The Why Factor-March 26, 2014

The Why Factor-March 26, 2014
Philippians 2:1-18

This lesson is not intended to explain or explore the question of why me? Rather the question of why is to discover the intentionality and reasoning behind what we do. We are comfortable a lot of the times with what questions because they typically examine a problem in front us (that may only be a symptom) and seek to take action to resolve the problem before us. What are we going to do about all these people who need to be fed? This is the question the disciples asked Jesus before the feeding of the five thousand. The better question may be why? Why are we going to feed these people? Because I am the bread of life, I am God, I am able, just as manna fell from heaven, so too can the Son of God provide an abundance, and in the later days will provide His body (bread) to be broken for us. Why? It would do no good to tell someone that God loves them and to be warm and well fed, and then not do anything to provide for the need. It would betray the love we speak so much about. This line of reasoning too can leave us doing things that sometimes have little meaning or purpose in and of themselves or lack passion from those involved because they do not know the why.

Although pursuing the “what” question is not bad in and of itself they why brings us back to evaluate the effectiveness, viability, and purpose for the action. Purposeful living is a committed and passionate living. The why factor leads us to discovering the purpose for action. We look at some of our why questions, they are from church structure and programs, to the whys we find in this particular passage of scripture. It is good to do good things, but without the why they are but the works of man and too often lead us toward protecting our religious practice over the propagation of the gospel.

Why are you a Christian?
Why do you come to Church?
Why is it important?
Why do we have this program or that?
Why should we share our faith?
Why do so few do it?

The questions of why can change a lot. I try to resist the temptation as a parent to give the answer because I said so (not perfect at this part either) but to answer a mind that wants to engage.

The scripture begins with “if you have any encouragement from being united in Christ…? It is the why question to what comes next then be like-minded having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Then continues because our attitude should be the same as that of Christ, and then explains what that attitude is.
Obey God and continue in the work of salvation, why…because God work in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Do everything without complaining or arguing, why…that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

Continue to look for in the scripture what we are asked to do and then the why. Do you think the Why Factor makes a difference?

Sweet Day

Sweet Day

Oh, sweet day, when will you come? Come that I may once again dance in laughter and in love. When can I hear my heart pound again with purpose? Until that day, my heart and dancing feet merely mark the time.

Elusive love I have danced your sweet tune before, and drank of you cup for nourishment. Escape me not in the future, yet return again in bar and rhyme. Move again my feet, stir my soul to reality. Allow me to know again the joy of the moment. The hours it will consume and the years I will invest.

Go beyond, and connect me to your eternal presence, oh love. Eternal in relation to God and others, the essence of love is not individualistic, rather discovered in communion with God and in relation to others. Return again in communion to you and community with others.

Let my life take shape in that reality, and draw me again to my identity. Allow me not to forget that all-encompassing presence. Provide me the eyes to see, the heart to feel, the soul to long, and the feet to dance. Life demands as much, all else is mere existence.



Time squats in the blue-spurred grass
Marking that place just as every other
Invented to remember the past
Help in planning the future
Marking the present, that is becoming past,
Pushing constantly to the future
Time can only squat in the blue-spurred grass
Marking that place
The past has shape in memory
The future in dreams
The present is the struggle