Today, my day started like most days do for me the daily making coffee, showering, dressing and doing my devotional. I completed these tasks with the same vigor I normally do, taking steps to not be disturbed during my devotional time, I turn all my alarms to silence on my phone and today waiting for the wash cycle to end to add fabric softener to the washer. I sat in my chair and read Luke Chapter 16, The Parable of the Shrewd Manager. I thought I understood what Jesus was teaching and I sincerely prayed about all the blessing I have and praying for friends and family. My day progressed as any other normal day, start my drive to work, called my dad as I do daily and also spoke with my brother. I arrived at work, securing a primo parking spot, front row and near the sidewalk…things are going great. The weather is mildly cold, no brisk wind blowing, skies mostly cloudy and a winter weather storm approaching for tonight’s forecast. I walk the long trail from the employee parking lot, enjoy drinking my coffee and arrive as usual 30 minutes before my shift if to start, I relax and take in the atmosphere, with an occasional twitter update. The time arrives for me to clock in and start my day with all good intentions of having a good day. Less than 5 minutes into my shift, it happened…I completely lost control of myself and I quickly became the person I dislike the most in my life. I immediately allowed the actions and simple presence of others to unleash this person inside me that is not pleasant or nice, often critical and condescending. It brings me so much pain and shame to admit these horrible traits that live within me. I am in no way bragging about this, but I wanted to share my story in hopes that it might help others who might be suffering as I am. I have heard it said that being and living as a Christian is not an easy road or journey to travel, but I know it leads to so much more than our minds can even begin to comprehend, I believe in God and I want to follow His leading, I am sinful and although it hurts me when I recognize my sin it brings so much more pain to my Heavenly Father, who cannot even look upon me because of my sinfulness. It is only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Son of God that I am afforded a relationship with my Creator. I am no way trying to blame my erratic behavior simply on human sinful nature; I am taking the responsibility seriously that I am to always be alert and aware of my actions and the Bible supports this in Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV) The Armor of God, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Now with that being said, I am reminded that I must and (we) must physically prepare ourselves daily to meet the demands of the day and be ready to face all manner of temptations and distractions that will draw out of us our sinfulness, our humanness. A lesson I learned today is reading devotionals and reading God’s word are tools we need to rediscover every single day, but not merely to read the words, but to live them and give them life. Jesus was sent to us over 2000 years ago, he was subjected to the same temptations you and I face daily, He lived a perfect sinless life, gave Himself as a sacrifice for all mankind, a ransom for our sins, He died a horrible death and He defeated death through His resurrections so that you and I can have a relationship with God, Jesus is our bridge to God and the Holy Spirit is a gift to us, we are never alone God is always with us. Hebrews 9:14 (NIV) How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Mark 10:45 (NIV) For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Lastly, I want to share Psalms 51 with you, it may have been David’s prayer after sinning with Bathsheba but it is also mine and can be yours as well. God loves you and he loves me, do not be stubborn in asking for forgiveness and daily put on the armor of God.
~Blessings and Peace~
Psalm 51 (NIV)
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.