“Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” — John 12:24
That pretty well sums up parenting
…and especially motherhood. Motherhood is so daily!
That pretty well sums up what it means to be in Christian service
…and especially being a missionary or a pastor. They are both so daily!
That pretty well sums up the Christian life
…and especially since it is so daily! And actually it is moment-by-moment.
We cannot let our guard down
You and I must continuously be attentive to the tricks of the enemy of our souls. He wants to trick us off course. To minimize our impact. We are none exempt. We are all called to die daily to self. Dying to selfish desires. To a control mindset. To the right to take things personally and to be offended. To the right to get back at someone who hurt us.
Exactly what can make your daily tough day, into a daily UN-tough day?
Let’s take a few minutes together to look at some things I’ve been discovering over the years…
Surrender…the path to blessing
It is not a dirty word: Surrender. I want to be sure to clarify that it does not mean: being a door-mat for someone. It does not mean having no desires or thoughts of your own. God wants you to use the mind He gave you.
What it does mean is: seeking God above all else. Because…until you and I surrender to what God wants, rather than asking God to bless what we want, we miss the blessings God has for us. They are everywhere!
Here’s a couple of today’s blessing examples
When I start my day looking for God at every turn, I see things I would not normally notice. Today, I saw the CARDBOARD Trash Truck man out picking up GARBAGE trash that someone else has strewn all over the street. It is HOT and HUMID. It was not his job and yet he did it. I couldn’t resist letting him know that I noticed and I then thanked him, saying I don’t know what we would do without him and what he does for us in our town! Sincere gratitude brings God closer!
And then, still expecting God at every turn, I had walked back from the grocery store. It was HOT and HUMID. Who wudda figured: The exact time I arrived at my apartment building, the UPS man arrived with a package for me. Only God could get that timing so perfect! He took the package AND my groceries (I always buy way more things than I should, weight-wise) up to my door on the third floor. See what I mean? GOD did that. For ME! Because He loves His kids and WANTS to bless us! When we look for God and expect His blessings, EVERY LITTLE THING becomes a blessing! Rejoice-material!
Dying to self
What does it mean to die to self? Jesus’ example was the individual seed dying to self for the greater good…for the good crop. So, dying to self is good for you. And is also good for the others that your life touches. Meaning…when you and I truly surrender our selfish, self-pleasing, self-centered rights to the Lord, moment-by-moment, beautiful things begin to happen within our hearts. We experience the peace that passes all understanding that God speaks of in His Word AND that peace that you and I long for daily. And we then often see beautiful things happen in our families, in our ministries, and in our daily lives. Always in God’s timing and in God’s way. HIS plan and His timing always are superior to ours!
It’s not about you
In his very first sentence in the book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren states a Biblical Truth: “It’s not about you.” What a stunning way to begin a book. Powerful words! Thought-provoking words! Let’s jump into that a bit…
That single statement reminds me to get my priorities in alignment with God’s priorities. It’s not about me. It’s all about Him! The Lord! The KING OF KINGS! If there is a Lord (and absolutely, there is!) then there must be servants who do His bidding. (That’s you and me.) No matter where we live or who we interact with, you and I are servants of the Most High God! Glory!
The Small Catechism states that
“The chief purpose of man is to love God and enjoy Him forever.” He sent His Son, to show us the way Home. THIS world is not our home. HEAVEN is our True Home. THIS life is preparing us for our REAL Home. He knows what is best and His word is a road map and a guide to show us the way to bless His heart, as we observe how He relates to the people He created. He gives us the Helper, the Holy Spirit.
We enjoy God when we obey Him.
Joy! To be joy-filled. It happens when you and I look for Him everywhere. And it happens when you and I obey Him because we believe Him. He gives us directions how to live a life which is pleasing to Him. It is a great plan, thoughtfully orchestrated by the One who created us. Our Father knows best!
Strength is exchanged for weakness
And WHEN we surrender our very selves, trusting ourselves in His care, asking for His moment-by-moment help, He gives us His strength, in our weakness! When we are weak, then He is strong (in us and through us)! Hang in there, dear soldier of the Cross. Whatever He has called you to do in this season of your life, HE IS THE ONE WHO CAN SHOW YOU HOW, WHEN, WHERE, and WITH WHOM.
You are loved! And yes…it is worth it!
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