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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Living life to the fullest

If you love life and want to live a good, long time, take care with the things you say.  Don’t lie or spread gossip or talk about improper things. Walk away from the evil things of the world, and always seek peace and pursue it.  For the Eternal watches over the righteous, and His ears are attuned to their prayers. He is always listening. But He will punish evildoers,
and nothing they do will last. They will soon be forgotten.
(Psalm 34:12-16 VOICE)

How many of us really "love life"?  If we say we do we will probably follow that statement up with some kind of ethereal kind of words such as, "....so, I will live it to the fullest" or "...and I am going to make the most of every moment."  We forget that we aren't the ones really determining what a "full" life is or what all the moments of that life will entail. We simply set out to "live it" and "love it" - but it isn't always that easy to love the "stuff of life" that happens along the way. Living a "good, long life" really requires a lot of work on our part, and a lot of trust in the one who will help us walk through it with grace, dignity, and secure in his protective covering!

There are some things we can "do" to live as "fully" as possible and in a manner that makes the moments count. The first is to be sure our lives are squarely placed in the hands of God by trusting in his Son as our redeemer. We all stand in need of a redeemer, regardless of how well we think we are doing in this life for none (and I mean absolutely none) of us is without a sin nature. Therefore, we are all capable of sinning and we will eventually make that choice to do so at some point. As such, we need a redeemer - one who has paid the price (penalty) for our sin already.  Once our lives are squarely placed into a position of trusting Jesus as our redeemer, then we need to figure out how to walk with him at all times.  Easier said than done, I assure you.  It is hard walking through this life without reverting back to the old ways of independent thought, actions, and intent.  It is quite possible we have tried to do things on our own for some time, but as soon as we realize we are making a mess of things trying to "manage them" on our own, we soon realize we have misplaced our trust. 

As we begin to walk with Jesus as our guide through this life, we find ourselves beginning to focus on the things in the list cited in our passage today.  Our speech begins to be affected - what we say begins to matter like it may not have in a long, long time.  What we say and how we say it often is the tell-tale indicator of who is in control at the core of our being. How we interact with others is either in grace, truth and love - or in anger, slander, and all manner of untruth.  It took me a long time to realize any untruth, regardless of how small, was still an untruth. There just isn't room for in-genuine words in God's economy.  His words count and he want our words to count, as well.  Not as harsh, judgmental, and crass words might - but as words of grace, love, and truth.

As pointed out in our passage, when our lives are being lived to the fullest, we are other-oriented instead of self-oriented. We are not just thinking of me first and you second, but we look for ways to build each other up, making each other better in the process. It may begin in our words, follow in our actions, and eventually engage our entire being, but that is what true Christianity is anyway!  Just sayin!