In God’s strength, and His strength alone, I am happy to report this latest cycle of unbearable grief has passed. Everyday I spend some time with the Lord, but last Tuesday I spent some serious time on my front porch (so I could escape the rain!) in my Bible and pouring out my heart to Jesus. It was in that time I was finally able to release the grief and resentment and anger that had obsessed me for about 10 days. Am I fully healed? That would be a negative. Honestly, I don’t think I will ever be the same. But I can continue to press on.
Many thanks to the sweet young couple who have recently reached out to me not just in word, but in deed. It is easy to say we care and are there for one another, but it is a whole different ballgame when we actually put feet to those words. I have felt so loved my them. I’ve had phone calls and FB messages and even a nice dinner at their home. I love to talk about Jesus and the Word. They do, too. That makes for some great conversation!
I am by no means an expert on God’s Word, but I have studied it deeply for many, many years. God has taught me so many things and I just love to share them. So many people, even those who regularly attend church, just don’t know what God’s Word truly has to say. Hosea 4:6a says “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” Perhaps that lack of knowledge is why our churches don’t really look much different than the world. Perhaps that is why congregants get their backs up about issues within the church they don’t personally agree with. I have noticed we like to take one verse of Scripture and wield it over people without looking at the full counsel of God’s Word. It must break God’s heart to see how we’ve allowed the world to influence us over and above His Word!
How will we attract the “world” to Jesus if we don’t have anything different to offer them? Are you standing on the “fence post” with one foot in the world and the other in the Word? You know, Jesus said in Revelation 3:15-16, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.” Doesn’t sound like “fence post” standing to me. Jesus wants all of us. Are you “in” or are you “out?” Those are the 2 choices.
You might be asking how we can look different than the world. Well, one way is by what we allow into our minds. What are you reading? What are you watching on TV? What about the computer? What we put in our minds affects us even though some people say it doesn’t. Maybe a good way to guard our minds is by asking ourselves would we recommend that particular book to Jesus for His next read. Or would we have Him over to watch our favorite TV show or movie with us. Just because a book is a huge bestseller doesn’t mean we should read it. Just because a movie is “critically acclaimed” doesn’t mean we should support it. Measure your decisions by Philippians 4:8. (I’ll let you look that up!)
Another way we can look different is by how we treat others. Are you kind to that cashier who isn’t so kind to you? Are you forgiving of those who’ve hurt you or do you want revenge? Do your words build up or tear down? Are you grateful for what you do have or always grumbling about what you don’t have? These are hard to live out, aren’t they? But as believers, these are to be our lifestyle; this is how God would have us live. When we are kind and forgiving and edifying and grateful, people take notice. They will wonder what is different about us, then perhaps we will have the opportunity to tell them it is Jesus in our heart.
None of us are where we need to be spiritually, but we should be further along than we were last year, or even last month. Do others see Jesus in you? Do they see Him regularly or just once in a while? Are you living by word or by deed?
Lots of love, Sharon
PS: If you don’t know Jesus and would like to know more, let me know. I’d love to share Him with you!