (Matthew 5:43-48). How can we ever build relationships and understanding if we don’t treat everyone like the friendly next-door neighbor or a good friend? Be neighborly (Luke 10:29-37). It doesn’t matter if they’re interested.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.