Monday, March 30, 2009

Being Honest Part 1

Over the last six months I’ve had a lot of time to think, to think about what I say I believe and what I really believe and the difference between the two. I see things, and hear things, and I know I’m not the only one who experiences a discrepancy between faith and practice. I’m creating an on-going list to help me examine myself and to say with the Apostle Paul:

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12 – 14)

Like Paul, I want to “know Christ and the power of His resurrection”, but to be honest, I’ll skip “the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings” part. Thank you very much. (Philippians 3:10)

Praying the Model Prayer (a.k.a. The Lord’s Prayer) makes me feel warm and fuzzy and even holy (especially since I know it by heart), but do I honestly want God to forgive me my debts in the same way I forgive my debtors?

When I pray, “Thy will be done”, don’t I really mean, “Lord, please conform Your will to mine”?

Do I really want my daily bread? Honestly, I’d feel much better with several weeks or even months of food in the fridge and pantry.

When I say, “Your grace is sufficient” what I really mean is “Lord, Your grace is sufficient as long as all is right in my world.”

I'm just being honest.

Well, that’s my list so far. If any of you are brave enough to be honest, I welcome your “gaps”. I may even compile a list and post them.

I’m pressing on toward the goal, I just haven’t arrived yet.

~ Drewe Llyn

Monday, March 16, 2009

As unto the Lord

I poured my life into them.
I worshiped with them.
I prayed with them.
I cried and celebrated with them.
I spent many thoughtful hours preparing gifts for them.
I genuinely loved them.
But in the end, I was betrayed by many of them.
My broken heart was confused and indignant. How could this have happened after all I’d done for them? Pouring my life into these ungrateful people now seemed like wasted time and energy. Is there no reward for effort? If I had only known it would turn out like this….

You know what I mean. You’ve been there. I don’t need to tell you who “they” are. “They” can be anyone. Family. Students. A spouse. A congregation. “They” can be friends, co-workers, or an organization.

God’s been there.
Jesus poured His life into people.
He worshiped with them.
He prayed with them.
He cried and celebrated with them.
He spent many thoughtful hours preparing a gift for them. *
He genuinely loved them as no one else could.
But in the end, the majority betrayed Him and killed Him.

Christ’s heart was broken, but not because He was confused or indignant. He didn’t whine, “How could this have happened to me?” He did everything good knowing exactly how it would all turn out. And how did it turn out? After the bloodshed, after the pain and suffering, after having His heart broken from the weight of the world’s sin, He sat at His Father’s side victorious. Mission accomplished. His effort received a priceless reward…Us.

Anything and everything I do for people is wasted time and energy. But anything, everything done for the Lord will be rewarded.

Our priceless reward? Him.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” ~ Colossians 3:23-24

* Think Garden of Gethsemane.

(c) Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2009