As we walk the paths our Father has laid before us this week, let us keep our eyes on Jesus. There will be competition for our line of sight. Distractions to the left and the right or maybe in our own selves but let’s determine that He will have our focus…looking at the Savior will change how you look at everything else in your life. Your job. Your friends. Your family. Even yourself. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! ~Hebrews 12:2-3
Can we remember grace this week? Because I already need it. A few patience-trying moments and I’m too close to losing my cool over the unimportant things (like chocolate ice-cream cake melting in the toy-box because Kailey took it from its box in the freezer and hid it away for later…) and so I ask for forgiveness, grateful for another chance to strive for good fruit. Re-molding, re-making…I am a work-in-progress, and He is the God of creating something new and beautiful when I offer up my broken pieces. His compassion is my hope and I am ever grateful for His mercy. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~Lamentations 3:22-23
And when we stumble, when He forgives…can we move forward in this day, letting go of the past? There is no condemnation, no lingering shame, no half-broken chains trailing behind us in the grace of God. And maybe we’re on the other end of the spectrum, our minds caught up in the victories of our yesterdays. If we worry that the best has already been, there seems little use in offering ourselves in service today…and maybe we fear that our purpose has passed. Don’t believe it for a moment. Keep walking. As long as we have breath in our bodies, we have purpose in glorifying His name in this earth and sharing His love with whoever crosses our paths. But I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.~Phil.3:12-14…No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.~1st Corinthians 2:9
With these dreams in my heart and a life that requires much juggling, these next days must be surrendered to Him…because my attempts at controlling the schedule and the priority-list usually leave me out of control in the way that means huffy breathing and self-imposed mom-time-outs. I need His wisdom and guidance for the day-to-day. Every day. I need to remember that every task in my hands must be done for His glory, no matter if it’s cleaning spilled juice for the thousandth time that day or waiting for my baby ballerina to finish her 45 minutes of twirling or creating those outreach plans…whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.~Col.3:23-24…So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~1 Cor. 10:31
And how do we go about the surrender and listening? It’s our time and attention He needs so that He can guide us…are we willing to give up other things so that we can build our relationship with Him? This is a question He’s been speaking into my own heart…and I’ve realized that if I am going to be working in those harvest-fields, I have to come to His table. I need nourishment throughout the day to keep up my strength and to produce those lovely characteristics of the King in my own life…patience, kindness, goodness, joy and His love that flows from Him to us to others. And can I tell you something? Getting to know Him better isn’t just a matter of ‘should-do’–when His love fills you, you’ll say (like the Psalmist) “Better is one day in His courts than a thousand elsewhere!” Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ~!st Thes.6:16-17…Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.~Joshua 1:8…Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.~Romans 12:2
Whatever this week may hold, we are confident in the One who sees our yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows. We can trust Him when nothing else is true. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.~Psalm 46:1-3…And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.~Romans 8:28
Can we declare this a week to re-focus our attention and time, asking God to renew our hearts and minds, so that we may reach out in love when He opens the opportunities?
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.~Psalm 37:3-6…Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven!~Matt.5:16
Are you ready to let it shine?