Monday, November 21, 2011

Do It Yourself Salvation?

Romans 3:21-24 (The Message)
“But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. 22 The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. 23 Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, 24 God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”

Lowes, Menards, Home Depot, Do It Best… all have one thing in common.  They are the suppliers of materials and instructions to “do it yourself”.  Whatever the job, whatever the fix, they claim to have an answer and support staff to get it done.  Whether it’s planting a couple flowers to building your own house, they seem to have all the answers! 
It seems like we are always looking for someone who has the answers.  Someone we can go to, who can tell us what to do, where to do it, and when.  We place this source on speed dial, or try to keep them close by so they are handy in a tight spot. 
What happens when you become the person people go to for answers?  Do you start to feel the pressure to give the right answers?  Do you start to hide when you see the answer-seekers walking towards you?  Who do you go to, to find your answers?

Everyone went to Malia for answers.  Even her husband relied on her knowledge and experience to make decisions for them and their family.  When there were problems, her friends would ask her advice.  When there was a situation, she would cultivate a plan of action.
That put a lot of stress on Malia.  She felt like she always had to have an answer ready to give and it must be the right answer.  Malia started to get into the habit of solving other people’s problems.  She began to take it upon herself to find answers or at least a basic map to get them out of trouble.  What did this do to Malia?  It began with her mind racing, and increased stress.  She was trying to squeeze more and more into her schedule in order to accommodate everyone else allthewhile spreading herself thinner and thinner between family, friends, career, church, and her alone time.  Her eating habits were thrown off, because she was eating on the run, so her health began to be jeopardized along with her blood pressure and weight.  Then her nights were less and less restful as she spent more time thinking about the tugs from every direction, pulling at her for answers.  Before long, Malia was in distress.  Sleep did not give her the rest she craved.  The hobbies, and fun things she once enjoyed, held no peace for her.  She felt stuck, spinning her wheels and didn’t know how to fix anything much less identify a problem. 

Do you know Malia’s life all too well?  Do you struggle to find time for yourself, much less time to pray and study God’s word?
Here is the answer you have been longing for.
You priorities have been flipped upside down.  Instead of cutting back on everything else to make room for you and God, you have cut out your time for you to be alone and rejuvenate at the feet of Jesus, allowing Him to give you the answers.  Malia tried to take all of her world’s problems upon her shoulders instead of heading the instruction to “cast all your care upon Him because he cares for you.”  (1 Peter 5:7)
Do we have all the answers?  No.  But, we have access to the one who does.  No matter how busy life gets, or how many hands are pulling at us, do not neglect to rest and be refreshed at the feet of Jesus.  Seek His face, and rest in His presence!  That is more important than any appointment!
I challenge you, through the hustle and bustle of the season, not to cut out the most important piece of your day!  He loves you so much and longs to be with you and talk to you about His love for you!  Remember that you can’t ‘do it yourself’ but you can do “all things through Christ who gives you strength” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV)
Be blessed and have a happy and safe holiday!!!

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