Sunday, January 23, 2011

Return, Receive, Remember

In this world of schedules, two income families, celebrations, trying to make ends meet while getting ahead, texting, email, mp3 players, Ipod, Itouch, ipad, computer, xbox, wii, ps3, --- do I have to go on? – it is time to pull the plug. Though these are not bad things when in perspective it is too easy to get isolated from others throughout our everyday life. In fact, even though we may be in the same house as our spouse or children we can lose touch with the ones closest to us.
Let me challenge you to take a step backwards. Take a step into a simpler time of life that includes talking at the dinner table, having a game night, sitting with your child as they did their homework, taking a walk with your spouse, playing basketball  (or any sport) with your child, reading a book out loud together. When watching TV meant watching together in the family room and not with each family member isolated in their own “space” watching their own TV program by themselves.
So how do you start getting back to the basics of a simpler life? Start with three important “R”’'s.

RETURN
The American Heritage Dictionary defines return as: To go or to come back; to answer or to respond; to deliver
Where are you with your walk with Christ? Have you ever received Him into your heart as Lord and Savior? You have received Him but you have walked away from Him?

(NLT) Deuteronomy 4:30 
“In the distant future, when you are suffering all these things, you will finally return to the Lord your God and listen to what he tells you.

Whatever place you may find yourself in today….God knows…And He wants you to return to Him. If you feel that you are unworthy that is not true! You are worthy enough for Him to die on the cross for you. If you feel like you can not admit the things you have done because of shame or guilt, realize that He already knows! And when you say it out loud to Him, you will experience deliverance from shame and guilt.
When you repair your relationship with Him, He will show you how to repair the other relationships in your life.

RECEIVE
The American Heritage Dictionary defines receive as: to acquire, to take in or contain, to greet 
Once you have returned to the Lord there may be doubts that linger inside yourself. As a Christian of long time belief or as a new creation in Christ, one has to learn that there is freedom within the love and grace of God. You are free to be delivered from your past. The challenge here is to receive that statement of love, to learn to live in the freedom of this statement of grace. Yes, it really is just that easy. Receive it, believe in it. If you choose not to receive this liberating freedom that is offered to you after receiving Jesus into your heart then you are missing out on a precious aspect of your relationship with Christ. Receive His forgiveness for you and live within that acceptance!
                When you experience this acceptance you can move forward in your relationships with others – whether you want the relationship to be repaired or just to grow more intimate.

Lord, give me your unfailing love, the salvation that you promised me. Then I can answer those who taunt me, for I trust in your word. Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope. I will keep on obeying your instructions forever and ever. I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.

Expanding on these verses:
Dependence upon the grace and promise of God for salvation are the two pillars on which our hope is built and they will not fail us. Do all that you can do to understand the word of God, for when you do this you will discover His will for your life and though your life may not become perfect it shall get better when you walk in His freedom provided for you.

REMEMBER
When life gets hard remember the truths of God and His actions of the past. For the God of the past is the same God of the present and the God of the future.                 
The American Heritage Dictionary defines remember as: to recall to the mind; to think of again
To think again. To recall to the mind. I don’t know about you but I need reminders throughout the day and sometimes they come in the most unusual way from a person you don’t expect.  I came across this quote that gave me a reminder:           
Ray Ortlund: We must first be committed to Christ, then to one another in Christ, and finally to the work of Christ in the world.
You see, my friend, you are here to be in the world but the world is not about you. People that are around you need you today and tomorrow. You are important to God. You are important to others. When you think you are not and you cannot do anything for God then you believe a lie from the devil.

(NLT) Psalm 77:11 
But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. 

Expanding on this verse:
When you remember the works of God, they will be a powerful antidote against doubt of His promises because He is God and He does not change. All that God does is intended to be good for the Church. And if you are a believer then you are part of His Church. Give glory to God for what He has done and acknowledge Him for there is nothing that can compare to Him.


Prayer :
Dear Father in Heaven, I pray that you touch those hearts in need of You. That You bring them full knowledge of who You are, and what they mean to You. Lord thank you for choosing to die on the cross for us to bring deliverance to us and to impart freedom within the knowledge of You. Lord you are great and there is no other God. Thank You Jesus for all You have done since time of earth began and for all You are doing now and for all that You already have planned to do. Hold us close during these times Lord for You have an arm that is never too short to save those who are willing. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

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