Friday, June 8, 2012

Age has its advantages. I never really thought much about it, and even though you are told it all the time, years of living under your belt really does tend to change, or at least mature, ones perspective on so many things. Spiritual maturity being no different. Years of learning about praying, of relying on God, of listening for His voice and living within the desire of His will tends to start pruning ones thoughts and life of misguided beliefs, unneeded passions, wrong directions, and judgmental attitudes. Also, it helps to get rid of the subconscious "hero complex". We can do nothing apart from Him.
Without Jesus You Can Do Nothing Luis Mendez John 15:5 — "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." In the life of faith, a simple preposition determines the final result: With Jesus, everything is possible. Without Jesus, nothing is possible. Philippians 4:13 says this positively, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” All things. Through Christ. In Jesus, everything is possible. In John 15:5, Jesus states this truth negatively: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” The preposition is “apart” . . . from Jesus. The result is: nothing, not anything, naught, no single thing. Without Jesus, nothing of value is possible! This is real discipleship — complete dependence on Christ in everything. Our lives should be Christ-sufficient and not self-sufficient. This is the only way to bear fruit as his true disciple. Living in complete dependence on Christ requires great humility on our part. We must daily humble ourselves before him and acknowledge that apart from him we can do nothing.
One of the most important lessons my heart and mind have learned is that it is not my job or position to bring conviction for change to peoples lives. It is not my job to direct their steps, or place my opinion of what is important in front of them. It is not my job to dole out judgment of their worthiness, sincerity, or motives.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Ephesians 2:10 God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.(Gods Word Translation)
Yes I believe there is right and wrong, and that the things that are right or wrong are not subjective, but absolute. I also believe there is a gray area. And beyond that some things that just fall into opinions. Ultimately, each decision or action must align with the biblical principals lined out in the bible and taken within the context it was intended. Understanding that God does not change, ever. He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. So back to spiritual maturity. I have really begun to understand that living like Jesus is the absolute best way, and in a great majority of cases one might say, the only way to bring others to Christ. Jesus lived life out loud and on purpose, fully devoted to God, never hiding who he was and never being quiet about it because it was WHO he was and he couldn't be any other way. He wasn't doing anything but being who he was, which was the Son of God. So our lives should be the same. We should live a no holds barred kind of life under the wings of God. We should not hold back speaking of our heavenly Father, but neither should we speak His name trying to convict non believers of wrong doing. IT will be our love for them, a LOVE LIKE HIS, that allows their hearts to become softened as we step out of the way and free JESUS to do a NEW THING in their heart.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
I absolutely LOVE this quote by Katie Davis who is very much living out the gospel. I think it wraps up my ramblings quite nicely:
"We aren't really called to save the world, not even to save one person: Jesus does that. We are just called to love with abandon. We are called to enter into our neighbors sufferings and love them right there.". -Katie Davis