- But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
- But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Do you remember the children’s song The Hokey Pokey? It is a song where you physically have to move and place parts of your body into the circle. You start with your hands then your feet, move on to your shoulders and then your hips. As the song progresses, eventually you put your whole body in the circle. Fun song to dance to and really great for getting everyone involved, but I feel God showed me something the other day related to the Christian walk.
Let’s say the inner part of the circle is the world and the place where we stand is the new creation in Christ which occurred when you asked Jesus into your heart. When we decide to allow Jesus to be the ruler of our lives we are covered by grace, forgiven of past, present and future sins and as we begin to seek the face of God we begin to make better choices regarding our lives….right? Well sometimes we as Christians still like to put our hands and feet into sin or return to familiar places from the past. It might start our small and then you add another part of you, suddenly your whole-self is in the world and you have forgotten you were a Christian at all.
Let’s use drinking as an example. (not picking on anyone it’s just for example purposes) I will even use myself as the model. I accepted Jesus when I was six. Tried to live the good life. Was kind to everyone and tried my best to be good. At the age of 12 I was in a regular church going every Sunday and Wednesday, I surely was on my way to living the Christian life, then peer pressure arrived on my doorstep.
You may not think that I am the type of person who does things just to fit in, however I still have my days where I feel very insignificant in this world. I started drinking with a few of my friends at one of their houses. We did it the “safe” way. Keys were taken and everyone stayed the night. I wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted to do but after years of being teased at school I chose to “fit it” and go with the crowd and drink. It turned into pretty much a weekly process…Brenda would drink and be the first one passed out on the floor after getting sick….yup my version of fitting in.
As I got older and could drink in the bar I would drink and dance, wear things really not appropriate and I will share something with you that I have not spilled out to too many people but I feel it is significant for someone reading this. One night after several drinks the bar tender invited me to his house. Long story short I ended up under the covers with him and if I ever had believed in God, I really felt His presence in that moment. It was like suddenly I was sober just before I wandered into something that would have ruined my life, God gave me the sound mind to get out of the situation. I pushed him away and jumped out of bed, got dressed and ran. I think God was protecting me from something horrible in that moment. This ended my bar days, yet there was more to come, I was not done with drinking yet.
Soon after this I met my first husband and we drank together but not a lot. I remember my 21st birthday party in my dad’s garage where I asked him when he was going to ask me to marry him (mind you we had only dated for 2 months) and he asked me on the spot. Both totally drunk, I found out YEARS later that he had told his best friend that he had hoped I was too drunk to remember he had asked. Eventually I lost my desire for drinking, mainly due to the fact that after the birth of my son, I decide someone needed to be sober for my child. .
Do you see what I mean about being Christian but really dabbling in the world? Once I decided to have Jesus in my life I should have been staying away from sin but instead, only because I wanted to fit in, I chose to drink. Satan took that one time of saying yes and ran with it. I am sure he was out to ruin my life, however God had other plans.
The point of all of this is that when we choose to be saved by grace we need to learn how not to live halfway in the world and the other half for Jesus. We should be at a place where we want to sin less and please God more. God desires us to be on fire for Him and if we are playing Hokey Pokey it is hard for people to see God at all in our lives. We should be displaying God in our daily lives by not swearing or hurting other people with our words. We should be careful what we post on Facebook especially if we are part of a ministry…what is appropriate for adults may not be for the young teens you are ministering too. I am not perfect and I have my moments, yet I know in my heart of hearts we have to choose to represent God to the world or be turned away from Jesus for being lukewarm.
Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”
Are you remotely ready to press into God? Are you wanting to see God moving in your life? Feel at times like your prayer life is going no where? Do you often seem unaccounted for in the body of Christ? Well, then this blog today is for you. I was thinking today and challenged myself to figure out how I have arrived to this place in my life that I am so hungry for God and even though it was Monday yesterday, I wanted to be at church. I figured it out…one day, I just flew the coop, got out of the box and began to move with God. For if we are seated with Christ, then He is with us always and His Father is willing to take us wherever we want to go, we just have to be willing to want to get our of our boxes.
How does one do this? Jump! Leap! Just do it. It’s like the day I quit smoking, I just decided it had to be over that day. Sure I had stopped and started 100 times before but this time it was different. I just DECIDED to quit. I was prayed over a few hours later and even though I lived with a 3 pack a day smoker, the desire left me, why? Because I DECIDED to make the right choice. It’s the same thing with God. So many Christians are still whining and complaining about their status in life yet when you begin to probe questions into the situation, you begin to clearly see that are their comfortable boxes and do not have enough faith to get out.
