Monday, September 15, 2008
I Become What it is I Focus On
I am a simple person. As I grow in the word of God, it becomes ever more apparent that my youthful convictions are dimming. The ideologies and politics I would discuss/debate/eagerly argue just don't seem to suit me anymore. I am less interested in the topic and more interested in the dialogue and the caliber of discussion. One thing I do know with conviction, for myself, I will become what I focus on. In that light, to improve my worship life, the small piece of community that I will interact with as I set about the business of earning a living, meeting household needs, and doing what needs to be done. I find myself less inclined to search for peace outside of myself and more apt to pause and ask myself what I am focusing on. At times of uneasiness, anxiousness, frustration or discontent with the world I most often find that I am the one who has shifted my focus away from what, to me, is most important. I am finally getting a better understanding of what it means to be rooted in faith. Striving to be divested of ego, believing that I am saved by grace alone, as I move through the events, people and places of the day the task is less important than how it is I accomplish it with humility and courtesy. Am I successful? Sometimes. Momentarily even. But is the practice of steadfastness and holding firmly to my belief in the word of God that gives me the conviction to attempt to transcend the doing and practice devotion to mindfulness. We are to keep God ever before us... what a tall order! I can daily pause and set my mind on Him in an attitude of prayer and to read His word. But oh! Once that door opens and the day begins, how often I fall short. How easily I assume an attitude ill fitting for a child of faith. It is these "little glimpses" of peace and resting in assurance, that give me the desire to pick myself up, dust myself off, and return my focus to God. I can easily be caught up in the often conflicting needs, demands, and conversations and come home cringing inwardly. Feeling bruised and battered, confused, even doubtful. But returning to the center of my faith, placing myself in right relationship with God my father, supplicating myself and quelling my doubts with the blood of Jesus enables me to try, try again. The most life changing aspect of my Christian faith is thanksgiving and gratitude. The learning of this faith based practice has saved me. It is the discipline of gratefulness that will carry me through as I remain in and of this world. It is my sincere hope, my aspiration and ambition that I will become what it is I focus on. I have long resisted the suggestion of a journal. For fear, unreasonably, that what I wrote would become my reality. Foolish I know... I know. It was already thought energy and very real, drawing to me people, situations and choices. I have come to a place where I am ready to start a journey, a practice, a discipline. Rather than become anxious, it is now truly my sincere hope that indeed I will become what it is I focus on. Take a moment to pause today. Ask yourself what it is you desire to do/be/become. It is my sincere wish that you become it and my prayer for you today."11:20-31 Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, concerning things to come. Things present are not the best things; no man knoweth love or hatred by having them or wanting them. Jacob lived by faith, and he died by faith, and in faith. Though the grace of faith is of use always through our whole lives, it is especially so when we come to die. Faith has a great work to do at last, to help the believer to die to the Lord, so as to honour him, by patience, hope, and joy. Joseph was tried by temptations to sin, by persecution for keeping his integrity; and he was tried by honours and power in the court of Pharaoh, yet his faith carried him through. It is a great mercy to be free from wicked laws and edicts; but when we are not so, we must use all lawful means for our security. In this faith of Moses' parents there was a mixture of unbelief, but God was pleased to overlook it. Faith gives strength against the sinful, slavish fear of men; it sets God before the soul, shows the vanity of the creature, and that all must give way to the will and power of God. The pleasures of sin are, and will be, but short; they must end either in speedy repentance or in speedy ruin. The pleasures of this world are for the most part the pleasures of sin; they are always so when we cannot enjoy them without deserting God and his people. Suffering is to be chosen rather than sin; there being more evil in the least sin, than there can be in the greatest suffering. God's people are, and always have been, a reproached people. Christ accounts himself reproached in their reproaches; and thus they become greater riches than the treasures of the richest empire in the world. Moses made his choice when ripe for judgment and enjoyment, able to know what he did, and why he did it. It is needful for persons to be seriously religious; to despise the world, when most capable of relishing and enjoying it. Believers may and ought to have respect to the recompense of reward. By faith we may be fully sure of God's providence, and of his gracious and powerful presence with us. Such a sight of God will enable believers to keep on to the end, whatever they may meet in the way. It is not owing to our own righteousness, or best performances, that we are saved from the wrath of God; but to the blood of Christ, and his imputed righteousness. True faith makes sin bitter to the soul, even while it receives the pardon and atonement. All our spiritual privileges on earth, should quicken us in our way to heaven. The Lord will make even Babylon fall before the faith of his people, and when he has some great thing to do for them, he raises up great and strong faith in them. A true believer is desirous, not only to be in covenant with God, but in communion with the people of God; and is willing to fare as they fare. By her works Rahab declared herself to be just. That she was not justified by her works appears plainly; because the work she did was faulty in the manner, and not perfectly good, therefore it could not be answerable to the perfect justice or righteousness of God." ~~Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary, http://bible.cc/hebrews/11-25.htm
As I wake up this morning,
may Your spirit come upon me.
May my mind receive Your emanations,
my soul receive Your blessing,
and my heart receive Your love.
May all those I meet or even think of on this day
feel better for it.
May I contribute peace.
May I serve Your purposes
with all I say and do,
today and always.
Please show me how.
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Three things I am grateful for today:
1. A devoted husband
2. The ability to meet my financial obligations
3. The quiet time I have been given each morning
Hebrews 11:23-28 (English Standard Version)
23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
Hebrews 11:20-31 Expanded Commentary: