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Posts Tagged ‘routines’

Empty Lives

September 16th, 2015

“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16 NKJV.

Life without Jesus will never be all that life should be.

My thoughts and comments today are about “empty lives.”

As a child, life is exciting, exhilarating, and filled with anticipation – Christmas as a child – first day of school – first date – finally, your driver’s license – falling in love – being married – starting your career – raising a family. Life too quickly fills with responsibilities and routines, each day wearing away a little of the mysteries and wonder. School becomes homework and hard work. Dating becomes complicated, even confusing. A driver’s license involves gasoline, and insurance, and repairs. Falling in love eventually brings rent or mortgage, and bills.

Too soon, spontaneity yields to a schedule that becomes repetitive, and you find yourself trudging through life feeling that emptiness – a sense of “same old, same old” – with something deep inside telling you that life is not meant to be that way. A better life is waiting for you. “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16 NKJV. Jesus replaces empty lives with full hearts.

Life without Jesus as its center will never be all that you long for life to be. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can take His place or fill that void. You see, that emptiness you feel in your soul runs so deep. You cannot fill empty lives with stuff; you cannot silence it with noise; you cannot ignore it with busyness. “Man has a purpose – to be in relationship with God . . when he forgets his purpose he forgets who he is and what life means.” Francis Schaeffer, Theologian and Christian philosopher. Life does not work well when you forget who you are and what life means.

Life cannot be what it is meant to be if you leave God out. God alone makes sense of everything else about your life. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV. God makes what you have enough. God makes relationships enriching. God makes who you are meaningful and satisfying. God makes what you do fulfilling. God fills your future with hope and unlimited possibilities. See Jeremiah 29:11 NLT.

The Bible narrative begins with these words, “In the beginning . . the earth was without form, and void, and darkness covered . . and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2 NKJV. That is the way anyone’s life is until Jesus is invited to come in and set it right, and fill it with life and fullness, and give light and understanding. He is there, waiting for your invitation to do so today and every day that follows. “Until we all come to the knowledge of the Son of God . . to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13 NKJV.

The Apostle Paul described where you find a full heart and full life, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith that you may know the love of Christ that passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Read Ephesians 3:14-19 NKJV. Don’t try to live life – even a moment of it – without Jesus filling your heart.

Today, I pray for you to make room for Jesus in everything you are and all you do.

Christian Communications 11309

 Empty Lives

Empty Lives

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Coincidence and Providence

April 15th, 2015

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” Ephesians 1:18 NIV.

There are supernatural moments woven into the fabric of daily life.

My thoughts and comments today are about “coincidence and providence.”

There are things that just seem to happen amid the routines of everyday life. Are those occurrences random coincidence or divine providence? Some things just happen as a part of life; you and I are not exempt from those but we are accompanied by God at all times in every circumstance. Read 2 Kings 6:13-17 NIV. There are also moments of divine purpose and appointment. I do not live in a world where anything and everything is merely random chance. I choose to believe such moments can be providential, evidence of a Father’s loving involvement and personal investment in my well-being, and yours. Job trusted God, “You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in Your providence watched over my spirit.” Job 10:12 NIV.

EDL pic heartA friend advised me, “When you only look for God in the sensational and spectacular, you will often miss the supernatural.” In the midst of the apparently ordinary, there should be moments when something occurs to open your eyes, allowing you to sense the discreet evidences of the surprising, extraordinary, and supernatural being purposefully woven into the daily fabric of your life. Expecting God to be present in ordinary events is the prerequisite for experiencing His loving company and care.

With assurance, David wrote of the faithfulness of God, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm [He delights in every detail of their lives/NLT]; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” Psalm 37:23-25 NIV. How confidently would you live if assured of the constancy of God’s favor and delight?

Elijah’s life seemed out of control, the victory over the 450 false prophets on Mt. Carmel now a fading memory. Read 1 Kings 19. Now Elijah felt the terror of fear. The wicked, powerful queen vowed to end the prophet’s meddling once and for all. The once courageous prophet was now fearful, fleeing from the queen until completely exhausted physically, emotionally, and spiritually. His fear was real but exaggerated; his discouragement was overwhelming; his emotions were uncontrollable; his despair was unmanageable. Then God appeared to Elijah. God was not absent until that moment; He was there all the time. “And the Lord said, ‘Go and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’” 1 Kings 19:11 NIV.

There was a tornadic wind, “But the Lord was not in the wind.” Then a shattering earthquake, “But the Lord was not in the earthquake.” And then a raging fire, “But the Lord was not in the fire.” God is not always found in the sensational and spectacular. Elijah felt as emotional frayed and physically vulnerable as a man could be. “And then there came a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-13. That “still, small voice” was the discreet evidence of God, present and gloriously at work in spite of everything Elijah was feeling and fearing. There are supernatural moments woven into the fabric of daily life. Look for God and listen for His voice.

Keep a quiet heart before God and eyes open for the discreetly supernatural; you will discover where God’s love, grace, and kindness will be found in the ordinary starts and stops of daily life. I repeat my friend’s observation and warning, “When you only look for God in the sensational and spectacular, you will often miss the supernatural.” Paul’s prayer is also mine, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you.” Read Ephesians 1:15-21 NIV.

Today, my prayer for you is that your heart is attracted to Him, not distracted by what surrounds.

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Daily Routines

January 3rd, 2011

“Let’s be what we were made to be.” Romans 12:6 The Message

Life is to be a lifelong discovery of God, an exciting, life-elevating adventure of knowing Him.”

My thoughts today are about “daily routines.”

Everyday life soon establishes routines; quickly, they become familiar and comfortable by their predictability. Somehow, people seem to find security in predictability. (I think that sense of security can often be just a false sense of being in control, though you are not). Routines can seem to bring some measure of order to life which can otherwise feel disorderly. Like most things, they provide advantages and disadvantages. A routine is beneficial as long as it serves you, not so good when it rules you.

Some time ago, we were having work done in our yard requiring dirt work by a small “Bobcat.” In just a matter of a few days, the routine task of moving dirt along the more convenient path across our yard left two very pronounced tire tracks that had become deep ruts! A simple routine repeated too often for convenience creates a habit never originally intended!

Life does a similar thing if you are not careful. Routines become habits; habits become ruts. They soon feel so familiar and are so convenient that you may overlook opportunities for adventure along your way. You can lose the growing edge where God offers possibilities that beckon your becoming more than you have yet been – the call of the Spirit urging you to attempt more than you have achieved, challenging you to stretch higher and reach further than previously.

The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were masters of routines, scholars of deadly rules, and masterful at devising rituals; they criticized Jesus for inviting others to live adventurously, and finally crucified Him to protect their religious routines. Their religion became a rut that kept their hearts insulated from God. Religion without vital relationship can do that to people.

Routines are about what you are to do. Daily life is about what you are to be. Life works best when you keep sight of the latter. Everyday life is to be a lifelong discovery of God – an exciting, life-elevating adventure of knowing and loving Him. Paul’s advice is still good advice, “Let’s be what we were made to be.” Romans 12:6 The Message.

You were not created to be a creature of mindless habit. You were created for wondrous purpose. While being diligent and disciplined today, savor the joy of your search to find and fulfill God’s grander purpose for tomorrow. “For I know the plans I have for you . . to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT.

Become all that God has for you to be; settle for nothing less. The New Year is a good time for evaluation and meaningful change. Break old, worn habits and establish Godly habits of prayer, daily devotional time, and Christian fellowship – spiritual activities that build faith and daily tune your soul.

My prayer for you today is that you learn the discipline of routines, while avoiding ruts.

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