Friday, May 7, 2010
Things That Are True and Good...
Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.(Philippians 4:8)
I was talking to one of my friends the other day while they were going through a hard time. There was so much advise I could give...and had already given...., there was so many things I could say to try and make it all better...but I know that once the conversation is over and my friend is alone with their thoughts...they are going to need more than just a few words of loving advice. No matter how much sense advice makes, it's usually not enough to get you through the tough times. So, I told them what I do when nothing seems to make the hurt, stress, and worry go away....I think about things that I know to be true and good. I could spend my whole life trying to figure out my future, where my path will lead me, who I will be with on that journey....but meditating on the negative things of life that are completely out of my control doesn't help me keep my shoulders back, my chin up, and put one foot in front of the other down the narrow road. It's great to have drive, motivation, desire, and goals...we need that. But we all tend to focus on things that are out of our control and they just end up consuming us. The more I think on things that bring me down or depress me...that aren't good, true, and lovely....the more and more down I will get. I know that there are lots of self help books and seminars out there telling us all that we have the answers inside of us, but I've tried to find the answer all by myself, and just like I am on multiple choice tests...when I don't know the answer, I just chose randomly and wish for the best....and that usually ends up sucking. Yes, I have free will, and Yes I want to make my own choices...but I don't want to be alone in those choices. With God, I'm never alone. I can chose the path, but it's always best to have a Guide. A Guide that has already traveled this path ahead of me...making a way for me. So, the next time you are down and nothing seems to make it better...try thinking on these truths and see if it helps at all...
Things that are True:
1. God loves you and I SO much that there is no way that we can possibly comprehend it. We can't fully grasp the enormity of God's love, but we can feel it around us and in us every moment as long as we pay attention. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." (Matt. 5:8). This verse isn't just talking about when we get to Heaven...it's talking about right now..on Earth. The pure of heart are able to see God in everything. In every flower petal, in every rainstorm, in every baby crying, in every face. God loves us completely and totally unconditionally. He carries us because He loves us. He collects our tears, because He will give back to us all of the things that caused a tear to fall. He disciplines us because He wants us to grow (think of a baby taking it's first steps...that proud look they get across their face. That is it looks to God when we takes steps into something we are scared of. And when we fall back on our little butts...He is there, smiling, waiting for us to get up and try again.)
2. God is good. Although there is evil in this world, God works all things out for good for those that love Him. We can't understand how God can use the tragedies and perversions of this world for good...but He does. If you look for God in everything, you will begin to see Him. "Seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matt. 7:7). When we spend time focusing on the negative and what we don't have, we are less able to see God in the details of our lives, and the lives around us. How can you look at a sunset and not think that there is a loving God? He paints the sky for us every night. He courts us...He draws us to Him.
3. God is powerful. There is nothing that is outside of God's reach or ability. Nothing! Where we are limited as humans, God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. The same power that raised Christ from the dead, lives in you ( Rom. 8:11). Now that...is power.
4. God gives mercy and grace. By giving us mercy, He is withholding the punishment we deserve. By giving us Grace he is giving us something that we don't deserve. We all deserve to be punished because we can't stop sinning. God is perfect. We are not. But because He loves us, He sacrificed His son....even though we don't deserve it...and for those that accept this sacrifice...we are washed clean. There is no greater gift. Grace is one of the things that Jesus offers that is totally unique to any other religion on Earth. We can't earn His forgiveness with good works or sacrifices....we only have to accept His sacrifice and the work He did on the cross. We can't lose His love. There are no favorites. He loves His children all the same. We can't be bad enough to lose His love and we certainly can't be good enough to buy it or earn it.
5. God gives justice. Our God is a God of order. He makes the wrong things right. When His children are harmed, He brings justice...but within His justice He shows Grace, Love, and Mercy...so that all things are for the good of those that love Him.
6. God knows the desires of our hearts even before we do. He knit us together in our mother's womb. He knew us before the world begin. He created us for a purpose. He created us to have certain desires. And with those desires we are spurred onward in life, having faith that we will receive the things that we hope for.
7. You are completely unique. There never has been nor ever will be another you or me. In all of the history of the world there will never ever be another you. You were planned for. You were desired and designed by God for this particular time. You may have been born in a time where there the Earth and it's people are struggling, but count yourself blessed that God knew you were strong enough and powerful enough to be born now. Your purpose on this Earth is written on your heart. Keep your eyes toward Heaven and you will do things in this life that you never dreamed possible. Praise God that He has blessed you and given you life.
Things that are good:
1. True Beauty
2. Selfless love
3. Selfless giving
Mediate on God's love. Meditate on the gifts that God has given you. Meditate on your many blessings. Meditate on your uniqueness.
AMEN! Amen! Amen.