Not this day. Not this event. It is bad enough that the Church has allowed Christmas to be diluted by Santa Claus but not Crucifixion Day! Not Resurrection Day! We cannot allow these incredible days, this wonderful event to be diluted by fictitious tales of a bunny and chocolate eggs. We can’t! This day is too holy to rob our children of its wonder. Don’t do it. Don’t share the significance of these days with anything else! Please, not Easter. Keep it uniquely about Jesus. the Father and us.
I think we sometimes forget that no one has every experienced our whole story, the story that makes us who we are are and explains why we do what we do. Different people have experienced different parts with us like our parents, friends, spouse, children but none of them have been there from beginning to end. I think we sometimes forget this because we have been there from beginning to end and we just assume that people know. But they don’t know.
The person who will know you the best is your spouse. You will share the most intimate moments of your life together, also some of the worse. You will fight battles side by side and face to face. You will tell your spouse great moments from your past, many memories but you won’t be able to share it all because you don’t remember it all. But even the things you do not remember helped shape you and caused you to feel the way you feel and react the way you react. How can your spouse fully understand when they don’t know? The incredible thing is, there is one who does know you in great detail, even better than you know yourself, because he remembers those things you have forgotten:
“O Lord, you have searched me
and you know me.” (Psalm 139:1, NIV ‘88)
It’s why it is so incredibly silly of us to ever try to lie to our Father. Maybe we can lie to ourselves so that eventually we believe it but we can’t lie to God; he knows us. He knows every intimate detail of our lives. He knows our thoughts, our motivations, the words we would speak before we speak them:
“Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.” (v. 4)
Better than our parents, our spouse and our children, our God knows us. And still he loves us. Still he cares. Still he went to the cross. Still he covers us by his grace. Still.
God knows us but he was not prepared to leave us in that condition. He was not prepared to see us suffer under the destructive force of sin, to see our character twisted and disfigured. He knew what he had created us to be and he was not prepared to leave a band-aide solution in place. He wanted more for us; he wanted us to have a character of holiness, like him.
You can’t lie to the King. He knows your heart and he knows your thoughts. He has known you since the day he gave you life and he is the one who purifies those who seek him. He is the one who calls us Holy who run after him. He is the one who gives us new life every day when our desire and motivation is him. We have a part to play in this. The Spirit does not force himself on anyone but he will enter where he is invited.
We have been changed through Jesus. We are a new creation, but now we have to be willing to stop doing evil. It doesn’t mean we can stop on our own but we have been changed now so that if we desire to, if we are willing, then the Spirit is able to strengthen us to turn from evil every time. He corrects our motives. But if we decide to think on evil things we will soon act on those thoughts. We have to cooperate with the Spirit and understand that we have been called to greater things then the common purpose of eat, drink, die:
In a large house some dishes are made of gold or silver, while others are made of wood or clay. Some of these are special, and others are not. That’s also how it is with people. The ones who stop doing evil and make themselves pure will become special. Their lives will be holy and pleasing to their Master, and they will be able to do all kinds of good deeds.(2 Timothy 2:20-21, CEV)
Let’s stop lying to ourselves and God. Let’s be honest and open and ask the Spirit to convict us where we need to feel conviction.We have been called to be a Holy people because without holiness we cannot go where we need to go and do what we need to do. Without holiness we will have no fear of doing evil and will soon be overcome by what has overcome the world. A lack of holiness is why good people do bad things because goodness will not save or protect from the evil that destroys, but God’s holiness does.
If you are involved in ministry and you are not being 100% honest with yourself and God, do us all a favour and take a step back. Get things set right. Make Jesus your pursuit. Be sure that holiness is in place so that you flee from evil and pursue righteousness. Make faith, love and peace your daily goals so that you remain faithful to the King. And once you are certain your priorities are in order, step back into the fight.
Don’t lie to God.
PRAISE GOD THIS TIMELY ENCOURAGEMENT :)
The Truth sets us free and the LORD Jesus makes the difference!
He said, “They are my very own people. Surely they will not betray me again.” And He became their Savior. In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them all the years. (Isaiah 63:8-9)
A BLESSED AND BEAUTIFUL MORNING ONLY BECAUSE OF THE LORD JESUS IN MY LIFE :’) Constraining me and changing me…
The Lord has been giving me the Book of Isaiah again — even from the New Testament passages I’ve read this week. It all leads back to the chapters I’ve read and I think God is teaching me what I should have learned from the 1st time I saw them… God is good :’) God is God and He is good. ♥
Good morning from this side, my friends!
What is success to you? Think about it for a few minutes and write it down. At the end of your life, as you lay on your death bed, what would cause you to feel that your life was a success? Some people do not worry about success and live their life with no direction, no compass. Others have their life goals planned out in great detail and have definite measures of success in their life. Many struggle with depression, anxiety and a sense of lose because they failed in their goals.
Imagine, facing death knowing that something you had worked so hard on and that had met with great success, was suddenly destroyed. Maybe in other circumstances you would have rushed in and rescued the situation but your time is up. There is no more working. What is done is done. It is lost. How would you feel? A life wasted? This was the situation apostle Paul was in.
From the beginning Paul had wanted to get into Asia Minor but the Spirit had blocked him. When the time was right he was allowed in and when he was things happened. Paul spent years in this region, based in Ephesus. He had a great team who would go and preach in every corner of that region. In Acts we are told that there was not a person who did not hear about Jesus. It was a busy time but also very fruitful.
Paul was now in Rome, under house arrest, going through a trial before the world’s most powerful man. He could receive visitors and send people with letters but he could not leave. It is while he was there, during his last days that he wrote this letter to Timothy and he states this:
You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. (2 Timothy 1:15)
Could you imagine how that must have felt.? He had invested some much time and energy, made so many friends, considered them family, and here he was abandoned when he needed the most support. But Paul was not like this and neither should we by this. Paul did not find his worth in what he did. He did not consider it a success to have the biggest ministry. Paul did not require a following of people to give him a sense of well being. There was only one thing that Paul knew God measured as success, faithfulness.
Yes, it must have hurt, but this abandonment was not devastating to Paul because his worth was found elsewhere. Paul knew he had done everything the Lord had asked. He faced trials and persecutions. He faced some terrible circumstances, but Paul always pressed on, determined to serve in great joy. Some of his last words penned reveal Paul’s motivation:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day. (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
May these words convict us of a need for an attitude change. Is Jesus really our everything? Is obedience and faithfulness to him our motivation in what we do? How are we measuring a successful life? Even if everything we do comes to nothing, is it enough that we were faithful to the end? Is saying those three things enough to to cause our heart to sing: I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Will that be success to you?