Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Serving Jesus Isn't Always Easy

OK...this is another entry from my Life Journal. This one was written September 30, 2003. If you're wondering what I mean by "Life Journal," I'll offer you a brief explanation. A Life Journal has a daily Bible reading program printed in the back of the book that takes you through the old testament once and the new testament twice in the course of a year. Each day, after completing your reading, you write down any of the passages that the Lord impresses on you as a personal word to be applied in your life. When God has revealed a special lesson of life to you, you turn to a "fresh" page in your journal to record what God has shown you using the SOAP acrostic (record the Scripture, your Observations from the passage, Application - how you plan to be different because of what you have just read, then you record a Prayer).

Scripture: "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to." Luke 13:24

Observation/Application: "What a great and powerful analogy these words of Jesus are. "Make EVERY (emphasis mine) effort to enter through the narrow door..." This isn't the easy way. How many times do people look for the easy way out? I know that I do this all too often, but I need to set aside my selfish desires--die to my "self" and earnestly strive to seek the Lord and live for Him. It doesn't just stop at acknowledging who Jesus is and then asking him into your heart--you must seek Him, discern His will fro your life and strive to live for Him EVERY DAY!

Prayer: Lord, I realize that following you isn't always going to be a cakewalk. Please help me to seek you daily and to always be hungry for more of you. You are the bread of life--I want to learn more about you and become more like you. Amen.

Weird: Loosely Defined

Tonight I really felt compelled to grab my first Life Journal off the bookshelf and read through the entries. As I was flipping through the pages, I came across an entry I wrote November 22, 2002 after a conversation I had with Rob (this was me putting my thoughts down semi-coherently so he could understand where I was coming from--be forewarned, it's a little rough). It is truly a reminder of where I want to be going in my walk with Him.

Haven't we been called to be set apart for God--to live our lives for HIM, not for things of this world? I feel that we have been [called as such].
  1. We are to be a light shining for Christ to show others the way to him.
  2. We are to strive for heavenly things, NOT earthly things.
  3. We, as Christ's disciples, are to be fishers of men.

Once we repent from our sins, we turn a 180-degree turn from our old life. We put [it] behind us. This is one aspect of our lives that makes us weird (or different). To clarify "weird," I often use this word interchangeably with the word "different." To me, they basically mean the same thing. I know that when you have established a pattern of behavior, people expect you to perform in that particular manner. When you change your behavior patterns permanently, people who have set their expectations are thrown--they may find you weird because you are not behaving as they expected based on [their prior experience].

After we accept Christ into our lives and have a personal relationship with him, people who used to see you a certain way will view you differently. Just because you are a Christian does not mean that you should not ever hang around nonbelievers or not be friendly or likeable. We are called to be fishers of men. We need to share the love of Christ with others so they may find their way to Him. However, one must remember that bad company can corrupt good character--so you need to make sure you are the one influencing others...not vice versa.

Living life for worldly things is an empty life. Living life for Christ is truly living--there are eternal benefits. :) Being "weird" for Christ isn't bad. It is setting your life aside for him, not conforming to worldy pleasures that are against his will and being a positive influence for those around you. Frankly, if I'm not "weird" for God, I'm not truly living my life for him--there's still work to be done.