Monday, January 26, 2009

How To Live

From my devotional readings this morning, I have been given some things to think about and put into practice.

Acts 9:31: The believers were walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. That's how we should be living in our daily walk with God through this journey of life. Fear in this application is another way of saying "respect" or "honor". If we give our respect to God, and honor Him by our lifestyle, we have no need to "fear", or be afraid, or worry, about the economy and the things facing us as a nation.

Our sermon yesterday was about seeking the kingdom of God first, and all "these things" (the things we need) will be taken care of. There's no reason for Christians to run around like chickens in a flutter over what might come, or how we will survive. When we honor God, we receive our comfort from the Holy Spirit. He gives us peace and assurance that it is well with our souls, and God is in control. What more can we ask for? Any more than that, and perhaps we would be out of the will of God. If we truly want to go it on our own, He will allow us to do that. But why would we want to?

To receive God's best, life is not about investing our money, but rather it is about investing our very lives. We do this by:

  1. Making time for family and friends - they are God's gifts to us.
  2. Being grateful for God's provision and protection. He is always there for us!
  3. Practicing contentment - Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8, NLT) There are plenty of things that could get us down and discouraged, but we need not focus on the negative side of life...God has given us the ability to rise above that and choose to dwell on the beauty of life.

I'm going to visit Bob this morning. He has acute leukemia and has already outlived the number of days his doctor gave him. I can't imagine what it would be like to just wait to die, waking up each morning wondering if this was the day. Well, my last devotional reading this morning talked about "The Dying Words of Christians". Death for the Christian is just a "threshold to the palace of God" (Dr. Billy Graham's words). I can't imagine waiting in anticipation of walking across that threshold!! Especially if it is something I have believed in and waited for my whole life!

I am going to take Bob some chocolate chip/oatmeal/raisin cookies. I can't imagine what his first meal will be like in heaven! The Master Chef will far surpass the culinary skills of the finest of cruise ship chefs. And to dine with the saints of all the ages...the giants of the Bible, like Abraham, Moses, David, Apostle Paul. To have a hearty laugh with Jesus as He slips His arm across my shoulders. Death doesn't need to be a thing to dread or fear. It's like the best looking gift under the Christmas tree, all wrapped up and labeled with our name! We open the gift, and walla! We step across the threshold into eternal life. I'm going to ask Bob to give Mom and Dad a hug for me and tell them I can hardly wait to see them again!

Spending time in God's Word and on my face in His presence and in some good devotional books only inspires me to give to Him this day the best that I have. To serve Him by serving others. To love Him by loving others. To make my life count for something by investing my time and resources for Him. Wow...what an opportunity! Please join me!

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