Opening Thoughts: This isn’t one of my typical expository blog posts, where we crack the code of Scripture 🙂 I wanted to be open and honest with you all because I believe that is very important above all things. I pray that you are encouraged by this post and that God will speak to your hearts about where some of you may be at.
2 Timothy 3:16 .. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work”
Last night Danae and I were struggling with the challenges of life, keeping up with our blog, finding time to continue writing our book, raising our kids, keeping up with my work demands, keeping up with the house demands, daily devotion, staying connected in our relationship, local church, connecting with other people, paying the bills… and the list goes on (as you know for yourself).
We live in some seriously demanding times. The age of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogs, Websites, Information at our fingertips and I must know now, smart phones, iPads, kindles, ebooks, latest apps, podcasts, YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, G+, Instagram, need I mention more?
We are a busy, busy culture. The distractions are so numerous we can’t possibly detect them all. If we’re not careful we can miss the most amazing thing that is right at our fingertips. The Bible!!
A Book that GOD Himself literally wrote, I mean it’s hard to actually imagine this. I think Danae and I own about 6 copies.
I wonder what would happen if JESUS showed up at your house this day, sat at your table and for several hours wrote in a notebook. He wrote things that were extremely profitable for your eternal welfare, things that were very humbling for you (reproof). He wrote some items of correction for your life, things you need to turn away from and depend on him more deeply with. He wrote down everything you need to know about how to live in righteousness. At the end of His message He said, “Dear friend, I wrote all of this for you so that you will be competent and equipped for every good thing that I need you to do, and be careful to remember that it’s only possible through Me.”
Then with that He concluded “Read this, keep it close to you above all things until we meet again”
Suddenly all of life’s pressures and demands seem to pale in comparison to what is really most important, and what is it? Knowing God and being known by God. Nothing else matters, does it? I mean, when that relationship is in order everything else will fall into its proper place. Although life will get hectic, and at times seem impossible, you will have a peace that passes any type of earthly understanding. You will not love your wife/husband more, kids more, mother or father more, because you will love Christ more, and when that happens everyone else in your life is properly loved. You will patiently discipline your children even when it’s an inconvenience to you, because Christ commands you to. The Bible says that “discipline” spares a child’s soul from hell, so you lovingly care for their souls in that way, no matter what the world says. (I recommend the book “shepherding a child’s heart” by Tedd Tripp.)
One thing that was clear to me last night as I looked over my life and the things I was doing (all good enough things), is that I was less salty than I was a year ago. I guess all the busyness in life caused me to lose some flavor (especially to the ones that know me most). I mean, posting amazing things on Facebook is one thing but living it out is another thing altogether. It’s easy to show everyone the best side of your life on Social Media, but when we stand before God He won’t be impressed by our status updates, nor will they be accredited to our account. How we lived out the gospel in our lives will be the only thing that will last.
Luke 14:34-35 ESV .. “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
After reading the above text my ears seemed to pop, and once again God’s grace is sufficient in my life, and He showed me the areas I need to give to Him, areas that I had been holding onto as my own. I don’t own anything and God doesn’t owe me anything either. I came naked into this world and I will leave the same way. So with that I will continue to do His work and look to Him as my only hope, and whatever He chooses to remove from my life He can, and whatever He grants me I will do for His glory. If I spend 10 years working the ground of a field and just before the planting Jesus sends me to a different field the joy in my heart must be found in Him and not in my efforts for Him. If the latter is true then I have lost the entire message. If I don’t joyfully abandon the field for the joy of knowing Him, instead I cling to the work I have put in, I don’t really know Him, do I? If that be the case I was simply a hired hand looking for a payout, not a joyful son taking pleasure in working for my father.
So this is my encouragement to you. Pick up your Bible and read it like Jesus just finished penning its words, read it like your life depends on its teachings, and study it to show yourself approved.
2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth”
Grace & Peace, Shane Martin
Preparing the Way