I am a walking testimony of what God can do in just one persons life. Many who do not know me would be amazed at the things God just blesses me with, those who know me, understand the reality of the blessings. I have gotten out of my box and went back and stomped on it and tore it to shreds, why? Because I am on the most exciting adventure of my life. I am free. I am happy. I am doing what God asks me to do and I am moving IN Him everyday. Jesus said He only did the things He saw His Father doing and truly that is the way to live.
I challenge you to get out of your box…yup..right now. Don’t wait until tomorrow or two hours from now, just do it. Tell God that you are ready for Him to mess up your life (in a good way) and see what He does. My friend and I did this at the last revival and I am here to tell you that in a short period of time God is turning all that was bad in my life to good. Are you ready for an adventure? Are you ready to trust God and get out of your box?
Furby says, “Go! Get out of your box and be all that you were meant to be!”
And his name will be the hope of all the world.”
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
Here we are! It is Christmas and I will now share what I believe to be the real meaning of Christmas. Now I assure you this is my own opinion and after having traveled the road to the manger with me, I hope you will come to your own conclusion of what the real meaning of Christmas is in your lives. I feel on this day, Hope was born. Now we have discovered that our Father has not given us any specific date for celebration and this brings me to a place where I have decided this truth for my current journey of faith: The birth of the Jesus is a cause for celebration but then also of equal importance is His death. Since a date for neither is provided, should we not celebrate DAILY the manger and the cross? The birth and the death?
Every day we should wake up and thank God for Jesus and this means the birth and the death for without either, we would be in quite a predicament. If we were to celebrate each day this awesome Gift, it would be open to all religions and there would not be a need for all the disagreements of how it should be celebrated. If we took the time to celebrate every day, gift giving or giving of ourselves would be a daily occurrence. We could surprise someone with a love gift and not have to say, “tis the season”, it would just be the right moment. Can you imagine for a moment what it would be like to have “Christmas” or “Easter” every day? It would remove the stress and the planning and make the moment of giving so much more rewarding because the gift would be spontaneous and not planned out.
If we spent more time just sharing love instead of planning for these holidays, we could reach so many more hearts. For some, these holidays are the ONLY time they spend with Jesus. For others, it is the ONLY time spent with certain family members and sometimes that is only because it is “required” because of the “Holidays”. I mean no offense by this blog, I am simply showing a side that even I have not really seen before now. I think sometimes our focus is so far off base we cannot see the real meaning of the birth or the death. Everyday is a gift from God, why should we not be of the same attitude towards others? I love the idea of the holidays, do not get me wrong but at the heart of today, there was love. I spent time with family and enjoyed just being with them. I gave gifts to my children and I did this out of love, not obligation. I feel as though I would like to spend more of these days together.
Jesus was born to give us Hope and if we are following in faith, the love God intended can emerge into this fallen world but it will be difficult if we continue to focus on these things only twice a year. Jesus needs to be an everyday of presenting ourselves to be used by God so that the Gift of His son will have relevance in the lives of those who do not yet know Him as their savior. As we followed the star and listened to the shepherds, saw the wise men in search of a King, our faith was ignited that hope was laying in a manger. We finally had a moment to hold onto, a place in time where life could begin to make sense. This birth of Hope is eternal and so is the death.
I pray all will find peace on earth as they seek Jesus first in their lives. I Hope your Merry Christmas will be bright as you follow the star in faith. May your Season Greetings become , “How can I help you today?”. Perhaps your Happy Holidays will turn into days of celebration. Hopefully Tis the Season will fashion itself into days of thanksgiving and a willingness to give to others. Let’s make Christmas and Easter a part of everyday for as a very wise teacher taught me once upon a time, it is always today. Today is the day Jesus is born. Today is the day Jesus died. Today is the day when all things are possible. Why not make today count so God may be glorified, today.
So as I conclude this 25 day blog on the REAL meaning of Christmas, I hope I have inspired some changes in the perspective of why we celebrate the way we do. Maybe this is a moment in time where we can all just take a few moments and reflect upon what it all means in our lives. Being a believer in Jesus means we are here to deliver hope to the hopeless and love to the lost. We are to be about the Fathers’ business everyday of our lives. Surely Santa was a grand idea, but a fairy tale for sure. Some say Jesus is a fairy tale too, but I beg to differ. The Happy Ending I am seeking is in heaven, a place of peace and tranquility, the purpose of my journey as a Christian, a daughter of the King. May your heart be touched forever by the hope found in the manger, because when all that has been prophesied is said and done, will we be in our mansions in heaven or left behind? The choice is up to each of us. Who will receive your utmost attention? Jesus or worldly traditions? Use your faith to choose. Be Blessed!