Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Focusing on Christ

I read some scripture this morning that was so good...so so good.  Here is it in case you want to read it:
1 Timothy 6:1-21
1-2Whoever is a slave must make the best of it, giving respect to his master so that outsiders don't blame God and our teaching for his behavior. Slaves with Christian masters all the more so—their masters are really their beloved brothers!
The Lust for Money
3-5These are the things I want you to teach and preach. If you have leaders there who teach otherwise, who refuse the solid words of our Master Jesus and this godly instruction, tag them for what they are: ignorant windbags who infect the air with germs of envy, controversy, bad-mouthing, suspicious rumors. Eventually there's an epidemic of backstabbing, and truth is but a distant memory. They think religion is a way to make a fast buck.
6-8A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that's enough.
9-10But if it's only money these leaders are after, they'll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.
Running Hard
11-12But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.
13-16I'm charging you before the life-giving God and before Christ, who took his stand before Pontius Pilate and didn't give an inch: Keep this command to the letter, and don't slack off. Our Master, Jesus Christ, is on his way. He'll show up right on time, his arrival guaranteed by the Blessed and Undisputed Ruler, High King, High God. He's the only one death can't touch, his light so bright no one can get close. He's never been seen by human eyes—human eyes can't take him in! Honor to him, and eternal rule! Oh, yes.
17-19Tell those rich in this world's wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.
20-21And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith. Overwhelming grace keep you!

The verses that stood out to me this morning so much were 6-8: A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that's enough.

We live in a world of such deception. What we work and spend our lives accumulating means nothing in God's sight. Some years ago, before Callie was born, I had such a difficult time deciphering who I was in God's sight. I think it was so difficult because you have to make a choice in your life: will I be "someone" to what the world holds valuable or will I choose to be "someone" to God. While it seems such an easy choice to make, we live in a society where the difference between them is so vast. Do you choose money, luxury, appearance or do you deny yourself and learn who you are inside the heart of Jesus? For me, it took some buffering on God's end. I surrendered but knew that who the world trained me to be would take His power and grace to change. He is still changing me. I find myself wanting things I don't need everyday. I find myself measuring wealth by a different standard than the rich simplicity of being myself before God..... but (and this is how the power of God's Word works in my life) I read this scripture and countless others and know that the Creator of the stars is interacting with me. I know that He intimately knows my struggles and my every thought and allows me to find just the message He set up for me. God speaks to us through His Word. If you sometimes feel like you cannot hear Him or wonder where He is.....He is waiting for you to open the Bible and to meet with you there.

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