Tag Archive | life

With Eternity in Mind

The only thing that keeps me sane (this is a relative term, as anyone who spends time with me can attest) is knowing that the things that seem really, really important and urgent are not as big a deal when I look at them in light of eternity.  Let me elaborate.

I’m not what you’d really call laid-back.  I’m laughing because that is a classic understatement!  I’m an achiever, a make-it-happen kind of girl.  I am a master, truly a master, of getting all tied up in knots over achieving a goal, moving ahead, getting the job done.  This is a confession, not bragging rights.

A couple days ago I had a conversation with a new friend who expressed to me that when she’s around me she feels a sense of calm and peace.  That I really bring that to her life and it’s impacted her.  That is ALL Jesus!  I’m so thankful that he is transforming me!  How exciting that someone sees something in me that is not my natural self, but my in-the-process-of-being-transformed-into-his-likeness self.

I think one of the biggest things I’m learning is to remember who Jesus says I am.  My identity is settled.  It’s not up for grabs, based on the scoreboard or what others think of me.  Nor even what I think of myself.  My value is not in question.  Now that’s something to holler about.  (Have I lived in the Midwest too long?  I’m pretty sure I didn’t really use the word “holler” when I lived in California.)

I truly believe that God honors excellence, that he values hard work, and that he is pleased when we do our best.  He is not honored when we work from fear.  Get out from under the burden that everything is up to you!  Surrender your day to him.  Right now.  Like really right now.  Did you do it?  Okay, now you can move forward with the assurance that nothing is too big for you to handle because God’s got it covered.  Listen to him, every minute.  Ask for wisdom and vision.  Live on the edge of your abilities, knowing that he’s going to take you higher and it’s not all up to you!

Life is short.  I know it’s cliched, but we can all use a good reminder from time-to-time.  Or, in my case, every day.  Will what you choose today matter in eternity?  I certainly hope so.

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God is better than we thought

What I’d really like to do this morning is transcribe the entire chapter from Beautiful Outlaw because it is just so good!  I think that might get me in trouble with copyright laws of some sort and I don’t really want to blog from jail, so I’m going to do my best to bring out the essence and really encourage you to go buy the book!

Throughout the whole book, the author has been looking at different aspects of Jesus that we overlook, coming back again and again to the theme “and this is why I love Him… this is what is so amazing about Him… this makes me adore Him.”  He brings out the personality of Jesus in a way that just makes you love Him!  You can admire someone from a distance, respect them, think they’re cool.  But the only way to love someone is to know them up close, to see them for who they are, to see their personality come through.  We don’t often do that with Jesus.  We gloss over the stories that we’ve heard before (sure, Jesus walked from Judea to Galilee– did you know that’s 70 MILES?  He was human and humble enough to walk, when he could have just appeared wherever he wanted to.).  There’s this religious glaze that has accumulated in our minds, obscuring the beauty of who and what Jesus is.  It’s imperative to strip that away if we want to experience Jesus.

And that’s the point.  Eldredge says:

All of this is merely entertaining unless it opens the door for us to experience Jesus.  The best thing we can do now is pause, before we are saturated with more information about Jesus, and begin to discover him for ourselves.  Experience him personally….

Friends, this is not simply a nicer view of Jesus… This is not confetti– lovely while it falls, soon to be swept away.  Jesus is our life.  We need Jesus like we need oxygen.  Like we need water… Jesus is not merely a figure for devotions.  He is the missing essence of your existence.  Whether we know it or not, we are desperate for Jesus…

A true knowledge of Jesus is our greatest need and our greatest happiness.

Wow.  It’s so simple and yet so… unfamiliar.  When I say unfamiliar, I mean that we aren’t used to thinking of him this way.  Sure, we know that he died on the cross for our sins and wants to work in our lives, he did amazing miracles and we ought to pray to him and all that.  But our greatest happiness?  That jolts me out of what I “know” and into a whole new world.

He goes on:

Love Jesus.  Let him be himself with you.  Allow his life to permeate yours.  The fruit of this will be breathtaking.

Now for the best news you will ever receive…

You get to.

You are meant to have this Jesus, more than you have each new day, more than you have your next breath.  For heaven’s sake– he is your next day, your next breath.  You are meant to share life with him– not just a glimpse now and then at church, not just a rare sighting.  And you are meant to live his life.  The purpose of his life, death and resurrection was to ransom you from your sin, deliver you from the clutches of evil, restore you to God– so that his personality and his life could heal and fill your personality, your humanity, and your life.  This is the reason he came.

Anything else is religion.

God is better than we thought. Much better than we feared.  Better even than we dared to believe.

Yes, yes, and yes.