For so long I have been very much focused on saving the lost and putting MUCH of my energy into saving them. This began with the desire for my dad to know God when I was in Junior High School. Then with co-workers and others that I am surrounded by that don't know Jesus as their Savior and King.
God has been speaking...
I can't save anyone. Though this is something I have thought, I am just realizing it...for real. I can't save them, can't talk them into loving Him, and won't be effective as long as my motivation in being their friend is saving them. So, I am just gonna live my life and love God. He comes first. It sounds so "simple and stupid" as Annell says in Steel Magnolias, but seriously, how many of us have a grasp on this concept?
I have lived with God as my savior for too long...YES He IS my Savior. I just want Him to be more. I want Him to be the King of my life. You can be saved without doing anything but believing in Him, that is true, but I want to do more for the One who saved me. As my king I will lay everything at His feet, I will glorify His name in the land He puts me in and I will fight for Him.
So...then, I was reading 1 Thessalonians 5. A couple of things spoke to me in this. Verse 8 says, "But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of salvation." When I rest in Him, and He provides me with the peace that passes ALL understanding, that is when I am clearheaded. That is when I realize that nothing on earth matters but my salvation. Resting in His promises is all I need for that moment. I can be confident that whatever this life throws at me I have salvation, Praise the LORD!
1 Thess. 5:12-19
12Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.
Reading this passage, I realize how much growing I have to do...it all sounds so good and ideal, but following through is so hard! It is EASY to encourage our leaders when they do a great job....how many of us do it when the sermons, lessons, praise time, etc. is mediocre? How many of us are comfortable going to someone who is lazy and warning them? BE PATIENT WITH EVERYONE??? WHAT? They guy who just cut me off, the lady ordering her starbucks that doesn't know how to order, then I give her what she ordered and she gets mad because I didn't put whip cream on the frappuccino LIGHT! I have such a long way to go, but, like I said earlier, I am going to work on loving God...the rest will come as I grow in Him...I want toe encourage you, my brothers and sisters, to do the same! LOVE GOD TODAY...DO it again tomorrow and the next day....