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My heart broke and rejoiced today. It broke when a dear friend said they didn’t need others to be more like Jesus. They were simply not ready to be transparent with another believer. This caused great sadness because I knew their chosen path was not going to be a pleasant one.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. Woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
Later, as I was heading out on my prayer walk, I heard the Lord say, “Stay home. Work on your Hebrew.” Really Lord? “Yes, really.” Ten minutes later I knew why. Another brother called. He was battle fatigued and wanted to put his shield of faith down. He got the encouragement he needed to keep going.
“Encourage the fainthearted.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
One person was afraid of transparency while another embraced it. One person was heading in the wrong direction. The other was encouraged to keep going in the right direction. Which story reflects your life?
Set Free Noww“W”
I heard a story once about a person who had locked their keys in their car. Their cell phone was running out of juice and the company they called for help couldn’t find them. After two hours of this total frustration, they finally thought to call the local fire department. In less than 15 minutes after their rescuers arrived, the keys were back in their hands.
This person thanked the fire fighter profusely and said, “This was one of the worst days of my life.” You can relate, right? You’d probably rate this up there on your frustration list, especially if you were on a tight schedule.
The odd thing about it is this: the person who locked their keys in the car had been home from an actual war zone, where they had experienced much worse, for less than two months! They are in the military.
Seeing the horrors of war and locking your keys in your car? Hmm. I think it’s time to apply our biblical filter. I remember reading a story about a Holocaust survivor. They would tell each other each time something bad had happened to them, “Well, we’re still alive and it can’t get any worse.”
Perspective. Can we get a little of it today? It will make you very thankful for what you have, closer to Jesus and away from your drugs of choice.
S“E”t Free Nowww
You should have seen the surprised look on my face. The other day I was at my “office” for a discipleship appointment. I was ordering a re-fill of my favorite beverage when I noticed the manager had given me a 10% discount on my entire order.
He saw the puzzled look on my face and said, “I’ve been watching. You could go to the machine and refill your cup and no one would notice. But, you come and pay for your refill each time you come in. Most people don’t. In fact, people will ask for a water cup and put soda in it. Thanks.”
With a smile on my face I said, “No, thank you! My integrity is worth more than a $1.28,” and off I went to re-fill my cup, still saving myself over a buck by bringing my own cup! But there’s more to this story. As I went into my office the next time, he just waved me over to the soda machine!
This is an example of what means to listen to and follow Jesus ever day everywhere – even at a local restaurant. People are watching us, even though we don’t know it. Was my witness worth a buck 28? You bet it was and is.
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9) This goes to the heart of having an everyday faith, not just a Sunday one. Secure children of God walk securely by listening to and following Jesus everywhere they go, no matter what time it is or who is or isn’t watching. “S”et Free Nowww
Why is that we focus on who we are not rather than on who we are? Most people can go on and on about their weaknesses, but are stumped when asked about their strengths. Focusing on our mistakes and failures, though, only leads to greater frustration and more mistakes and failures.
Colossians 2:10 states that “you are complete in Him.” You are, not will be, already complete. The word “complete” is the same word used when an Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled. It’s a done deal. And it’s meaning is like a glass filled with so much water that the water curves on top of the glass whereby adding just one more drop the water will spill all over the place.
As children of God, this is who we are right now! We are full of everything we need at this very moment in time, whether the Spirit ever changes another thing about us, to be satisfied, significant and secure, not tomorrow or someday down the road, but right now.
So stop dawgin’ on Jesus, who died on the cross and rose from the grave for you, by focusing on who you’re not or what you don’t have! Instead, start praising Him for who He is, God, and whose you are, His. Because you’re in Jesus, you can choose to be satisfied right now. Because you’re full of Jesus, you can choose to be and feel significant this very second. Because Jesus is all over you, you can choose to be secure this instant. Now that’s something worth focusing on, isn’t it? “S”et Free Nowww