Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jesus...Does My Life Honor You?

Morning Glory...

To tell the truth it is now "afternoon glory"!  I had so much going on this morning, that I was unable to share.  The day has finally settled down, and I am in a very quiet place in our church fellowship hall, waiting to teach my evening class.

This morning as I spent time praying from Philippians, I wanted to share a prayer of Paul's that touched me.  It is from chapter 1, verse 20.

For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die.

Paul, the Apostle, loved the Gospel and his Savior more than life itself.  From his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus, to his calling by Jesus Christ Himself to go to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles, he was a changed man.  When I read such prayers, they always humble me, because I get so caught up in my own little needs and plans, that I forget that as a child of God, I am also called to Someone's service, and that is Christ Jesus, my Lord.

The phrase..."that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself, but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here...", made me stop this morning and take an inventory of my current state of mind. 

I realize what a great need my heart has to love Christ and the Gospel more than my human comfort, human desires, human plans, and/or human wants.  Matthew 6:33 says clearly that we are to "seek first...FIRST...FIRST...I'll say it again...FIRST...the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things (food, drink, clothing, Gentile needs) will be given or added unto you". 

Psalms 37:4 admonishes us to "be delighted with the Lord.  Then He will give you all your heart's desires."  Isn't He wonderful?  Isn't He truly good?  Isn't His love for us amazing?  If you answered yes to any of those, then you are understanding what He is asking of us.  The request for us to put Him first, to not do anything that would cause us to be ashamed of ourselves, is so that He can produce those blessings that are already in His sight for us!

Our focus tends to be too earthly!  I know mine has at times.  We get mired or stuck in the swirling debris or our earthly lives, and it blocks our view of the wonderful Father Who has promised to give us all our heart's desires, if we will just put Him first and take delight IN Him! 

Matthew 6:32 shouts at us that our heavenly Father KNOWS perfectly well what your needs are.  Can we not change our focus and rejoice that our Father knows??  Can we not learn to lift our voices and praise Him that He will ADD all things to us as we SEEK after Him?  Can we not find time to get our minds off the need and ON TO the ONE Who is faithful and true??

Can we pray like Paul that we not do anything that will cause us to be ashamed of ourselves, but to be bold in our faith as we go through these trials?  If you do not know much about this humble yet wonderful Apostle, then time would be well spent in reading about his life.  He lived it for Christ.  He lived it so in love with the Good News that he spent his life taking that Good News to all who were hurting, hungry, lost, discouraged, sick, beaten down, and deceived!  I was one!

I encourage your heart today to GET INTO GOD'S WORD!  You and I need to seek Him, hear Him, and fall in love with Him Who authored and will finish our faith.  May our prayers for ourselves be today and always..."Lord, may I honor you with my life, and speak boldly of You through every trial!"

Loving Him and you,