Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Caution: Steep drops ahead!
So recently I chose to embark on a study of the book of Revelation (cue: impending doom music *Da Da Da DUMMMMMMM).
I must admit it has always been very daunting to me, and I've avoided it from fear that it will be nothing but cryptic, but I enlisted the help of my husband and we sit down and read it and talk about it. It's been a major blessing and I've been amazed at how much the Bible is a living book and that God can use even the apocalyptic books to strengthen my faith.
The thing it's helped me the most with is perspective. Upon reading it you'll quickly realize that there is little in this world that is important in light of eternity. The only two things that are eternal are God and people. Wow. That really funnels down what I should be spending my time on.
But I digress...
The point I was really smacked flipside up the head with is in Jesus' words to one of the churches (I don't remember which one and you don't care anyways). He's talking to them about how they have lost their love for Christ. And here comes the verse (put on your helmets): "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember the height from which you have fallen." (Rev 2:4-5)
To quote Emeril on the toothpaste commercial...BAM!
How true this is in my heart and life. This specifically ministered to me in light of my husband and children. It's so easy for me to be quick to get angry at John, to fail to have patience with my children, to get irritated and be short because they aren't whatever I think they should be. And then a voice comes and reminds me where I came from. Here's another verse for ya:
"Anyone who lacks these things (faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, and love) is nearsighted and blind and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins." 2 Pet 1:9 (parenthesis mine)
Basically, "Jenn, if you remembered what a pathetic sack of selfishness you were when I found you, and I forgave you anyways, you'd be much quicker to give grace to those around you."
Let me summon my most gangsta ghetto voice to say, "True dat!"
Don't get me wrong, I still think it's critical to discipline my kids. I mean if I want them to grow up to be adults who love and worship and obey God, I have to start now right? But I don't discipline because I want perfect little well-behaved children so everyone can go, "What a wonderful little 2-year-old", but so they can be children who draw near to God, and I don't take it as a personal offense when they disobey, I'm quick to forgive (this is all hypothetical of course, simply stating what I have learned I SHOULD do, not what I've done necessarily).
The point I learned is that I need to invest my life in the criticals because in a split second some perspective could come crashing into my life in any number of ways and the things I thought were important (losing those last 15 pounds, or getting my playroom decorated) will become staunchly trivial. And if I am keeping that mindset, I'll also keep in the very front of my mind the reminder that I have been forgiven much and will be continually grateful for that. Which will in turn direct my actions back to God where they should be.
See it comes full circle.
How great a God we serve that we are asked to live out forgiveness and love to others not only as a constant reminder of the forgiveness we have received but as a living example to others of the forgiveness that is available to them as well.
And all God's people said...
Posted by Jenn at 1:58 PM