Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lose Your Former Days and Need for Other’s Praise

photo credit: perhydrol/Deviantart
Ok, these two “lose” topics do not fit together, but “days” and “praise” rhyme so I thought what the “hey” maybe God will bring unity to them in the end.

I confess. I have been doing that a lot lately: confessing, that is. But, I confess that the devotional topics over these 40 days are quite heavy and really hard to deal with in a single day, so combining them does not help, but I don’t want to skip one. (Who am I a slave to? Who set that goal?)

Today I will start with the Bible verses, since yesterday I ended with them and concluded that it might have helped me to focus more on God if I started with them.

Don’t say, “Why were the former day better than these?” since it is not wise of you to ask this” (Ecclesiastes 7:10).

I will need to examine this above verse in context. I am left with so many questions, aren’t you? And the next Bible verse is:

The fear of man is a snare, but the one who trust in the Lord is protected” (Proverbs 29:25).

I love this Proverb. I just read a devotional from a pastor from a Nashville Church and his main focus was what we do does not matter as much as WHY we do it. He asked are we doing things to “be loved” or to “be loving”?

The Bible says that in 1 John 4:19: “We love because He first loved us.” And is this not the main point? We love because we are loved by GOD and since we are so loved and so undeserving of HIS love that we should want to love others. If we are needing to be loved, we need to run to God, not others. I don’t know how many times I have to tell people (and myself) to stop worrying about what people think and ONLY care about what GOD thinks!!!! I want to get this on a big neon sign and put in up in people’s houses and churches.

Stop worrying about what people think and ONLY care about what GOD thinks!” 

We should be continually renewing our mind with God’s thoughts; one essential way to do this is to read the Bible and to listen to God. He needs to be our number one source of what flows into us: our gatekeeper, our feeder, and our go-to person for everything and every need.

We all have a past.

We all have former days.

We have all blown opportunities and made mistakes.

We have all done things we should not have done.

We have all craved approval of others and love of others.

One thing is common to us all: WE ARE ALL HUMAN.

But,
"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” Hebrews 4:15.

And 

"For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people” Hebrews 2:17. 

Jesus was human in every way we are, but he was without sin. Jesus kept his thoughts on God, not on what man thought about him. 

See:

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. John 5:19

Jesus did nothing of Himself. 

He did what He saw the God the Father doing. 

Jesus was continually in touch with Father God and spoke and did what He wanted Him to say and do. 

This is total surrender, total reliance.

And this IS the way we should be living. 

Jesus is our model. We are to conform ourselves to Jesus. We are in God's process of being transformed into the image of Christ. This is God’s work in our life, to continually make us more like Christ Jesus. The more we surrender to God and allow Him to do this work, the more we grow.

Part of the process of sanctifying us is helping us to work through our past not to simply ignore it like it did not ever happen. God wants us to learn from it and to gain blessings from it being transformed in our life. So losing your former days doesn’t mean you drop them off at some recycling center or dump. We give them up to God and allow Him to walk us through the ones He wants to teach us about. It is all about trusting our past, our present and our future in the hands of God and obeying Him. 

But this takes a personal relationship with Him. It can’t be done in a group session or a step-by-step book. If you are serious about God and growing and being a Christian, you have to have a daily talking, walking relationship with God. You have to be tuned into Him. You have to get the chatter out of your head and the distractions out of your life so that you can really have a relationship with Him, and not just pretend like you do.

Jesus is our standard, no one else. Jesus is who we are to aim to please, no one else. If we could get this settled in our hearts and minds and never struggle with it again, we--Christians--would be on the fast track of sanctification. 

I am talking to myself and to anyone who cares to read this: 

If God is pleased with me, I am good!
















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