Mar 31, 2010

Day-by-Day Obligations

Yesterday was a busy day. Actually, it's been a busy couple days. Nothing of earth-shattering importance happened but my attention was completely focused on those small things. All day yesterday I was thinking, in the back of my mind, that I needed to post an entry into my journal. I even sat down to do my devotions, but not even halfway through the chapter my attention was grabbed away from the reading. I had my plans of what needed to be done and I was sticking to it. I felt like I redeemed it a little by praying along each step of the way that God would bless my efforts and help lots of money. OK Fine! I admit it, I was busy grocery shopping yesterday. Not just any grocery shopping though, coupon shopping. It's tiring and a little overwhelming at this point. So, you see it was really not earth-shattering. 

At the end of the day I had finally decided what I was going to journal about. It was an awesome lesson that I've been thinking about since Monday. However, that will have to wait until another day.  This morning the Lord finally grabbed my attention and I have to confess again that I was convicted about how I spent my day yesterday. This is what I read this morning:
But make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of time and doze off, oblivious to God...God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can't afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute.  Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about. Romans 13:11-14
That paragraph pretty much described my entire day yesterday. I was absorbed with finding the best deals, using the best coupons to save the most money I possibly could. I don't think I even looked at someone full in the face until one of my coupons was rejected and then I had to try and plead my case (to no avail arg!). My eyes were not open at all to what was going on around me, I was not engaged in God's work AT ALL.  Sure, I prayed, but it was self-centered and very immature.

In the middle of my shopping day, I received the "sermon digest" email from our pastor.  I really enjoy getting these emails because it is a great reminder mid-week of what I was challenged with on Sunday.  Before entering one of the stores I took some time to read it. However, I didn't retain it at that point. The Lord brought it to mind this morning though, especially after reading the last part of those verses above, "Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about." My mind went back to a quote we heard on Sunday. Brace yourself, it's challenging. 
Real faith is “a living, busy, active, mighty thing.  It is impossible for it not to be doing good works incessantly. Whoever does not do such works is an unbeliever.  Thus, it is impossible to separate works from faith, quite as impossible as to separate heat and light from fire.” (Martin Luther, preface to Paul's letter to the Romans in his 1522 edition of the German Bible)
Ugh. [Now rest assured, the sermon didn't end there. If you want to listen to the whole thing you can go here.  But this is my journal, so I'm just going to focus on the part that convicted me :o)] My prayer for today is that this challenge will continue to resonate in my heart. My focus will be on God and what he is doing in my life and the lives around me. I still have a lot of little things to do today but I will purpose to not be absorbed in them, to look at those I come in contact with, to search for opportunities to do good works, so that they may point toward my father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

1 comment:

Margie said...

It's spring break week over here w/all 5 kids home all day. I'm struggling with 'doing good works all day long' as I battle what I want to be doing w/what they want to be doing (something REALLY FUN!), and w/the fact that I do want to value this precious time w/my precious children. I want to live real, true faith every moment w/my family. It's hard, though! I will go try to love my kids, not myself-- B wants me to read curious george and El could use some affection. I'll start there.
thanks, liv.