Stop trying to be good!

I love the passage in the Bible concerning the rich young ruler. Matthew 19:16-30

The young man had a desire for eternal life. He went to the right person, Jesus who was the way to eternal life.

He addressed him as teacher. He was specific with his question. Basically, he wanted to know what good thing he most do to get eternal life.

Jesus said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments”

Then the young man wanted to know which ones. Jesus names off about six of them.

Why didn’t he name all ten?

What did it matter? Could anyone obey them?

Jesus was creating awareness here. It should have awakened a sense of need for God’s mercy, grace and redemption in this person.

The law is great as it helps us understand the fact that we can’t be ‘good,’ enough. It’s not possible.

My challenge to those reading this, would be to name anyone in the Old or New Testament that ever obeyed all of the commandments?

Besides Jesus, there is none. That’s the point isn’t it?

We cannot receive eternal life through being good. The commandments show us that truth. Without God it is impossible.

Romans 3:10, 12 “As it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.

It is a worthless attempt to be good on our own merit. It is impossible.

Impossible means unable to occur or exist.

There is no possibility we can get eternal life through doing good, or just obeying the commands.

The rich young ruler could not kept all the commandments. We cannot keep all the commandments. Again it’s not possible.

If he or we, were capable of keeping the commandments, capable of being righteous, Jesus would not have had to die on the cross.

The rich young ruler told Jesus that he obeyed all the commandments, but still he was missing something.

His next question was, “What do I lack?”

Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, then go, sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.”

Want to be good? Obey all the commandments.

Want to be perfect? Sell your possessions

Want to have treasure in heaven? Sell your possessions and give to the poor.

Want eternal life? Follow Christ

The young man went away sad, because he had great wealth.

That wealth was his weakness. He was not willing to put Christ above his possessions. He left sad. He missed the truth.

Jesus made this statement to the disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”

I can’t help but wonder, what would have happened, if the rich, young ruler laid it all down to follow Jesus?

I didn’t have to wonder long because the disciples ask a good question, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus answered “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”

God can enlarge the eye of the needle! Open wide the gate! And he did! On the cross!

Ephesians 2:8-11 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

There is such joy in following Jesus!

What’s possible?

Possibility…..I love this word. It means there might be a chance to use my faith.

Envisioning the potential of unlimited possibilities makes every day new and exciting.

Jesus promised in Mark 10:27 ” All things are possible with God.”

That’s even more motivating!

It should cause us to sit up and take notice.

Developing this outlook will inspire us to withstand short term, temporal storms in life.

Things formerly seemingly impossible with man, become very possible with God.

Inspiration for Motivation

A very motivated person said to me the other day, ” I need to stop being lazy.”

I had trouble agreeing with them. I did not see before me a lazy person. Normally, they are full of energy and creativity.

Lazy means unwilling to work or use energy.

I could sense low energy. I am a life coach, so it bothered me. As I meditated on it, I realized, we were not dealing with laziness.

This person had lost inspiration. They were uninspired.

Inspiration is so important! We need inspiration for motivation.

When we are uninspired, we show lack of care, and lack of energy. We slow down. We feel ho-hum.

Unchecked, we can mis-identify what we are feeling. We begin to dis ourselves. We feel dis-couraged, we become dis- appointed, and then we dis-respect, and criticize ourselves.

If you feel lazy today, I encourage you to evaluate your atmosphere first.

Are you uninspired?

If so, I challenge you to care for yourself! Take back your courage! Take back your energy!

Try writing 3 -4 things that would make you feel inspired!

For great inspiration read the Psalms.

You are not lazy! You are just low on inspiration.

Be inspired!

The Blended Life

My spirit believes God. I find it is my soul that needs critique, and alignment. They need a blender.

Psalms 139 inspires me to pray for my mind, will, and emotions to align with the wholeness of my heart belief, and blend.

It begins with, ” O Lord, you have searched me, and know me.”

