So Christmas is like totally coming around the corner! I’m so excited!
I mean come on, how can you not be excited!
Hard times fall on people at all times of life. It seems they couldn’t care less what time of year it is, but WE get to chose what we do with that. We can chose to slouch and whine and complain cry all day, and in the end ruin everyone else’s Christmas, or we can take this opportunity to take our eyes off of ourselves and our struggles and pain, and bless others. We can reach out and chose to make this someone else’s best Christmas ever.
Earlier this week I was part of an event my Church did for the first time. We packed Christmas Morning bags for the men in our local homeless shelter. Inside we packed thick socks, gloves, gum and chapstick, as well as a Beginner’s Bible and a handwritten card (into each) that my youth group and I signed at our Christmas party this year. We chose to bless others this year.
Personally, a difficult time has placed itself on me, where God is telling me “Wait.” This post has blessed me in this time, and I’ve chosen to reach past the difficulty and out to bless others. I am waiting on God, but I’m not gonna sit and aimlessly watch each day end.
So here I am. For those of you who are already subscribed to the Fall in Love Challenge, you will receive this as your 7th email, for those of you who are not subscribed, this is just a little taste of what the Challenge is like. If you are interested in subscribing you can go here to find out more!
Without further ado, here it is!
“I wish I had more time to read the Bible.” “I wish I spent more time dwelling on the Word.” “I feel so bad that I don’t pray more.” “I feel guilty, I’m so busy I have so little time to spend with God.”
“I’m so weighed down. I love God. I want to spend more time with Him. I want to pray, I want to cling to Him. It just seems I always have to push myself to do those things, and my heart is not in the right place!”
Guilt. Personal guilt. I know this plagued me for so long! I felt so awful, unable to just do ANYTHING right. What’s worse, this guilt didn’t push me to God. It pushed me away from Him. Oh, I was still saved. I still believed that Jesus had died for me on that cross. But my relationship with Him suffered.
My pastor brought up a very good point a couple of weeks back that I had to share with you girls. Romans 8:1 says “There is now NO CONDEMNATION!” Breath that in. Do you know what that means?
I don’t imagine the pain in His eyes as He has both of His arms wrapped around me, waiting at a moment’s notice. If only I turn to Him. If only I’d offer Him all I was each time. He was ready to take that burden. He was ready to fill me with hope and peace, it’s just I’m too stubborn. I’m too human to accept the fact that no “official” apology will be good enough, and yet He’s willing just to take a genuine one. An offered broken heart. That’s all He asks. A genuinely offered heart.
During a Bible study, Ethan pointed out that Satan is called “the accuser of the brethren.” But notice that’s Satan. We have “NO CONDEMNATION!”
God does not want us to read out of guilt. He doesn’t want us to pray because we haven’t yet today. God wants us to love Him because He first loved us. Our love should not come from guilt.
Now that that’s cleared up, how do we love Him because of love? Tell you this. We have so much to do. After all, we are humans. We have needs, school, work, family, our days are busy. Even if we set apart a couple of minutes, sometimes hours, and sometimes even days, for spending time with Him. It’ll never be enough.
Our spirit (our new man) pulls us toward heaven. It’s a hunger. We will not be satisfied until we are forever in God’s presents. And until then we will never set aside enough time for Him to satisfy us.
This is why it says we are FILLED with the Holy Spirit. It represents being saturated, being soaked, every crevice of our souls, of our beings, dripping with God and His goodness. If that is so, our time with God is not limited to the times when we say “God, hello. Here I am, I’m going to pray now.” God doesn’t leave to go take care of someone else, until that moment when we call for Him, telling Him we’re ready. No, He is ALWAYS there with us. If He was physical we’d constantly be tripping over His rob, accidentally elbowing Him as we turn. We’d know what cologne He wears, because He stands so close. He carries us, guides us, gives us life.
HE GIVES US LIFE. All the involuntary muscles you learned in biology are involuntary to us, but do you realize it’s by God’s grace, and His attentiveness that your heart beats every time it does. It’s because of Him that when you aren’t thinking about it, you’re still breathing. No matter how independent we think we are, where He is will not change.
When we realize how close He really is, we should understand that those moments when we are alone, we’re not really alone. That hour you spent scrubbing the kitchen after a get together. You were not doing it alone. Oh sure, you’re scrubbing all the dishes, but He is keeping your heart going so that you can actually scrub.
He’s so close, watching you do it. It should drive you and I to do our best in everything. If I realized that Jesus stood over my shoulder, smiling as I scrubbed, making sure I can catch my breath, making sure my heart is beating, I’d use everything I am to make Him smile. To please Him. |As we live our life, we glorify God. We do not have guilt to drive us to pray more, to read more. We have Love to do that, and if we are in the right heart we glorify Him with our very lives. That is the answer. By His Holy Spirit everything we do glorifies Him.
Let guilt and regret, discomfort, that mess keeping your back turned, fall away. You’re clean, you’re loved, you glorify God with your very life because HE LIVES IN YOU.
Dear Jesus, Lord of all
Thank you for your Spirit that lives and breaths in me. Thank you God that you are pleased with me because when you look at me you see Jesus. I owe you everything.
Jesus, please forgive me for the time I’ve spent with my back turned to you out of guilt. Forgive and cleanse, and remind me always that you are THERE ready to take me into your arms and forgive. All you want is a genuine heart, and I ask that you grow and teach me.
In your wonderful and priceless name
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Guys, I lift every one of you up in prayer and I hope you have the bestest Christmas ever. I’ll see you all right before New Year and I’m EXTATIC!. 😀