Lets get Newed… (pronounced nōōd as in food)

As I was watching the news this morning a Progressive Insurance ad came on, although I had seen it fifty times before I really SAW it for the first time today.  Take a look.

I had always observed the change in the wife, daughter and the two guys on the couch, but never really noticed the whole house shift, including the family picture, to the all “Progressive white”.

Some of us can temporarily control ourselves and seemingly cause change, others get frustrated because they feel inept by their lack of self control.  True change can only come from our Savior that saves and makes us new .

2Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

In Hebrews it also says… Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

As we focus and center on Him, instead of ourselves changes, newness and the new “Godly White” will happen (maybe not as fast as we may like, but it will happen).  If you rely on the “I wills” or “I musts” you’ll fall short and then what will you do? If we could save ourselves then why did we need Jesus? It is in letting Him do the saving and repair of your temple that the true salvation shows up.

To quote the actor on the couch, “I’m lookin at it”.

 

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DIY Homeowners Beware!

As a hands on contractor, I have come across some “interesting” projects and “fixes” that were done by homeowners and unqualified workers. When I go to a job I try to discreetly find out if the homeowner had done some of the “fixes” (that need correcting) and say as little as possible about them, so I don’t offend them (this often results in many swollen lips and tongues as I often must bite my mouth parts to not say anything).  I am currently working on a large deck with a roof.  The first part of the project was tearing down the existing deck, 1/2 of which was built by the homeowner.  How the deck stood as long as it had, amazed even me.   deck

This last job has been interesting and VERY trying, as it seems that my rebuilding of the deck is undergoing too much scrutiny and criticism by the homeowner.   I can assure you, as I often have to do him, it is a VERY well built deck (often having to go through the whole process of how a part is constructed and held in place, showing all the nails, screws and lags that keep everything in place).  I have wanted to say several times,  ”Excuse me, but wasn’t that part of the deck that was falling down built by YOU?”   Partway through the project I started wishing that I had passed on this job.  I got to the point where I started questioning God on why He let me do it.  As I thought on this He started breaking through some mindsets and habits that I had allowed to slip in and become a part of me.   My questioning then switched to “God, couldn’t You have helped me out of this mess instead of him?”  To which I felt He replied, “I Am.”

In Corinthians it says that we “are the temple of the Holy Ghost”.  It started me thinking we are His house, His dwelling place…  I know when a problem arises in my house, I don’t look at the house and say, “HEY! We have a leaky faucet down here, I want it fixed!”  Nope, it gets put on the to do list and depending on the severity of the problem and how much it inconveniences me determines the speed to which it gets repaired.  Does God look at us and say, “Hey fix it!”? (to be continued…)

 

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The Bicycle Parables: The Finished Line

Last fall I watched, actually helped in, a cycling race here in Frankfort.  I found that due to my bulk I would have a hard time competing against these fit folk.

So, I have been on a journey of  losing weight that would allow me to go faster and hopefully compete or to at least make a good showing of it.   After losing weight and trimming up I decided to go south and enter a bicycle race. It was a 50 and older race, so I thought I might stand a chance.  I did far better than I expected seeing that Kentucky is still quite cold, which limited my training time.  I noticed that on the other side of the “finish line” all the riders were just standing around by their bikes talking, so I rode past them about another mile and declared myself the winner!

finish

 
You say, “Um Steve, you seem to be missing something in your thinking process, like your brain!”

Many of us are doing the same thing with God.  We read our Bibles, pray, try to clean up our lives, fast, feed the hungry and other things in an attempt to be a better Christian or to have God approve of us or feel more worthy of the precious blood of Jesus that was shed for us (some in the past would actually crawl on their knees for years to travel to Rome and do other physical sufferings to show their dedication to and/or their unworthiness towards God).   We do these things not to have a relationship with the Father but out of already having one.  When we do these things to gain standing or kudos with the Father we show that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is not enough to make us clean and acceptable to the Father.  ”But Steve, doesn’t the Bible say to work out your salvation?”  Yes, it does. But, if you read on in the next verse, it says that it is God that works IN or into you…  We are to live or work out those things that God has ALREADY worked into us.

Your acceptance is important,  I’m not talking about your acceptance to the Father, but rather your acceptance of what Jesus actually did for and to you.  When Jesus was on the cross He came to a point where He cried out, “It is finished.”  Was it just His physical earthy life that He was talking about?  I don’t think so.  I feel He was declaring an end to man’s attempts to get close to God or to become God-like (godly).  (The Old Testament if full of mans attempts and failures.)  When we attempt things to be  better, we are acting as those who were under the law, look at your attempts as receiving circumcision.  First of all, what do women do?  Secondly, if you could do it, what did we need Jesus for anyway?

Where is your “finished line”? Do you ride past trying to show yourself better by making up your own line that qualifies you as a winner?

(Some previous details of a bicycle race are fictitious to make a point)

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