There Will Be A Day

Most of us know that there has been three terrible mass shootings in our nation in the last five days. It is absolutely heartbreaking! I have seen some of the news coverage and press conferences by mayors, police and FBI in all of these incidents. I watch people groping for answers. They talk extensively about gun control, mental health, more security, etc. Everyone is looking for answers which is good but they are looking in the wrong direction.

We have a problem that is deeper than any of the points that people are speaking about. We have have a spiritual problem! I don’t particularly want to sound cliche but what our nation needs is Jesus. There was a song in the 70’s by Andre Crouch that was very popular called Jesus Is the Answer. He is the answer and always has been. The beginning of the song says: “Jesus is the answer for the world today, above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the way.”  America’s problem is a spiritual problem. I wish there was a list that you could just follow and it would cure what is wrong with the hearts of people but there isn’t! Laws cannot legislate morality! The only way a persons heart can be changed is by realizing their need for Jesus, repenting and accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord.

This morning as I was spending time reading my Bible and listening to some worship music I began thinking of heaven.  I know that there will be a day when the world we live in will be longer. I know that heaven is my eventual forever home. I am thankful for this. I am sure so many people do not have this confidence. People die every day not knowing Jesus. I ache when I see all these horrible killings knowing many who die, die without Jesus.

I pray that I never become a victim of a mass shooting! I want to live to be at least 90 years old with a strong body and strong mind. However, if someone points a gun at me and shoots me then my life will be over here but, I know that my soul will forever be in heaven and one day I will have a brand new body with no frailties and no limitations. Oh, what a day that will be! Can I get a shout from somebody?

As I was thinking about all of this after my quite time while the worship music was playing I began to write these words:

There will be a future where tear drops do not fall. There will be a future where the          light will never dim. There will be a day when He takes me away. There will be a                day when I will see Him face to face.

Yes, this broken world can be so hard. This hurt and hate tears me apart. But one                day Jesus will come again, the’ll be no more sorrow and no more pain. Yes, there                will be a day!

America needs revival like never before! We need a supernatural visitation from God. I believe we have forgotten and perhaps forsaken some holy practices that we need to bring back to life as we gather together. The first few would be repentance and prayer. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says: “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” This was what the Lord spoke to Solomon shortly after the dedication of the Temple. He told Solomon that if He were to shut up the heavens so that no rain would fall or command grasshoppers to devour the crops, and send plagues among them that He would relent if they fell to their faces and repented. Do you not think God would not do this again if America would repent? Oh yes, He would!

In 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky a revival broke out at then Asbury College, which is now Asbury Theological Seminary. It all began at a chapel service in early February with a testimony service that was prompted by the Dean of Students. One testimony blossomed into a sequence of numerous testimonies, then people were open and honest about their relationship with the Lord not being what they wanted, then repentance, then tears, then…….REVIVAL!! It was not short lived and it changed a community. It’s beginning was birthed by students gathering for prayer. If you are interested read the book called One Divine Moment, I guarantee it will touch you.

We need prayer now! We need revival now! We need to reignite a small flickering flame so that it would turn into a blazing fire throughout our communities. I am yearning for this so much right now. Oh Lord, please pour out upon us your Spirit that we may burn once again with holy fire. Lord that we would no longer be room temperature Christians but that we would burn hot for you! Let’s join our hearts together and forget our differences and come together as Jesus lovers to ask the Lord to pour out his Spirit upon us once again!

This is what will change the culture of violence we see everyday. This is what will change the vitriolic spirit rampant among all our governing entities in Washington, D.C. This is what will push back the darkness. Yes, there will be a day! There will be a moment in time when the darkness of this world will end when the KING OF GLORY breaks through the sky but for now can we pray? Let’s start a prayer meeting! I am willing if you are. For those of you who are my friends and acquaintances who live nearby and you are interested reach out to me and we can meet for this purpose. I can be reached at mrsclean52@gmail.com or reach out to me via Messenger on facebook.

