I will be posting rules and regulations for this community within the next week. These are things that I think will help conversations evolve with a smoother feeling than posts as of late. It's nothing radically new or difficult, but its nice to be on the same page. I appreciate everyone who has been consistently reading and commenting on posts that have been made. You are the breathing members who make this community relevant and worth while to my day. So thank you for your consistancy. If you have been readin this for a while, but have not joined (I know there are several of you) then do so! It's not a painful process I promise!
I was having a quiet time the other day and while spending time in prayer I was thinking about the habits I had carried over from before I was a Christian. Habits that I just couldn't seem to kick. While spending time in the word and in prayer God really moved within me with this awesome analogy that I believe really drove home the point.
We are all like little children. Do you remember when you were a child and it was the dredfull bedtime, or naptime? You would notice the clock, and would be anxiously awaiting those awefull words: "It's time for bed." Frantically we would come up with any excuse not to have to go to bed "I'm thirsty", "I'm not tired", "Can you read me a story?", "How come he gets to stay up?", or even the rebelious cry or "NO! I Don't want to!" Often times we would then find ourselves being scooped up by our parents and carried off to our beds. I remember clinging to the door fames, grabbing passing furniture, or even seizing fragile things so that I wouldn't have to be forced into rest. Thats when I realized, this is kind of like us with God. These old habits and things we cling to are like God trying to carry us off to bed. He knows that going to bed is the best thing for us to do. We need rest in order to be healthy and awake for the next school day. But so often times, as He is carrying us off we are clinging to door frames, passing furniture, and fragile objects to delay a change of pace. We don't want to change, even if staying awake makes us sick. It doesn't matter. Lucky for us that we have a father as dedicated as Him. Lucky for us, His love is so abundant that our actions do not determine wether He cares for us or not. Lucky for us he is perfect, because we are far from it.
Now that we have imagined the reluctancy, imagine when you were a child and you were tired. You wanted nothing more than to have your father carry you, you desired nothing more than to be picked up and held. Next time we think about letting go of something, in fear of how awefull it will be not to have it around. Think about how important it is that we sleep and be rested for the next day. The battle of the flesh and spirit is nothing more than us learning how to rest and be calm in the fathers arms as he takes us to bed. Realizing this we should wait patiently with open arms and excitement for the father to scoop us up, so that we may rest in his arms as he carries us away, no matter where that may be. We can rest easy because we realize that He knows best.
God is awesome.
Here are a few verses I've been readin lately. (again in the message version. A version not good for study time, but good for post-study time)
"If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we're obviously lying through our teeth--we're not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God's Son, purges all our sin. If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins--make a clean breast of them--he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we've never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God--make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. 2When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good--not only ours, but the whole world's.
The Only Way to Know We're in Him
Here's how we can be sure that we know God in the right way: Keep his commandments.If someone claims, "I know him well!" but doesn't keep his commandments, he's obviously a liar. His life doesn't match his words. 5But the one who keeps God's word is the person in whom we see God's mature love. This is the only way to be sure we're in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived. My dear friends, I'm not writing anything new here. This is the oldest commandment in the book, and you've known it from day one. It's always been implicit in the Message you've heard. On the other hand, perhaps it is new, freshly minted as it is in both Christ and you--the darkness on its way out and the True Light already blazing! Anyone who claims to live in God's light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. 10It's the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God's light and doesn't block the light from others. 11But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn't know which end is up, blinded by the darkness.
Loving the World
I remind you, my dear children: Your sins are forgiven in Jesus' name. You veterans were in on the ground floor, and know the One who started all this; you newcomers have won a big victory over the Evil One. And a second reminder, dear children: You know the Father from personal experience. You veterans know the One who started it all; and you newcomers--such vitality and strength! God's word is so steady in you. Your fellowship with God enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One. Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world--wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important--has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out--but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity."
1 John 1&2