Saturday, February 24, 2018

Don't Choose the Hard Road of Mashed Potatoes!

I have written about perspectives before but I feel strongly that whatever perspectives we have in life can make all the difference in the world! Especially as believers, we need to have a Kingdom mindset and Kingdom perspective!

Romans 12:2,  says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds."

The world has many popular sayings that are accepted as truths when in fact they are not! One of them being, "If you make your bed, you need to lie in it." What this saying means is that if you make a mistake or decision, you need to live with the consequences of that action. That is a false idea and statement! Through Christ, we do not need to live with our mistakes and failings! He is not just our savior but also our redeemer! In fact, he loves and longs to redeem our mistakes!

As a follower of Christ, it is easy to get into the mindset that we need to strive to get closer to Christ; we need to fix and make right our own mistakes. Having that mindset is like trying to hike up a mountain of mashed potatoes. It will cause you to sink and slide back down. Instead, if we are baptized believers, we should have the mindset that Christ, through the Holy Spirit lives in us. We have died and it is no longer us that lives but Christ that lives in us (Romans 6:3-5). He cannot be closer to us than he already is. Freedom is not something we need to strive for. We already have freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:1)! He desires for us to recognize the freedom we have so he can break forth and live his life in and through us! He will also fix and redeem any mistakes we make along the way as we are walking out our freedom when we put our trust in him.

If we have a problem, it is not our problem anymore but Christ's because Christ lives in us. Because our problem now belongs to him, it is not a problem anymore. Christ doesn't have problems! He has possibilities and opportunities! This allows us to lean back, rest in him and let him take the wheel. We no longer need to focus on ourselves and our weaknesses! We just need to walk out our freedom in him, letting him live his life through us. Do you see how this perspective can make a world of difference? 

We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings and Lord or Lords! We are in him and he is in us! Everything he has is at our fingertips and at our disposal! It is time we rise up and recognize our rightful place in the Kingdom of God! No more wimpy prayers! It's time to claim our inheritance and recognize that we are God's beloved children! Let's let Christ break free in us this Lent so he can live his life through us and touch the hearts of those around us!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Get Your House In Order

Last week the kids and I met Tom at the church for an event. Fifteen minutes before we had to leave a neighbor kid came to the door. It was her birthday so she brought everyone cupcakes. She left and my kids were scarfing down the chocolate cupcakes before we had to leave. Thick globs of chocolate icing ended up on my new rug. We were supposed to leave the house by this time but instead I was frantically scrubbing my rug trying to get the stains out. In the hectic chaos, I guess I forgot to lock the front door. 

We arrived home around 9:30 at night and pulled in the garage. My 7 year old daughter went in the house first and discovered that the front door was wide open. Tom coaxed her back in the van, we backed out of the garage and parked down the street. Tom proceeded to call the police. Out of great distress, I tried to stop him! I explained that I would rather risk my life than have a police officer go through my house at that time! You see, with the busyness of the week, my house was in total disarray! There were toys and clothes on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, piled up laundry on the couch and there may or may not have been underwear on the bathroom floor. 

Tom didn't listen to me begging him not to call. As the man of the house, he felt it was his duty to protect us. Well, not only did one policeman show up but FOUR! I was mortified! I ducked down in the van and let Tom deal with them.

Finally after 4 police officers walked through every inch of my house with flashlights, we discovered nobody was hiding and nothing was stolen. Let me tell you though, that next day I was very motivated and put it in full gear to get my house clean!

Next week is the beginning of Lent. This is a time for us to get our spiritual house in order. Scripture says we do not know the day or the hour when Jesus is coming back and we need to live each day as if he could come back at any moment (Matthew 24:36). During the season of Lent, there is tremendous grace to draw closer to Christ through our sacrifices. 

Why sacrifice? What does it do?

I think there can be a lot of misunderstanding regarding sacrifice. After all, scripture does say that God does not desire or need our sacrifices (Psalm 40). Some might also think offering sacrifices is like striving to earn God's approval instead of receiving his grace.

I like the analogy of a child who doesn't want to eat his broccoli. The parent might then coax the child by saying, "Will you do it for me?"

Does the parent really need the child to make that sacrifice? No! But the parent might say that to the child because the parent knows it would be good for the child to eat his broccoli and the child might possibly be willing to do it out of love for the parent.

Lent is a time to fast. Fasting is a way to cleanse our spiritual palate and make more room for more of God. Fasting creates more of a hunger for God and helps us to value the Lord alone as our banquet!

This season of Lent, let us not be caught off guard or unprepared! Let us take advantage of all the graces available through fasting, sacrifice and prayer to draw closer to Jesus!