Refrain, Forsake and Fret Not

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Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
 
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
 
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Psalm 37:7-9

Living in the Light

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As you live this new life, we pray that you will be strengthened from God’s boundless resources, so that you will find yourselves able to pass through any experience and endure it with courage.

You will even be able to thank God in the midst of pain and distress because you are privileged to share the lot of those who are living in the light.

For we must never forget that he rescued us from the power of darkness, and re-established us in the kingdom of his beloved Son, that is, in the kingdom of light.

(Colossians 1: 11-14 Phillips)

Save

Laying It All Down/Gaining Everything

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“…at present Jesus simply looks for those who willingly answer His call and say yes to Him. “Yes. You gave everything You have for me. I now give everything I have to You….

“[Jesus] became obedient even to the point of death. It really does cost to follow God. And there’s sometimes sadness and grieving in that, in terms of how much we will have to give up. The truth is, to be fully a disciple of Jesus will cost us everything. Jesus doesn’t ask for half our heart; He asks for it all. But there is good news in that. When we deny ourselves and lay down our lives – the meager amount we have to offer anyway in comparison – we actually gain every thing!”

– Bruce Merz, in While He Lay Dying

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” -Jesus Christ

(Matthew 16:25 NLT)

Please Die Quietly

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Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. (Psalm 73:21-26)

A humble wise man once requested that if God is bringing you to a time of removing old habits and ways of thinking, please die quietly. God has been working on a major character flaw I was oblivious to until others finally became so frustrated with me they had to stop being subtle. I did not respond kindly. I have not been dying quietly. I’ve been torn up inside and lashing out like a senseless illogical wounded animal. It feels like submitting to surgery without anesthetic, this putting to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within me. It involves removing a coping mechanism that has helped me survive some pretty horrendous memories and letting go of it makes me feel very alone and weak and vulnerable. It has been firmly entrenched behind thick walls for a long time – a stronghold. Today my heart literally aches and my spirit is on wobbly legs. In myself I have no ability to cope with this kind of pain. None at all. But God is still faithful and still good. When I read these verses this morning I was reminded that He is the strength of my heart. My thoughts need to be on the realities of heaven where Christ, the Lover of my soul, sits by my Father who wants only to raise me up to be who He sees me to be. Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. (Colossians 3) Here’s the thing. Jesus’ love makes me want to be a better person. I know he loves me just the way I am, but he also loves me too much to leave me this way. So… here we go.