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONGING FOR THE SACRED

I have been a Christian long enough that I have had many different experiences in the churches that I was planted. After my salvation in 1970 I was a part of a discipleship group with Young Life Ministries for a year during my senior year in high school. I was a part of a couple of churches that really grounded me in the fundamental foundations of being a Christian. Eventually I became a part of a home church with a group of believers that were rediscovering what being a part of the Body of Christ was all about. It was fresh, full of young Christians hungering for intimacy with the Lord, regular fellowship with one another and experiencing worship as we had never had before.

I still have very fond memories of those days. I can still feel the emotions I felt as I recall those days between the years of 1976 and 1980. We may have been learning as we went along but for a good while it was one of the richest experiences I have ever had while being a part of a church.

In the past thirty-nine years I have been a part of three different local churches. Each has positively impacted my life in some way. I have grown through each experience and can truly say I am thankful for them.

For a season now I have had this feeling deep inside my spirit that has simply caused me a lot of restlessness. It has been like a hollow feeling on the inside that nothing can touch. It has been gnawing at me for so long. I have queried many times “Why do I feel like this?” and “What is the answer?” I known there is a specific reason but I have not been able to resolve it until today!

So many times when things do not feel right at the church we are a part of we want to make a list of what is wrong.  We want to say it is leadership, music, whether people are friendly or unfriendly, etc. Today so many churches have chosen to cater to people so much that they have to make sure they have the right type of coffee for them every Sunday, make sure they play songs that don’t offend, keep the service short so everyone can get out in time to do lunch early. The list could probably include dozens of things churches do to keep everyone happy but you probably get the idea.

Today as I was reading the second chapter of a book by Francis Chan called Letters to the Church he addressed the topic of Sacredness. I then went on to the third chapter and as I was reading I had that moment when I knew the problem was that I am longing for the sacred. Longing for the ONE thing that can truly meet every need of my soul, and that is regular, deep worship and reverence of Him who is holy. That is the meaning of sacred…..Being worthy of religious veneration; reverence, worship, holy.

Psalm 95:6 says, “Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” Isaiah 57:15 says, “For the High and Exalted One, who lives forever, whose name is holy, says this: “I live in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and lowly of spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the oppressed.” We were designed by our Creator to have a deep relationship with Him but today we all tend to have more of a “drive-thru” relationship instead of being shut up in our prayer rooms in reverence and worship.

Also, we have also lost the art of what the first church experienced when they gathered together regularly. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” Act 2:42-47. Yes, I understand this was 2,000 years ago and that our culture has changed. However, we have lost the intimacy over the last few decades because we have become victims of the culture. Instead of being counter-cultural we have blended in and thus we are less potent in a society today that is truly in need of Jesus.

The outflow of what occurred in the New Testament church was what caused the growth. Not plans, not programs, not gimmicks! it was just unadulterated, Jesus loving people coming together and genuinely worshiping the Lover of their souls and the word began to spread of what was happening. Today we have broken people in our churches and outside our churches and what will change church culture is when we once again embrace holiness.

This is why we were created: to have relationship with our Creator. Intimacy was snatched out of our hands by sin and Jesus came to get it back. If we are born again, we are His friends, because of that we are filled with the Holy Spirit and we have the privilege to worship the God who loved us before the foundation of the world.

I want to take all the steps necessary to cultivate a new lifestyle of acknowledging the sacredness of the God I serve. I want to experience intimacy as I bow before Him declaring His holiness and my continuous need for Him to change me. Will you join me on the journey? I believe we can recapture what has been loss through our repentance and humility while we acknowledge that it is all by His grace. GRACE-God’s ability in me, doing what I am not able to do.

 

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

A Square Peg In A Round Hole

I am sixty-six years old now and it certainly does not seem old at all now that I have finally arrived here. In ten more days I will celebrate my favorite birthday, the day Jesus rescued me from darkness on June 10, 1970. I remember that day like it just happened. I have had a blessed life! It has not been a perfect life but it has been a blessed life.

I am sure that not too many weeks after my birth my type A personality began to reveal itself. By the time I was in kindergarten my loquacious tendencies began to show up. My report cards would have notes from my teacher that would say, “Marilyn is a good student but she talks too much!” Imagine that! Someone has to be a talker so God chose me along with many others. I feel quite comfortable most of the time sharing my story and especially all the different situations I have walked through and gained victory over. I have a treasure trove to draw from.

