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Not gonna miss out!

I have moments where I am so acutely aware of what is going on around me, I am pretty sure I don't miss much. Then there are lots of other times when I am not as acutely 'dialed-in', knowing I may miss something, but not really all that concerned about it. How is it we can be so acutely dialed-in at times and then be so 'out there' at others? It has to do with our thoughts, for sure, but it also has a lot to do with our hearts - where our emotions lead us, we often go without hesitation. I think this is why God doesn't just reveal his truths to us once and leave it at that. He knows we may not be as 'dialed-in' as we need to be to actually hear, see, or interpret truth each and every time. We might want to be, but honestly, our emotions just don't always point us in the right direction to see truth when it is revealed, much less use it! It could be the 'little things' in life we miss the most - simply because we 'gloss over' them or don't really pay close attention. We might just need to stop more frequently to just listen and notice, or perhaps tune in a little closer so we actually hear what is being said - but the truth is we don't always realize just how much we miss until it we do just that.

I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came from you. They believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world but for those you gave me, for they are yours by right. Everything mine is yours, and yours mine, and my life is on display in them. For I'm no longer going to be visible in the world; they'll continue in the world while I return to you. Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life that you conferred as a gift through me, so they can be one heart and mind as we are one heart and mind. (John 17:6-11)

The first thing coming into the consciousness of my mind this morning was the awesomeness of being "given" to Christ - then us having his life 'conferred as a gift' to us. So many times we think we "came" to Christ - like it was some doing of our own. Yes, we 'take the truth' and allow it to enter into our lives, but had Christ not 'conferred his life' to us, we would have been unable to find our way to Christ! Without his being "given" us as his own, we'd never have "found" him! We belonged to God the Father, given as a gift to his Son, Jesus - an inheritance shared with the heir-apparent of sorts! Have you ever thought of yourself as an "inheritance"? By the very definition, we are more than "junk" cast aside, but a personal possession of the God of the Universe - made to give him glory and honor - given in care as a matter of "birthright" to the Son! It should give us immense joy to know God considers us of the highest worth - for only things of worth or value are given as an inheritance!

Note this - it took a while for those given as an inheritance to actually do as they were told! See it? "They have NOW done what you said..." The very use of the word "now" suggests some point in time of NOT doing what God instructed - not being in the 'now' when it comes to obedience, dedication, and trust. This certainly pictures my life - delayed responses all around! I know I have those moments of absolute surrender - I think there is a Christian worship song which calls those moments "second chances". We serve a God of huge second chances! When we don't get the "now" right, we get a second chance to bring our focus into the 'now' so we don't end up always doing what we are NOT supposed to be doing. Nothing we get from Christ is "stale" knowledge - dry crumbs crumbling to the floor that we have to scour for as dogs on the hunt for a tiny morsel. He gives us what he receives directly from his Father. It is alive, life-giving knowledge. What else could the Creator of all things do but share knowledge capable of producing life for those who will embrace it? We have to embrace it! We settle for something "stale" so many times - crumbs we scour for on our hands and knees - when the freshness of the Creator's touch is right there for the taking! God's greatest joy is in sharing and producing life!

If you didn't realize it, Christ's life is on display in us. This is no after-thought on Christ's part - he is purposeful in his prayer to his Father about each of us. He knows we are the display of his grace - to a world who will have no knowledge of the Creator without the evidence of his Son displayed through us! We are trophies of his grace - displayed for the world to see - not once, but over and over again. Our every action, reaction, and even our lack of action displays the very character of God. Yet, his prayer is for us to be guarded - with a "watch" set over our lives. Not just a "watch" to ensure no one destroys us - but a watchfulness to ensure the display of his grace is not tainted by our tendency to divide over simple truths, wander down wayward paths, and settle for a so-so existence when he has called us into greatness in him. Jesus knew we'd struggle with the simple stuff in life. His prayer is for us to be of one heart and mind - not allowing any division, no matter how small to get an inroad in our lives. We can allow the simple things to divide us, or we can focus on the truths which are foundational and build upon them in unity. I think this is what Jesus had in mind as he prayed for us. The next time you are tempted to "gloss over" or just not "dial-in" - don't! The truths we skip may be the very blessing we need - the thing that will bring balance and restore vitality to our souls! Just sayin!

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