Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jesus and whack-a-mole?

A friend of mine revealed to me that she was praying for refinement in her life. This got me thinking. Scary I know but hey there ya go! I realized that asking God to refine you and show you the sin in your life is a very brave thing to do. Its also like playing whack-a-mole! You know the game. The one at Chucky Cheese's, you have this mallet and every time the mole raises its head you whack it. Let me just tell you I'm horrible at this game. I'm just not quick enough, I'm always a step behind! Now Jesus on the other hand, He is King of the whack-a-mole/sin game! He not only whacks sin every time but He can stay a step ahead of it! When we come to a place in our walk with Christ and are ready to truly give our sin over to be washed in the blood, God will reveal our sin to us. He brings it for front in our lives so that you not only see it but realize it for the sin that is. Its like knowing you've gained a few pounds but you don't really admit it till your pants don't fit! Now we can hand over the mallet and let Jesus whack the sin in our lives. Here's the tricky part of the game. Once you have whacked-a-sin another will rear its ugly head. Its a never ending game because we are never ending sinners. Let me just say I'm very glad that Jesus is the King of the whack-a-sin game!

Old things become new

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. This sounds like such a wonderful easy bit of Scripture. If you look at it a little closer, really think about what it says you'll see that yes its beautiful and joyful but not without pain and suffering. God revealed to me so many things in this one verse.

Salvation "if anone is in Christ" This my friend is the easiest thing we can do yet we make it such a battle. If you were saved as a child it was probably very easy. You learned about Jesus in Sunday school, talked to your teacher, took your parents hand and walked forward. You might have been a little scared with so many people around but that's probably it. As an adult you might have struggled with this. "Are people watching me? What will they think? I'll wait one more Sunday when there aren't as many people here." I know there is internal struggles but that's on us. All in all though its fairly easy to become a Christian. God made it easy for you. Simply accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, know that He died on the cross for your sins and your saved.

Creation~ " he is a new creation" The creation process, its bitter sweet! Your new. God Himself told you so and that's that! Unfortunately we make it much harder. It takes a lot of work to be a new creation. Everyone sees this, they want to look and see if your really new. Think about what you do with new things in your life. New car, show it off, take it for a spin and see how it holds up. New toy, show your friends, play with it. New hair show it off too and then get home and play with it, see how it looks in different styles. One thing we all do is show it off to our friends who in turn judge it. Its the same with your salvation. You want to show it off for all of your friends to see. Your happy about your salvation (as you should be!) your excited about Jesus and find yourself telling everyone you know about His love for them. This is the great part about being new but remember there are those who are judging it. They're waiting to see if its real, if your really new. They're watching your every move asking " Is she really new or did she just cover the old?".

Change- "old things have passed away" This my friend is where the rubber meets the road! Man now its getting tough. "old things have passed away" That's such a hard thing to let happen, letting go of your old self. We each have sin in our lives that we hold onto. We struggle with and keep trying to step away from it but its not easy. The problem is we keep trying to deal with it. Its only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that sin is overcome. We had nothing to do with it. We can not overcome sin in our lives. If you try to fight your sin you will lose. Simple as that, you can't do it. Ah but Jesus can and did. He overcame sin, died on the cross for our sin and rose again to sit at the right hand of the Father. When the temptation to sin rears its ugly head call on Jesus to handle it. This is one of those really aggravating things in life. Its so easy a caveman can do it yet we don't! You have a problem with a sin in your life, pray about, give it to Jesus to cover under His blood and that's it. Every time it pops up do this. Its not hard but we just don't like to release our control even though we're not really controlling anything. This is part of that getting rid of the old things. Turn your life over to Jesus.

The big reveal "all things have become new." Drum roll please!....Tadaa its the new and improved you!! Once you've done the above things you have become new. You now have a new way to think about things, a new way to handle sin. When it pops up you turn to God. People will still see things happen but NOW they will also see you turn to Jesus for strength and forgiveness. Just like any makeover though you have to maintain it. Except your spiritual maintenance is very different from physical maintenance. To maintain a physical makeover you have to take control of your life. To maintain a spiritual makeover you have to relinquish control of it. Everyday you have to give Jesus control over every aspect of your life. There was one word in that sentence that I bet you missed. Its one word that causes us all to stumble...EVERY. That's right every thing in your life. Not just some parts but all parts. Its so hard not to pull things back from God but if we remember that He created us, in Him we have been made new and in Him we will find strength to carry on life will be easier and better! My prayer is that you too will accept the "makeover" God is offering you. Trust that He knows what looks best on you and how to bring out all of your beautiful qualities. I posted a link above to a wonderful website that is offering a opportunity to win a She Speaks scholarship. The She Speaks Conference is an opportunity for women to reach out to other women and bring them closer to God the Father. I'm very much looking forward to attending this and pray I have the opportunity to this year!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Are you a wierdo?