I also can be outspoken about many things and usually not afraid to share them. But as the saying goes, “Opinions are like arm pits. Everyone has one but they stink.” I try to be careful around the sensitive people because it has gotten me in trouble without even trying! However, I think some of this political correctness, walking on eggshells environment has taken some of the fizz out of my carbonated drink!

I realized this morning while I was reading a book by Lisa Harper titled The Sacrament of Happy that I had allowed circumstances and people in general to make me feel that my square peg had no place. Most people don’t know how to deal with those of us who are a little loud, a bit demonstrative and who are happiest when they can be entertaining or in charge. I know we can be annoying but what would you do without all this excitement?

I have discovered that even in the church we have a propensity to speak against those who are different from us. But when our words towards our fellow believers are harsh we wound. “But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed (destroyed) by one another.” Galatians 5:15. So, we need not to be so critical.

We do not need to compare ourselves to others. We are each uniquely made to be just who God created us to be. “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.” I Corinthians 12:4. Be happy with your personality and use it for God’s glory.

Remember, we all were created by God. We are all special. Psalm 139:14, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it.” No one can take our place. We each contribute something to the family.

So, if you feel like the square peg too remember that hats can hang on square pegs, they are used in framing buildings, making joints stronger, building furniture and you can play Jenga with them too! We do have a place.

I don’t say all of this to be discouraging but to remind myself and others who have always felt that they were a bit of an oddball to renew their commitment to be the best square peg in the bunch and rejoice in the Lord because He designed you just the way you are!

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Will Be The Best

January 1, 2019 has come! 2018 was a great year, but today is the start of a new year and I desire to trust God to usher in a few of my biggest heart’s desires. So, I am taking the following scripture to dwell on during this year:

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:22-24.

My responsibility is to wait on the Lord because He is faithful. My hope must be in His timing not my striving. Trying to make things happen is exhausting, but resting is freeing!

If some of my dreams and desire are still unfulfilled at the end of 2019 then it was not God’s time for them yet. I must trust in the Lord with all my heart and not depend upon my own understanding, seek His will and He will do the rest.

I know the One who rescued me nearly 49 years ago is not finished with me yet. I choose to greet this year with expectations knowing that He has my future in His hands! So January 1st……GOOD MORNING!

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

 

 

Is There Room for Jesus?

It’s Christmas time a most special occasion to celebrate! This is the time that most of us take note of the baby Jesus that was born in Bethlehem. For many that is all you know. Mary had a baby named Jesus that was born in a stable because there were no more rooms available at an inn in Bethlehem. The reason there were no rooms available was due to the census that was decreed by Augustus the Roman emperor so Joseph had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

I can imagine that there were a lot of people traveling to Bethlehem besides Joseph and Mary. By foot it was a day’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Can you imagine how extremely uncomfortable it was for Mary to be riding on a donkey while nine months pregnant? I would guess that would be a big NO for most of us women who have been pregnant. Mary is going into labor and Joseph desperately needs a place where he can shelter Mary to deliver this very special child.

Since Joseph can find no room for her he was offered a stable nearby to put Mary. I imagine she is recalling what the angel spoke to her about the miraculous conception and that she was the chosen virgin to bring forth the Savior and now she is going to birth him in a dirty stable! Nevertheless, God had a plan. The Savior of the world would arrive in humility and majesty at the same time. Shepherds heard angels declaring the good news and wise men would begin a two-year journey to honor this Child!

Before I became a Christian in 1970 the only understanding I had of Jesus was the baby in the manger. My mother would have a small manger scene out every Christmas and a Bible opened to Luke 2. I knew nothing more than that. I would say that many people today still only see the baby, the star of Bethlehem, and wise men bringing their gifts.

Yes, Jesus came as a child but that child would one day be the sacrificial lamb for the sins of all of us. His sole purpose was to give His life in exchange for ours. He lived as a man who had a God ordained destiny to die so that we could have life. He is no longer in a manger but seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. He is King of King and Lord or Lords!

