Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year -- New Ways by transformation of mind in Christ

Thank you, best sister Barbara, for the devotion book - Jesus Calling by Sarah Young! May I be as focused on Him at the close of the year as you have inspired me to be by your own heart of love for Him.

In being renewed -- transformed -- one of the elements is to be teachable. Change cannot take place unless one is eager for change -- looking for those options, possibilities, and leading down a different path than the "normal" or "usual".

The changes appear to take place by renewing of mind. Thoughts focus on Him, rather than the me. And with that last statement, I realize how easily I have added that "me" at the end of many thoughts and prayers.

God has:

  • Infinite attention span.
  • Complete understanding of me as an individual
  • Embracing, everlasting Love
  • Promise of prosperity, not harm
  • Plans for hope and a future
My response is directed to be, "increasing attentiveness to My Presence." (p. 2)

Scripture reference of Romans 12:2 leads with verse 1, I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Verse 2, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." 

From this scripture, may I let God be the focus rather than things of this world. The other day I got bent out of shape when our auto-payments were not set up as I thought -- panic was the word when finding the notice stating that if we didn't pay our bill, the utility service would be shut off. Looking back, I realize that if I had sat down and prayed, I probably would not have ended up in tears. Rather silly, now that I look back. Of course, my first reaction was that I fell apart from having a taste of chocolate milk (OK -- several sips). The guilty party was that chemical in chocolate that makes me feel rotten. Eventually I realized that I had let my earthly flesh be narrow minded such that I didn't see options. I focused only on the tragedy that I had made an error. This reading in Romans, does not state that we must be perfect -- "THOU SHALT NOT MAKE A MISTAKE." Instead, react not as the flesh would have -- PANIC -- but allow the mind to react differently. The issue for me was that I couldn't wait until after lunch to get the issue resolved, I had to take care of it RIGHT THEN. A more mature response would have been to recognize right after lunch I needed to call and see what I could do to get the situation rectified.

Scripture reference Jeremiah 29:11: 'For I know the plans that I have for you', declares the Lord,' plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope'. This scripture gives me assurance than when something here on earth is a bit out of kilter or seems hard to cope with, He can be that strength for me in the midst. At one point in my trying to pull myself back together, Marshall came and hugged me. I felt as if his strength helped release the burden inside. How much more can God do that for me if I turn to Him in the midst of whatever it is that causes calamity.

Jeremiah 29:12-14: 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you,' declares the Lord...

Call upon Him. Pray to Him. He is there. I can find Him if I seek and search with all my heart. God is bigger than anything. Yes, period. God is greater than anything. God is God above all.

Lord God, I am eager and open to change. Help me to react in a mature manner when unexpecteds start to derail my ability to think clearly. May I see You as a mighty God -- in the midst of all pieces of my life -- such that I have calm in the midst of a storm. May I see you in the midst of any storm. May I see You as bigger than any storm. May I see You instead of any storm. Almighty One, I give myself fully to "this adventure of increasing attentiveness to [Your] presence."     Amen...

Resource: Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, Thomas Nelson Publisher @2004.

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