Monday, January 6, 2014
Bible Reading: Genesis 9-11;Psalm 5
Area of Focus: Monday and Tuesday (6th& 7th —Living Room and Family Room
Wednesday-Tuesday (8th – 1-4th)Kitchen
What would happen if we were less concerned with what people think? (And more concerned with pleasing God?)
Our pastor started a new sermon series yesterday about The Big Fix: Forgiveness. The sermon focused on Mark 2:1-12 when a man who is paralyzed is brought to Jesus. Finding their way blocked by the crowds and desperate on his behalf they go to the roof of the house, break through the roof, and lower the man at Jesus’ feet. Both the man and his friends were so desperate in their need for Jesus’ help they did not care what people thought. Our pastor shared a lot more about how Jesus told the paralyzed man his sins were forgiven when most would have thought his greatest need was his physical need for healing from the paralysis. Jesus saw that the man’s need, all of our need, is relationship with Him.
If we will recognize living a life pleasing to God as our greatest need. If we will recognize that if that need is met all other needs will fall into place.
The Bible tells me that my body is not my own, it has been bought with the precious blood of Jesus. If my body is not mine then I am a steward of my body and responsible for caring for it.
The Bible tells me how to function as a woman, a wife, a mother, and in every other relationship. The Bible tells me that God is love and that if I abide (dwell permanently) in Him I will live in love and if I am not living in love I am not living in Him. It tells me that others will know we are Christians by the love we have for one another.
The Bible tells me that the Holy Spirit does all things decently and in order and that whatever I do in word or deed I am to do in the name (in the character and strength) of the Lord.
So I apply these truths to my life:
- I make the intake of His Word and time with Him first thing in the morning my first priority.
- I take care of my body by avoiding excesses, eating nutritious food, being active to keep my body conditioned, and getting the rest I need.
- My relationships are governed by my relationship with Him and I love and respect the people He had placed me among not by what I see as their being deserving but in the same unconditional way He has had regard (respect) for me and love me. I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend, a neighbor in a way that honors God.
- I care for whatever I have as a steward. I care for my home, as unto the Lord. I care for my clothes, as unto the Lord. I take care of my car, as unto the Lord. I do not despise the things that come into my hands but I appreciate them as a gift from God.
Without realizing it, those words about caring less about what others think and more about pleasing God are what I am unpacking from my suitcase this morning. Humbly, this morning I recognize that everything I am and everything I have is ultimately a gift from God. I do not have any room for boasting. I may do everything I had done before but for a different reason and with a freedom from fear because I dance for an audience of One. My life dance is for the eyes of the One who loves me beyond all else and watches with loving and forgiving eyes, not condemnation. He will lovingly teach me and lead me. I have determined to be faithful. I do not want anything in me that is not from Him. I want no agenda apart from His. When the stuff creeps in, and I know it will, I want to quickly clear it out.
We tend to see ourselves more as sinned against than sinners in our relationships. Boy, if our husband would just get his act together, if our kids would just get their acts together, if I had better parents, if I had better friends, and on and on, then it would be easy for me to be the woman God wants me to be.
But what if that husband, those kids, those parents, and friends are the very challenges God has sent to make you a woman who shines for Him.
Receive everything in your life right now, this instant, as a gift from God that He will use to make you more like Jesus. Forget about what you think, what you want, and ask God what He wants you to do with all this. How can I take these messes around me, Father, in the strength of Your Son, in the wisdom of Your Holy Spirit and make them shine for You? How can I give up, offer up any anger, bitterness, and resentment in me to You and receive from you the love, the joy, the peace, the patience, the goodness, the kindness, the faithfulness, the gentleness, and the self-control I need to function in these situations?
Show me, Lord, moment by moment, how to be a woman who worships, loves, and honors you before the world, and seeks to please you with all I am, continually.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Bible Reading: Genesis 12-14; Psalm 6
Area of Focus: Tuesday 7th—The Living Room/Family Room
Wednesday the 8th– Tuesday the 14th: The Kitchen