Saturday, January 1, 2011

Love is Grown

This New Years, many people will make resolutions to change in some way, many for the better, some, sadly, for the worse. A resolution to start exercising; to quit smoking or drinking or some other dangerous habit; to spend less time working and more time with family. They will put in a great effort to personally overcome and change their lifestyle. Most will fail, give up, forget, lose focus. However, I have a different New Years goal that I desperately want and desperately want others to pick up as well. A goal that doesn't matter if you lose focus, temporarily forget, or fail miserably. The only thing that's not allowed is giving up. That goal is getting closer to God, serving Him wholeheartedly, and letting Him continually change me so that I might better display Christ to those around me.

When a plant first starts, it comes from a seed. A seed is internally alive but externally asleep. Nothing grows as long as the seed is not planted. It will remain asleep for extended amounts of time until it finally gets planted but when it finally does a miracle occurs. With the mixture of soil to dig into and water being provided, the hard shelled seed opens up and digs into the ground. Slowly and surely it grows, sprouting out of the soil, and then when it sees the light from the sun, it takes off. All this to say, once a seed is planted, it is continually growing and changing. This is what I want in my life, and would love to see take over this generation. For so long, I have felt stagnant. Yeah my knowledge might have been growing as I continually got in the Word, but I wasn't letting it change me. I would even suggest that I hadn't fully grasped what I was reading yet. But over this winter break, it's really been striking me how little my passion for God truly was. I had fears in my life that I couldn't get around, fear of man was a huge one. Not only did that fear constantly keep me thinking what others thought of me, it made me afraid to change as well. Maybe that's why Solomon wisely said in Proverbs 29:25, "Fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe." That snare will keep you stagnant. A plant that is stagnant is dead. DEAD. A plant that is growing is healthy and alive.

From one of my favorite movies, "To Save A Life", the stand out quote for me is when the main character, Jake, convicts his youth group, "what is the point of all this if you're not going to let it change you?" That is a valid question. After all in Revelation 2, God confronts the church at Ephesus that if they remain lukewarm, He will SPIT them out of His mouth. For a while I have felt stuck, knowing my lifestyle wasn't what I most wanted, that I constantly let my fears and failures keeping me from changing. Maybe you have felt that or maybe are feeling that right now. I was confused on how exactly to escape and change. I was sitting around waiting for God to just miraculously change me despite my lack of concern for Him. But God tells the church at Ephesus, how to escape their stagnancy. He says to return to their first love, to return to Jesus, to return to the Word. It's amazing how that works when you simply refocus on the cross, on the grace and righteousness given by Jesus Christ. That truth alone, if you let it sink in, has the potential to set you on a growth process that will take off. Read 2 Corinthians 5:12-21 and really chew on what it's saying here, take your time if you have to.

"For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him".

That is a powerful statement that compels us to change continuously; to turn away from desires of this world and toward the grace of Jesus Christ. When you truly get that, you CHOOSE to change. One small step at a time, one day at a time, you pick up your cross, remember the Lord, chew on His truth, and it changes you. There is no choice of stagnancy IF YOU TRULY GET THAT. I have overwhelmingly come to understand that. That is why this New Years, my goal is to day by day, remember God and live for Him, allowing Him to change me continuously into the person He wants, and what ultimately what I want. This 2011 is not going to be stagnant.

I am going to let my plant grow! and I'm going to help others plants grow too!

No comments:

Post a Comment