"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

Archive for April, 2013

Excellence – not Perfection

Perfection

Once again Abigail had blown it!  She had cleaned the house and thought she had covered every corner.  When her husband, Kyle, came home, he lost it!  Look at this drawer!  It is a mess.  I am so sick of you not doing things right!  She rushed over and began to straighten the offending drawer.  She sighed.  Nothing she ever did was good enough.

Yesterday he had run his finger over the top of the door and found dust.  He raved.  She felt again like nothing she ever did was good enough.  The day before, he told her he  had written a date on top of the refrigerator a week before and she hadn’t found it.  He ridiculed her.

She tried.  She really did, but it was impossible to please him.

Today’s Lesson:

Often we think God is as demanding as Kyle.  Even though we try, we can’t live up to the Law that we see in Scripture.  We may say a swear word or we get angry at our kids.  We don’t pray or read our Bible every day.  We are sure that we have disappointed the Lord and soon we give up trying to reach Him.

The Good News!

God knew we could never be perfect and that is why He gave us the Law so that we could see the futility of trying to do it on our own.  He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for all of our sin and imperfection.  He did what we could not do.  He has released us from all condemnation.

He looks at us as little children.  If your toddler spills his milk, you don’t give him away or tell him that he is useless.  You clean it up and fill the glass again and use a cup that won’t spill.  You help him learn how to manage new challenges so that he can become a responsible adult.  It takes time to develop a child into a person of excellence.  It is done step-by-step and moment-by-moment.  You love them, encourage them, discipline them and give them room to make mistakes.

God is much nicer than you are.  He is Good and  His Loving-kindness endures forever!

It is  Satan who has made us think that God is our critic.  He is not.  He knew we couldn’t live the life we see in the Law – not even  the basic ten commandments.  Jesus had to become a man and dwell among us and pay the full price for all the things we have done and will do.  He covered everything including our thoughts, actions, attitudes, all kinds of sin and fears.  When we accept what Jesus has done, He begins to complete the good work He has begun in us.  He won’t stop or give up on us.

He might put us on hold if we get too rebellious but He waits patiently for us to turn back to HIm.

Excellence

When we yield to the Spirit of God, we begin to become who has intended us to be.  He has given us everything we need for life and godliness.  Everything!  He has made us the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  He has sent His own Holy Spirit to live in us to help us, lead us, guide us and comfort us.

He is nicer than the most loving parent and He brings us into people of excellence and not perfection.

Perfection!  “It ain’t ever gonna happen – so get over it and enjoy the patience and the love of God who restores us and loves us at all times.”

There is a process that happens over time as we yield to the leading of the Lord and it yields excellence.  When you mess up, confess it to the Lord, and walk free of the guilt and shame.

 Tell the devil to ‘shut up!’  He will want to continue to beat you with your failures.  He thinks he is so clever.  He tempts you to do wrong and then beats you for doing it.  

Freedom!

God sees that you have made a mistake and as soon as you confess it, you are released it and you are free.  I love the Scripture that says, “It is for freedom that Christ set us free!”

Trust Him with all the circumstances of your life and live free!

Share a time that you when you knew you were free!

Seed……….Time……… and then Harvest

Seed . . .

Cristal was so excited.  It was her first garden.  She had gone to the store and bought some wonderful heirloom seeds.  After having gotten on the internet, she learned that she had to till the soil, add nutrients, and get it ready to receive the seed.  She worked very hard.

When the seeds were in the ground, she marked each row.  In one row, there was carrots and another had beets and yet another had onions.  When she went to the nursery, she bought some tomato plants and some pepper plants.

Impatiently, she waited for the seeds to break the ground.  She would move the soil and peek at the seeds.  It seemed that they were just lying there.  She watered them again.  The next day, she looked and still there was nothing, so once again, she moved the dirt so that she could look at the seeds.  It was very disappointing.

Time . . . . .

Her grandmother called and asked her to come to visit for a week.  Cristal hated to leave the garden, but grandmother seemed lonely.  She went out and watered the garden very good and then packed the car and left for her visit.

When she came back home, she turned off the car and ran back to see the garden.  To her shock and suprise, there were little spears of life coming out of the ground.  Tiny plants were pushing their way up toward the sun.  She scratched her head in wonder.  She had left them alone and they had sprung forth from the seed that she had placed in the good soil.  She had only to wait.

Her mouth watered in anticipation of the day, when the full plant would bear its bounty.  “Time,” she thought, “time is an important part of the process.”

Today’s Lesson:

Christians plant seed in so many ways.  It can be money, time, smiles, clothes, furniture, houses, cars and lands.  We must remember that there is life in the seed.

The seed we plant will bring forth a harvest after its own kind.  We, too, get anxious to receive a harvest.  We will worry our seed, but we need to remember the lesson that Cristal learned.  It takes time.  Time is the key to the harvest.

We have quoted Ecclesiastes and said, “Seed-time and harvest” thinking it was about seasons, but the lesson is about waiting and resting.  We lay the foundation – till the soil of our hearts by giving our lives to the Lord to change us into suitable ground to bear the seed.  We  give our tithes and offerings to the place where we are being discipled.   We give our material goods to those who have need of them.  We give our time in service to others.  When we get weary, we may think that we won’t receive a harvest.

In Galatians we read, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

What are you sowing?  Are you giving smiles or frowns, joy and laughter or complaints and sarcasm?  Are you sharing the material goods and the money God has entrusted to you?

Harvest!

Remember this important lesson – we reap what we sow –  later than we sow and greater than we sow.

Think of the corn seed.  You put it in the ground and in time the plant comes up and the ear appears with row upon row of corn for seed and eating.  It is a good picture of how the principle of sowing and reaping works.  Don’t eat all your harvest but sow some of it again to continue reaping a harvest.

What are you sowing?  Share a time when you reaped a harvest.

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