Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Investing in Other's dreams

This week's prompt for our God-sized dream post was perfect timing, once again. Holley Gerth prompted us to spread encouragement to other dreamers by investing in them. To be honest, I wasn't going to do this week's prompt as I don't have contact with a lot of other dreamers and I have already posted an encouraging letter to my mother last week.

But then, I began having this tugging on my heart. All last week, this woman that we go to church with and her situation kept being brought to my mind. Her and her family have recently been looking for a horse for the whole family to enjoy. They have no experience with horses and are kind of lost. They have started talking horses with us and my mom found them a prospect horse and they are looking into buying it. They showed us where they would be boarding the horse and told us how much they were going to be paying a month to keep it there. We were a little shocked, as the monthly payment was extremely high for this area and the conditions at the farm were not ideal for any horse. But I really didn't think about it afterwards, they live in a different town than we keep our horses, and I don't know them that well, besides. Who knew if they would be responsible and make sure the gate was shut when they were done? What if my horse got out and was hit on the road, or injured in some other serious way? I didn't really want to deal with another horse that wasn't mine either. So I forgot about it.  Until God kept bringing her and the horse to my mind. Over and over, her name and the horse kept popping into my mind. Finally, on Saturday night, I said something to mom. Turns out we had both been thinking about offering her the option of keeping their new horse with ours. We both had the same worries about it as well. But we decided that we should say something on Sunday. So, Sunday morning, after church was over, we went over and very humbly offered to share what we have, which isn't much, but cheaper and better conditions than where they were going to put their new horse.

And do you know what? It turns out that this woman and her family are going to have to move from the rental house they were living in and they now wouldn't be able to afford the steep boarding fees at the other place and consequently would have to not get the horse, since there would be nowhere to keep it. But God wanted them to have that dream horse, for whatever reason, and He decided that we would be His instrument in making sure that they got what He intended for them. I could tell that the woman was ready to cry when Mom told her that she was welcome to put her horse out with ours, and that the place where we rent is so much lower. The relief was plainly written on her face. And in that moment, I was glad to have obeyed God.

I don't know what His purpose is in this. Why did it matter to Him if that woman and her family got the horse? A horse isn't a necessity. Why did He want her to have such a frivolous thing in her life? I know He did, otherwise, He would not have prompted my mother and I to offer our pasture. We had our misgivings, but He overruled us and pressed our hearts to share with her. One thing it does tell me, though, is that God is not against me having my horses either, and does not want me to get rid of them, even though it has been trial after trial to keep them. It is not He that is against us, but someone else, who does not want good for us. Someone who wants to kill (our hearts), steal (our joy), and ultimately, destroy us. Mom thinks the woman and her family might become a part of our dream, a part of the team. I don't know, time will tell. But I do know that it was God, prompting us to reach out to them. And we obeyed. And that is all that counts. :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fruits of the spirit and becoming a humble servant

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23


I want to post this verse everywhere. Every room in my home, on the dashboard of my car, in my cubicle at work, and I am considering tattooing it to my forearm...nah, not really! But wouldn't that be a handy reminder? I want my life to reflect these words. This is my deepest desire. 

Remember, this is my prayer.

"I will not stop praying for and asking you to fill me with the knowledge of your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And I pray this in order that I may live a life worthy of you Lord, and may please you in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to your glorious might so that I may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to You, who has qualified me to share in the inheritance.... in the kingdom of light. In Jesus's name I pray, Amen."(adapted from Colossians 1:9-12)

I want to know His will, and be lead by the Spirit, so that I may live a life worthy of the Lord, so that I may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work. That I may show unconditional Love, that I may have deep Joy, unending Patience, constant Kindness, moral Goodness, unshakable Faith, tender Gentleness, and steady Self-Control. 

Why do I want to bear fruit in every good work? I hear a lot these days that being saved is not about good works. And I have been thinking about it a lot lately, trying to figure out what they mean when they say that.

I agree that we can do nothing to save ourselves. That Jesus died on the cross to cover all our sins and that we do not have to live by the law anymore. That by dying on that cross, Jesus set us free from the bondage of the law. I agree that it is not by doing good works and obeying the law which saves our souls, but by Jesus's blood only.

But, why then, does the bible talk about good works all the time? Does this confuse anyone else? Well, I think I have finally answered the question, at least for myself. I have been set free from bondage when Jesus died on the cross and set me free of my sins and the condemnation that comes from comitting those sins.

But being an obedient Christian, is about doing good works. And here are a couple of verses for proof.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge in the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should not look only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name. Philippians 3:11

The apostle Paul wrote many letters to the churches around him, to remind the Colossians that they couldn't do good works to save themselves, but then writing a letter to the churches of the Galatians  and Philippians to remind them that just because Jesus had died and set them free, they were not to use the freedom for their own gain, but to be humble servants and emulate Christ in a serving attitude.

Just as with every thing else, there is to be a balance in our lives. Be free of the condemnation of sin, but don't forget the one who died for you and what he was like. Don't forget that he, as God's only son, came to this earth in human form, so that he could be hung on  a cross for you. Take your freedom and use it to serve one another. Serve until your arms are tired, until your back is bent, until you can no longer walk. And do not do it for selfish or ambitious reasons, but to glorify God and show Jesus that you appreciate his sacrifice. To live a life worthy of the Lord, to please him in every way. Isn't imitation the sincerest form of worship?