Three Questions for 2015

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Holidays are a time to catch up with out-of-town family. Over the years, I have discovered an extra joy: worshiping together in their home church. Being in God’s house away from home, I always learn something new and am prompted to reflect on God’s word. This past Christmas was no exception. In her sermon, the pastor posed three questions:

1. What gift has God given to you?

2. What gift do you give to the world because of God’s gift to you?

3. What is the song of your heart?

These are my type of questions in that they bypass the fluff and get right to the heart of the matter. The first question: what gift has God given to me? Salvation is the obvious answer. Without God’s salvation, I would have nothing of eternal value. But that wasn’t my answer. My answer was hope. The birth of Jesus and the realized promise of salvation fill me with hope. Hope for every circumstance and relationship in my life. Hope for my future, both here on earth and in heaven. And hope for living the life of hope that God has called me to. The second question: what gift do I give to the world because of God’s gift to me? Hmm, as a professing Christian, I should have many good answers. I went with the first one to pop into my head: love. Because God’s hope swells up inside of me, I can express and share God’s love. In a world beset with wars, political divisiveness and bitterness, love is a beacon of hope. Love starts with me in my little corner of the world and can spread beyond my reach through God’s reach to the world. The last question: what is the song of my heart? This was the hardest question. I thought I needed a highly profound answer. I stuck with this one because it is the mantra that motivates me each day. “Everything, even the little things that I do in the name of Jesus, matter to God.” My significance and my influence stem from heeding God’s word in my life and exercising faith daily. Great questions to ponder. May God’s answers spoken to your heart guide you in 2015.

Please feel to share your answers (short or long version) to these three questions in the comments section of this post.

 

Romans 5:5

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 

 

 Hebrews 10:23-24

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

 

 

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Are You Swimsuit Ready?

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The perfectly toned woman with the perpetual optimistic personality is trying to get me pumped up. In between cardio kicks and hip hop dance moves, she reminds me that all my hard work will pay off. I will be swimsuit ready. I really don’t care about swimsuit ready. I wanted a new workout and this DVD was a freebie. Now every time I exercise, I hear her words of encouragement. I can look good in my swimsuit. Are you swimsuit ready? There is a more pressing question I need to address. Will I be Jesus Christ ready? Jesus is returning to earth. Will I be ready for his second coming? The answer involves more than time in my schedule for physical exertion. The answer requires honest reflection. Let’s see. How is my attitude towards the people God has placed in my life? Am I serving God wholeheartedly? Who am I purposely sharing the gospel with? Can people recognize Jesus in me? Salvation through Jesus is a free gift. Living out faith in Jesus and being prepared for Jesus, now that’s work. Hard work done through the Holy Spirit. Real work that demands sacrifice of self. Excuse me. I gotta go. I have work to do to be Jesus Christ ready. And maybe I’ll dig out that swimsuit too. What about you, are you Jesus Christ ready?

Luke 18:8b

However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?

 

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.