Friday, September 5, 2008

Remembering, Realizing and Returning

Have you ever sensed that God was doing something in your life; but you were not quite sure what? That has been my experience this past year and especially in these last few weeks as I began this journal entitled "Amen Journey." I have been drawn back to the day I began this journey in order to look at the direction my life took from that moment forward. I have never really done that. I have usually just held on to the moment that I accepted God's gift of grace and this has been especially true during times of doubt. That could be important; but sometimes we need to move forward because there we may find a different story. We may need to do that so God can correct the course of our life and times of drifting. I remember in a study of Jeremiah years ago seeing how God worked to deal with the nation of Israel. He began by calling them to remember what their life with Him had been like; to realize where they were and what had happened to them; and to return to the place where they got off track or lost their way. We may have to do that if there is to be true repentance and correction. God had a fourth word for Israel. It was a warning that an end for this opportunity would come. God stated this truth in the form of a question. He says in Jeremiah 5:31 "but what will you do when the end comes?" I don't want to find that out. So I am "remembering," "realizing," and "returning." At this point, I don't really know where all this will lead. I do believe it will result in a closer walk with God and that it will result in making Jesus the focus of my life. For that reason, I will hold on to God's promise in Jeremiah 29:10-14.

These steps have caused me to think a lot about the gift of salvation that God gave me and how it has worked out in my life over the years. I am looking forward to God continuing to open the eyes of my heart and to fill it with the wonder of Jesus. He did this for Paul and left Paul with a burning desire to know Christ. In Philippians 3:8, Paul said, "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." Jesus invites us to do this. This raises some questions that have to be answered. (1) Do I want to know Christ for who He is? (2) Do I want Him to be the focus of my life? (3) Am I willing to live in a way that proves that this is what I want? Our pastor, Matt Chandler, expressed these thoughts this way concerning the invitation of Jesus. He said it was pretty simple the way Jesus put it. "Come live as I live...come, walk as I walk...come, follow me." Matt then said that we need to "figure out what that looks get behind stop being a lot of admirers and be followers..." (October 16, 2005 - Rhythm: Part 4). The answer to understanding what that looks like is found in God's Word. If I want more of Jesus then I will have to go to God's Word, study and pray that the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of my heart. I will also need to answer these three questions "yes." So with God's help, I say "yes." Now I must trust God to direct my steps. Jeremiah gives the reason. "I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). I have been down that road. You will find a lot of things along the way; but you will not find Jesus. He will not be your life, your joy and your peace. He will not be your reason for living and you will never experience or show the surpassing worth of knowing Him.

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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