Most of us lose our way several times in life’s journey especially when things don’t turn out as we think they should. It discourages us and lest we forget, our default setting is sin, doubt and defeat (look at David). That’s why our faith isn’t based on feelings or circumstances. Jesus himself said, “In this life YOU WILL face many troubles…” We can known the Word exhaustively but if we don’t allow it to be “alive and active” in our lives impacting our beliefs and behavior (our choice) then again we always fall back to our default setting.
The thing we need to do most, spend time with God, the enemy guilts us into believing God doesn’t want anything to do with us and won’t forgive us so we isolate ourselves from Him. This is the critical point. Are we willing to come as we are and be real with God and ourselves. One thing the Church has done poorly over the centuries is not allowing people to be real. The Bible is all about human failure and our need for a Savior. Not rules over relationsip but a relationship in which the rules are there to guide us and keep us from being hopelessly lost.
If people don’t see the impact Jesus has had on your life and the relevance Jesus continues to be in your life they won’t see a need to have Him in their life.
I believe that when revolutionary Christians rise up against spiritual apathy and return to biblical accountability it will lead to a spiritual revolution in our personal lives, our families, in our churches, in our communities and in our nation.
In a cultural climate of tension and hostility towards those of “differences”, thing have not change since the dawn of time. Yet we see that Jesus wasn’t racist against minorities. He didn’t shun the outcasts or ridicule the countercultural: he sought them out pointing them to the Way, the Truth and the Life…to Himself.
Genuine is defined as being produced by an original source, authentic and real. A genuine follower of Jesus isn’t defined by what would Jesus do but by what Jesus did. He is the original source and we must allow Him to reproduce Himself in us. Non-followers of Jesus aren’t looking for perfect Christians they are looking for genuine ones who love like Jesus loves and live like Jesus lived. Are you genuine?
Forgiveness is based on action and not emotion. We tend to live our lives with our emotions dictating our action, if you don’t believe this see how you respond the next time someone cuts you off in traffic. As difficult as it is we should allow our actions to guide our emotions. When it comes to forgiveness the deeper the hurt the harder it is to forgive the offense. However, the cross is our reminder that we need forgiven and that we need to forgive others. Jesus never told us, If you feel like forgiving…” He told Peter, When someone sins against you don’t forgive seven time but seventy-seven time…a day. Forgiveness is a command and not an option in the life of a follower of Jesus.
On most every grave stone there will be the day that person was born and the day they died. In between those dates will be a small dash. That small dash signifies the short time you had on this earth. When our heart beats for the very last time there won’t be a do over. At that point when your funeral is given and someone stands at the podium and tells the story of you, what will they say.
The impact of the church is directly proportionate to what each one of us gives.
God Gave us His Son.
Jesus gave us His Life.
What will you give?
I am worn out from sobbing.
All night I flood my bed with weeping,
drenching it with my tears.
When was the last time something so broke your heart that you wept? When was the last time that happened and it had nothing to do with your life but to someone you didn’t even know? Has it ever happened? Are we so consumed with self preservation that we don’t care about the hurting people not just in horrific circumstances in our world where a picture tells the story but also those all around us who look fine on the outside but are hurting and hopeless on the inside?
Does what breaks God’s heart break yours? Do you even know what breaks God’s heart? Stop. Look around and then look up and ask God to reveal to you what breaks his heart and then be his voice, his touch, his hope and his love to the person or circumstance he shows you.
If you fed your physical body the same way you fed your spiritual body how healthy would you be? If we are honest, most of us would be severely malnourished. King David tell us to, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
My daughter is intimidated when it comes to eating anything green. I think many of us too are intimidated because we think we have to eat the whole enchilada instead of taking one taste and seeing how good God can be. If we bite off more than we can chew spiritually it can be overwhelming and yes, hard to swallow. So start with a taste, then move on to the next course until finally you are able to eat the whole meal.
I am convinced that one reason we struggle mentally, emotionally, relationally and spiritually is because we fly through life without taking time to get renewed in the Presence of Jesus. We ignore the need to sit, to rest, and to wait upon Him. As a result, our perception of things around us gets blurred. Doing too much at too fast of a pace has worn us down, causing us to lose focus of seeing things the way they really are. Everything in our lives suffer as a result.
I love how Eugene Peterson paraphrases Matthew 11:28 in the Message Bible.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Let 2014 be a year of keeping daily company in the presence of Jesus and live freely and lightly.
Blessings in the year to come. Pastor Dan.