Tag Archives: life with God

Business Closed

I was supposed to get a delivery yesterday, but the scheduled delivery never happened. The post office marked the reason as “business is closed.” I never knew that I was running a business at my home. If we are, there are no employees, no services provided, and no profits so we are failing miserably. The non-existent business may need to close its doors soon.

I’m assuming that this reasoning was a simple technical glitch or possibly someone wanting to push through their Sunday deliveries. It is possible that someone would assume a business-like order would actually be delivered to a business. By a quick review of the deliveries that often come to my home, one would assume there was a business here. I can understand the confusion.

Today, consider what people would say about you when they look at you. Could they tell that you are a Christian? Would they see some fruit in your life that would point them to Jesus? Do you look like everyone else? Would your actions give them a false assumption? Or is it possible the assumption isn’t false at all? Reflect inward today. Ask God to open your eyes. Are you shining His light? Are you living life on the narrow path? Has your religious routine neglected to impact your heart for Jesus?

“Do not conform 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 [NIV]

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you. Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk — not as unwise people but as wise — making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:8-16 [HCSB]

The Road

The other night I left the van windows open. It’s so easy for me to overlook as I’m not sitting back there. Of course it rained that evening. Thankfully it did not rain inside the van. I did not learn my lesson. Last night, I left the van windows open again. This time, the outcome was different. At the end of the day, I understand that it is not good for me to keep the van windows open at night. Perhaps practicing this bad behavior does not have any consequences most of the time, but there comes the moment when the downpour arrives.

We live in a world where most people believe that every road leads to God. I won’t argue that statement. I agree. Every road leads to God. At the end of your life here on earth, you will in fact meet God. For some people, this meeting will not be pleasant. Judgment arrives. After all of those evenings of leaving the van windows open without much consequence, the final judgment comes. And without Jesus Christ, the road leads to hell. Why? Because every road does NOT lead to heaven. Only through Jesus Christ do you receive the free gift of salvation. Only through the grace of God do you receive eternal life. This is why they call the road to heaven a narrow road.

Today, consider how you are living your life. Consider also the lives of those around you. You can leave the van windows open every night, but one day the downpour will arrive. Don’t wait for the downpour. Close the van windows at night! Ask Jesus into your heart. Begin to do life with Him and then write His Word on your heart. Treasure His commands. Embrace His presence.

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – Matthew 7:14 [ESV]

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 [NIV]

 

 

 

Test and Examine

It is important to look inward daily. The world tells us to look outward. There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s something wrong with someone else. You are free to do as you want—you are free to be who you want to be and think how you want to think. The world tells us it’s okay to be focused on self.

When we focus on ourselves and live in a “me world,” we do not see the importance of looking inward and life so often becomes a life of you against the world. We fail then to see that God should be first in our lives—He is our life. It is only when we can recognize that we were meant to live with Him, and then look inward to see what is keeping you from fully living a life for God.

Jeremiah wrote to “test and examine our ways.” This is something we need to do daily because our walk with Christ is a daily walk. There will be good days and not-so-good days. There are days we will struggle more and days when we will see great strides in our walk. We are reminded that we are a sinful people who often focus on self. One day we take two steps forward, another five steps back. We are ever-changing and often emotionally driven. For this reason, it is crucial we test and examine every day. Today, look inward. Question your motives. Examine your moves. Test your life against the Truth of God. Allow the Spirit to reveal anything that separates you from God, anything that may be a stumbling block in the way of God’s great plan.

“Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.” – Lamentations 3:40-41 [ESV]

Turn My Eyes

Moses had a very intimate relationship with God. Moses said to God, “Let me know your ways so I may understand You more fully” (Exodus 33:13b NLT). He desired to understand God—to truly know God. The Psalmist wrote that, “He (God) made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel” (103:7 NASB). God’s ways must be made known. Israel only knew God by His actions; Moses knew God more intimately. God spoke to Moses. Moses wanted to hear Him, wanted to listen and obey.

I love what the Psalmist writes in 119. Verse 34 begins, “Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. The passage continues, “Lead me in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in Your ways” (34-37 ESV).

What an amazing prayer! Give me understanding. I want to keep Your law with all my heart. Lead me. I delight in Your commands. Incline my heart. May it all be about You. Turn my eyes to You. Keep them away from those things that are worthless. I only want You. Give me life in Your ways. Life everlasting. Lord, fix my eyes on You.

A Living Spirited Dance

Dancing is not something I am good at doing but some of my fondest memories are dancing on the kitchen floor with my children’s feet upon mine. They loved to have our evening dance session. We would put the music up loud and dance for nearly an hour each evening before I did the dishes.

Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians “to live in order to please God, as in fact you are now living” (NIV). The Message translates “not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance.” Now if you consider dancing, there is a rhythm involved. The dancers must be in sync. To be in step with each other, they bond in this close relationship so their movements are smooth and free flowing.

So how can we have a living, spirited dance when it comes to our relationship with God? How can we be in step with God? It comes down to spending time in His Word, listening to His Spirit, and never neglecting the great opportunity we have to come to Him in prayer. Your life with God is not meant to be dreaded or boring. It is not meant to appear painful or dead. Your life with God is living—living like never imagined—with a beautiful dance between Creator and created, between Master and servant, between Father and child. Today, place your toes on your Father’s feet and dance away. Dance like you never danced before.

“One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity. – 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3 [MSG]