So often in my life I have been caught up in the idea that when I hit a crossroads and there are two choices to make I must get it right or I won’t have God’s best. Sometimes there is a clear path and other times there are two great choices to make. A profound thought today for me was found in chpt 22 of TPDL “There are many different careers(substitute choices) that could be God’s will for your life. What God cares most about is that whatever you do, you do it in a Christlike manner”. He’s about the WHO not the WHAT. He is developing our character because that’s what we take into eternity with us. Of course it’s still right and good to pray and ask for direction but instead of being at a standstill, afraid of making the wrong choice, ask Him to make you more like Him whatever you do. Sometimes God doesn’t let us know clearly “which way is best” because BOTH are fine and He has created us with personalities and allows us to make choices.
I also love John the Baptist quote, “He must increase, I must decrease”. Whatever I do…let this be the cry of my heart. Whatever choice I make, let Him be exalted and seen by those He brings into my life. Keep me from anything that would hinder Your work in me and through me.
As I sat today in this house that God has allowed us to have, listening to the sounds of pouring rain, enjoying coffee and reading, I am filled with such contentment and joy. This house was one of those choices where it wasn’t perfectly clear what we should do. It was a desire…but not a definite clear path. I’m grateful He allowed it and worked out all the details for us. My prayer then was, “God, put us wherever you can use us best.” We now live in Trumbull with a whole new set of neighbors who don’t know You. Lord, Please use us to reach them for you. And thank you that you allow us to serve you at Calvary Church. Be glorified in us and through us.
I love my church. We’ve come through a few churches and while none have been perfect, each one has been perfect for us for that season of our lives.
Reading TPDL and chapter 21 is talking about church unity. Several great points. I’m keeping this book as it’s a great resource for many different issues. My main point today for myself is summed up in this sentence, “Let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault.” Because I’m so bad at confrontation, I don’t usually tear people down to their face. I’m better at the encouraging words part of that. But, that being said, there are times when someone’s personality or convictions get on my nerves and if I sense that I can “vent” or share my frustrations with someone who has the same opinion I run off at the mouth. This is SIN!
Lord, forgive me and help me to be mindful of the words I say. If you want me to correct someone because of something YOU want corrected, help me be bold. Thank you for the many different personalities you have brought into my life and grant me patience to love them even if their personality is not something that I am drawn to.
“Coincidentally” as I finished that and opened the Bible I am reading John 3 beginning in chapter 16 which sums up the reason for my above prayer. Because God so loved THE WORLD (not just those I find easy to get along with)…. It is because of Christ that I am part of the family of God. But by the grace of God I would be a lost sinner bound for hell. Who am to judge another?
Lord, thank you that it is You who “chose to give us different personalities, backgrounds, races and preferences, so we should value and enjoy those differences, not merely tolerate them.” Lord give me patience with those who differ from me. I am not one to judge based on any outward appearance usually but I know that there are those who “get on my nerves and I am quick to criticize just because they were created with different personalities than I. I recognize that there are some that will never be “my favorites” but I need to let that go and love them because they are your children. I’m feeling very humbled right now. Seriously…who am I? Lord, forgive me and help me to grow.
John chapter 3 will always have significance for me.
I can remember childhood days of sitting in my top bunk with my Bible, which was like a foreign language to me, trying to read it. None of it made any sense but I had deep desire (which I now recognize as the Holy Spirit’s prompting) to read it and understand it. As time when on, the old Bible became less and less important because it didn’t make sense and life got busy.
Fast forward to young adult years when going through some struggles and being sure I was destined for hell because of some bad choices I began to search again by reading The Word. I distinctly remember reading in John 3:3 and hearing the phrase, “born again” for the first time. My heart stirred within me. “What does that even mean?” became a heart felt cry. I asked people.. I got no answers other than, “You’re a good girl. You’ll be fine!” I was so frustrated because the only thing I knew for sure was that I was NOT a “good girl”. I remember thinking, “I don’t know what born-again means, but if that’s what I need to ‘see the kingdom of God’ I better find out and take care of that. If I don’t know what it even means, it must not be something I am.” It had to be a personal decision that I had not yet made.
Fast forward to a few years later when attending a Baptist church on our street, things began to make sense. I went forward during an invitation and yielded my life to Him that day. There are so many more details about that whole experience but that’s for another time.
Today, I sit in gratitude that John chapter 3 is in the Bible and loved reading it again today. I can’t wait to meet Nicodemus and thank him that even though it was in the dark of night in secret that he asked questions I needed answers to.
I am currently reading “The Purpose Driven Life” and today’s reading was about restoring relationships. I don’t know of any that I need restoration at this point but I’m sure that will come. Thinking of a friend who really needs reconciliation in her family. Praying for her. Since she is the one who gave me this book, I want to talk to her about chapter 20 today. Just to remind her that God has a plan and great way to make sure we have done all we can in the process of restoring relationships.
Thank you, Lord, for today. Thank you, Lord, for Your Word.