Sunday, October 28, 2012

Beyond the Norm

Grow up, graduate high school, go to college, have a career, get married, have children, watch your children grow up, become grandparents, retire, and enjoy the last moments one has on earth.  It's the "American Dream".  A vision and aspiration so many have worked hard to attain. A safe dream, one that will ensure success in your life by human standards.  But, is it enough? When one is 90 years old and looking back on their life, are they happy? Do they regret anything? Was their life worth it? Or was there something they missed?

I admit, I have always wanted the typical "American Dream".  I wanted to be a wife and a mother more than anything this world could offer me.  It was what I dreamed to be since I was a little kid.  I had my wedding song picked out when I was in 6th grade.  ("I will be here" by Steven Curtis Chapman)  Lately, I've been wondering if it's really the only thing that I truly want?

God's been pressing into me lately, showing that maybe the American Dream is not all that it's cracked up to be, that maybe there is something else I am supposed to do, something more important.  A life where I am truly and completely devoted to God.  A life filled with sacrificial love to my Savior and to those around me.

Between Life Groups and this class I am taking at church, God has given me a desire to go past the normal steps in life, even past the normal Christian walk, and become someone completely different.  "Die daily", a phrase I have heard all too often in these last few weeks.  When one becomes a Christian it's like they are signing their life away to God.  It's no longer about them and what they want, it's about God and what He wants.  A point in life where the term "Die daily" should actually be a continual, daily occurrence.

We have it set in our minds that we deserve the good life, the American dream, but in actuality we deserve hell.  This is why God intervened and saved us.  He gave us the option to live.  The only stipulation is we must live for Him only and do what He wants.  Though it may sound bad, it's actually the best thing for us. God only has whats best for us in store.

Faith with out actions is dead, Love with out actions is dead.  We can't say we love someone or say we believe in God when we just put him to the side while we go about our daily lives.  I want a sacrificial love for my savior.  He, after all, sacrificed his LIFE for me.  Sometimes there comes a time in our life when God calls us to go beyond the normal, take the next step, and put aside our desires so that He can give us something even greater than we imagine.  A life where love is a verb, not a quote.   I want my life to be a living sacrifice to the one who actually sacrificed his life for the sake of mine.  What does this mean? Never getting married? Never having children? No.  I don't think it does.  At least not for me.  I think it just means that maybe my first priority in life should be to serve God, and God only.  All the other stuff will come in time.  I think for me, it means that there are certain things in life I should give up in order to spend more time with God, or help those around me, or to even prove my love and devotion to God.   I think it means, that maybe I should say no to certain things, give up certain addictions, and fight my temptations, even when it's hard.  Today is the day, it's never too late to start.  Here I am, Lord.  I am yours.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Public Praise

I just feel overwhelmed by how great God is.

How is it that a God who has all the power in the world would give up his only son, Jesus Christ to become human, die on a cross for the sake of sinners.  Not just anyone, everyone.  For people who are good, bad, normal, odd, who are repentant of their wrong doings, and some who could care less.

Why is it that God loves us so much? We have no good in us.  We are naturally born to sin.  Every single person has done something wrong, and will more than likely do something wrong again on numerous occasions.  We are very dramatic, selfish, hateful, and yet somehow the God of ALL creation loves us so much to save us... daily.

How can it be that he owns the whole universe and everything in it, but wants to spend time with just you, and me.  He's running everything that happens from stars being made, to the wind that blows, to the oceans that rage, to the birds that fly, to the seasons that change.  Of all things he upholds with his right hand, He makes sure He is available to me 24/7.

How amazing God is.  He's so powerful, so loving, so merciful, so gracious, so kind, so just.  He's everything.  He's perfect.  He's my God.  He's my father.

He cares about me so much to help me with the smallest problems, and lead me through the biggest hurtles.  Everywhere I go, He is there.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

My God is a God who provides.  He always gives me what I need, and blesses me daily.  He cares about every detail in my life and makes sure He has the best for me in all situations.  He is so good that he can make something tragic turn into something good.

My God is a healer, a provider, a protector, a leader, miracle worker, a teacher.

I could go on and on and on.  I just want to say, God is good, all the time.