The Lord knows, I believe in Him, and I know he helps my unbelief. He has made a covenant with me, I am written in his book. He is with me.

He knows my unbelief, how at times my reactions do not show the truth of what I believe.

I can move from faith to fear, just like that!

Yet, Psalms 139 says I am like him in image. I can count on his love.

Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word of God. Romans 10:17

I can also move from fear to faith through the inspiration of hearing Gods word.

My desire is to live wholly, standing with the very God of peace. I want my spirit, my soul, and my body to be preserved until the day of Jesus Christ.

Doubts, conflicts, separations arise out of my soul. (my mind, my will, and my emotions.) Yet, my spirit believes.

How then can we align the soul with the heart? How can the soul and spirit come together as one?

I believe the answer is in scripture.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ

V 24: Faithful is he who calls you, who will also do it.

I can rest in that. Jesus called me. I answered his call. He will be faithful to me.

Now here comes my part. I will be faithful to him. I will give him my whole heart. Spirit, soul, and body. Then I will trust his faithfulness.

No one said living fully would be easy. If it was easy everyone would be a believing follower of Christ.

What helps me is to remember my vows. My relationship with him is as a Covenant Marriage.

It’s in the New Covenant.

I received salvation by faith in my heart. My faith comes into my heart as I hear and I believe.

Faith is also professed as I follow him. Actions speak as clear as words.

I made a covenant with God through my acceptance of his son, Jesus Christ. I made my vow to love him with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Practicing Christianity is like two hearts that fall in love. Two people make a decision to marry.

Then the realization, that though their hearts are united as one, the will of each, along with the mind, and emotions are not united.

Mainly because there are two completely different individuals. Male and female. Different personalities. Different ways they were raised. Differences!

They key is unity, not conformity in most relationships. Yet, you must give up your individual rights to become one in a covenant marriage. You don’t give up who you are, you just become your best self.

The word married means to couple or fit together as one. Anything can be married under that description.

As a example; two pieces of rope can be intertwined by splicing together two ends of a rope. This combines the rope to become one.

So in this illustration you have two individuals things intertwined. Married.

There is no heart connection, so it is not a covenant combination. It’s not a covenant marriage.

The description of a covenant marriage is one giving their heart to the other, to form a partnership.

The mind, will and emotions are often separate from the unconditional love of surrendered and united hearts.

You can fit something together, but not make it agree.

The mind, will, and emotions are like siblings in a blended family.

Let’s use the example of 6 siblings. 3 from each heart.

2 minds

2 wills

2 sets of emotions

The two minds rarely become same-minded overnight. They are like the parents. Each with their own way of doing things.

The two wills are stubborn opposites. Oil and water.

The two sets of emotions are like having twins, who connect with the wills of the one they favor the most.

It’s like a constant battle. You can marry them by ceremony, but the only way to unify them is through covenant marriage.

A covenant marriage is the coming together for one purpose. The two become one.

A covenant marriage is where the two become one in like mindedness. Blended.

You have the mind of Christ. Your spirit and soul are united.

You become your best self. You become like Him.

Look before you Leap!

Have you ever ‘jumped to a conclusion,’ without having the facts?

It makes me uncomfortable to admit how many times, I have done that.

There is actually a physiological term for those who practice it, “inference observation confusion.”

The term defined means, “reaching unwarranted conclusions without the facts.”

It caused realization in me, that jumping to conclusions is more dangerous than humorous.

I am not the only one needing education. We all need to work on finding factual evidence before acting on conclusions.

Our culture is suffering from JTC, aka ‘ Jumping to Conclusions.

Our congress is practicing it right now.

The infuriating thing?

They are supposed to be responsible leaders.

They were elected to lead, we the people, with wisdom.

The dollars they are spending , are not allocated to support personal vendetta’s, or unchecked theories.

That makes me wonder , what ever happened to good investigative, reporting?

Remember when, it actually meant digging for facts?

