Archive for September, 2010

September 16, 2010

A follow-up…

For those of you who read the previous post, “A confession.”, check out this morning’s RELEVANT MAG devotional (you can sign up to receive the “Deeper Walk” devotional via email HERE):

“Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” Hebrews 12:1,2

A STORY IS TOLD about a young boy who lived in a quiet village. On the edge of the village was a grassy knoll where the boy would go to sit, relax and look at a rock formation in the distance which strangely resembled an old man—complete with oversized nostrils and deep wrinkles around the eyes and lips. As the boy grew into a man, he often returned to sit and gaze at the rock carving. One day, while passing through the village, a tourist stopped and asked him, “Did anyone ever tell you that you look like the face on the side of the mountain?”

Whatever we love the most will eventually shape our lives. We become what we focus on.

If our primary concern is money, accomplishment, power or ourselves, then selfishness and self-absorption are natural affects. Eventually, like the rock formation on the outskirts of the village, we will take on the likeness of the object of our desire.

If we gaze on Him, look at His beauty, meditate on His Word, find a grassy knoll in our daily routine on which to escape the demands of our lives and learn to gaze on Him, then we cannot help but begin to reflect His image.

(Written by Margaret Feinberg)
Direct link to the post here.

September 16, 2010

A confession.

I have a confession to make.

I’m a planner.  I’ve never been good at spontaneous, although sometimes it’s a lot of fun.  But it’s just not “me”.

I think I get it from my mom.  She’s one of the most together, organized and on-top-of-things people I know, and I’m thankful for the qualities she’s instilled in me.  I think planning ahead is good, but flexibility is equally as important.  I’m learning that it’s important to know where to draw the line with planning ahead.  For instance, I can’t map my life out as the pretty little picture I think is best.  First off, it’s not going to go the way I planned it.  And second, even if I could have it my way, there’s a better way… There’s God’s way.

I have great expectations, and while that can be good, my expectations should simply be the faith and belief that God will do great things in my life for His glory.  My expectations should not be my own plans and how I want them to play out.  I’ve tried that time and again and it always ends with disappointment.  My expectations have boundaries, but with God, there are no boundaries.  My focus has been on all the peripheral things and trying to fit them neatly into my life.  If my focus is on Jesus, those peripheral things frustrate me less, they worry me less, and I end up enjoying them more because they don’t make or break me.

I mean, after all, Jesus said, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).  Does this mean seek Him so that you can get the things that you want? Absolutely not.  We are to seek Him for… HIM!  Jesus is the treasure and the reward.  If we have Him and nothing else, we should not only be content, but full of joy.

May we treasure Jesus today and may we continue to grow in our love for Him, confidently proclaiming that no matter where He leads and no matter what our circumstances, He is good, He is loving, and He is forever worthy of our praise and adoration.

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Phillipians 3:7-14

note: I always start these posts thinking they’re heading one way and they end up elsewhere… hope you’re bearing with me ;)