Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Learning to Live THE Life

It's been a while since I have written any new blogs with the hectic pressures of school this year, but we've had a week and a half of snow days now, and I am full of things to share!  God has just been teaching me so much lately, and my heart is just busting to let others know of these beautiful things, too.  I am so thankful for all this time that we have had away from school; it has done wonders for my soul.  I've taken time to relax, clean, organize, cook, create, run for fun, study, try to catch up on school work, and actually do some things that I want to do.  Did I mention relax a little?  That was previously a foreign word not in my vocabulary.
 
Last night after my little Bible study in Galatians, I wrote down that my goal for today was to share some of these things that God has shown to me.
"Anyone who receives instruction in The Word must share all good things..."  Galatians 6:6
I mean, really, what good is all this if I keep it to myself?  I love having things, material and otherwise, to enjoy, but I also think of the quote I have kept in mind ever since I heard Mark Hall say it at a Casting Crowns concert last spring.  "We're not blessed so we can have, we're blessed so we can give."
  I'm not sure where to start, so I'll start with something broad...life.  That could go anywhere!
 
LIFE
Something we all strive for.  Obviously we all have life.  We're here.  Not dead.  But not just any life.  We want a good life, full, satisfying, exciting, joyful life.  We may work and work every day to do everything to make life all that we want it to be, but is it really working? 
There is this cycle that I get a picture of from Psalm 37:4
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

The more I make it a point to find joy in pleasing the Lord, the more joyful I become.  Then I want to do more for Him.  The more time I spend in His Word, the more I want to read and learn from it. 
LIFE is one of those things that is a deep desire of my heart.  I just want to enjoy my life!  I love it!  This led me to use the little directory thingy in the back of my Bible to look up verses about life.  I found some really encouraging verses that motivated me to change the focus of my life and to just uplift my heart in general.  After going through all those, I chose my favorites to redecorate my dry erase board in my room.
Aside from these, here are some other things that the Bible says about life:
 
-If you want to love life and have a lot of good times, what should you do? >>>Watch your mouth.  Turn from evil, but not only turn from it, but instead turn to good and go after peace. (Psalm 34:12-14)
 
-Think time goes by fast?  God will show you that it does.  Our lives are passing so quickly each day. (Psalm 39:4-5)  This reminds me to consider what I put my time into.
 
-In this dark and doomed world, is there hope to find the right things to do?  >>YES.  The Word lights up the darkness and shows us how to correct our wrongs and live a right life. (Proverbs 6:23)
 
-For a long time, I have always loved the part of the Sermon on the Mount about not worrying.  I am a worry-wart, that's why.  I usually go to the passage in Matthew 6, but this time I studied the account in Luke 12.  I could write an entire book just on this passage and how it has related to and changed my life at different points throughout my years.  I won't make you read through all that!  (Think to yourself, "Shew, thank goodness")  Originally, I had just noted verse 22 "I tell you, do not worry about your life..."  but when you find a good verse, it is usually a good idea to read around it, and you may find words even better than what you first saw!  One thing that messes me , up is that I think too much.  I want to have things "under control" but that is dumb.  Thinking of myself too much takes away from God's plans.  I get too set on my own plans and can't see what He has placed right in front of me!  If God daily makes the earth, sun, night and day, repeat perfectly to let all the earth work and animals thrive, why do I worry about myself getting a living?  If He takes so much care into these things we so often overlook, why do I doubt that my own life, the life of His dear child (1 John 3:1), would come full circle?  Jesus specifically says "DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR LIFE."  My mental effort should be put toward the things that He is working for His glory.  (Philippians 4:8)  Not only is that pleasing to Him, but it refreshes my mind as well.  You can also infer from this passage that the less you set your heart and mind on material things, the less likely you are to be disappointed.  Things in the world can be taken away, but heavenly treasures will never disappear.  That's what eternal means.  If we are living in worry and chasing after our own pleasures, we are living the exact same way as those who do not know God at all.  Worry and worldly pursuits don't set an example for unbelievers. 
 
-Are you letting Satan win in your life?>>>You may think, "No!  What a terrible thing!  Of course I'm not letting Satan win in my life!" but you may want to reconsider.  Do you ever feel depressed, unmotivated, pessimistic, stressed, torn down, hateful, vengeful, angry, and just disgusted with life or a situation, or anything similar to this?  That's Satan.  God doesn't want us to feel that way.  Satan wants these negative emotions in our lives to produce negative actions.  God has come so that we can make every moment, no matter what the circumstances, a moment of opportunity.  (John 10:10)
 
-This is one of the verses from my board, but it just makes my heart happy. "...a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." (1 Timothy 6:17-19) This is something that can't really be explained.  True life and feelings that come from God are indescribable.  That's how He works.  But when you experience it, you know.  This passage addresses "the rich in this present world," but I believe that it doesn't just mean wealthy as in money.  We can all be rich in our own rights.  Whether that be talent, family, friends, a job, awards, creativity, intelligence, beauty, peace, or anything really, we can't put our hope in these riches.  Only God's riches are the ones that can sustain us through until we meet Him in heaven.  By being rich in the things of Christ, we will be prepared for whatever the world throws at us.  We will have what we need stored up in our hearts so that we can have this true life at all times.
 
God has given us so much in this world that we can use for His glory, so many things that He gives for our enjoyment!  All it takes is our dedication to having this attitude.