Where are the wise leaders, who step back and wait for truth?

Do we really need guides, who blindly, jump on the band wagon?

Isn’t that the same as jumping off a cliff , because others are doing it?

Parenting 101.

I guess we all know the results of jumping to conclusions. They either are uncomfortable or comical. Unchecked, they can also be dangerous.

They become dangerous when we don’t constitute checks, and balances.

Accounting 101.

Measure twice, cut once. Wisdom, no matter the trade. Basics, 101.

We need diversity with unity. We need checks and balances. We need to pause sometimes, before acting out our discernment’s.

Unless we are on a island by ourselves?

Are we on a island by ourselves America?

I have to answer that. No, not even when, America was discovered.

But, history proves we had some very wise leaders. We know this by the results.

These leaders had vision, and they developed it. They wrote it and called it ” The United States Constitution.”

Vision casting, 101. Write the vision and make it plain, so those who read it, can run with it.

Write down the revelation
    and make it plain on tablets
    so that a herald may run with it.

Bible, Habakkuk 2:2

Adopting it as our vision, and adhering to it, we became, “The United States of America.”

It was and is a beautiful, historical, and proven document, that provides vision, unity and diversity.

Are we now, “The Divided States of America?”

We are, if we can’t keep the true vision.

We are, if our leaders keep going by their individual feelings, and agenda.

We are, if we keep pointing fingers, and jumping to conclusions.

We will be, if we don’t do reality checks.

Where are our phycology majors? Could you speak up? Can you talk about how to be healthy again?

America can’t remain free with unhealthy leaders, practicing unhealthy principals, flowing down into the people.

We the people, need truth. We need balance. We need responsibility with other peoples lives.

We need to be America again.

The Art of Preservation

I know the plans I have for you.

This is what the Lord of heavenly armies said to the captives through the prophet Jeremiah.

NLT Jeremiah 29

1Jeremiah wrote a letter from Jerusalem to the elders, priests, prophets, and all the people who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. 2This was after King Jehoiachin,a the queen mother, the court officials, the other officials of Judah, and all the craftsmen and artisans had been deported from Jerusalem. 3He sent the letter with Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah when they went to Babylon as King Zedekiah’s ambassadors to Nebuchadnezzar. This is what Jeremiah’s letter said:

4This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: 5“Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. 6Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! 7And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”

These passages tell us so much about what God values and preserves.

Its a word to us about purpose even in captivity. We are to occupy, and grow.

In Family. In Peace. In Prosperity.

Marry and have children, find spouses for your children and encourage grandchildren. ( Calm down, I am speaking of praying. Ask God to lead them to the ones they should marry.)

He tells us to work to build houses, plant gardens, and eat the food we produce. He tells us to work for Peace and Prosperity for the cities we live in.

8This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, 9because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the LORD.

10This is what the LORD says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

I spent some time in France last Thanksgiving Holiday. My niece and I visited many museums. We saw beautiful architectural designs in the centuries old museums and churches throughout the city.

The furniture from the period of the Kings was detailed and amazingly well built. The paintings, the rugs, many of the Kings things, were well preserved for our century to view. We could imagine the lives of the Kings, as we viewed the historical displays, that were preserved through the centuries.

I thought about the Bible in history and how it records the stories of not only good things, the plans and promises, it tells you also about the things, that went wrong and were wrong.

Yet, the Bible does not release a sense of coldness, as the old churches and museums do. It feels alive!

As I looked at the history of the Kings, I saw the pomp and the circumstances. I saw the sadness of the eyes in the beautiful oil paintings.

I saw the Egyptian artifacts, the beautiful etchings on the jewelry. The burial boxes. I saw how they hoped to preserve life. I pray, they valued spiritual preservation as well.

I thought about how important history is to the next generation, and how we should never attempt to change history. The good and the bad must be clearly seen.

It warns us of deception, tricks, schemes, and dreams, of those not representing Creator God.

Mistakes should not be hidden, nor should accomplishments.

