I find it amazing when God uses, what appear to me, the unconnected things in my life to show me an area of my heart that requires my attention. The meshing of these things brings me to my knees in awe of His love for me. That God cares about the smallest details in my walk with Him is something I don't ever want to cease being amazed by.
Last night in a book, I read: " As followers of Jesus, we no longer exist for ourselves. We must constantly resist the inertia that pulls (us) inward- focusing on (our) own comfort, safety, prosperity, and success. We (need) to rebel against a culture that defines greatness as power and prestige, and proclaim instead that greatness is found in giving ourselves away. (We) should have nothing to do with entitlement, manipulation, control or arrogance. Instead, we should be seeking how we can serve and love each other."
I have also just finished reading through the book of Isaiah and the thought occurred to me that even in the Old Testament God was trying to tell them that just "going through the motions" wasn't enough. Isaiah 58:6-7 says: "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?" And Isaiah 1: 16-17 says: "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."
In my devotions this morning were these scriptures and thoughts: I was not drawn unto Him so that I may merely claim belief, (James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.) but so that I can live. (John 10:10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.) We are called to a life that demonstrates Jesus, every day, not just Sunday. We are called to do more than just "go through the motions" of being a christian.
Simply knowing about Jesus is not enough. A head knowledge of who He is will not be what God judges me by.(Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.) Just hearing God's word and believing it to be true, is not enough. My life must be a living example of Christ (James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.) I am to be a follower of Christ, not just a believer in Him.
Throw in the sermons in church from 1 John 1:1-4 "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full," (emphasis is mine).
My knowledge of Christ must be more than just a head knowing. It needs to be a knowledge that goes deeper. All of me is involved: my ears, my eyes, my mind, and my body. John speaks of declaring, showing, and writing as means of bearing witness to God's love for us. These things require taking the time to have relationships with the people who do not know Him. I am to share the knowledge that Christ died and rose again so that our sins could be forgiven, and in more ways than just handing someone a tract.
Add in the recent sermons about putting God first, loving Him more than anything else. If I claim to be passionate about Christ, claim to love Him more than anything else, then His word and sacrificial love should permeate everything I do and say. I know I am passionate about many things. Just look through this last year's blog posts. You will see that I am passionate about my family, farm, and 4-H. If you speak to me for any length of time those are probably the things that you will hear me speak the most about. Is Christ truly first in my life? Am I truly passionate about Him? Then shouldn't He be foremost in my conversations?
My actions, words, the way I speak to my husband and children, how I drive on the roads, how I treat my neighbors, even my motives, desires, hopes and dreams, need to be under the influence of my relationship with Christ. There should be no separation of christian versus secular in any area of my life. If I am in Christ then my whole being is a reflection of Him and must be fully under His authority.
I have so very far to go... but God is faithful: Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."