Well the holidays begin just around the corner. I always get excited about this time of year. Well almost always.
There have been holidays that weren't such fond memories for me. One such holiday was two years ago, during this time. I had had a psychotic break during this time. I was staying with my daughter to recuperate and to heal my mind. A break is like a heart attack to the brain.
It seems I had skipped out on life again. I had so regressed into my mind to escape the things that I thought was so wrong with me and even my life. My mind was weak and I broke. That is a lot of our problem these days. We think we know best, how our lives should go.
If you are like me, doing the right thing doesn't seem difficult. I mean why don't people just do what they are suppose to do, right? It is all the other people in my life that don't get on board with what I think they should do. After all, I know what is best for them, me and the world, right?
I mean isn't our world and our country and our religion messed up? Don't we know a better way things should be happening. What they are doing wrong and what I am doing right. After all am I not much smarter than them and than God?
Of course I wouldn't say it in those words. That would not sound christian or humble.
The sin underneath all sins is the lie that we cannot trust the love and grace of Jesus; that we must take matters into our own hand. Martin Luther
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Quiet often Jesus became angry with the Pharisees. They thought they kept to the law of God. They saw themselves as always right. They even condemned Jesus for loving the sinner. For things like not washing before He ate. They thought these things made them clean before God.
Jesus told them they kept the outside of the cup clean but the inside was dirty. They tried to do the right thing outwardly but their hearts was full of deceit, anger and greed.
Jesus looks on the heart of man
Only Christ and His forgiveness and righteousness can cleanse me and my heart.
Only Jesus can bring me into the presence of my Holy God.
What is in your heart is what comes out of your mouth
I have been thinking how apart from Christ, I am just like the Pharisee. I think I am right. I am quick to judge and slow to love. I have a critical, complaining, self pity heart.
I need Jesus!
When I get a clear picture of the cross
and all Jesus and the Father has done for me
I am changed
I see He-She is just like me
Loved, accepted and forgiven
Just as I am...
It is His kindness that changes me
Not His judgement
Can I do the same to another
Apart from Him, NO
But In Christ we are made new creations
with a love the world does not know
Apart from Christ we are all alike. We are self centered, selfish people who want our own way and want it now. We are fast to anger and slow to encourage and build up and affirm.
Gratitude is the heart of a repentant sinner. One who knows how much they need the Savior. One who knows they are loved, forgiven and saved by the grace of our Lord. One who dwells in the presence of God. One who looks to Him for His will and His ways. They are not ours.
I have been asking the Lord to please help me be one of the ones who returns to thank Him. Like the one of the 10 leapers He healed. In these days the mentally ill are looked upon and judged like a leaper was in those days of Jesus. They were thought they were unclean. They had to lives all together and were not welcome into the city. That they were thought worse than everyone else. Many christians even are quick to say it is the sin of the mentally ill that is their problem. That if they would just have more faith they wouldn't have a problem. Jesus didn't run away from the leapers. He touched them and healed them. He was not afraid of stigma. He was not afraid of catching what they had. He loved them right where they were. The same He does me.
I have learned to thank God for this limitation in me that has made me dependent on Him, just to get through my day. That He would take a strong, self reliant woman like me and teach me to trust Him. To rely on Him in ways I never have before just because I have to. Because I can't function without Him.
I have wept many times this weekend just thinking of all the ways God has blessed me and my family. I shared with my husband this morning just how thankful I was. It is an attitude of heart I cannot come up with myself. But seeing Jesus love me, just as I am...seeing His faithfulness come through time and time again. Gives me a heart of gratitude. It is His grace and His love...His kindness that changes me. Can I give Him thanks? And give that same love, grace and kindness to others hard to love just like me?
No in my own strength I cannot.
Only Jesus and His Spirit can give me the grace to do good and love another person just like me.
Do you see this person God has put in my life
The one that is hard to love?
He-She is just like me
It is when the Spirit shows me God loves me
He is in control
and He is completely trustworthy
and I am not;
I am becoming who He says I am
Gratitude is one of Gods love languages
Nothing displays His love to us like the cross of Christ