“The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” Luke 24:7 NIV
Did you save me so that I could live in fear or worry about tomorrow? Did you save me so that I could complain about my blessings? Did you save me to be secretly envious of others? Did you save me so that I could avert my eyes when someone in need is standing in front of me? Did you save me so that I could sit idle while there are so many people that don’t know you? Did you save me so that I could live in shame? Did you save me so that I could have a false sense of superiority? Did you save me so that I could feel hopeless?
Absolutely not. You saved me because you wanted me to walk in light, not in darkness. You saved me so that I could enjoy your blessings. You saved me so that I could praise you even in the midst of troubles. You saved me so that I could pray for others. You saved me so that I can have compassion for those in need. You saved me so that I could spread the good news that Jesus is Lord and Savior. You saved me so that I could forgive those who have hurt me. You saved me so that I could fulfill your purpose for my life. You saved me so that I could be hopeful. You saved me because you love me.
Lord, please let me always remember and to also remind others why you saved us.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.” John 15: 16 NIV
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16 NIV
Once I started I couldn’t stop. I crave it more than chocolate, ice cream, French fries and bacon. It’s the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. It races through my mind in the middle of the day. I look forward to it more than I look forward to my favorite TV show or the latest novel by my favorite author. I have to have it when I’m happy, when I’m scared or worried, when I’m hungry and when I’m heartbroken.
If I go a day without it, I get nervous, flustered and depressed. I can’t see or hear clearly. I make foolish decisions. I stumble into trouble. I get lost. You see, my addiction is as necessary as the air I breathe. It’s as necessary as the water I drink. It sustains me.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what has me so hooked. It’s called prayer. Are you addicted too?
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NIV
Would you give a drink of water to someone who is thirsty? Would you give up your favorite coat to someone who is cold? Would you give your last piece of bread to someone who is hungry? Would you offer someone a place to lay their head? Would you offer comfort to someone in pain? Would you help someone up if they had fallen? Would you lay down your life to save someone else’s?
Most people would answer yes to these questions if it were a close family member or friend. However, the real question is, would those same people still answer yes if it were for a complete stranger. What if it was someone who humiliated you, lied to you, beat you, betrayed you or completely denied your existence? I’m guessing that the answer to these questions would change to absolutely not for a lot of people.
There is someone who did do those things for us despite what we did to him. His name is Jesus. He endured torture and humiliation for everyone, even those who mistreated him. He died so that we could receive salvation. He didn’t wait until we wised up and begged for his forgiveness. He didn’t wait until our attitudes changed. He asked for forgiveness on our behalf, knowing that we didn’t know any better, and he suffered the punishment that we should have received. He loves us in spite of ourselves. Aren’t you glad that he was willing to do that for us? Now, if God can forgive us after all we’ve done, why can’t we forgive each other?
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against each other. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 NIV
“Search me, O Lord, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting.” Psalms 139: 23-24 NIV
Why does it feel like my vision is blurry? Why does it feel as if my prayers are going unanswered? Why do I feel as if I have a ton of worries sitting on my shoulders? It’s time to take a closer look at myself and ask a difficult question. Who has had top priority in my life? Has it been me or God?
Do I seem to have time to watch my favorite TV shows but can never seem to find time to read the Bible? Am I able to find time to send text messages, emails and update my Facebook status all day but can’t find time to pray? Have I found time to worry about my problems but can’t find time to turn them over to God? Do I have time to complain about all the things going wrong but can’t find time to speak God’s promises? Can I find time to gossip and talk about how someone can’t get their life together but can’t find time to encourage them? Am I able to find time to make comments about current events to those around me but can’t find time to share the good news about Jesus Christ with them?
Does it look like it’s time to make some changes?
“Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalms 86:11 NIV