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Failure

We’ve all been there, right?  I know I have.  Just this week even.  Do you know why, though, we slog through this man-eating quicksand filled with lies and despair?  Because we aren’t truly and consistently connecting with the One from whom we get our name.  It’s simple as that.

Toss all the legalese that says you have to do this or that or refrain from one thing or the other.  Forget all the rubbish regarding outward behaviors that identify you as a Christ-follower.  There are only 10 “rules” that matter and they were later summed up in two.  Clearly God never intended for us to get caught up in rule making or for us to pretend to be judge, jury and executioner over ourselves or anyone else.  He can handle it.  In fact, He already has.

{Note: I am not suggesting we disregard the law of God, but that we don’t measure ourselves against the law of man which are either far too anything goes or so rigid that we lose our grasp on Him as we try to attain an unattainable standard in our own strength.}

We’ve each stood before the Judge and been found guilty.  He’s handed down our sentence and it’s one of death.  We stand condemned with no hope of ever being who we were created to be.  But before the gavel pounds in those chambers, His eyes fill with tears and love.  Overwhelming, sentence-smashing love.  And in those tears and in that love we’re granted a pardon.  Full and complete.

Our life is once again ours.  He’s offered it back that we might choose to live it for Him.  Always for Him.  But how do we do it?  How do we avoid the same path that had us on death row?

Again, it is simple though we’ve made it very hard.  We open His book and we read His word.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  For truly, can it get any more elementary than that?

There should be no long list of rules or bucket loads of self-condemnation.  Prayer and the Word of God.  Fellowship with other believers.  Your life WILL change. ————–>>

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Prayer is conversation with God.  It isn’t fancy words or theatrics.  And it isn’t scripted.  It is an outpouring of the heart and inflowing of His Spirit.  It isn’t hard and you aren’t graded on your eloquence.  Conversation is two-sided, ebb and flow.  Speaking and listening.  It is sometimes on your knees and other times on your face.  And there will be plenty of times when it is as you do the next thing without time to assume the posture of prayer at all.  He meets us in the hurried moments and He runs beside us as we tend to the relentless demands of our day.  He isn’t offended by the whispered prayers of a breathless mother…He cherishes them and stands ready to help.

Scripture is both the key and the keyhole that opens the passage to His heart.  We glimpse His character within those pages.  Reading the Bible can be hard at the start.  The language is different and we grow easily bored.  He doesn’t hold that against us, He simply asks that we give it time.  Keep opening your Bible and seeking Him out.  Keep digging even if you start by simply setting 5 minutes aside to read.  You may get nothing from it.  You may feel dry and disconnected.  In fact, this is the more likely scenario.   Many have either been brought up with a stale, lifeless concept of the Scriptures or no concept at all.  It takes time and determination to find meaning in those words.  Even if you’ve been a “Christian” for years, if you haven’t yet experienced the life-changing power of the Word offer yourself the same grace He does, and start back at the beginning.  Ease in slowly without attempting to perpetrate radical change in your own life.  That change will come as He transforms you from within.  The intentional reading of His word (even when you absolutely don’t feel like it) will soften your rough edges and purify your soul.  It has nothing to do with how you feel or don’t feel…He isn’t keeping an emotional score card…but it has everything to do with the choices you make.  It isn’t legalism to keep choosing Him.  It isn’t Pharisaical to follow His lead, so long as it’s truly Him who is leading and not your pride or desire for praise.  Keep seeking Him and the scattered pieces of your eternal puzzle will fall into place.

Fellowship is the coming together of a people.  It is the binding of hearts with the thread of Heaven.  It is the opportunity to brush robes with fellow believers.  It’s the support system of the modern day disciples as we seek to gather courage from each other.  Some of us have a better support team than others.  Some have no support at all.  Seek it out.  Pray for Him to put people in your path or to place you in the path of the right people.  Find a church that teaches the BIBLE but expect that there will be people who aren’t living that teaching.

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At the end of the day we’re tempted to look back in despair, certain we’ll never get it right.  He isn’t focused on the times we fall but rather on the times we grab His hand so He can pull us back up.  That is perfecting the imperfect…learning to lean on His strength and not our own.  Therein is life.  Eternal life.