Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When things look dark.

It has been a few weeks since a post.  That means that I've been a lazy blogger.  There has been plenty of lessons learned over the past 3-4 weeks, I just haven't sat down to put them into writing.  There have been a few discouragements, but, as always, I am amazed at the goodness of God in turning dark times into bright times.

Perhaps no where is that point made more clearly than the events that we celebrate this week.  Jesus was arrested, tried, and sentenced to death without actually being convicted.  Instead of passover being a time to celebrate God's deliverance, his disciples and followers were mourning his loss.  A three year 'ride' that they thought would propel them into leadership in Jesus' kingdom appeared to be brought to a screeching halt.  They probably felt a huge sense of loss - of Jesus, and maybe the loss of three years of their lives, their reputations, their dreams.

With God, darkness doesn't have to be the end.  Because Jesus rose from the dead, God can turn dark times in our lives into bright times as well.  It starts by turning the darkness of our sin into the brightness of Jesus' righteousness. 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
I John 1:9
Once we've taken that step, we find that the darkest that the world has to throw at us cannot hide the light of His glory from shining through in our lives.  I could give many examples from my own life, but if you've asked for forgiveness, you have plenty of your own, and if you haven't come to Jesus for forgiveness, you probably wouldn't believe me anyway.  

I hope as we approach "Good Friday" and Resurrection Sunday, that you are able to celebrate the light that God has shone into your life.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Things We Get Used To . . .

Have you ever thought how easy it is to get used to things in our lives.  Bad habits can stack up like firewood when we get used to things that are not beneficial.  We get used to driving, instead of walking - even get used to finding the best parking space so we don't have to walk a few extra steps.  We get used to eating for pleasure rather than for nutrition and strength.  We get used to having what we want, when we want it.  We get used to things to the point of feeling we deserve them (affordable health care, nice cars, comfortable homes, 'good' food, high-speed Internet, phone service, cell service, cable/satellite tv, etc.)

How much work does it take to get 'used to' these things?  Very little - in fact, we kind of fall into these habits.

Yet how easy is it to get used to good habits?  Growing in our walk with the Lord, reading our Bibles, prayer,  loving our neighbors, helping those in need?  Why don't we 'fall' into these habits?

The things we get used to easily shows us the things that we value in life.  When we value comfort, convenience, and pleasure it is easy to fall into bad habits.  When we value growth, godliness, and spiritual things, it will be easy to fall into good habits.

Often we may struggle to conform our actions to what we desire them to be, but if we conform our hearts to value those things that God values, we will find it easy to follow through with proper actions.  I must confess that I often fall short in this area,  but as the blog says: "Moving on up" - I hope these thoughts help you (and me) to move on up today.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.- Luke 6:45