Today He appeals to men and women everyday to consider Him. Most people in America hear about Jesus in some form or fashion. They may go to a church service, have a friend who is a Christian or like it is right now they hear about Jesus almost all the time because it is Christmas. Christmas music is playing in the stores, Christmas movies on television and church Christmas functions celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Perhaps you are a Christian but you have allowed the things of life to discourage you or you have just pushed Jesus out of the picture for now. Maybe there is no room for Jesus? What a great time to open your heart to Him. He was born so you could have a Savior, He lived declaring He was the Messiah and He died willingly to rescue all of us from death. Won’t you make room for Jesus!

“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11 NASB

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

 

 

 

 

 

The Be Attitudes

No, I am not confused about how to properly spell Beatitudes. This past Sunday I heard something that made me start thinking about the Beatitudes. So, yesterday when I finally had some time I read Matthew 5:3-10.

The meaning of the word beatitudes is supreme blessedness. The meaning of attitude is a way of thinking or feeling about something or someone.

Each beatitude is very specific. It address an “if-then” situation. I believe that you can look at The Beatitudes from the point of view of our attitude. Our attitude determines a whole lot for us. As I was reading each one and checking out various translations I made a paraphrase for each. I am choosing to call them The Be Attitudes.

If we will embrace a particular godly posture with each of these beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5 we will see that our attitude determines whether we are blessed. Our choice determines the outcome.

Please understand I am not correcting The Beatitudes. I am simply expressing them a little differently to show how the proper approach in our attitude results in the supreme blessedness God promises we will experience when we respond correctly.

  1. Be content within your soul and remember it is not about you, when you do this God’s Kingdom will posses you.
  2. Be sorrowful when it is time for sorrow, because God will be your comfort.
  3. Be humble in your attitude, and God will increase your influence.
  4. Be hungry for His righteousness, He will fill you up.
  5. Be merciful, you will have mercy shown to you.
  6. Be willing to keep your heart clean, then God will reveal himself to you.
  7. Be a genuine peacemaker, people will know that you are a child of God.
  8. Be aware you can be persecuted for being a Jesus follower, but remember God will be your Defender.

As believer in Christ our attitude determines a whole lot for us. So much of what we do day-to-day is a result of choice. When we choose the right attitude as we go through each day God has given us we can walk in blessings. It is our choice.

Jesus gathered his disciples on a hillside 2,000 years ago to teach them that they had to learn to live a life different from what they had always knows. He wanted them to know they would be swimming against the flow if they followed Him.

It is still that way today. We must have a counterculture way of life as a Christian. The “if-then”s do apply. If we do what Jesus says we will get the best result. We can follow “The Be Attitudes” in all our situations and have supreme blessedness as our reward. That is being a light in a dark world. One day we will exit this world and break through heaven’s doors and receive our full reward. Until then remember to let your light shine and have the right attitude.

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

 

Joy Comes In The Morning

This past weekend I attended a Beth Moore Living Proof Live conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas. As always Living Proof Ministries does everything with excellence. The three sessions were full of great worship, rich teaching of the Word and a lots of things to mull over after returning home.

Beth Moore taught on two types of Christians. One being a caver (someone who chooses to hide away from life) and a climber (someone who is willing to be open and vulnerable). She did an acrostic on the word climber. I want to share my take away from the letter “b”. Her point for the letter b was this:Bring God your lament and He’ll bring back your praise.

She mentioned that one-third to one-half of the Psalms are laments. I did not know that the percentage was so high, but it is obvious when you read them you feel like all David is doing is lamenting about something. So many Psalms sound so discouraging but by the end of the Psalm he is rejoicing in the God of his salvation and remembering all God has done for him. He did not stay in his lamenting state forever. In Psalm 30:5 it says, “Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning.”

Have you ever been around someone who seems to wear a blanket of sorrow or grief ? Perhaps there is something that weighs them down so much they can think of nothing else, they are consumed! It can be difficult to be around them at times. Well, I was one of those people.

Oh, I was not severely depressed or not engaging in the world around me but I was grieving on a daily basis that a great desire of my heart had not yet been fulfilled. I was so consumed with it that I dwelt on it, talked about it, prayed about it until people around me were surely nauseated! I know you must be waiting to hear what it was, right? I had been grieving the fact that at the age of 65 I had not yet become a Granny! Yes, I wanted a grand baby desperately. I wanted it so badly that it consumed me.

