Good morning Facebook friends and family! Did you get your morning exercise done? Me? Oh, yes, I walked down the street and around the corner to the end of the football field and back. Decisions. Decisions. Whether or not to exercise, what food to eat, which clothes to wear, what television shows to watch, what kind of car we drive, how fast to drive it, and where it will take us. All of our choices make up our repertoire of daily life. But, of greatest importance is the choice we make about the reality of fellowship with a loving God as our Heavenly Father, a loving Jesus as our Redeemer and Savior, and a loving Holy Spirit as our comforter, teacher, and guide. As He created each one of us for Himself, He implanted within us an instinct for love and a desire and ability to love God above all else. The fulfillment of this is up to us and is defined by our daily choices. We can choose a path of self-centeredness of our own making or we can choose God’s path for our life. His path will take us to and through situations that enable us to give love and be loved. Don’t misunderstand. His path is in no way synonymous with the absence of difficulties, tests, conflicts, or challenges. In fact, it is quite the opposite. As disciples of Jesus we must go through a process of transformation. The tools of this process are often painful, unjust, and cruel circumstances. Sometimes it appears pointless and undeserved sufferings invade our world and we find ourselves asking God, “Why are these things happening?” (By the way, I don’t think God ever answers the “why” question. More about that on another day.) These hard places become teachers in the development of character; character that responds and reacts as Jesus would react if the same thing were to happen to Him. And, in reality, whatever you experience does happen to Him as well. Remember, He lives inside your heart so whatever you are going through, He is going through it with you. What does this mean? God the Father knows all about where you are and what you are going through. Jesus is the example to follow to be a victorious overcomer and the Holy Spirit is with you, speaking to your heart as your Comforter and Guide. Most often the greatest challenge will be nothing more than loving the people with whom we have to live and work. Sadly, this altar of sacrifice often introduces us to grief, heartbreak, and pain. Daily we must choose to continually lay down our own will and accept the tests God has permitted in our lives. Little by little, we are transformed into the precious image of Christ. You may think the tests are too hard, but know for sure they were tailored just for you and they will ultimately produce in you the desired results because, “Jesus Loves You!”
II Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (NASB)
Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (NASB)
Colossians 3:9-11 “ Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him – a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. (NASB)
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