Monday, August 12, 2013

How We Wake Makes All The Difference

Each and every time we wake we have a choice. We can be thankful or we can begin speaking our complaints. We can have a heart of joy or we can be the crab that is contagious. We can jump out of bed with determination or we can slowly rise with pessimism about all the day holds. When it comes down to it, everything is a choice. We may not be able to make a choice about every circumstance, but we can make a choice about our attitude and how we are going to relate to that circumstance. 

Look at the verses I have been pondering this morning: 

"Therefore, God's chosen ones, holy and loved, put on the heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness  and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love-the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:12-17

Whew, is that good stuff or what? In the previous chapter we are taught and asked to put off the old man and put on the new. We are to put away all the old stuff and bring out the new. When we come to know Jesus there is a change that happens. This change isn't 100% overnight. It happens over time in God's perfect timing. Giving us understanding to being a work in progress. 

In chapter 3 we are seeing that our attitude and choice make all the difference. Think about it. What happens when we wake with Jesus? Our whole temperament changes. No matter what happens in the day, our focus remains on Jesus. We see differently and hear differently. We are aware of our surroundings in a whole new way. But on those days I don't wake with Jesus, my day is pretty stinky. It involves more of myself than Jesus. When circumstances occur I am more likely to respond in the flesh than in Christ. Do you agree? So, our attitude plays a huge part in our Christian walk. 

We can read the Word of God all day long, but if our heart isn't in it, well, the Word is coming up void in the wellspring of our heart.

I mean, let's be honest. We can wake up crabs, can't we? We haven't had a good night's rest, the day may hold a challenge, our fears are at the forefront of our thoughts. This list goes on and on. But let's just say, we wake a crab, after spending a few minutes with the Lord, He begins to change our outlook for the day. Our attitude is brighter and we are looking forward to what He has for us throughout the day. As we begin our day it is important for us to give everything over to Jesus. Giving Him those fears and unrest can unlock unexpected blessings. 

I am to show compassion and to be kind to all. This isn't always easy, but God didn't call us to easy now did He? I am to be humble and gentle. Put me on the highway with crazy drivers and I'm not so gentle, but God calls us to drive this highway of life with Him at the wheel. Patience isn't always my strong suit. I am learning, but at times I am still that little girl who wants what I want right now. We don't like to wait much. In fact, we are not an easy waiting people. You think maybe this is why this is repeated many times throughout scripture? God knows every aspect of us. Nothing is hidden. He knows our struggles, just as He knows our gifts. Forgiving. This is one I am sure is hard for each of us. I can often say, "I forgive you", but in the back of my mind that hurt remains and there are times I take it out and let it bleed. Forgiveness is letting it go and letting God. It's allowing God to heal us. Forgiveness isn't so much for the other person. It's more for us. But forgiveness builds a bridge to grace, and oh, how sweet is grace. 

I love how we are told, "Above all, put on...." This is what the world will see from us. Just as we wake and get dressed to face the world daily, we make a choice of what to wear and how to present ourselves. We should remember to clothe ourselves in Christ. As we step out of bed might we have thankful hearts and an attitude that is going to shine Jesus to every person who crosses our path. Instead of a person telling me that I look good in my new dress, I would prefer if the first thing they noticed about me was my Savior. 

We are to be thankful. Our voice should be in tune with that of our Savior. Our actions should be in line with His teachings. We are called to live out Jesus to the world. How will we do that if we are first not clothed in Him? We are to look different to the world. We are to be inviting and hospitable. When we get down to it, our clothing tells a lot about what our heart holds. If Jesus is in our heart, our actions and words should reflect our relationship with Him. In fact, it does. The closer we are to Him the more our lives reflect Him. The more steps we take away from Him, the more we stumble. Oh, how I stumble at times. 

This is why it is so important to make the choice to wake up with Jesus. We always say we need a cup of coffee to get going. Well friends, we really need Jesus to get moving. To get motivated. To get in tune with His calling. A day without Jesus is a day that is missing the key to everything we do. 

When we clothe ourselves in Christ beauty shines before us. When we make everything about Jesus we change. We are no longer living in the flesh, but surrendering our mind and our thoughts over to Christ. Yes, my friends, having an attitude of Christ changes everything. It is my prayer that at the end of my life others will be able to say, "Jesus looked good on her." 

We must make a conscious effort to surrender our thoughts over to Jesus. When we wake instead of blurting out every aching complaint, praise Jesus for the breath you just took. Praise Him for the good in your life and ask Him to show you the blessings in those struggles we face. Starting each day in conversation with Christ makes for a day filled with promise. It helps us to envision each moment before us as an opportunity to shine for the One who makes all the difference in our life. 


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