There is a recurring theme throughout the Bible. Submit to the Lord. Such a simple thing and yet for many so difficult and even impossible. When we, in our own pride and selfishness, follow our own path we cause great harm to ourselves and others. We show a poor example to others, leading them down the false path of the world. We reinforce the teachings of satan and obscure the Truth of the Lord.


Those who watch what we do receive false hope and validation for what is a path that leads to death. When each person believes that their way is the right way strife rises. When truth becomes arbitrary, dependent on the opinion of others, anarchy reigns and the streets run with the blood of the innocent.


Only when we put aside our pride and look to the Lord for our salvation can peace and harmony be achieved… Not only in our lives, but in the lives of others. As we strive to put aside our pride, we will enable ourselves to submit to the Lord and He will change our hearts and minds. We must be ready to accept these changes and move forward into His presence.

Advertisements

Yesterday I took the trash out, which entailed walking across the road and through an asphalt parking lot. I forgot my sandals, which I thought would be no big deal and promptly burned the bottoms of my feet. Th problem is that I did not realize this until I was back at the apartment. Even then they just felt hot. So, this morning I wake up to large blisters on the balls of my feet. I guess my diabetes is getting a little worse and beginning to cause other issues. Lesson learned, no more bare-footin’ for me.


Pay attention to your physical health or you could do damage to your body without even being aware. The same goes for your spiritual health. Right now, today, your soul could be carrying blisters from your inattention to the Holy Spirit and you may not even be aware. Type II diabetes is insidious, it has few symptoms and you do not see its progress through your system. Sin can be just as insidious and even more damaging.


Just as I take medicine twice daily for my diabetes, it is vital that you prostrate your self before the Lord and pray for wisdom, discernment and guidance at least twice daily. Without your daily doses of Jesus, through prayer, study and fellowship it is entirely too easy to create blisters on your soul and grieve the Holy Spirit.

Yesterday was my birthday. All my life I treated my birthday just like any other day… then Facebook came along. I am no longer able to ignore my birthday, no longer able to sit in the shadows and let time pass me by. Now, each year I receive these wonderful reminders that I have friends who care. Friends from my long ago past, friends from the recent past and friends from the present who take just a few minutes to acknowledge my existence and say hello with a ‘happy birthday’. This is always a special blessing and I thank all who have done this.


As I saw each note, I was drawn closer to God for it is only through the grace of god that I have friends at all and each of my precious friends is a reminder of the faithfulness of the Lord. Going forward, I am going to try to be better friend, a better neighbor, a better example of what a Christian should be to friends of the past, the present and the future.


As wonderful as friends are, their love and kindness pales in comparison to the wonder of being in a relationship with Jesus. So, my mission is to reflect the love of Christ and bring others to His fountain of living water. Let the fun begin!

Be wary of false doctrine. The internet can be a very misleading place and Facebook is filled with posts by those who misunderstand the good news of Jesus. There are also people who gain power and popularity by intentionally leading Christians away from the saving grace of our God. As Christians it is our responsibility to proclaim the good news of salvation, not as we understand it but as it is written without embellishment.


When we seek to further understand the grace of God, we must not proceed naively assuming that all who say they are teachers and expositors of God’s Word are what they claim themselves to be. We must be discerning in our search for Truth, rejecting all who proclaim truths counter to the Truths of Jesus.


The path away from the Truth is not a sharp turn or branch in the road. Rather, it is a barely discernable branching of paths, a slight twist of the Truth that lead to another, that leads to another, that leads to another… and soon you are faced in a direction that sees no God, that sees no Truth, only falsehoods and lies.


When you have fallen into this trap, drop to your knees, repent of your errors and seek His will to restore you to His grace.

I am reminded, every Tuesday, when the landscaping crews come to mow, trim and clean that Linda and I live in a well-maintained, gated community. Even though we have no part in the maintenance of the buildings and grounds, we do have responsibilities. In our living space, we are responsible for cleanliness and tasked with not damaging any appliances. On the outside, we must abide by the rules of the complex and do nothing to adversely affect our neighbors.


There is, however, a price to be paid for living like this. Part of that price is the freedom to do as we please with our environment. For the convenience of being free of landscaping responsibilities, we gave up the pleasure of creating our own outdoor living space. Part of that price is the inability to accrue value from where we live. For this we gave up the expense of home repair.


So, for us, what we gained was worth more that what we lost and what we gained was peace of mind in a space where we feel comfortable, close to friends, our church and between our daughters and grandchildren.


