Sep 16 2017

Have you been duped by this trick?

The Five-Minute Friday word for today is support.

Have you been duped by this trick?

Go.

Sufficient grace 2 For 12:9

I stand looking in the mirror. My eyes are naturally drawn to the flaws. I pick at myself and don’t notice how unkind I can be. The critical eye feels right. My heart slumps. And God longs to give me grace, but I think about a new diet book or exercise. God’s strength was ready to be applied, and I missed it.

I came late because I didn’t know how to handle the dominoes of one wrong turn after another. I feel embarrassed. God longs to give me grace, but I try to make a joke to offset how hot my cheeks feel. God’s strength is ready to be applied. Another opportunity lost.

Weakness is an opportunity for God to fill me with himself and transform me into his image. His gift of grace is always at the ready. When I feel the weakest, God has the perfect support structure for me: Himself.

Stop.

Have you been tricked in filling your feelings of weakness with something other than God?

Even in being tricked, I can receive God’s grace.

So can you.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul gets an unexpected answer to his prayer. He wanted God to remove his problem. Instead, God gave him grace, a sufficient grace.

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Sep 08 2017

Work Sharp or Work Dull

The Five-Minute Friday word for today is work. As I think of Ecclesiastes 10:10, I’m reminded of the value of tooling up in whatever work God has given me.

Work Sharp or work Dull

Work Sharp or Work Dull

Go.

My friend hands me her fancy knife. She got it as a gift. She keeps it sharp. The blade goes smoothly through the tomato, not smashing it as it normally does at home. I experience the difference of a nice, sharpened knife. Cutting through is easier—much easier. It’s working the way a knife is supposed to work. And I dream of a good, sharp knife.

But that’s the way it is with a good tool. If it’s sharp (or ready or prepared), it does what it’s supposed to do and works better and easier.

As I think of my many roles of work as a Christ-follower, mother, wife, writer, teacher, play advocate, guitar and ukulele enthusiast, and…and, I’m reminded of how I can approach my work. Will I approach it with wisdom through learning and listening, through practice and preparation? That would sharpen my ax. If I don’t value the prep, I’m doomed to be dull.

Stop.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 Sharpen the Ax

What will you do to sharpen your ax today?

The problem with sharpening is that it doesn’t feel like making progress. But taking time to learn and grow is part of the working process. And when we’re ready to dive in, having laid a firm foundation, we’ll have a smoother rather than a smashed-up work experience.

 

 

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Sep 03 2017

We can’t love our neighbor without doing this

The Five-Minute Friday word for today is neighbor. Maybe it’s always been this way, under the surface, and we are just now taking a good, hard look at the state we’re in. It’s an animosity, an enmity between people. I see it in the news and on comments people make on social media and on blogs. It makes my heart ache to know that so many are hurting deep down to the root of their souls—a long-time hurt that can’t keep silent. I don’t say much because I’m unsure what to say. All the solutions out there look like a band-aid on a gaping wound. Band-aids—even big ones—don’t heal. They simply keep the injury covered while the real healing comes from within.

I came to Luke 10 and was reminded again of the Source of healing. Band-aids have their place, but healing needs something more.

Go.

This man wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus who was his neighbor.

The problem is not that we don’t know what we should do or how we should ask, although that may be true sometimes. The greater problem is that we have a wrestling match inside ourselves. We know a thing or two about life and what’s right, but the parts of our heart and soul that are missing keep us from living out what we know is right and good.

This man couldn’t get to doing what was right because he needed heart healing. Justifying never leads to anywhere because “just right” isn’t looking for instruction.

Loving your neighbor starts with a relationship with God because he is the Source for all that is right.

Stop.

If we turned toward God and asked him to give us eyes to see ourselves and others the way he sees us, our eyes would be open to see all our neighbors in a new way. When we allow God to transform us, we’d have ears to hear his prompting us towards loving them. Then we could love from our wholeness not an empty hole inside us.

We can’t love our neighbor well without being connected to the Healer of our souls. For sure, the healing process will take a lifetime. But as we are transformed, we’re more able to speak words of life and to serve others, to ask for forgiveness—and to give it.

 

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