Greener Pastures

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Deuteronomy 4: 29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.

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Our lives as Christians are a room without a roof.  Open to the possibilities, blessings, and guidance from above.  Yet, this room has doors.  Each door leads to the outside world .  A door to obtain entertainment, people, places, and things.  Free will allows us to exit and enter at any time.  We can even chose to live outside or bring items into the room.

Luke 12:30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.

I have sat in this roofless room many times and felt, let’s just say dissatisfied.  I have been impatient when I have had unanswered prayers.  Frustration has caused me to see the greener grass that peeks so slightly from the doors.  My insatiable need for adventure has made me open a door or two.  There has even been times when I am on my knees pleading for answers and all I have received is silence.

The walls seem confining.  The world seems inviting.  So, I go.

I have ventured out seeking to find what will fill the emptiness I have felt as I impatiently waited.

Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

At times I go fishing.  Throw out the hook and hope to real in something.  It haphazardly brings something back and I can stand a distance from the world so not to become sucked into the muck.  This approach keeps my morals and values intact.  I find this the safest way to seek but not the most fulfilling.

Other times I go out and set some traps.  This causes me to mix and mingle in the world a bit closer and lay something out and hope what I need and want walks into my trap.  Unfortunately, I have to set aside my morals and values during this passive aggressive process but can pick them up later when I get what I want.

In desperate moments I have resorted to force.  Aggressively tracking down the want and claiming it without its consent.  My want may be met, but  I will loose myself in this method.  It is harder to come back into the room since guilt settles in the place of values.

Bags are filled and I drag the items into my Christian quarters.  It piles up and soon the roofless room is closed up not allowing any light to penetrate.  Panic and suffocation fill my lungs and the only way to breathe comes from opening up a door.  It all becomes too much, too busy and desperation falls just to find that one thing that will shed light on the situation.

Darkness rolls in like a dense fog.  Oh, God where are you?

Nothing works.  Breathlessly grasping each item shaking it to produce light.  On my hands and knees out of the corner of my eye I spot a warm glow.  I move things aside and gently brush off the dust from a soft leather cover.  I open it hesitantly and rays of light fill parts of the room.  As I gaze upon the words of the Bible and decipher the ancient script,  a beam of light hits a specific item in the room yet allowing me to see all the clutter that fills my existence.

John 11:9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light.

Our God and Lord wants to rid of us of our “stuff”.  Each thing that separates us will be brought to the forefront.  As we stay wholeheartedly in the word and His guidance, we will be able to stand tall and open the door to rid ourselves of these things.  The roof will open and God will supply all the necessities we need one by one.  If our heart is dedicated and pure to His ways, we shall be full and complete.  Our lives will be filled with joy and unending peace.  No more traps and hunting.  If we deny, he will provide.  Let go of the “I want” and embrace the “I release”.

John 6: 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

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Telling & Teaching

Healing

Matthew 9:35  Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

John 13: 19-20 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. 20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”

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To tell is to reveal information.  To teach is the act, occupation, practice, or profession of a teacher.  Jesus accomplished both in His time.  His life perpetuated what God wanted so that His beloved could be redeemed.  Sin was being made in His name and Jesus was the only way towards a future salvation.  What can we take away from Jesus’s walk in faith, obedience, and dedication?

As I live out my life, I find that often I do a lot of telling.  I speak the words that boil down deep and need to bubble up to the surface.  The words I say are often wrought with emotion and determination.  At times, I rationalize that they are said in love.  Other times, I quietly retreat and realize that sin was encased in each syllable that was spewed.

In situations I guard my words and parcel them out carefully, the conversation feels halted and unnatural.  The reactions of those around me seem to look at me in a trance seemingly trying to figure out what I have just said.  It is also painful to continue this kind of dialogue, avoidance becomes the answer.  People are now a job which I don’t want to partake.

When my words are from God, I see a difference.  The conversation happens unknowingly and full of meaning.  The recipient is open and God seems to be present.  This only occurs when I remain tapped in to His ways, His words, and His grace.  Honestly, I have to admit that speaking in this manner is a rarity.  I don’t stay connected enough for the full benefit.

How do we live in this state?

Our lives are to be not just preaching words, they are to bring life to the gospel. It is our responsibility.  We are to read, pray, go, and give.  His words breathe life into ours.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Yet, in my moment of stillness, I often sit back and listen to words and try to internalize their meaning in my life.  A slow and thoughtful meditation which will often produce thoughts and things to right.  Then comes the fast and furious pace of busyness and those deep inner soul quenching ideas, drift slowly to the back of a cavern of to dos for another day.

Do what it says the Lord.  The teaching comes when I embrace the change.  I act upon the suggestions from God.  I then become the teacher to those around, watching to see my next move or speak words of peace.

Matthew 28: 18-22 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

All Christians need to be the change.  We need to rise up out of our comfy environments and act out His will.  Take steps into an unknown adventure.  Instructions will be provided, answers will be given, and authority granted in His name.

One day when I take my last breath, I want to know that I changed the hearts of people in our father’s great name.  This is our destined legacy where we are the teachers and the disciples.  Our lives have great purpose.  This is our mission, to rescue one soul at a time by pointing to heaven for all answers.

Colossians 2: 6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

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