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Christians, for the most part, want to impact the world for Jesus. We are well intentioned folks who genuinely want to help others. Unfortunately some end up hurting more than helping.
Why? Because we are hearers of the Word but NOT doers!
“But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively & continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].” James 1:22 AMP
I’ve known Jesus since I was 7, but officially received him at 16.
And promptly went about telling everyone they needed Jesus too. Did they? Absolutely! Was what I was saying true? You betcha!
But I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
I had never learned to apply my carefully memorized verses to my own life. I never internalized the Word.
I spewed the Word at people like a fire hose expecting that to clean them up and inspire them to come to church with me.
But that isn’t what happened. I got eye rolls and people closing up and shutting me out. I even stopped being invited to parties with one group of friends.
I had the exact opposite effect as I intended. I came across as judgmental. Bossy. Mean. Pushy. I was a hypocrite. I expected other people to submit to verses I hadn’t applied to my own life, and in some cases hadn’t even read.
Within one year of my salvation I was so frustrated that I rebelled fully and completely. I told God His rules were crap and I was going to life my way.
Why was I frustrated? 1. I focused on the rules and trying to be a perfect person. And it was exhausting. 2. Not one person was changed for the better, despite my preaching at them.
Jesus never asked me to do that. That was all me. Jesus just wanted to love me and heal me. But I was not open to anyone mucking around in my personal business. Besides Jesus has bigger things to worry about than me, right?
It took 8 years for me to come back to Jesus. Then 3 more years for me to begin to open up and actually let Jesus in.
And another few years after that to see that Father God wanted a relationship with me, and that He really loved me. He was for me and not against me.
So now about 25 years after I was “saved” I finally get it. I have a real relationship with Jesus, Father God, and Holy Spirit. And I understand the way to help others, obtain wisdom, and change the world is to internalize the Word in my own life. Let it heal me and change me. Let The Word shift my perspective until I see like Jesus sees, and to love the way Jesus loves.
Point to ponder while you wander…the Word is powerful. It doesn’t return void but accomplishes what the Father sends it forth to do. So don’t just skim it and forget it! Internalize it! Apply it! Live it! That’s what the prophets mean when they talk about eating the Word.
“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear Your Name, Lord God Almighty.” Jeremiah 15:16 NIV
This morning I was praying about what encouragement to send out today and I heard Romans 8:10. This is the verse:
“Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.” Romans 8:10
Jesus came to give us life. Not so that we could just exist or barely make it, but so that we would really live full and abundant lives!! In other words, life is for living!!!
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” John 10:10 AMP
We are spirit. We have a soul (mind, will and emotions). And we live in an earthly body. That body will die. Because, here on earth, death is inevitable.
But death here is not the end.
We are spirit. Spirit doesn’t die like the body. So when we leave this world it’s not the end of life, but the beginning of eternity with Jesus.
“For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 NIV
So live this first life fully, but there’s no reason to fear death. To leave here means we will be with our Savior, Jesus.
Point to ponder while you wander. . . We were given freedom so that we could be free. (Galatians 5:1) We were loved first, so that we can love. (1 John 4:19) And we were given life to live!! (John 10:10) #hope #lovewon #lifeisforliving