Monday, September 30, 2013

His Promises

"But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness." 2 Peter 3:13

Our pastor gave a fantastic sermon yesterday about the water mentioned throughout the new testament. While I have read the new testament quite a few times, I often find that I am just reading it but not truly understanding what it has to say.  This was the case yesterday as well.

I am not going to try to repeat his sermon, as I would not be able to do it justice.  However, the takeaway message was one that is worth attempting to repeat.  If we expect to overflow with God's love, compassion and grace in the way that Jesus did, we must fill ourselves with God's Word.  It is our weapon, it is our strength, it is our courage and it is needed daily.

Our pastor suggested reading one chapter of the Bible every day, choosing a verse from that chapter and meditating on it throughout the day.  Write it on a card that you keep with you and refer to it throughout the work, school or play day. As this becomes a habit and you continue to meditate on Scripture each and every day, eventually you will have such a treasure store of verses in your memory that when things come up, as they always do, you will have something to grab a hold of, a verse to hold onto, remembering God's promises and holding tight to them.  

My verse today is above as I am currently reading 2 Peter.  I found it encouraging that after being reminded yesterday by our pastor about God's promises, about living in God's promises and what His Word says instead of what the world says, I was reminded of that today in my verse.  In this verse, we are being reminded to keep an eternal and heavenly perspective as we have been promised a new and fantastic home with Jesus in heaven for all eternity.

I pray I can keep that eternal and heavenly perspective in light of the troubles I will have here on earth.

In His Grace....

Your blonde is showing

A friend of ours had a disappointing experience at church yesterday.  She and her husband signed up to serve communion, which our church does by passing trays.  Our church recently switched to two services and for some things the volunteers are spread a little thin.  The woman in charge was trying to explain to our friend where she was supposed to go and how the pattern worked.  Our friend kept asking questions, just to clarify what was expected and to be sure she did it correctly.  The woman in charge eventually said to our friend, "Your blonde is showing through today" in a sarcastic tone.  While our friend decided to take the high road and forgive the harsh words (the woman did eventually apologize), when we were discussing it in our small group, the comment was made "even more surprising because it happened at church."

Unfortunately, this is an attitude that I think ends up hurting the Christian community. We and others, somehow get the idea, that because we are Christians, we shouldn't make mistakes.  We shouldn't have bad days and we shouldn't let our emotions show.  If we have truly found Christ, we should have it all together, always take the high road, always know the right thing to say.  This, however, couldn't be further from the truth.

Although we have a personal relationship with Christ, we are still human.  We have flaws, we make mistakes and we still sin.  Hopefully having an eternal perspective will give us the ability to see our mistakes and make amends, but it doesn't prevent us from making the mistakes in the first place.  It doesn't mean we won't have any troubles and that we will sail along through life with no pain, no struggles, no difficulties.  Jesus said:

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world." John 16:33

I think a better attitude and one that would be worth spreading, is one of compassion and forgiveness. Remembering that no matter where we are - church, bible study, small group, grocery store - Jesus asks us to love others and to spread that love.  Extend forgiveness the next time someone cuts you off on the road, has a bad attitude or uses harsh words.  It takes courage and strength, not our own, but that of the Holy Spirit living inside us to do that.  But we can as Jesus did.

In His Grace...