Last December God began to break through my grief and reveal to me that I was allowing this to poison what God had for my future. I began to see that there was a future and hope for me as a senior adult without grand babies. I made a choice to meet with a friend to pray with her about my circumstance. It was amazing what God did when I was made aware by the Holy Spirit of the stronghold it had on me. God graciously gave me a moment in time that day where I could truly lament what was to me a death. I said yes to a future without what I had obsessed over for so long and agreed to go forward and take hold of whatever God had for me. I am reminded of the scripture Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”-this is the LORD’S declaration-“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” No matter the situation God is GREATER! My story, your story continues even if something does not happen like we think it should. God is faithful! When I lamented, God brought back praise.

Since last December I now volunteer in the nursery with the babies! I can give them love, hugs and feel quite fulfilled. I am no longer consumed with an unhealthy desire that was stealing from me. I no longer annoy God with my constant ramblings about it, my friends no longer have to hear about it and the women’s ministry team is free from hearing me mourn ad nauseam. It has been a liberating eight months for me and I am sure for those who had to endure me. I owe them all so much and if any of them reads this I am truly sorry!

So, let me add this. If you are walking in a similar place as I did for those years there is hope! I understand the ache in your heart. I lived there far too long. Make a decision to move forward and leave the sorrow behind. God is not finished with you or me. We have a life to live and a story of victory to share. God will fill our desires when we choose to give Him our lament so He can give us back our praise!

Yes, sorrow may stay overnight or for years, BUT joy truly comes in the morning!

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

 

GOD’S LOVE IS FIERCE

Many of you may find it difficult to imagine the emotion of feeling unloved or unwanted. If you grew up in the security of a loving home it is completely foreign to you. However, it is quite common among many households. There are children everywhere struggling for a sense of belonging and experiencing the love of family.

Until Jesus changed my life I struggled daily with knowing I was loved. Many nights I would cry when I went to bed at night feeling extremely alone and unloved. Today I was reminded of how tremendously fierce God’s love is. His love will never stop pursuing those He created. Isn’t it proof enough that He has done everything to woo us? His choice of saying “Not my will, but your’s be done” and standing silent before His accusers as He waited to pay the price for our redemption is the greatest gift of love ever!

Today I listened to the song Fierce by Jesus Culture.  I have heard the song many times but today the lyrics reminded me of how tremendously fierce the love of God really is. Here are some of the lyrics:

You cannot fail, the only thing I’ve found, is through it all, you never let me down, you don’t hold back, relentless in pursuit, at every turn, I come face to face with You.

Lamentations 3:22 says, “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease.”

Psalm 136:1 says,  “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.”

Romans 8:38-39 says, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our LORD.”

To say it very simply…..GOD’S LOVE FOR US CANNOT BE QUENCHED! God has chosen to pursue us all. His love is FIERCE!  He never wants to see children suffer like I did and like many do today. He wants everyone to know His love but God cannot make the choice for them to embrace His gift of love. People must come because they want it. It really is that simple. We were created in the image of God and we were designed to have relationship with our Creator. His love is like a tidal wave and if you run towards the wave you and it will collide. His love will swallow you up and you will never be the same.

I can testify that now there is NEVER a day that I am not aware of God’s love for me. I am overwhelmed by His love all the time. I know that even on my worst day God’s love is as fierce as it always has been for me. If you don’t know how much He loves you I challenge you to reach out to Him in prayer and ask for Him to show you. Be still before Him and He will be there.  He is waiting to wrap His loving arms around you, whisper your name and tell you…..I love you!

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

 

 

 

 

A SCARLET LETTER

When I was a teenager in school I read The Scarlet Letter.  I cannot remember all the details of Hester Prynne’s story but if you read the book you too may have walked away with one picture of that scarlet A embroidered on her breast. She was punished for her adultery and was daily reminded of her adulterous act.

In some ways I can identify with the shame. To carry that weight everyday of your life is unbearable. You are always reminded that you are viewed as someone who is unworthy and unclean. I lived a crazy, wild lifestyle before I became a Christian in 1970. I partied a lot, drank alcohol, smoked and lived a lascivious life. When I entered high school I felt like people viewed me in a similar manner as many did Hester Prynne. However, my letter was an S for slut. Sorry, if that shocks you but that is how I felt. Your reputation goes ahead of you and the things I did in my life before Christ certainly left many people judging me in this way. Today I am thankful that I was being pursued by the Lover of my soul before I ever knew He was trying to chase me down. There came a day on June 10, 1970 when all that changed when I had an encounter with the love of God for me and I exchanged my filthiness for Jesus’ righteousness. But that was just the beginning of my journey of wholeness.

