Into Thy Word -
Do you call yourself an expert on receivership? You probably say no way! But do you live your life that way. That is having a "me first" identity, always placing the emphases on the "I" and "Me". If only I... If it could go this way for me...Then I could....
So that the ownership of you life is completely self focused and centered. The ownership of your life is yours and yours alone! But Christ call us to Him, and out of ourselves. Our ownership has been transferred, our pink slip has been signed over from ourselves to Christ, IF you claim Christ as your Lord. What effect are you having to those around you? When we relinquish our selves to Christ, then the proper attitude of life will take over. The vision of our life and the result of what we have will be based on a positive outlook. A positive attitude that is based solely on what Christ has done for us . So regardless of our external circumstances we are to be totally focused on our Lord. We then are to allow our attitudes to be Christ centered. We could allow our circumstances to take the lead or Christ to take the lead, the choice is given to us.
If we are receivership oriented and not Christ centered, then all of those circumstances will be squeezed, and bitterness and resentment will flow out of them. Or we can be Christ centered and oils of sweetness will pour out. What pours out from you? The love and care that is modeled to those around us or the bitterness and hostility will not be squeezed from our circumstances, but from our attitude that results from those circumstances. The way Christ is exhibited in you will be from your focus and attitude and not your circumstances. Your direction in life, your joy and happiness, your cares and concerns, our willingness to reach beyond yourself will grow from your attitude and maturity, all stemming from who you are in Christ!
Then the circumstance will change once we realize our error and the receivership mentality dies, and the Christ centered life is birthed. This is the way we are made, the reason we endue suffering, the way a fallen sinful and unjust world is turned from the glory of Satan into the glory of our Lord. By allowing Christ to reach in us and conform us to His image and character, regardless of what we are going through, regardless of our circumstances.
The attitude will be the impact that strikes at the issues of life. Breaking them away from our hurt and pain to the absorption of grace and the acceptance of Christ. We can not trust in our education, wealth, success, failures, people, appearances, skill, giftedness, or circumstances. The trust must be laid on the floor of the cross and now where else. Our attitude must be Christ driven and not appearances driven. We must embrace the day with joy, knowing Christ is at work in us, in those around us.
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. As the elect, saved by grace, it is still up to us what we make out of what Christ gives us. Maturity will make the difference of a life of distinction and purpose, or a life governed by strife and kcaoss. So what is your response, what is your attitude were does your maturity lay?
Explain having a negative attitude is cutting yourself off from the blessings and wonder that God has in store for you. You may not be rich or famous, but that is not important, it is the positive attitude of life and receiving His redemption and blessing that will give you meaning and true happiness that no car, job, house, spouse or anything that could ever bring you!
Negative attitudes will tie us up from experiencing life, joy, fulfillment, peace, love and happiness! As does refusing to give our will up for our Lord and savior. Go through the next week being fully aware of your attitudes, keep a journal of them, that is keep track of you negative attitudes and positive attitudes. Then notice your feelings and responses in those situations.
There are times when I journal, that is keep a diary of what is going on in my life. I sometimes look back on them and gain new insight on what I was going through, that I did not have back then. I have become more adept to interpret God=s leading and plan for me the more I experience life and receive what He has done. By looking back on what we have been through and see the hand of God there, it will give great comfort and encouragement for what lies ahead or what we are going through now.
As I gain new insight into my personality and the Lord=s working into my issues and problems I realize how shadows they are compared to my Lord=s holiness and greatness.
By concentrating on Christ and what He has done will lift us up better and more complete than anything we could ever do. Thus the thrust of journaling has taught me is to look beyond myself and keep focused on Christ. The other end of this journaling is a problem that people including Christians in their zeal keeping faithful to their journals, is that they become self absorbed and only see themselves and their problems and not the Lord. So be careful if you do this exercise of journaling, keep focused on why you are doing it, that is to grow closer to the Lord and not to yourself.
We are called to keep focused on Him and not ourselves, so we are looking at God=s Word as a mirror to ourselves, to our soul, as not to see us, but to see God working in us. When we only see ourselves, we see sin and brokenness, failure or self-seeking inclinations and wrong attitudes.
We must see God=s interests and not our own, then the journey of maturing in the faith will become more real, as our problems become less as He becomes more.
The same thing can happen when we read the Word. We become so consumed with our interests we do not see the calling and response we are to give. Thus we grow bitter, thinking that this devotion stuff is not for me, so we turn it off. We replace it with so much activity that God is pushed out of our lives, except on Sunday morning. But even them we are rushed and stressed and do not feel the worship or hear the lesson, we only hear ourselves, our problems of getting the kids ready, or the stress at work orY.
We need to respond to the text with a surrendered will and a mind cleared of our anxious thoughts. When we are focused on our fears, hopes, dreams, needs, emotions we have no room to learn what God has for us nor will we be able to think deeply enough into the text so there is a transformation of our nature and will, as philosophers call our existential core. Because there can be no serious behavior or personality change unless the core of who we are is changed. And Christ is the only one who does that right! This transformation in Romans 12 can not happen when we are in the way, well mostly God will do as He pleases, its just that He usually does not over right our will, He waits for us too be surrendered and poured out to Him. So do not take the chance and allow your stubbornness to get in the way of God working in you!
Richard Joseph Krejcir, is the Director of Into Thy Word Ministries, a discipleing ministry. He is also a pastor, teacher, speaker, graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena California and has amounted nearly 20 years of pastoral ministry experience mostly in youth ministry, including serving as a church growth consultant.