Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Big Fat Heart

What a beautiful day; fresh and bright after yesterday which was filled with dark ominous clouds electrified with ripples of lightning that ignited the sky continuously for hours.

{Now that was a mouthful…It was so beautiful though that you almost have to word it just like that}

Colby, (Sam’s best friend who moved to Joplin two weeks before the tornado) said as the storm raged last night, that the magnificence of it was just a small glimpse of the power and majesty of God…and then he added, “it’s just God trimming his toenails.”  Thanks Colby, way to ruin a beautiful sentiment with toenail trimming metaphor.

Sam, Colby, and I turned off every light in the house, opened the patio door and sat tucked inside, out from the rain, playing guitar and singing praise songs to the Lord as we watched the show he was putting on for us in the sky.  It was amazing.

This morning I find myself back in 2nd Corinthians, and as Paul is encouraging the Corinthians he is encouraging me, little Ronda Honda, 2000 years into the future.  Awesome.

There are so many “R” words in the scriptures that I LOVE: Redemption, Renewing, Rebuilding, Reconciliation, Revive, Revelation, Refreshed…I am sure I am missing some, can you name some more good ones?

Ah, I just thought of one more. Thank you Lord (he keeps me on track): Relationship.

And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 2nd Corinthians 5:15

You, who are alive, have a call on your life.  Jesus died and was raised (Resurrection).  At the end of 1st Corinthians (Chapter 15) Paul caught wind that some people believed that Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead.  So Paul had to bring out his paddle (figuratively speaking).  He basically tells them that without Christ being raised from the dead Christianity is pointless.  And he adds that they would be guilty of lying about God, and that everyone would still be under the law (death).  BUT…he says in verse 20, But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead…

If I say I follow him, I need to live for him. It was for my sake that he not only died, but that he was made alive again.  Does that blow your mind?  It blows my mind.  I live for myself all the time!  I am a real stinker in this regard.  It is so easy though.  It is so easy to get caught up in my own life that I forget to live for him.  Consider it.

Consider your life and the fruit of your life.  Really, if you are sitting there reading these words I hope you will take 2.5 seconds to pause and think…do I live for me?  Or do I live for Christ?  Do I have idols that I cherish?  Am I too busy?  Am I too angry?  Am I too good?  Am I too entertained with life?

I hope you know that I am asking myself these very questions.

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh.  Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him this way no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who though Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.  We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  {get ready for it} For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2nd Corinthians 5:16-20

If you are in an active relationship with the living God…your life will reflect it {another R word}.  If you are in Christ, you are a new creation.

Can I keep going?  I love this so much, I know that you can open your Bible and read these words too, but I love em, so I want to share em.

Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain {WARNING, WARNING, alarms and red flashy lights were going off in my head like on a submarine}.  For he says,

“In a favorable time I listened to you,
And in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Let me rephrase:

Listen up!  NOW is the favorable time; Come on people, NOW is the day of salvation!

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise.  We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections.  In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.

We are supposed to be different, but not proud different like “Hey everybody, come see how righteous I am!”  But different because Christ is changing us from inside out.  There is no room for pride of life.  With humility I need to love everyone.  There are so many people I need to apologize to.  The best apology is a changed attitude.  Showing them the change and not just letting it be words.  Be kind and open.  Be welcoming and hospitable.  Be attractive, not in your outward appearance, but let your heart be attractive so that people will be drawn to you and you can share with them of the HOPE that lies within you.  He will do all the rest…in fact, he will even make the changes to your heart if you are ready and willing to be changed.  Let the Remodeling begin!

Lord, I give you my heart and I give you my soul.  That is a beautiful song and as the words come immediately to my memory I rejoice with a choir of your saints around the world in this day and in past days and future days combine.  A symphony of praise.  I pray that my life will be a beautiful melody found pleasing to your ears.  I pray that my life will be a sweet smelling fragrance…like fresh baked bread, pleasing to you.  I pray that I will bring you honor, and that I will never embarrass you.  I pray that everyday you remind me of the ultimate call on my life, to love.  Thank you for putting people in my life who love and support me.  Thank you for all your blessings, please let me be a good steward, never taking anything for granted.  Thank you for sending us the Holy Spirit to comfort us.  I don’t thank you enough and I am so sorry.  Widen my heart.  Stretch my heart.  Grow my heart.  Build my heart.  Remodel my heart; make it what you want…I love you so much.  You make me smile more and more everyday as I dig into your word.  I see you in everything good.  I praise your holy name.

If the scriptures I wrote here didn’t jump off the page and minister to your heart, try opening up your Bible and reading them.  God’s word is alive…like yogurt.  Eat some word, it’s good for you.



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