Tuesday, December 18, 2012
"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." - James 2:17
Part of our identity in Christ is our faithfulness. Galatians 5:16 says, "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." and in 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness..."
Yay! That's great news! We get to be faithful because of the Spirit of God in us! Awesome.
But here comes the rub. We don't become faithful by just having it in us. Faith needs action in order to come into existence and this is where the rubber meets the road....
Suppose you had never seen a rubber band before and an inventor was showing you the first prototype. He's all excited about it and what it will be able to do for all of mankind. What's your response when he explains to you how it can twist and bend and be pulled and stretched without breaking. THEN it can be used again! Sounds to good to be true? You may say...
"Great! Let me see you use it!"
"Oh, ahh, well, sorry, can't do that."
"What? Why not?"
"Just trust me. This rubber band is amazing and it can handle tough jobs."
"Then let me see it stretch!"
He reaches into a briefcase and pulls out a scientific report. "Here's all the documentation into what the rubber band is made of and what it can do."
Blah, blah, blah. What kind of demo is that? I want to see the guy do an info commercial on 101 ways to use a rubber band. And I want to see him excited; shouting even. I don't want a document put in my face.
Faith is similar. In order for it to useful, it must be used. It must be stretched and pulled and twisted into uncomfortable situations. If we're not feeling "stretched," chances are we're not feeling faith.
How is faith activated? Many ways for sure and some ways are helping others in need (James 2:14-15). Taking care of those who can't help themselves. How about not worrying for a day? Or, maybe being patient and kind with cranky people. Or here's a biggie...how about believing that God is good all the time, like when we lose a job, or someone we love dies? Or especially when we hear about murders and senseless killings? A part of being faithful to God is to NOT say that He wanted those tragedies to happen as a judgement.
If I don't move and be flexible, it says that faith is dead. Faith equals risk. If I don't take a risk and actually believe the Word of God and that His promises are true; that He loves us unconditionally and has grace to cover all my weaknesses...then am I being faithful?
No condemnation here. Just understanding that without risk, stretching, and general uncomfortableness; faith is probably not being activated.
Yes, stretching can be uncomfortable...but wow, is it useful. Just like the humble rubber band.
Stretch me Lord so I may be faithful. :)
Linked to Knick of Time: Sonday
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7
Love this verse. I was reading it today and it struck me between the eyes and it shot to my heart. He CARES for you! I love how this verse makes God so....well...human! All of a sudden, I got this picture of God looking down on me with big brown eyes with the utmost look of compassion on His big, beautiful, fatherly face. Wow. Could it get any better than this?
Some of my favorite moments are when I read a verse I've read countless times and it hits me like this. That's when I know that the Holy Spirit is trying to teach me something specific; like He just bent down and used a huge Sharpie highlighter on the verse to get my attention.
This verse is telling us to do something and then telling us why we should do it. "Cast" all our anxiety (worries about life, ex: finances, kids, work, etc) on Him. The word "cast" means to "throw upon" Him. The verse isn't telling us to, "give it gently," "toss lightly," or "bring it to Him." Nope. It's saying, "throw upon." I think that's pretty significant. Maybe like it's saying, "Give it to your Dad, I can handle it. I am Creator of You and the universe after all." or like, "You got a problem? No sweat, I love problems!"
Now these are the kind of commands that get overlooked in Scripture. We focus on all the moral and character ones, but how about this kind? (Oh, and even though Jesus wasn't the one speaking in 1 Peter, He did tell us to "not worry" in Matthew 6.)
What a super, incredibly kind Dad we have! We don't ever have to worry or be anxious...ever! And why is that? Yep, that's right, because the King of Kings cares about His kids!!
Remember...you are amazing!! Blessings!!
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
For some odd reason, mankind seems to always struggle with identity. Who are we? What are we born for, and why ARE we here anyway?? I too have these lapses of understanding at time and it just so happens I was facing just one of these moments while on a neighborhood walk. I was trying just so darn hard to figure out all the who, what and why's to all of life's circumstances. You know, when you are in one of life's transitions, you wonder just what will the outcome be?
It's like watching a really good movie or reading a great book. When your favorite character is hanging for their life off the edge of a cliff; about to marry the wrong person, or just missed that flight that was to take them to the job of their dreams, you think, maybe I can just skip to the end. You know; to make sure everything works out okay...that's if you like happy endings; which I totally do. But, somehow you resist (most of the time) because half the "fun" of a good story is in the ending.
That's where I was; wondering and thinking. Not feeling like I should be; like I knew who I really was. That's when I began to look down and started to see all the wild spring violets in the lawns where I was walking. Nice, I thought. I'll pick a bouquet along the way. As I was stooping down to pick, I realized I was walking on violets...lots of violets.
It seemed wrong somehow, to be walking on the very things you were picking. After all, they must have value if they were worth the picking, right? Then it hit me between the eyes. I was 'WALKING on violets!" That's when I realized how valuable and unique I was! If God had made absolutely beautiful wildflowers for me to walk on; I must be pretty amazing!
I love those God moments. It's a quick kiss from heaven. He loves me (and YOU) so much that He gives us flowers to walk on. I'd say that's a pretty amazing God.
So walk on those wildflowers and walk in the reality of your royalty in Him...