Inspiration, Encouragement & Instructions
". . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
Can I just say I am so excited to start the next IF:Equip study on 1 Peter & 2 Peter. Here is little bit of why:
On the IF:Equip post for today (April 7, 2015) there is a concise little write-up on the background of Peter's books. Check it out! Also, there is listed a theme verse for this study:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:3-4
And a question:
THE GOSPEL WAS & IS COSTLY. WHAT DO YOU NEED HELP REMEMBER JESUS IS BETTER THAN?
I think the theme verse is what I need to remember: "...so that through them [power, glory, goodness promises] you may participate in the divine nature and escape corruption in the world caused by evil desires." I need to remember that Jesus is better than my plan of action. Jesus is better than my power-trip. Jesus is better than comfort. To obey and live the way Jesus calls me to live is not only costly for me but any one associated with me because if I am living for Jesus, the way I live will have an impact and affect on those around me. Which is both scary, humbling, and exciting all at the same time. To me it is mostly scary...and that is why I need to remember that Jesus is my source of strength and purpose. And if I am truly aligning my heart with His, I won't look normal to others. And let's me honest, deep down we just all want to be normal, right? But I need to remember that Jesus is better than normal. I need to remember that there is refreshing water waiting just beyond the border of normal.
Yet, it is so hard to escape the desire to just live a normal life. For me this often comes on Sunday mornings when I just wish I could have a normal husband. I wish we could wake up and drink coffee and eat caramel rolls and ease our way into the morning with our kids. I wish that after reading the Sunday paper, we could all get in the van together and ride to church, you know, like the normal family I have pictured in my head. My actual Sunday mornings: wake up, imagine I can saunter into my day by slowly sipping down my coffee...be jerked back to reality as my husband is stepping out the door to go to church...Realize I am still in my pajamas, my kids are still in their pajamas, the house is a mess, and we I have about 45 minutes to rally the troops and get us out the door to church...WITH SMILES ON OUR FACES. I am attacked every week with the desire to take this calling of pastor and pastor's wife and shove it! All because I just want a normal "easy like a Sunday morning" life. (Which we all know doesn't exist, but it does in my mind on my worst Sunday mornings!).
I realize this example is a bit shallow (sorry) and most likely Jesus would want me to be thinking of getting outside of normal by doing something a little more amazing than giving up my own desire for a certain kind of Sunday morning--you know, something like feeding starving people or taking in babies off the street. I am guessing that is a little more on the scale of what I should be working toward. But I also think these baby steps taken to fight off the desire for normal in this small area of my life is an important training opportunity to move me toward escaping corruption in my mind. Because if I let myself desire that easy Sunday morning (which, by the way, doesn't exist in a house with 3 kids under the age of 7), I will not only hinder my spirit but I will most likely not be supporting my husband's ministry. Instead of living in gratefulness for the my husband's position as a pastor, I will live in resentment and jealousy. Yuck! I don't want my heart to be filled with that. Yet, sometimes living in the negative seems more comfortable. Why is that? What lies am I allowing to weaken my faith when I don't run to escape the thoughts that push me to desire the normal, "easy" life?
Honestly, I don't think I will have a clear and concise answers to those questions until I meet Jesus face to face. But in the meantime, I will pray this prayer: Lord please give us the courage, strength and urgency of Peter. Please allow us to live lives that shatter the normal with radical, generous, compassionate love. Open our eyes to the thoughts and cultural traditions that deceive us into living small, normal lives. Instead, fill us with the power relegated to us from Jesus. Let us live lives that show Jesus really is better than...
Easy like a Sunday morning image source: https://www.hellosundaymorning.org/LulaJane/goals/52541
Her family and friends know her as, Jaci. She is the wife of a pastor, a mom of four, writing and communications education instructor, a visionary and an avid runner. As a firm believer in the power and effectiveness of the body of Christ united together to live out the Great Commission, she holds fast to this verse, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Of equal importance to her are these words, "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Posts in the Run for Your Life, series: