Posts Tagged ‘Obedience’

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The Gospel

June 13, 2011
The Gospel is not some pithy catch phrase to gloss over our lives and make them whitewashed with goodness.  The Gospel isn’t some bumper sticker we place on our car as we join a club.  Instead, the Gospel is an invading force of light that penetrates every pore of our being until we ourselves become light so all the world might see.  It is my greatest pursuit that more of Jesus live in me today than yesterday.  That is only made possible by the provision of the Gospel.  You see, I use to SAY I believe, like some still do, but then live our lives as if the Gospel has no power.  It doesn’t.  Not in a life that believes but doesn’t embrace.  One of the scariest verses in the Bible for me is James 2:19- “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”  What is this faith then, that saves us?  It is the faith that chooses to allow Christ to transform us by HIS grace and not by our own attempts.  From death to life.  From darkness to light. From brokeness to wholeness.  From sinful to holy.  All made possible by the Gospel by which we live:  Christ lived perfect, died a sinner’s death, rose to life, and ascended into Heaven.  It’s simple… yet simply life altering.For me, the Gospel is everything.  It not only saves my soul from hell, but gives me everything I need for life and godliness.  When famine comes, it is my sustenance. When doubt comes, it is my truth. When fear comes, it is my peace.  I know that in the Gospel, I am nothing, but Christ in me is everything.  What a relief!  What a joy!  What a promise!

Sometimes I am scared at the reality of the Gospel.  As a believer I skim over the grotesque nature of sin so that I can live a comfortable life, not consumed with the depravity of others in order to penetrate my light in a way that will lead them away from darkness.  The questions we are faced with today with the ever-increasing wickedness around, the dissolution of morality, the severity of sickness and catastrophe;  I don’t have the answers for, so I often remain silent.  I excuse my responsibility by thinking “I don’t know the Bible enough, I don’t know their situation enough, I don’t want to damage our relationships.”

Well, the real only foolish thing is to remain silent on the one thing I do know.  Christ is life.  What that means in the places of sickness and poverty, I wish it could magically erase these devastations now (it will some day when Christ returns!).  But I am learning that the hope of the Gospel, the transforming nature of the Creator working in the lives of the believers; is available for anyone, even an awful sinner like me.  It’s not for the faint of heart, but for the brave.  It meets all of us where we are at and gives us the hope and purpose for it all … the good and the bad.  For the adventure He has me on takes me to uncomfortable places within my self and within the world.

The Gospel is not some pity catch phrase to gloss over our lives and make them whitewashed with goodness.  The Gospel is to die to myself so that others might live.  The Gospel gives me life… the Gospel is my life.  He died so I might live… and the life I live, I live by faith in Jesus Christ so others might live.  Yes, it’s sloppy.  No, I am not perfect.  But I desire to be changed from the inside out.  No whitewashed tomb here… just an overhaul in process…. thanks to the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Successful Living in Christ

January 14, 2010

I just looked outside towards the palm trees and olive trees that sit in our yard. For a moment I imagined myself as Sarah, Abraham’s wife. How I wish I could be like her! She was godly, faithful, and God blessed her with the son of promise- even though she sped ahead of God and tried to make His promise a reality in her time (Book of Genesis).

I also imagined for a moment that our property is God’s provision and direction of where to “pitch our tent.” I thought of no greater honor and privilege than to run a household and raise godly children- and for the first time I really meant it, in the depths of my heart. I know in and of myself I am but dust and not capable. Yet the Father lives in me! Something Sarah herself did not have…

Then the “to dos” rush back in and I become Martha. So focused on the task s and concerns that I miss the presence of the Master (Luke 10:38-42).

It is like static on the radio. The message is clear to me, but the overlay of noise distracts me to think my value is what I do and how “successful” I am. Yet God’s value system is not of this world. His value system is based on obedience. He asks me, “so, have you followed Me today? Not, “So, how successful are your activities?”

It is difficult to cling to the obedience when He calls us to do things that are not so honorable. It is hard for me to do housework and not get recognition, when I do church work and receive positive public response. Yet, Proverbs 31 teaches us that as we remain steadfast to serving our families, our children will rise up and call us “blessed” and our husbands will praise us saying, “many women have done nobly, but you excel them all.” It may not be a paycheck every two weeks, but it is a long haul job that reaps rewards for generations to come.

Yet the voices of this world still crouch at our doors. “You could be so successful if you just put aside the home and pursue a career! Did God give you all your gifts to spend them on your family?” The enemy taunts us women to disregard God’s calling on our lives. Praise be to God who raises His voice so we can hear Him above the static of the world! 1 Peter 3:5-7 teaches us that we can be “daughters” of Sarah if we do what is right and do not give way to fear.

In our home life and in our public life, we are to seek the peace from God. Martha in Luke 10 was not chastised for being organized or efficient, but for “being worried about many things.” It is good to be disciplined and diligent (Prov. 31), but not at the cost of allowing the noise around fill us with anxiety.

Lord, help me to live in obedience and faithfulness to You, no matter the sacrifice or leading. No matter in my private or public life. I often want You to lead me directly to the promise land, yet You lead me to the wilderness to make me holy. I want You to lead me to Jerusalem, but You lead me to Nineveh for fruitfulness. I want You to lead me to worldly success, and You lead me to humble submission to teach me dependance on You. Thank You for your patience and provision. Thank You for leading. Thank You for Your peace. Help me to be a daughter of Sarah and have a heart like Mary so when the baby comes, I will be centered in You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.