I don’t usually do this but as we begin a new week, I am going to reflect back on the previous week.
I don’t know if you know this, but I take this stuff seriously.
I guess that is the problem with writing a blog and thinking about what I write.
It has an effect on me.
I begin to wonder about what the author is saying and I begin to wonder if I am living the way I should be living.
We worked through a chapter entitled “Profile of the Obsessed” and I begin to wonder why I am not obsessed.
Pastor Chan calls all us Christians out:
Why aren’t we giving to the poor, why are we so concerned about our safety, why are we so worried about fitting in, why can’t we get a handle on our pride and why is service to others such a burden?
Wow, feel like you are falling short?
Why can’t we be givers instead of takers, why aren’t we thinking of heaven a lot more than we do, why aren’t we “raw with God” in our prayers, why am I not reading my Bible more and why don’t I make better character-building choices?
Chapter 8 is a big blow to the Christian ego.
Let’s explore what is holding us back.
We are concerned about our finances. Will I have enough money to pay the bills? What about retirement? Yet God is wanting me to give.
After reading Chapter 8: God will give you what you need, when you need it if you only believe.
What about taking a chance to help someone who really needs help?
After reading Chapter 8: God will show you how to help others and provide what you need to help others, if you only believe.
What about taking on a job that is too hard but you feel He is calling you to do it?
After reading Chapter 8: God will show you what to do and give you the strength to do the work, if you only believe.
I would like to read the Bible more, watch Christian videos and read more Christian living literature, maybe even attend a Bible study, but my life is so full and I can’t cram in anything else. Yet God is calling me to grow.
After reading Chapter 8: God will show you how to put Him first. He will honor your new commitment to him and you will be surprised how He will reward your efforts to know Him more as you study His Word.
I know I should think about my Lord and Savior more but I compartmentalize God so much. I see Him on Sunday morning and that is about it. Sometimes I pray but not much.
After reading Chapter 8: God is everywhere in your life. He cares for you and wants to participate in every aspect of your life. He will open your eyes to His presence throughout your day if you let Him.
I put myself at the center of my life too much. I know I am that way. I can’t get the “pride thing” under control. I wish I could but I have a hard time putting other people first, much less God.
After reading Chapter 8: God is first. Slowly get to realize that you would have nothing if not for Him. Things of this world will pass away and so will you. What are you doing with your time here on earth? Helping others, learning about God so you can teach and witnessing for the Lord are good things to do but they require you to step out beyond your “self.” The root of pride is obsession with “self”, which is a serious waste of time.
I am getting too old. I can’t do anything much to help God.
After reading Chapter 8: Some people can sell their homes and become missionaries. Some people can start a homeless shelter. Some people just have reached the point in life where their body will not let them do such things. But is there work to do? Attend prayer group at church. Pray for your Pastor and church leaders. Start your own blog. Join the prayer shawl group at church. Help out the United Methodist men transport our elderly to the doctor. Ask God what to do to help Him. He will give you work to do…age appropriate work.
I don’t want my friends to think I am odd.
After reading Chapter 8: They will. They will doubt you. They will wonder if you are doing what you are doing “for show.” They will criticize you and put doubts in your head and introduce additional fear into your life. They don’t want you to follow God. They want you to be the same old person you were and do the same old things you used to do.
It is a little scary to make a reference to a movie because readers will not have seen it and the reference will be meaningless. In 2000, I saw a movie called “The Castaway” about a hard-driving Fed Ex manager who found himself marooned on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific. He was all alone. He spent many days on the island just trying to figure out how to survive. The loneliness was excruciating to watch and I determined that I would have committed suicide rather than face the loneliness. The film struck me to the core. I still shiver as I put myself in the main character’s situation.
What Chapter 8 is calling us to do is follow God. Really follow God. You will be doing some crazy stuff and people will tell you that. But you must be strong in the Lord. You must believe in Him. When times get lonely, you must realize that you are not alone. He is right there with you. When people in this world begin to express their concerns, it is best not to listen to them because you are listening to a more important power, your Lord and Savior.
I began this blog with the simple word lonely.
It does not apply to the real believer, the real Christian.
I learned that in Chapter 8.