Much like deciding to follow Christ. What you give up pales in comparison to what you gain.

At every service in our church we are asked to greet each other and to welcome new people to our service. I know that there are quite a few who do this, more than in most churches. However, there are still those who walk with purpose daring those they don’t know to speak to them. They purposefully ignore eye contact and avoid fellowship with those they do not know. To these people I say ‘as wonderful as the worship time is and as uplifting and educational as the message is, when you come to church these things are only a part of the church.


The most important aspect of the church is the congregation. It is in the interaction of fellow church goers that the ministry of the church begins. We are all called to disciple each other, through the good times as well as the bad times. How can we do this unless we know and love each other? How can we see the hurt in someone unless we know them and how can we know them if we ignore them as they start attending the church?


So, each Sunday, fellowship with old friends and make the effort to meet, greet and get to know new friends. Discipling the whole world for Jesus starts right at home.

Today’s lab follow-up visit resulted in two more doctor visits for Linda plus added medications and precautionary heart tests for me at the hospital with a follow-up visit to the cardiologist… WOW. We were not expecting this. I guess as we get older we pay more attention to things. Even things that seem to be minor could easily become problematic if not inspected and dealt with early on.


Why do I mention this now? Because today’s results show how important paying attention to one’s health can be. Even if all of the visits and tests show great results, the peace of mind will be worth the price in time and money. And, if the added tests show problems that are caught early on and treatable then we will be ahead of the game.


We are in the process of doing the same thing with our spiritual lives… checking in with the Sunday service, looking for opportunities to serve in the church and the community, and getting involved with small group activities. We all need to evaluate our spiritual health from time to time. Check with others to see if we are backsliding and then take any needed corrective measures.


It is far better to find out that your relationship with the Lord needs work now than realize it when you are in His presence and it is too late.

We have changed our social security and Medicare addresses, our Blue Cross addresses and today we go to change our driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations. This, along with our other insurance policies, should complete our move updates. Beginning next week, we will start to settle into our new home.


There are many little touches that turn a living space into a home and I look forward to watching Linda work her magic. We are thinking that this will be our last move and expect to be here for many years. Hence, we are taking extra time and extra care to get things right.


Some decisions about our lives are easy and some are tough. I always thought that creating a home was easy. I am discovering that, once again, I was wrong. Watching Linda assemble the pieces that create an inviting and loving atmosphere is a joy for me because I know we will be able to bring friends into our lives and they will feel the love of Christ here.


Showing Jesus to the world begins in the home and radiates out through our demeanor into the community around us. People we meet and should be seeing something special about us and thinking that they too want what we have.

As today begins to unfold, seek first the Lord. Give thanks for all your yesterdays, today and all your tomorrows. Give thanks that you will not be called to go to war in this age of peace in our land. Give thanks that the Sovereign of the universe, the Creator of all, knows you and cares for you.


With thanksgiving, pray for God’s will in your life. Pray for discernment to see clearly. Pray for strength to follow His path for your life. If His path leads from safety to danger, from peace to war, pray to always know that He is with you. If His path keeps you in your safe place, pray to be able to see the needs of His people and pray for the power to respond to those needs with His love and compassion.


Study His Word to become an acceptable vessel for His love, to be able to see the needs of others and to be able to respond as the hands and feet of Jesus. Whether you stay or you go, live in the Light of His Love… bring His Truth and His Compassion always.

Our cat is over the new apartment. He has started voicing his desire to go outside long and loud every morning, driving us (read Carl) crazy. We (read Linda) do not want him to roam the neighborhood mostly because we do not want him to get hurt but also, we fear that he might not be able to take care of himself… almost like parenting.


The main difference is that our cat will never grow up, he will always be just as he is now, wanting his own will to be done no matter the consequences. So, as the owners of this animal it is our responsibility to care for him, how he feels about it is irrelevant.


All Christians begin their journey with Jesus new to the faith, immature and ready to tackle the world, not in God’s will but in their own will. Some never grow and mature, staying always rooted to their own will. For these people, the door to God’s blessings and joy are seldom opened. For those who grow and mature, they move from seeking and doing their will to being rooted in the will of the Lord. For these people, the door to God’s blessings and joy is open wide.


Don’t just know Jesus, don’t be content with baby steps, seek the wisdom of maturity and feel the joy and receive the blessings that Jesus has for you.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: