Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Living the Invited Life

"This is the kind of life we've been invited into, to live our lives as Christ lived. He suffered in every possible way so that we would know how to get through any adversity we face in this life...step-by-step.He never did one thing wrong,..not once did he say anything amiss. We may not be perfect like Christ...but we have His perfection living in us to guide us in the way we should go. 

"They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls." ~ 1 Peter 2:21-25  The Message 

God's Word teaches and directs...

After reading the above Scripture I couldn’t help but stop and ponder the way Jesus lived His life here. He lived each day with a heart that was unrestricted and gave way to unconditional love. Jesus never had one concern for His “rights” or placed a condition on others to accept Him before freely offering what He was willing to give them to meet their need.

Here are a few of my thoughts I wrote down concerning the freedoms we have been given through God’s grace to live our lives following Jesus’ ways.

I am not called to love other because they agree with me. In fact, God’s love lives inside of me which enables me to love those who believe the exact opposite of what I do.

I do not need to be concerned and worried about what others have said or done against me. God’s love enables me to know I need only be concerned with the word of my mouth, the thoughts of my heart. My actions towards other...all which should be a reflection of what Christ has done for me. 

One of Jesus’ greatest teachings in my life is knowing I don't have to live my life under the pressure of being someone who must try to please the fickleness of an ever changing world. I know how it feels to have my mind, heart and spirit at peace with my enemies.

And through enduring hardships I have Jesus' love living inside of me to guide me in the way I should go...which allows me to experience a godly form of contentment with confidence in God's goodness...trusting He will set all things right.There is so much more to living a full life than living it as if I am at the center of it all. 

Oh...I still have days that I allow my circumstances to determine my contentment...but thankfully the Holy Spirit is quick to remind me that God has a purpose for me in what He is allowing...

His purpose for me to endure difficult or frustrating circumstances may be to strengthen or test me...or just maybe...my circumstances have less to do about me and more to do about God allowing me to be a part of His plans to show someone else why trusting in Jesus produces the peace and contentment they are seeking to find. 

Each morning before my day begins...I must purposefully accept Jesus’ invitation to live today as he lived His. I’m determined not to allow my contentment to depend on my circumstance  For I am confident that the less I fill my spirit with the things about “me”....the more Christ is abundantly filling these spaces with Himself. 

Besides...I know I can trust God! In fact, His faithfulness has been so evident in my life especially these past few years since my husband’s death...I can't help but notice...when my circumstances seem dire...His peace and contentment rule over my heart more often than ever before...crowding out my fear and my  doubts...and even giving me a beautiful glimpse of Jesus living in me. Glory! 

"For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:11-13 (HCSB)


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