God made this.
Benaiah, God loves you.
Benaiah, Jesus holds you.
This passage by my buddy, O.C., gave me pause. I do judge my spiritual capacity on my natural abilities. I need to judge them on the promises of God. The Bible tells me in Philippians 4:13 that "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Do I believe this? Or do I just do the things that I think I can do and by so doing, tell God that He's not quite strong enough to bring me any further? Just like the master in the parable in Matthew 25 gave each of his servants talents according to their ability, God gives me talents and gifts that I am to use wisely. I am supposed to invest these talents in the kingdom and produce great fruit--the fruit that Jesus has already placed inside me when I accepted him--the fruits of the Spirit.
If I have the fruits of the Spirit inside of me, yet I cower when I am compelled to use them, then I am like the unwise servant--burying the talent I was given. If I do this, I am telling God that the fruits he has given me are not ripe yet--not sweet yet--unusable.
He says they are not! Hey says that His promises are "Yes!" in Christ! He says I have the same spirit in me that raised Christ from the dead! And if I question my ability to be Godly, if I question my ability to make it through the situations in which I am placed, if I blame God for my inability to be holy, then I have misjudged God--I have falsely accused my God of being unfaithful to His word. God is never unfaithful, but sometimes I am.
God tells us through this same parable in Matthew 25, that faithful, fruit-bearing servants will share in their Master's happiness. Upon seeing these steadfast ones, God will greet them with the longed for, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" I want to hear that, don't you?
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God."
When I was running this morning, I passed an elderly couple walking hand in hand, and I thought, as I passed them, “I want that.”
How do we get that--lifelong, loving commitment? This is the question I pondered for the remainder of my run. Here are the conclusions I came to:
For lifelong commitment you must do these things:
Choose to love when you feel slighted
Choose to forgive when you feel you can’t
Choose to embrace when you feel like separating
Choose to pray when you feel like sulking
Choose to build up when you want to slander
Choose to think with a renewed mind when your emotions tell you lies.
It’s all about the choices we make. We can live self-centered lives that encourage individualism, defensiveness and pride, or we can live Christ-centered lives--denying ourselves, promoting our spouses, and reflecting God clearly.
I want what that elderly couple had. I want to make the hard choices that lifelong commitment requires. I want my husband to be my best friend. And I want someone, somewhere, sometime to notice Brent and I walking hand in hand and say, “I want that.”.
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
it’s jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like a blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.”
Song of Songs 8:6-7