The One Job

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As I walked through the store one day, I noticed a sweater hanging on a rack. Ivory in color and adorned with colorful miniature sweaters, I fell in love with this beautiful garment. I convinced myself I needed it and paid the high price to obtain it. I smiled and beamed as I took my prize home with me.

The weather remained warmer than usual, so I carefully hung the garment in the closet. I waited and watched for the right time to wear the sweater. Winter soon turned to spring, and before long, the heat of summer returned with a blast of heat. The sweater hung, forgotten, in the back of the closet.

Years later, the beautiful garment still hung in the back of the closet. Never worn, the shirt had never fulfilled its purpose in life. I bought it to wear and enjoy. Instead, it remained hidden from the world. If I had not made the purchase, maybe someone else would have bought it and enjoyed wearing it. But instead, it was a wasted purchase.

1 Corinthians 7:23 (NLT) God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.

Sometimes I wonder if Christ views us as the story of the sweater. He bought us by shedding His blood on the cross and dying for us. We belong to Christ, for Him to use in this world to further His kingdom. But how many of us just hang in the closet and never fulfill His purpose for our lives?

1Timothy 2:6 (NLT) He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.

What purposes does God have for our lives? Christ calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Instead, we only love our friends and dislike those who are different. Jesus asks us to share the gospel with others. Instead, we convince ourselves that it is the preacher’s job, and we are not qualified, so we don’t spread the gospel. God commands us to provide for the poor and needy among us. Instead, we rationalize our own needs over those of the poor and downtrodden,

Christ bought each of us for a price. We are the tools Christ will use to further His kingdom here on earth. He has a purpose for us in this world. Are you fulfilling that mission or are you just hanging out in the closet? The sad part, God will find someone else to do the work if we don’t. Then we will miss out on the opportunity to hear Christ proclaim, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Acts 20:28b (NLT) Feed and shepherd God’s flock–his church, purchased with his own blood

As the funny TV ads announce, “You had one job to do……..” Well, we have one job to do in life, and that job is for us to be the hands and feet of Christ to the world. Are you fulfilling the purpose which Christ redeemed you to do? It is not too late to start now.

Blessings,

Yvonne, Blogger, speaker and author

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

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A Cluttered World

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Looking around the closets of my house, I see too much stuff. Articles of clothing not touched in months and sometimes years. I would bet some of the clothes do not even fit the wearer anymore. Too many shoes, too many purses, so much stuff that I have no room for anything anymore.

The kitchen suffers from overcrowding as well. In the pantry, two or three bottles of the same type of spices. Boxed food dating back to before time began, gathering dust on the shelves. Moldy cheeses and fruits wasted because they sat buried under other foods. And yet, we still buy more staples and cram them into the overflowing shelves.

Luke 3:11 (NIV) John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

Other families own so much stuff that they need storage facilities to hold it all. One family I knew rented three units at three different locations to keep all their overflow of possession. Have you noticed how many storage places are popping up in your city? We have become obsessed with owning more things.

This need for things has now spread beyond our households. All you can eat restaurants fill the need for overindulging. Calendars not filled up leave us feeling underutilized. We try to work eighty hours in a forty-hour work week. The children enrolled in too many activities leave us exhausted. We probably own and do more things than any of our ancestors but are we any happier?

As I travel throughout God’s creation, I realize how satisfied families can be with much fewer possessions. I see the joy on the faces of Myanmar women with only a few outfits in their closets. I watch Nepal families celebrating life together with just a bowl of rice to eat. I spend time with Kenyan women who have nothing on their calendars. They have time to sit down with me and enjoy a cup of tea and a conversation without a cluttered schedule.

Luke 12:15 (NIV) Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Do we own our belongings or do they own us? I plan to simplify my life by cleaning out closets and buying less stuff this year. I want to free up my calendar for more time with friends. As a Christian, I feel God is calling me to the simpler life. Christ wants my whole heart. When my focus is on worldly possessions, my heart cannot turn to Christ entirely. I pray that fewer distractions in my home will help me spend more time with the essential thing, Christ.

What can you do to de-clutter your life and find more freedom in Christ alone?

Blessings,

Yvonne, Blogger, speaker and author

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

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When God is Silent

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Have you ever felt like God is not speaking to you? I know I have experienced a time when I felt that way. Since seeing the movie “Silence” by Martin Scorsese recently, I have pondered God’s silence. The show caused my husband and me much discussion on the subject as well as other topics brought up in the film. I highly recommend the movie but be aware; it will challenge you in many ways.

Psalm 28:1 “To You, O LORD, I call; My rock, do not be deaf to me, For if You are silent to me, I will become like those who go down to the pit.” (NAS)

Is God ever really silent?
I saw a quote in an article by Jon Bloom that explained “God’s silence is how it feels, it’s not how it is” I think this statement goes directly to the heart of the issue, God’s silence is a perception, not a reality. So, if God is not silent, then what is keeping us from hearing Him?

I think sometimes we misunderstand the situation as we try to view it in human terms. As Isaiah 55:8 explains below, God’s ways are not our ways. We believe He is silent because we do not understand His ways. God may have a purpose for allowing us to perceive a period of silence.

  • Maybe God is speaking in a very soft whisper. God wants our full attention when He speaks.
  • The more God lets us feel alone, the more we might earnestly seek Him.
  • The noise of the world might drown out His voice. Our constant connection to our electronics can be deafening.
  • Our sins may scream louder than God’s small, still voice. Sometimes repentance must happen first.

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” (NIV)

A period of silence is not the time to give up. There are steps you can take to make your way through the perceived dessert.

  • Keep on praying and talking to God. He is always listening even when you can not hear Him.
  • Turn to His written word, the Bible, to seek His words for you.
    Examine your heart and life.
  • Find a quiet time and a place just to listen for the voice of Christ to speak.

Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (NIV)

Blessings,

Yvonne, Blogger, speaker and author

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”