What uncommon things do we want to become common?

Things like:
our children having mutual love and respect for each other.
our teenage children having love, honor, respect and obedience for their parents.
us continually becoming better friends and lovers.
our family totally trusting God in all things and putting our faith in Him to fulfill his promises.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Going Through the Motions


By Creg

This is my current favorite song.

The Motions by Matthew West.




This might hurt, it's not safe

But I know that I've gotta make a change

I don't care if I break,
A
t least I'll be feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough

Help me fight through the nothingness of life


I don't wanna go through the motions

I don't wanna go one more day

without Your all consuming passion inside of me

I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

No regrets, not this time

I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole

I think I'm finally feeling something

'Cause just okay is not enough.

Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

Have you ever had to fight through the "nothingness of life"? What makes us get that empty feeling? I think Jesus gives us a hint in the sermon on the mount.
Mat 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
When you treasure the wrong things, your heart goes bad. When you seek fulfillment through stuff, your life becomes nothing. I spent my high school years totally dedicated to making all-district in football and getting my name on the honor board. My senior year I made it and there was a plaque with my name on it that was put on the wall. A few years later I went back to visit and the new coach changed the locker room. Guess where my plaque ended up? In the trash! That was a treasure that didn't last.

"This might hurt, it's not safe. But I know that I've gotta make a change." If you've been searching for the answers to life's big questions in the wrong place and you realize your life amounts to nothing, don't you have to make a change? What does he mean by "it's not safe?" I think it depends on how you see Jesus. If you see Him as just a nice guy teaching or a decency cop, then you can stay safe & secure. Don't most people prefer comfort & stability? But, if you see Jesus as Lord then He gets defining rights for a Christian, since He's the founder. All lords claim absolute loyalty & this One will challenge your idols. He's good, but He's not safe if you want comfort & worldly security.

"I don't care if I break, At least I'll be feeling something. Don't we have to be truly broken, sometimes, before we realize where the answers are?

"I don't wanna go through the motions. I don't wanna go one more day without Your all consuming passion inside of me." Some of us spend most of our Christian life just going through the motions of what it means to truly follow Jesus. When we just go through the motions we miss out on some big things.

A few months ago I saw a video online of a violin player in a subway station in New York. But this wasn't just any violin player, he was one of the best in the world, in fact thousands of people had paid hundreds of dollars for a ticket to hear him in concert just a few blocks away the night before. A local newspaper set up a camera in the subway & paid him to play for about an hour as an experiment to see if anyone would recognize greatness in their midst and stop and listen or would they overlook him and walk on by.

After about a minute the video begins to play in fast forward so you can quickly see what's happening as time elapses. No one stops to listen to some of the greatest violin music the world has ever known. Oh, every now and then someone will slow down to drop a coin in his empty violin case, not even looking up as they walk by. Finally someone stops to listen. The video slows down to normal speed and you can hear the person say, "I saw you play at the theater last night, it was wonderful. What are you doing here?"

Sometimes we do the same thing with Jesus. The savior of the world is in our midst wanting our attention and we just walk on by. We might slow enough to give Him some of our pocket change to ease our guilt, but we're too busy going through the motions of life to really notice. The saddest thing is sometimes we do recognize Him and feel His presence, but ask, "What are you doing here?"

"I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything, instead of going through the motions?" Isn't that what Jesus asks of us, to give everything?
Luke 17:33 Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
In this context Jesus is telling his disciples how to prepare for the end of the journey. It looks like there are two ways to live life. Those who protect it & those who pursue it. A voice of safety & a voice of risk. If you really want life, like Jesus talks about in John 10:10, lose your goals and follow God’s call and it will always be risky, at least according to the world.

"No regrets, not this time
. I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind. Let Your love make me whole I think I'm finally feeling something." Do you want to feel something meaningful? God promises that those who love and serve Him, and are honest and faithful, will know a kind of joy & peace that those who are evil never will. This feeling is something unknown to those who do wrong. People who are not pursuing an intimate relationship with God are significantly limited, left to rely on their own feelings, thoughts & efforts. When a love for God is not present, your spirituality becomes fake, your good deeds self-centered & your sacrifices insincere. In any relationship where love is not your motivation, you can expect it to feel bland & unfulfilling - if not meaningless.

When we decide to live life like God created us to live, His promises start becoming real.

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