Through the viewing of history and the reading of the Bible, we can plainly see mistakes of the past. We should have no desire to repeat them.

We should have no goals to live as earthly kings. We should have no faith in a box preserving our body.

Riches do not bring health, or happiness. Focusing on preserving the physical body does not guarantee eternal life.

Knowing that God has a plan for your life, is the source of peace. Knowing there is hope of the future with him, is where we can place our trust.

We can build our lives around building a home, encouraging our children to find spouses and have children. We are told to multiply and enjoy life, not dwindle away. God has a good plan for us, to give us a hope and a future.

We must pray for the peace and prosperity for our city and the United States, for its welfare will determine our welfare!

As for Me personally;

The painting that I would like to preserve and hang on my mantle is priceless.

It speaks of a salvation so great, that the depiction of it, can’t even be drawn by a human hand.

It can only be written upon the heart by a unseen hand.

Unseen faith preserves my heart. It’s there, I feel it beating.

It’s a priceless heirloom. It’s my inheritance. It’s my legacy.

Therefore, I will wear it joyfully, and center my hope and future, in His salvation by grace, through faith!

I believe God will bring me home again.

My hope is that when my body ends up in a box, my faith will clearly be seen as having been lived out fully!

May it be said of me, “she believed God, and she lived like she believed.”

Be the Change

It’s a good saying, ” Be the change.”

Be the change the world needs!

I don’t know if the question is being asked, “what change does the world need,” but maybe it should be.

If I answer the question just for myself today, then I would have to say, “Overall, what the world needs most now is truth. “

The change most needed is for the true nature of Jesus to operate in each of us.

We need true relationship with the Father who honor’s the son, saying ” I commit all judgement unto the son,to which the son returns honor to his father and says, ” the son can do nothing of himself.”

(John 5:19-23 for more)

We need to be of those, who have the nature, and relationship of Jesus.

We need to be in true partnership with God to go to the next level, which is true ownership!

True ownership means to me that we rule our own lives well, own house well, and own our own mistakes first.

Rather being focused on pointing out the mistakes of others, we could be the change, through showing honor to God as we commit judgement to the Son.

The phrase, ‘get off your high horse applies here concerning judgement.’

I have heard that, ‘ though we may prepare the horse for battle, God prepares the victory.’

We need to be the change by being trained in righteousness through the exercise of our faith, and the learning of trust in God.

We truly can do nothing without God. He knows that, and when we know that, he invites us into partnership and gives us a desire to be servant leaders in the household of God.

Can we like be the change?

We can , but only if , we imitate Jesus. In doing that our focus will change and we will make of ourselves, ‘no reputation.’

That doesn’t mean we don’t have plans, or that we don’t practice authority over life, or that we don’t help guide people.

It means to me that’s we don’t set the agenda in other people lives.

We don’t seek to be the Lord of anyone’s live but our own.

We can’t change or control other peoples lives.

We can only be the change by being the example.

The example of servanthood. We have a servant leader in Jesus.

Being like him is a good work to desire. Being a elder of faith is good goal.

But the best elders have learned to exercise faith by waiting on God’s nature to form in them.

They best example is faithfulness through partnership, because we first experience God’s faithfulness in relationship.

The desire to hear: “Well done my good and faithful servant,” from God’s throne, should be foremost.

” Well said my good and faithful scholars,” may be more about pedestals we build trying to please man.

Oof. Right to the gut.

Because as I seek to influence others for the kingdom of God, as mother, wife, sister, writer, coach, I often have to step up on a platform. ( I am only 5ft. 2 in stature) but may I always remember to climb up to see Jesus, and for others to see Jesus, not to see me!

My prayer is that I know and remember, I am a recipient of His mercy and grace, as He gave his life for me as a ransom!

May I desire his affirmation over me, rather than affirmations of others.

Just thoughts today as I examine the true nature of being the change.

Prayer: Lord help me to be the change!