A friend of mine was showing a video of a machine that could crush almost anything, even old useless refrigerators and tires. The entire process wowed me.
It was then the Lord spoke. This machine took something that was no longer usable and crushed it into materials that could be used in other projects .There are times when the Lord brings on enough life to break us down, mainly our egos/pride, to make us useful for His purposes.
2 Corinthians 4:8 describes this process. “We are troubled (hemmed in – placed into the machine) on every side, yet not distressed (enough room to move toward Jesus); we are perplexed (feeling a loss), but not in despair (not total loss, though, as you let something go to hold onto what is real).”
This rock looks nice, but that’s all it’s good for…looking nice. To be useful for something more it must be crushed. We can look good or be made more like Jesus. It’s our choice. One lasts only today while the other lasts well into eternity. It would be nice to not have to go through life’s crusher in order to become more like Jesus; yet, that’s not the world we live in.
You can surrender to or fight the process. Choose surrender. Once it’s over, you’ll experience the usable by-products of the process, which is more life and peace.
S“E”t Free Nowww
I have some friends going through the wringer at the moment. It’s been one illness after another for someone in their family. One gets well only to have another go down. This cycle has been going on for months without seeming end. (Maybe not that long, but it sure feels like it!) You can see in their eyes that hope is quickly fading.
At times like these, worn out cliché’s don’t work and solution seeking inquiries only bring needless guilt. Paraphrasing old King Solomon, “There is a time to zip it and a time to let words fly.”
As brothers and sisters in Christ we are part of the church – a group of disciples moving towards Jesus together. We are to walk with other believers on this journey to become more like Jesus. Sometimes, however, the words not said are the most valuable ones ever spoken. These unsaid words can help someone choose stay close to Jesus.
Do pray for them! But watch your words when you pray with them. Please, be with them. Walk or simply sit with them, as necessary. This takes huge amounts of Spirit led self-discipline, especially when you think you have something to say!
Set Free Noww“W”
Why doesn’t God just change me already, I mean He loves me, right? Why hasn’t God healed me yet, He wants what’s best for me, correct?
Yes, He does love you and will always do what is best for you. Yet, keep this truth in mind: There must be choice in order to have love. We feel loved when someone chooses to love us and then know we are loved as they express that love through their actions. God chose to love us and then proved it through His actions by sending Jesus to die for us (Jn. 3:16).
Now, why doesn’t God instantaneously change our lives or heal us the moment we ask for it? He is giving us the opportunity to show that we love Him. Jesus said we express our love for Him through our obedience (Jn. 14:23), not just our words. At salvation we were given the ability to make this choice when we were given the mind and nature of Christ. We can think correctly and choose correctly for the first time in our lives. The question is, will we?
We shout, “I love you Jesus,” as we choose to listen and follow Him with each choice, throughout our day, with or without physical or emotional pain. It’s through our choices, not just our words, that we express our love to Jesus. If God took those daily choices away, He would rob us of the opportunities to love Him.
This may sound hard, but we all know it’s true. We all want to be loved, which means people choosing to be around us. Who do you think put this in us? The one who wants us to choose to love Him. This is what love has to do with it.
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Even doing the right thing hurts. “How so?” you may be asking. In current Western culture, “right” has become relative to someone’s feelings or opinions, even if neither are based in fact. Right to one person may be perceived as wrong and even distasteful to another. Even if everyone is on the same page, though, some may not like what happens to them when you do the right thing.
Sound like an impossible situation? It all depends on who you’re listening to and who you’re trying to please. At the end of the day, you only have control over your choices and there is only one person you need to please, Jesus.
Your choice to follow Jesus can hurt, as people may not like you or what you do. Your choice to follow Jesus may hurt your head, as it most likely will go against your normal thinking patterns. If you must hurt, though, at least make it for doing something right – like listening to and following Jesus. As you do, you’ll become more like Him and taste the good stuff He offers to those who do.
You don’t get to choose how others will react. But you can choose the outcome of how you’ll feel when you see that smile on Jesus’ face.
Set Fre“E” Nowww
The Hebrew word for stiff necked means to be dense! Some of the definitions for dense mean to be hard to penetrate (like getting what God is asking me to do into my thick skull) and slow to comprehend (once it’s there, it sure takes a while to get it…doesn’t it?).
I guess I’m worse than the biblical Israelites than I thought. I put what God says into my head. I understand what He’s asking me to do. I just have a difficult time getting myself to do it!
Then I came across a military saying, “You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.” Why? You trust what your superiors are asking you to do is in your and your teammates best interests as you’ll be going into battle together. It’s the same with believers in Jesus.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, you’ll obey Me.” There’s that trust all over again. He’s not saying you’ll understand everything He says to do, or even like it, but you’ll do it because you love Him. You believe what He’s asking you to do will make your life and the lives of those you’re going into battle with better.
Trust. It’s never easy, but it’s always best. Today exercise the truth by faith Spirit empowered even if you don’t like it. You’ll be glad you did.
Set Fre“E” Nowww