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Friday, September 17, 2010

An edge in an edgy world

The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off even when no one's after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident, bold as lions. 
(Proverbs 28:1)

Guilt has a way of making us "edgy" - nervously irritable, impatient, anxious.  One of the most "telling" characteristics of someone who is feeling a sense of guilt is that sharp edge that they get to their tone whenever they feel they need to defend themselves in their present state.  It is human nature to either want to defend our actions, or to run ashamedly from the scene in an attempt to escape the emotional upset guilt brings.

God's kids have a unique opportunity to touch "edgy" people with the grace of a forgiving God.  In our women's Bible Study this week, I spoke of the two-fold call of the disciples - in involved preaching repentance and the forgiveness of sins.  We are not exempt from this call today.  It is our duty to point guilt-ridden people to the only thing that can really set them free from that guilt:  Christ.  Repentance is really the part that man plays in the process - it is the change of mind that begins the process of allowing healing to occur within.  Forgiveness (or remittance) of our sins is God's part.  

Honest people are upright in their character - there is no contradiction in their character.  They live relaxed and confident lives.  I see so many people living under the stress of life, never really enjoying their lives.  Relationships are a mess, possessions do not satisfy their desires, and all attempts at success and fame leave them just a little emptier than they were before.  Why?  Because they lack the "relaxation" and "confidence" that comes from having their lives truly in order - ordered by the God of the universe.

What can we do to help point people to Christ?  First, I believe that a life that is touched by the Lord of Lords is "noticeable" - there is a difference in the basic way we process life and deal with life's occurrences.  This acts as a little bit of a "lure" to peak the curiosity of the one who is observing us.  It opens the doors to conversation and questions that stimulate further exploration.  Yesterday, we spoke of our eyes being windows to our soul.  A redeemed soul reflect so much of God's grace and hope through those eyes.  Don't be afraid to let others "notice" what God has done in your life.

Second, I know that we have opportunities to be more sensitive to the "openings" God creates that are provided to share what it is that gives us hope, empowers us to live differently, etc.  We often miss these open doors because we aren't looking for them.  I took some photos on a trip I just took and put one as a screen saver on my computer.  The friend who traveled with me, was usually not more than 10 steps away from me on each and every tour we took, simply did not remember seeing this beautifully constructed natural rock wall now displayed on the computer.  How is that?  Because she was looking at things with a "different eye" for the detail.  She took some other beautiful photos - ones I did not catch.  We each see and interpret life in a different way.  Don't be afraid to share what God has given you a "view of" in your walk - it often differs from that of another - and may very well be exactly what they need to break free from what has them bound at this moment.

Last, trust God for opportunities.  With each opportunity, he gives insight.  With each bit of insight, he gives the grace to express that insight.  With each expression of his grace, he sends his Spirit to back it up with the power that plants the seed deeply.  With each planted seed, he brings the future opportunities for the seed to take root and to eventually affect the one in which it was planted.  We may not see much result from the present opportunity to share - but a seed planted is all he may be asking for from us at that moment.

God's kids are unique and that uniqueness gives us an edge in a very "edgy" world.  Let's allow our light to shine and see what that accomplishes in those we touch this week.