‘Set your minds on things that are above and not on things that are on earth’.
As Lent begins many of us are frantically trying to find things to give up. The usual things – chocolate, online shopping, Netflix. Instead, perhaps it’s possible for us to give something up at work and focus on God. What would we give up to make us humble? What we give up to show more respect for a work colleague or have forgiveness for someone who offended us? What would we give up to show compassion for someone who is having a difficult time. Perhaps this would stay with us beyond the 40 days if we remain focused on Him.
In Colossians 3:2, God tells us to focus on things that are above, meaning Him and His teaching. Let go. Give up the things at work that you know stop you from behaving in a Godly way.
Gods creation is something else to focus on during Lent. He shows us some spectacular things!
‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’
“What a save!” is a common phrase in a soccer commentator’s vocabulary. The video below is the probably the best save in the history of soccer. Be sure to watch the replay for the slow motion as you won’t catch it the first time. One miraculous save. By an Englishman…of course.
When we come to Christ we talk about being saved. We accept Jesus as our Lord and savior and then we move on with our lives. But God continues with great saves everyday. Lots of small miraculous saves. He saves us from saying something that may offend. Or being tempted by something we crave, that isn’t good for our souls like money, success and fame. How does he save us? Through scripture. We can turn to God’s word when we’re tempted away from the precious thing that saved us in the first place. Our faith and understanding that God’s way is the only way. Thousands of verses of encouragement, warnings and day-to-day advice. Thousands of saves! So, not for the first time I’d urge us all to carry scripture with us. We don’t have to carry books any more. There are thousands of bible apps and daily devotionals. Perhaps use that smart phone to look at scripture for a minute or two, rather than emails? The ‘Bible Verses Companion’ app automatically sends us scripture three times a day if we download the app. That’s three saves a day!
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, we give thanks for Your word. Help us to look to Your word so we can be guided skillfully through our lives – Amen!
‘The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels’
God has a book on us. It’s ‘The book of Life’. And all of our names are in it. It has everyone’s name from the beginning of time (Adam and Eve) until the end of history, whenever that may be. The reason all the names are in there is because Jesus died on the cross and paid for all the sins of all the members of the human race. It’s written that we will be judged by our ‘good works’ not by our sins as Jesus has already paid the price for those. “Great news”, I hear us all say. “We’re doing good things all the time”. Steady on. Our ‘good works’ have to be through faith in Jesus Christ by following his path and leading our lives by what it says in scripture. So, if we don’t accept the work of Jesus Christ on the cross by faith then we are depending on our own works. And when those works are evaluated and judged at The Great White Throne then people will realize that it simply wasn’t enough and our names will be blotted out of The Book of Life. They were merely pencilled in all that time. Why am I sounding so drastic? My mother died a good person. I believe she did a lot of good things for many people but she didn’t die a believer in Jesus Christ. Everyday I think about that and everyday I wonder where she is. Lake of fire or heaven? I have no choice but to live the rest of my life thinking about it. All I had to do was ask her to say “I believe In Jesus Christ as my savior”. But I wasn’t around to do it. Neither was I that concerned. That was my fault. But I can do something for those that are living. That’s why I write this blog. Most weeks, I write about things that are light-hearted like seeing God in rainbows or hearing God through a child’s voice but today I don’t feel in the mood for that. Today, for some reason, my heart is aching for those that don’t believe in Jesus Christ and are too wrapped in their lives to consider Him as their savior, no matter how good their works are. He created us and put us on this earth solely to do good works for Him through faith in Him. We should take some time to think about what’s influencing our decisions day-to-day and why we do the work we do. Is it work that depends on our own instincts? Or is it through conversation with God, through prayer? What is that’s getting in the way of our relationship with God? What is time and time again letting us down? We can only search our ourselves. We cannot judge others. But the writing is clear in Revelation. The Book of Life is not fiction. It is fact.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, help us to get closer to you in faith and do our work in your name and to glorify you. Help us also to bring to you those that don’t believe in you. Give us the softness of heart to approach them and tell them all about you – Amen!
‘What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life’
I found this video by a preacher at Mars Hill Church. I found the words quite compelling. In that, we can’t just run rampant and abuse God’s grace and forgiveness and expect to belong to Him.