(09.03.21– Living Life –Romans 5:3-4)
My friend, may I ask you a question? Does being close to God have something to do with who we are or, for that matter, how loudly we make our presence known to Him?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I'm M. Clifford Brunner.
Little Johnny was sitting in church, front pew, with his Mom. The offering had been taken and it was time for the sermon. Little Johnny was fidgeting as the pastor, his robe flowing, starting his climb into the pulpit. Johnny's Mom leaned over and whispered into Johnny's ear: “Johnny, sit still and honor the pastor. He is close to God and you should be polite and show him you know that." Johnny frowned, but settled down and tried to listen to the pastor as he spoke loudly about sin and grace and how God wanted sinners to repent. Finally, sermon over and last hymn sung, Johnny and his Mom walked down the aisle where they were greeted by the pastor. Johnny grasped the pastor's hand, looked up into his smiling face and decided to ask a question. "Pastor, my Mom says that you're close to God. If that's right, why do you have to talk so loud? Can't he hear you?"
Being close to God, of course, has nothing to do with who we are or, for that matter, how loudly we make our presence known to Him. But, there are some things that are a better measurement of just how close we are to God.
Famous Civil War nurse and humanitarian Florence Nightingale wrote: "Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift. There is nothing small in it, for God takes the smallest things and makes them into the greatest. But to live your life you must discipline it. You must not fritter it away in small endeavors, making mistakes here and there, being inconsistent in your willingness to make things right. But, make your thoughts your acts; make your work a fulfillment of your dreams and to that end, not a fulfillment of self but a fulfillment of God's purposes for you. That is what we call character and liv- ing life as God meant it to be lived." (Florence Nightingale)
In all things you and I must persevere. The Bible tells us that we should, ". . . rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us" (Romans 5:3-4). Nightingale was right; character is the measure of how well we are living our lives. We fulfill God's purpose for our lives when we focus on living our lives close to Him. And, there is only one, way to do that; develop a Godly character. Flowing robes and elegant speech don't draw us closer to God. You and I are closer to God when we live our lives in proximity to His chastening hand. Our ability to persevere in suffering honors God and we are thereby honored by His drawing us into His presence. Suffering IS the tool that God uses to build character. His finest and most dependable tool at that.
We pray. Heavenly Father, character is the measure of how well we are living our lives. When we fulfill Your purpose for our lives, Lord, we focus on living our lives close to You. Father, there is only one way to do that; develop a character You will approve of in us. Flowing robes and elegant speech don't draw us closer to You We are closer to You when we live our lives in proximity to Your chastening hand. Our ability to persevere in suffering honors You and we are thereby honored by Your drawing us into Your presence. We are thankful Lord that suffering IS the tool You use to build character. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<email@example.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.