While at Church this past Sunday my pastor was speaking on a series called the "Modern Family." One particular phrase he said got me to thinking. Greater on the inside than on the outside..he used Psalm 139:23-24 as the verse of reference.
As I began to ponder this phrase I thought how this could apply to so many areas of our lives. We know everything we do starts with a thought. Sure, we do some things without thinking but even then, we had to have some knowledge to make a choice. Greater on the inside than on the outside ....my pastor is saying is more about how we can dress up, we can adorn ourselves, we can drive a nice car, we can live in a nice house, we can appear to have it all together (all relative) and still be rotten on the inside. We can still be in so much trouble, so much pain, so much sin. Our goal should be inner greatness because HE IS LIVING IN US. Our thoughts, our minds, our hope, our peace, our hearts should all be greater than anything we possess or live in or drive. Greater because of the Holy Spirit.
So how do we get there......Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. ...
Stop and pray today..as David did....search me Lord, test me and all those areas of distrust, of anxiousness of fear of panic....see if there is anything offensive, that's vile, that turns away from the truth, that hurts me and you, that hurts others...lead me Lord, lead me away from the sin, from the fear, from the anger..lead me only to you...reveal it Lord no matter how horrible it is. I want to know. I want to change. I want to more like you on the inside so the outside will match. Amen
I have been babysitting my nieces/nephews this week and having a great time. We have spent each day filled with games, field trips, shopping, eating, watching movies, tickling and laughing.
Yesterday we traveled to my cousins working farm near Sanford, NC. She has 24 horses, 14 geese, 32 chickens, 5 rabbits, 5 birds, 12 dogs, 8 peacocks, 12 ducks, and I am sure a bunch of other animals too. We spent the afternoon walking all over the farm, petting the animals, feeding and carefully avoid the occasional poop. I loved watching my 5 year old nephew find an old broken bucket that he hoped would help him capture a chicken. He would run and run and run after those chickens, crying out, I can't get one Aunt Kristine. We would all just laugh.
Later we sat around the living room sharing past memories of those we loved. It had been a while since we had been to cousin Linda's home. As we started to leave, Linda gave us 2 dozens eggs and stack of peacock feathers. My niece Abby was so excited and wanted to make sure she got some to take home.
As we started the drive back, I know there was a list to do at home. I know I have computer stuff and ministry stuff and phone calls to make, etc. But you know, there is nothing outside of my relationship with God that is more important than spending time with those you love.
Today we made memories and you know, the work was waiting when I got home like always.
Take some time to spend with those you love, it could have an eternal impact.
I was reading the small commentary at the bottom of my Bible when it was talking about blessings while here on earth. It said that so many things we do on earth lead to destruction. Of how, as Christians we should be focused on eternal things, eternal blessings. But there was a side note that really grabbed my heart. The note said, even though we strive towards our heavenly home, we can also enjoy some of the benefits God wants to give us now, on earth due to our obedience.
Isaiah 2:5 Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.
Hmm, I had to think about this. Do you mean, when I am obedient, I get to enjoy some of what it would be like in heaven? I mean, I always knew when I am obedient life is so much better (not necessarily happier but better due to doing what God has asked of me) but I never equated the goodness with what heaven would be like. It's literally a taste of a fraction of our eternal life. So I am thinking this should motivate us to be obedient, right? Well, it does for me. I know the Lord wants so much more for me and you. I know that this can only happen as we draw closer to Him and do what He ask of us.
Lord, I want to experience all of you, help me to be obedient in ALL things.
Last night at Church, the message was from Isaiah 3:18-26
18 In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, 19 the earrings and bracelets and veils, 20 the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, 21 the signet rings and nose rings, 22 the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses 23 and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls. 24 Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding. 25 Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. 26 The gates of Zion will lament and mourn;destitute, she will sit on the ground.
As I was listening to the pastor talk about this passage, he reminded me of how quickly we can focus on the things in life that do not matter. These women had started to focus on their bodies, their jewelry and clothes, trying to get the attention of men. They even put bells on their feet so they could be heard and draw even more attention. They had become proud. The rolls of women and men became blurred. In an obsessed effort to have companionship/marriage, these women loss sight of God.
In our desperation to get what we want, we can so easily go down a road of destruction. As you live each day, pray and ask God to reveal the things in your life that you value above God. Maybe its your cell phone, your ipod, your laptop or your car. When people first see you, what do they see? When they first hear you, what do they hear?