Thursday, September 23, 2010

hard learning

Proverbs 9:6 (NLT)
Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.

Sometimes learning is hard.  There are a few things that my parents had to tell me again and again for me to get it.  Our relationship with God is much the same way.  Why is it that we need to hear a second or third time?  Why is it that we struggle with much of what God wants us to learn?

One of the things that God has reminded me about is that we in the church many times are like Pharisees.  Hear me out.  We have received the grace of God and are grateful for it.  Yet the longer we are part of the church and religion the colder we get.  Often we become judgmental and hypocritical.  That is just the truth.  To stay warm toward the things of God we have to keep getting and giving away what God has given us.

Philippians 4:9 (NLT)
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Those words are from the Apostle Paul who had a huge life changing experience with Jesus.  God got his attention in a big way.  How has God gotten you attention?  For me is is through hard learning.

Many of the people Jesus spoke to were Pharisees.  They loved God I believe.  At one time, they had great motives.  Yet time and distance would place law in front of grace, coldness in place of gentleness, being served instead of serving, a sense of entitlement rather than a sense of gratefulness.  Is that true of you? I've seen myself slip that direction. 

These are hard lessons, yet God wakes us up so we can know Him more and help others come to know Him.

Philippians 3:10 (NLT)
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death,

That is hard learning.  Am I willing to give up things so I can serve more people?  Am I content with what God has given and do I listen to the things He is saying?  We are so very blessed.  We are gifted, and the things God has placed in our life ought to lead us to learn and then to serve others.

This learning is to connect us to God.  He loves us.  Us connecting to God and being real about it will lead others to connect with Him.  Even though this is hard learning, it is worth it!

1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

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happy birthday, Julie

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