For years I had other letters that I wore upon my chest. Yes I was saved but I was so wounded in my soul because of my childhood that for years I struggled with rejection, unworthiness, and control issues. My spirit was free but my soul was still bound. Today I am whole and walk in victory but it was a long journey to wholeness. I am thankful everyday for the grace of God that has brought victory to my life.

What about you? Do you have a letter that you wear? Maybe yours is a D for depression, L for lonely or S for shame. Perhaps it is an F for fear or U for unloved or unwanted. As in the story of The Scarlet Letter you may be constantly reminded of what has you ensnared. Always reminded that you are not free of the baggage you carry. You do not have to stay that way. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” We received salvation and our spirits become new but so many times no one explains that our soul has to become whole too. Knowing the truth of the Word of God is key to wholeness. We cannot be changed by our own strength but we are changed as we submit to a life surrendered to the Holy Spirit. We have to have a revelation that we become different as we begin to embrace the truth of what God has given through His son Jesus!

If I understood earlier who I was in Christ earlier I would not have suffered in my soul for so long. You don’t need to be defeated and struggle constantly either. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” It is God’s plan for you to succeed and walk in victory. It is time to identify what letter is pinned upon your chest and take it off! Replace it with a large V for VICTORY! God has a future and a hope for you. He loves you and He is chasing after you with everything He has because He loves you!

Make sure you make that V extra-large!

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

 

 

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

During the past few months I have been stuck on how we are daily presented with choices. It seems like an odd thing to be dwelling on but I can’t shake it. Do you realize that each and every day we make dozens of choices, perhaps even more than that. From the start of your day you may have decided to hit that snooze button one more time instead of promptly rising from that warm bed. Perhaps you decided you will take time for one extra cup of coffee before you shower. You chose what to wear to work, what lipstick to wear, the path you drove to work or to run your errands. CHOICES! We make them constantly. Except for involuntary bodily functions choices are a very large part of our daily life.

The important aspect of choices is that we have them to make. God gave us the freedom of choice. Whether you are a Jesus follower or not you make choices. However, as a Jesus follower your choices can touch someone’s life for the good or the bad. So perhaps to ask the question “What Would Jesus Do?” is not such a silly idea. When the bracelets became popular back in the 90’s from a youth leader in Michigan you would see lots of Christians wearing them. Some thought it a little silly but during its day it had an impact. It was a simple reminder that worked.

Now you don’t have to ask Jesus silly questions such as “Should I put gas in my car when it is empty?”, “Do I wear pink lipstick or red today?”, “Do I put the car in park before getting out?” this is surely not necessary. What about when you are tired after a long day and you just want to sit down and relax but a friend calls with an emergency? Do you choose your comfort over their need? What happens when the person in the checkout lane is 35 cents short and they have to put the can of baby formula back? Ask what would Jesus do? He would give them the 35 cents! When someones heart is aching due to a personal struggle why not call them to say you are praying? How about a smile instead of a frown when you are doing your grocery shopping? These are choices we face daily.

We are the book people read by the life we live in public and in private. Jesus gave us the guideline to life in His Word. It is LOVE! Mark 12:30-31 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” NIV

This is what Jesus did and it is what we should do. This is the requirement we are to meet…..LOVE not a to do list. If we will remember to ask ourselves what does love require of me we will always make the right decision. When Jesus was faced with what to do He chose to sacrifice His life for us. That is love! When we choose to sacrifice our desires to choose His we are loving as Jesus loves. It is not a list of do’s and dont’s but living from a position of love. Asking what would Jesus do can seem like a ridiculous plumb line for us as Jesus followers but truthfully it is that simple but oh so challenging because we must die to our choices and choose His.

Let’s all do something radical in this crazy culture we find ourselves living in. Let’s challenge ourselves to live like Jesus lived and love like Jesus loves. It is our choice….let’s choose LOVE!

Living by the brook,

Marilyn