Saturday, January 31, 2015

WHAT IS YOUR WORTH?

I really enjoyed my quiet time this morning. I was reading in Romans 12...(v1)...I plead with you give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (v2) Don't copy the behavior customs of this world. But let God transform you into a new person BY CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK! THEN you will learn to know God's will for you, which is GOOD and PLEASING and PERFECT!

I started thinking...what are the behavior patterns of this world that I am NOT to pattern my life after? A few random things came to mind...unfaithfulness in marriage, selfishness, materialism, slander, dirty talk, drunkenness, gluttony, trying to be the perfect mom/super mom (in the eyes of the world), American dream, over-busy (even God rested), undisciplined, out of control, self-pleasing. This list could go on...I am not to blend with my culture in these ways. 

Verse 3 goes on to say....Do NOT think you are better than you really are! Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. It's as if Paul was trying to say - "now that you're working hard to be who God created you to be and live holy lives, DON'T GET A BIG HEAD AND THINK YOU'RE AMAZING BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU DO OR DON'T DO!" With the help of my notes in my Bible, and hearing the holy spirit speak to my heart, this is what I walked away with, and it really encouraged me!

I must NOT base my self-worth and value by measuring myself up against the world's value system, my success and achievements, or my roles and responsibilities. I am NOT defined by ANY of this! Doing so can have two negative effects. It can make me think too much of myself and cause pride in my life. Or it can even cause me to compare myself to others, feel defeated, and think too little of myself. Both evaluations are wrong and cause me to question my worth in the eyes of others and miss my TRUE VALUE in God's eyes. I am defined by WHO I AM IN CHRIST! And NOTHING can change this! This jumped out at me. The times that I am discouraged with who I am, or even who I am not, I am focusing on my worldly value. I am comparing myself to a human standard. This value system will ALWAYS FAIL ME! I am created and loved deeply by God who sees my heart and he died for me ANYWAY because his love is so great for me! He sent his Spirit to live inside me and speak to my spirit! This speaks volumes of my value and what I am eternally worth! Without God, I can accomplish nothing of eternal value. With God, my value and impact on eternity and the lives of others - my children, family, friends, and beyond - has no eternal limit. God is SO GOOD! IN CHRIST - I am soooo important and cherished and valued and loved and ACCEPTED! There is no rejection in Christ.

So when you feel discouraged, thinking you're not enough, remember you have ETERNAL VALUE and THAT's what we are here for. THAT is what matters. IN CHRIST, you are enough!. And also, remember, IN CHRIST, you're not better than that girl next to you, either ;).

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I STEPPED AWAY FROM SERVING TOO MUCH...

I love the feeling of peace and joy God gives when you know you are right where you're supposed to be. I used to think I always needed to do more to serve...I felt like it was never enough, that I needed to add more good works/volunteer hours to my plate...to feel fulfilled/satisfied/enough...and then one day, things started to click and I started stepping back...EVEN from some of my ministries at church. I had to re-focus and re-evaluate what my priorities are to be for THIS SEASON of my life. Seasons change, and with that, some priorities will change too. See, we only have our children for a short season. Just the other day, I realized that ONE THIRD of my time raising my kids is OVER!...and it caused me to re-think my (outside) ministry life even more...because MY FAMILY IS MY NUMBER ONE MINISTRY!  and many days...THAT IS ENOUGH! On my desktop background, I have a quote by Andy Stanley, "Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." This hit home and was exactly what I needed to hear on those days when I feel like I should be doing more outside my home. In a world full of distractions, even via "ministry" and good intentions, our enemy, Satan, pulls away from what is BEST in exchange for what is just good, if we're not alert. He is seeking to devour us (Ephesians 6)...and taking us away from the training of our children in exchange for us doing good for others to the point of exhaustion or just not having time to stop and disciple our children is one way he can "subtly" rob us. This is HUGE. I CHOOSE to live simply and focus on discipling my kids to love and serve Jesus. I do not exist to burn myself out in outside ministry to the neglect of my family. God has blessed me with 3 beautiful children and while I am supposed to lead them by example, part of that is teaching them how to pour their life into their family at home. And if my ministry outside my home is robbing me who I am to be inside my home, that tells me it is not the time for me to be serving in that particular ministry. There will come a day when I serve (more) with my children outside my home but now is not the right time for me...or for my children. My current role is to raise little disciples in my home. THEY are my priority. There is nothing small about this God-given responsibility. It is one of the most important things I will ever do, and I should never look at it as if it's NOT ENOUGH! That is a lie from the enemy in attempts to make me FEEL defeated. I say FEEL because it's just a FEELING...because I am NOT defeated in Christ. In Christ, I am an OVER-COMER! And by the grace of God, so are my children.

Ephesians 1:22-23...I am part of Christ's body! I function as part of him, along with other believers, to fulfill his kingdom agenda right where He has placed me. I only have 15 years left for my kids to be kids and I KNOW that this is my season primarily at home. And that's OK :D.

And a side-note to my single friends. Paul says in 1 Corinthains 7:7...Being single is a gift from God! Being married is also a gift from God! Either way - we are to be content right where God has us...and to live a life worthy of our calling Being single we have so much ability to pour our lives into outside ministry into people, our church, and in other organizations. Bottom line - WHEREVER GOD HAS YOU, SERVE HIM WITH ALL YOUR HEART HOWEVER YOU CAN! :D Whether married or single, don't compare yourself to others - that is not wise! Look to Jesus and seek his heart for how you live out your days. Make them count :).

Ephesians 5:10 "Carefully determine what pleases the Lord (v15) So be careful how you live. Don't be like fools, but like those who are wise. (16) Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. (17) Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. (Eph 6:7) Work with enthusiasm! You are working for the LORD, not for people! (8) Remember the LORD will reward us for the good we do!"