Before I begin this week's memory verse, I would like to thank Peggy for stepping in to pinch-hit for me as my work and family life overwhelmed me.
I also would like to thank those who are participating in this for their patience and understanding.
God and I have come to a new understanding this weekend, and that understanding involves my own personal focus. My focus had been overtaken by my work situation, turmoils occurring almost on a daily basis with my family--and unfortunately, I was dwelling on these.
I was talking with God about all of this, of course. But, I was not listening intently on what He had to say to me. He has given me two words this weekend:
Rest--this I learned this morning from our worship service--Sabbath Rest--work 6 days and one day devoted to rest--just as God did when He created the universe.
Also, spontaneous rest--those moments of rest just as Mary had when Jesus stopped by Martha's house. Martha welcomed Jesus and the apostles into her home, but she was too busy and distracted to sit at His feet--rest and learn--as Mary did.
Jesus' burdens upon us are light and easy. Any burdens that I am finding heavy laden--weighing me down--are expectations that I have placed upon myself or expectations that others have placed upon me. And we are right back to focus and rest to relieve those burdens.
All of this being said, we'll now move on to last week's memory verse which I did take the time to memorize:
Let's break this short verse into two:
For to me, to live is Christ--This is far more than just imitating Jesus. This is Jesus moving into your heart, your mind, your soul, your body; so that Jesus life is lived through you.
We are to show the life of Jesus in the best possible way, the most pleasing setting (ourselves)--so that others will come to Him. He is to come first in our lives--before anyone or anything else.
This is through our very actions, words, facial expressions, perhaps just a touch at the right moment. We live in a basically noncaring society, and when people are shown the care and love of Jesus Christ, sometimes they don't know how to react. It is our job to instruct them in His love.
As I have gone back and reread what I have written so far, I realize that my Christian living is substandard a lot of the time--a hurtful word spoken here, an irritated look there--oh, I could go on!! Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness for we all live substandardly--sometimes more so than others.
The second part of this short, power-packed verse says and to die is to gain.
Paul's life was a wonderful fellowship with our Lord. But, to Paul, his own death meant that this would lead to an even more intimate relationship with Jesus.
The word gain means a "success" or a "win"--and to Paul dying was a winning situation--just as death should be to all those who believe that Jesus is our salvation.
We do not fear death because death will bring us closer to our goal--spending eternity with Our Lord in Heaven.
-- Søren Kierkegaard
Let's move on to next week's verse which is the 8 of spades from the Embracing the Word cards: