Looking at this picture, you would likely tell me to fix it & turn it around since it looks like Jesus is upside down. However, sometimes I think the Holy Spirit wants to turn us up on end so we be right side up, based on the Holy Spirit’s perspective. Some areas where we might need some adjusting could include:
Money: getting is never as blessed as giving
Time: sometimes I need to remember that prayer can be the key for productive rather than staying busy
Mercy: being judgmental appealing to our flesh, mercy wins with Jesus!
Leadership: serving is the model Jesus gave us if we’re going to be the Jesus-kind of leader
This morning, I read a verse that hit me between the eyes – 2Kings 17:41, “So while these nations feared the Lord, they also served their idols; . . .” This verse really spoke to me about my passion to follow Jesus.
I think that we generally have respect for God, but all too often we serve idols. No one sets out, usually, to be an idolator but there are lots of subtle idols that can allure our attention. Greed seems to be the most obvious idol & it has certainly a firm foothold in our culture & values! Another subtle idol is image & vanity. Of course sports & fitness can be an distraction from serving Jesus & so can consumption & food. Comfort & convenience have also become significant values that often sway our priorities.
Let’s be sure that we respect & serve God with both feet!
I love my family, full stop. Sometimes it’s easier to love than others, but my love for each member of my family is embedded deep in my heart. Regardless of my deep feelings & commitment of love, it’s important that I express this love to each individual & that requires me to pay attention really well. Expressing the love that’s in our hearts is an essential ingredient for remaining connected but how I express this love has to be meaningful to the person receiving my loving expression. So for example, one of my family members really like to hold hands, hug & cuddle. So for this person, I need to remember that love in their perspective is most meaningful by touch. I have another family member who likes to have time & a listening ear, not holding hands as much. So with this member, I endeavor to keep some dates on the calendar to have some one-to-one time.
The premise for loving well is grounded in the 5 love languages: touch, gifts, service, time & affirmation. Let’s learn what is a meaningful expression of love to the people we love so that we can love them in ways that nurture our connection with them! Let’s remember to love well!
“I am the greatest!” I heard Muhammed Ali say this when I was a little girl & I was really put off by his words. I remember thinking, “Why would a person be so obviously prideful? Did he really say that?” Then I watched him on TV and sure enough, he said it all the time with total conviction. Someone explained to me at that time that he was using his words to intimidate his opponents and a winning mindset creates winning outcomes. Once I understood the reasons Muhammed Ali said, “I am the greatest” then it made sense why he would make such a bold claim.
But as a little girl, even though I could understand the reasoning for such audacity, I always thought to myself, “No one but Jesus is the greatest.”
Being an amazing boxer doesn’t make a person the greatest.
Being crazy intelligent doesn’t make a person the greatest.
Being hyper rich doesn’t make a person the greatest.
Being drop dead gorgeous doesn’t make a person the greatest.
According to Jesus, the greatest person is the servant of all. Let’s align our lives with Jesus’ teachings and not fall for flesh fallacies.
Today in America, we remember the military men & women who have served our country along with those who have given their lives to defend liberty & freedom. Today, along with the 4th of July (our Independence Day), are very significant holidays for our country & it is very fitting & appropriate to honor people who serve. Whatever your political affiliations or beliefs may be, if we are devoted to Jesus’ teachings than we share a fundamental value that serving others is important. So happy Memorial Day & lets endeavor to remember to serve others 🙂
The other day I read Mark 16:12, “After that, He appeared to them in a different from, to two of them while they were talking along their way to the country.” This verse is after Jesus was resurrected & it was really powerful to me for lots of different reasons. I think that many times we think of Jesus with certain expectations, often laced with religious overtones. In my life, however, I’ve seen & experienced Jesus in many different forms & not only with my normal expectations. Recently, I was in Cambodia with Saving Moses and our nightcare work. We had visited a really bad slum & I was very overwhelmed from this visit. When I mentioned my struggle with the slum to a friend, she encouraged me by saying, “The slum is exactly the type of place that Jesus would go to.” This reminded me of the verse where Jesus says, “If you do this to the least of these, you do this to Me” pertaining to how we treat the poor, prisoners, etc.
So my take away is this – in our lives, Jesus shows up in many different forms in our lives, so let’s keep our eyes peeled on how we can best serve Jesus! 🙂