This morning I was reading A Call To Die by David Nasser. Todays reading contained the following quote: "Everything we say and do needs to be filtered through the sacrifice Christ made on the cross".
Instead of just thinking Is that response worthy of Christ...I need to think Is that response worthy of the sacrifice he made on the cross.
Instead of just thinking is that evening activity worthy of Christ...I need to think is that evening activity worthy of the sacrifice he made on the cross.
Instead of just thinking is that food I'm going to eat worthy of Christ...I need to think is that ood worthy of the sacrifice he made on the cross.
I can fool myself into thinking that a good activity is worthy of Christ...until I remember the sacrifice He made. At that point good isn't good enough. My only thought can be if He sacrificed in this way for me. What sacrifice does He want from me. What sacrifice is worthy of Him.
And thats the point where I might get it right!
This week has been fun. I've been asking God to "Thrill Me" when I sit down to work on Colossians. Sometimes I say it out loud and sometimes...like this morning...I whisper it as a prayer in my mind. But the theory is true...you get what you expect. When I look at a passage of scripture with the expectation that something in it is going to thrill me spiritually...that's what usually happens. And that is what happened today. I was going on through chapter 3 reading the verses and came to verse 5. It says to put to death sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed which is idolatry. Now I've been working on Colossians since November and when I have read that verse previously, I have read it with a bit of relief. My mind usually says "Good, at least I don't have to worry about those things. Those are not things I struggle with. But this morning, God pointed out that little word greed. Greed is simply wanting more. I would define it as wanting more of something that I don't have. The opposite of contentment. I usually think of money with greed, but this morning God reminded me that greed can be wanting a different scenario...wanting a different outcome...wanting a different future that He hasn't given me.
Right now in my life. I am having trouble being content. I want things to be different. I want the outcome I would choose and I definitely am grumbly about it. I'm pretty sure that it all comes back to my pride. I want people to think I'm good and that my family is good and that we have it all figured out. I hate how much my happiness and my feelings of worth and success are wrapped up in those warped thoughts. I want to only care about what God thinks, but it is easier said than done.
So is it greed? Yup! I want what God isn't giving me. I want more and am letting myself not be content with his plan. I think I know what is best and I need to stop.
Father, please help me be content with your plan for our lives. Help me today...at the shower to not care what people think. Help me to only care about what you think about me. Help me to want more of you instead of a comfortable, non shameful life. Help me to not seek easy. Take those thought away and replace them with a more urgent and more desperate love and desire for you Father.
Asking that you remove my greed,
My Joshua is a load lifter. I know he learned it from watching his dad. But somehow...along the way...He has taken it to new levels. When I come home from grocery shopping...he runs towards me to grab my bags for me. When he sees me picking up around the house, he stops what he is doing and comes to me (often taking the item from my hand so that he can put it away for me). When we shop at walmart together, he pushes the cart for me. When he knows I have people coming over in the evening, he comes home from school and immediately starts cleaning. He unloads the dishes from the dishwasher on his own and he often says "mom, how can I help". His response when I ask him to help isn't just ok. It's "sure mom, I'd love to help you". There are no other words that explain it better. He's simply a load lifter. He is happiest in life when he is lightening my load. And that simply blows my mind.
I think that is what true service is. It is all about lifting loads from others around us. It is working to lighten the load of those God places in our path. It is being happy and content simply because we are load lifters. If I put all the cards on the table, I am a lousy load lifter. Sure...sometimes I do things for others to help. Sometimes I volunteer to serve and sometimes I even organize the process. But I do it because I know I should. I do it out of "oughtness" way too many times. I wish that I was more like my Joshua. I wish that I looked at those around me and ran to them to lift their load. I wish that my heart and soul found purpose and joy from lightening the burdens in their lives. I wish that my selfishness didn't hold me back from becoming the load lifter that God desires.
Jesus was the ultimate "Load Lifter". When he died on the cross, He took the load of my sin and my punishment of death on Himself so that I didn't have to bear it. Because of that I have hope, purpose, peace and life itself for eternity. I think lifting loads points people to Jesus. It's not normal for people to have others come alongside them and share their burdens. They will soon ask questions and they will soon recognize that Jesus is the reason. And hopefully they will soon recognize what He offers them personally. And that is our purpose isn't it? As we are going...being examples of Jesus to those around us. Loving people enough to lift their load and speak Jesus into their lives. My family needs that...Washburn University needs that...Topeka needs that...This country needs that and so does this world. Praying today for one more load lifter in the Freerksen home!
Colossians 1:16 says it quite simply. All things have been created through him and for him.
It feels like I’ve always known that. I have never not believed that God created the world and everything in it. I also have understood for many years that I was created for Him. But when I read this verse, I had to ponder about me being created for Him. That simple sentence is a perspective changer. The world teaches us that we were created for ourselves. It teaches us that we are here on earth to fulfill our purpose, our dreams and our destinies. No wonder sadness often invades my soul. Because my purpose sometimes seems questionable. My dreams sometimes seem unattainable and my destiny …who knows. Sometimes I feel like a miserable failure.
I wish that I would remember every day...every minute that I was created for Him. I wish that I would remember that it's not about me...my desires...my rights...my goals...my dreams. It is truly all about Him. I wish that I would remember that I was created for Him every morning when I walk the sidewalks of Washburn making my way to a busy student service center. I wish that I would remember that I was created for Him every evening when I come home...often feeling tired, grumpy and me centered. I wish that I would remember that I was created for Him when I lash out at those I love most...thinking I need to show them their "wrongs". I wish that I would remember that I was created for Him when I focus on my fear of the future...especially of becoming a grandma and all the things my Amelia will be facing as she grows up. I wish that I would remember that I was created for Him when I think after yet another "fail" that I will never succeed. I wish that I would remember that I was created for Him when I make the choice to selfishly sit in front of the television...telling myself that I have the "right" to a few minutes or hours of down time. I wish that I would remember that I was created for Him when I am too tired to pray. I wish that I would remember that I was created for Him when I am too selfish to pray. And finally, I wish that I would remember that I was created for Him all the time. I wish it was the first thought in my head instead of the last. Praying this morning that this would be so.
The other morning, my alarm rang at 6:00 AM and I stumbled out to the kitchen like usual. I met Joshua in the kitchen and we exchanged our normal “morning”. He wakes up happy and sharp and ready to hit the ground running. I, on the other hand am usually waking up about the time I get out of the shower. Anyways…while we were standing in the kitchen that morning…Joshua’s phone buzzed. My mom sense immediately went into overdrive and I asked “Joshua, who is texting you at 6:00 AM?” He smiled up at me and said “Its ok mom. It’s just Josh Smith. He’s texting me to remind me to get up and spend time with Jesus.”
I went away from that conversation smiling, but it has challenged me since that point. My son and his best friend are quite the example for me and I imagine plenty of others. They are taking time daily to encourage each other to run towards Jesus. I do that a lot with students who I am investing in, but the challenge for me is to make that the norm. There is no bigger purpose or calling than to help and encourage people to run towards Jesus. I believe the thing that often spooks me from that calling is that in order for me to encourage others, I must be doing. The natural accountability is sometimes weighty. However, I know that the purpose and fulfilment that it provides is second to none. It’s actually worthy of a lifetime.