Skip to main content

I need a little pampering!

It was C.S. Lewis that reminded us when we aim at heaven, we get earth thrown in, but when we aim at earth below, we end up with not much in return. If you haven't read much of what he has written, he is well worth the read. It was Lewis that also reminded us of the thing we call "self" - not being more than a "meeting place" of sorts for things that we refer to as "natural forces", "fears", and "desires" - some from within us, others from without. That "meeting place" is frequented by these things because of our upbringing, influences from around us, and even some of the "devils" we cannot really see but know must exist just because of all we experience. Probably one of the greatest things I remember from his writing is the statement: "The self you were really intended to be is something that lives not from nature, but from God." We might think we are a product of our environment, and we might just be correct, for when our "environment" is Christ's presence, we cannot help but become like him!

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (Romans 5:8-11 NLT)

Many of us would hardly do any sacrificial deed for an enemy, let alone give our lives for one. We might do it for a friend, but one who is actually distanced from us, separated from us because of some great chasm - that requires something different than most of us possess naturally. It is important for us to realize it was while we "were still sinners" that God made a way for that chasm to be bridged through his Son. God didn't wait for us to get half our act cleaned up, or even all of it - he did it before we even realized our act needed any cleaning up! Stop for a moment and chew on that one, friend. Nothing we do gets us any closer to God - nothing we desire keeps us any further from him. We are a "product of the environment" into which we are "reborn" - we become like Christ because Christ draws us out of the environment we are languishing in apart from his grace and into the environment where we can begin to live anew by his grace.

As Lewis implied, our aim is not to live as close to earth as possible. It is to live as close to the heart of Jesus as we are invited to do through his grace! We don't choose the families into which we are born, raised, and nurtured on this earth. We don't even know the idea of "family" even exists until we are more than a couple years old and realize there are continual people around us we come to count on in some regard for food, warmth, and protection. Is it any wonder many new believer bumbles around for a while with this new life in Christ - trying to figure out what it is they have been "born into"? If we stop for a moment to think about it, we might just realize it is kind of like when we first recognized we were part of a family on this earth - there were others who cared for us, looked out for us, and ensured we were continually safe. As a believer, we walk through some of the same "questions" in our walk with Christ - we need to know we will be cared for, our needs will matter to him, and that we can be safe in his protection.

Those "feelings" of family begin to emerge the closer we get to his heart. His reassurances come over and over again to us as we draw closer, even when the times all around us seem to be challenging us on every side and in ways we never imagined probable. The closer we are to the heart of the Jesus, the more we tend to reflect his character in our lives - even when self resists a little because it doesn't get its own way. The self we become isn't reliant anymore upon upbringing and environment in the natural sense, but it is reliant upon who we now draw our strength and purpose from in the spiritual sense. If we struggle a little with detachment from the old way of living, that is to be expected. Closure has to occur in any "relationship" we have maintained. We had a "relationship" with our old self - and we pampered that person quite religiously! Now we need to embrace a relationship with the "new self" and begin to allow Christ to "pamper" the new creation we are becoming in him. One who is pampered is treated with excessive care and concern - something Christ can do very well when given full reign over our lives. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Hey, friend me!

When we really determine to walk the pathway of a disciple, it will cost us. The pathway is not always traveled by as many of those we call "friends" as we'd like to think. Yet, when we find someone to travel with us in this journey of faith, what a blessing it is! We need each other to understand and fulfill God's calling on our lives. We each compliment the other, challenging and uplifting, learning together what is contained deep in the Word of God.

Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around—what splendid friends they make! (Psalm 16:1-3)

David's words ring true in the hearts of many who engage in this walk of discipleship with Christ - without you, God, absolutely nothing makes sense at all. We can attempt to make sense out of tragedy, loss, or even a success all on our own. Without God, and those he places in our lives as fellow travelers…