It was Wacky Tacky night in our Kids Klub at church. Their message was the same! Must be something God wants out there!

My daughter came home from school last week upset because one of her friends said her dad was weird. It seems that the girls were discussing mad dads and the things they say! One said her dad cussed and Jenna said hers didn't. This little girl turned to Jenna and said "Your dad doesn't cuss?" Jenna "No he doesn't" little girl " Well your dads weird. All dads cuss." Jenna " Well mine doesn't so I guess he's weird." She came home and shared this with her father, who promptly told her he was weird and it was okay!

See as Christians we should be a little weird to the rest of the world. We should stand out be different. We are to be set apart from them. We look the same, like some of the same things, go to the same restaurants, our kids play on the same ball teams wear the same styles, drive the same types of vehicles but there is to be something very different about Christians. We're to have a light inside us that shines brightly like a beacon to other. There should be this inner something that others just don't quite understand but want to have. That would be Jesus. You should be a lighthouse standing strong for others letting Jesus' love shine through you as a refuge of hope through the storms of life.

Now let me tell you that just because your saved and a born again believer that doesn't make you a lighthouse! Unfortunately too many of us are like the lighthouse's we see now just empty shells of what we were built for. We turn our light off with the switch of sin. God knows we sin. He knows we're going to sin. We have a sin nature.

Romans 3:23 NIV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

BUT theres' hope,

John 3:16 NIV
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

As Christians we know this, but what we struggle with is remembering it. With setting ourselves aside as a temple for Christ. EVERY unrepentant sin in your life keeps you one step away from God. Your light should be blinding but sin dims it. As we fall on our faces' and give God the truth in our hearts all of our shameful sin and let it be washed in the blood of the Lamb then our light gets a little brighter each time. We start to stand out again maybe look a little weird or act a little weird. I don't know about you but as I fall on my face before God I pray that today I look like a weirdo!

Whose your Elisabeth!

I was talking to a wonderful friend the other day and giving her the run down on our devotional from our "Sisterhood Supper". I was explaining how I believe that its okay to turn to your friends when things are bothering you. We're suppose to, its our group therapy! Throughout the bible women gathered together to discuss their days, problems, children, and husbands. We're social creatures and share our lives, its how we were created. The bible is an example to us about this. Look at Ruth and Naomi, Mary and Elisabeth, Lois and Eunice. Even the Samaritan woman went out and shared the truth about Jesus after meeting him.
Today I want to think about Mary and Elisabeth. I got to tell you, I think that was a friendship forged and strengthened by fire. Mary and Elisabeth were cousins so you have to know that Elisabeth knew all the questions going around about Mary's pregnancy. If you look at her situation in today's society you can get a good idea about what Mary might have suffered. I'm guessing the family didn't just say "Oh hey its all okay!". She was probably shunned, ignored, not invited to sit with the other woman and help in the daily chores. Unlike Joseph they wouldn't have understood that she was carrying our Lord Jesus Christ. No angels appeared to them to make her life any easier. Imagine not having ANYONE to talk too. Wow no thank you. I talk way too much to not at least have others pretend to listen! Poor Joseph. If that would have been me I would have been talking my husbands head off!! As it is Dean will say " Honey its bedtime PLEASE go to sleep!" and that's AFTER I've been around friends to share my day with! Then to be pregnant with no one to turn to. How scary that would have been. Today you can't walk through the store without someone telling you some little bit of knowledge about your pregnancy. Imagine how scarred she would have been. Pregnant, new family, new husband, and all alone.
We learn that thank you God, Mary had Elisabeth. Oh what a great comfort they were to each other. One who was pitied for not being able to have children the other shunned for already being with child. Elisabeth was so much more to Mary than just a cousin and friend she was her go to girl, her mentor. Her mother in essence. When Mary married Joseph she left her family to join his. Then his family most likely shunned her, leaving her with no one. Elisabeth believed her, loved her, and gave her the support and caring she need to carry Jesus.
So I ask who's your Elisabeth? If you can't answer this question and feel good knowing that she will carry you and support you even when your shunned, then join us for our next "Sisterhood Supper" we have a lot of Elisabeth's. We love to share!