A Fresh Look at My Role in Christianity

Week 4, Part 4 in the Series: “Christianity From a Fresh Perspective”

 

Jesus,Please give me the ability to see you through childlike eyes, full of wonder. Help me to recognize your lavish kindness toward me; and bend my knee to you who are the only source o

What if I daily treated Jesus as the most important person in the world? What if I believed my relationship with him through prayer, Bible reading, and worship was the most important thing I could do all day? What would happen if I took what precious little time I have in a day and gave some of it to him as a gift? What if I stopped trying to gain more knowledge, or buy his favor, and just enjoyed him?

How would my life change if as I read his Word, I asked Jesus to show me:

  • Who He, the Father, and the Spirit really are – not just who I think they are.
  • His power for my life – what that looks like today, not just 2000 years ago.
  • His promises and gifts – and how he intends they are to impact my life and the lives of those I love.
  • How he longs to convict, lead, and comfort me in my current circumstances.

How would my life and the lives around me change if when I prayed I first asked how he would have me pray for my needs, my circumstances, and the needs of those around me?

What if I asked him to show me how he blesses my life – to open my eyes to the daily gifts I don’t see. And what if I then took time to thank him, and recount those gifts to him often?

What would happen if I had the boldness to make these requests:

  • This situation______________________is way beyond me. Please show me your power.
  • I feel hopeless, please show me your love and goodness.
  • I can’t change, please change me!
  • I’m not even sure you exist – if you are real, show me!

What if I then trusted God to come through? What if I then chose to yield to Him and let go of my control?

I know what would happen – my life would change. Because I would be asking the only One able to change my life to do so, and then let him do it.

What if then I asked for the boldness to tell someone else what I’ve seen and heard? How would that change my world?

I know the answer to that as well – by the power and love of Jesus Christ through us, the world would slowly change, one person at a time.

I know, because I have seen and and heard and can testify – that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and he has not only the power, but the desire to change lives and set captives free. He’s doing so for me and for many around me daily. (I John 1:3 NLT)

This song beautifully portraits our role in Christianity –

Ashes Remain, “All Of Me”

With great longing for the Giver of the gospel,

Robin <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Fresh Look At A Relationship With Jesus

WEEK THREE OF FIVE IN “CHRISTIANITY FROM A FRESH PERSPECTIVE”

Jesus,Please give me the ability to see you through childlike eyes, full of wonder. Help me to recognize your lavish kindness toward me; and bend my knee to you who are the only source o

Jesus is light and life, lavishing gifts on those who seek him, opening blind eyes and setting captives free! (John 1, Luke 4) Yet only only 4 years ago I heard for the first time

“When you choose to follow Jesus, He’ll change your life. Expect it.”

With all my years in church, why had I never heard such bold statements?

I spoke with a fellow believer not long ago, telling her what I’m seeing and hearing as men and women’s lives are being changed by the power of the gospel at the church I now attend. She stated, “Wow, I’m so glad people are turning their lives around.” I was stunned as I realized she and I had totally missed the point.

Before these life-giving words, I expected when someone met Jesus, He would give them a new heart. What that meant was, they would now want to please God, and so would make every effort to do so. It never occurred to me the gospel taught otherwise, and meant so much more.

The focus of my Christian walk used to answer the following questions:

  • What am I to do to follow Jesus?
  • What am I to give in devotion to Jesus?
  • What am I to believe? (Studying the Bible for how I’m to live.)
  • How do I please God, for all Christ has done for me?

These questions aren’t wrong, and are necessary to ask. But notice all the “I’s“? When the focus of my Christian walk is on “me” and what I bring to Christ, rather than on Jesus, I lose sight of the wonder, awe, and power of the gospel to change lives.

With that single statement four years ago, my focus slowly began to change as I realized

The gospel isn’t about what I can give Jesus. It’s about who Jesus is and all He’s given me!

  • Here is a glimpse of all Jesus gives those who truly seek him:
  • His life, no matter the cost. (Romans 5:6-9 NIV)
  • His love, no matter who I am. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV)
  • His power to transform my life, no matter my past. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
  • His forgiveness, no matter how I fail. (1 John 1:9)
  • His Spirit, filling me with power to change, no matter how unable I am to change on my own. (Romans 8:11 NLT)
  • His Word to nourish, guide, and correct, no matter how dark life is around me. (Deuteronomy 8:3, Psalm 119:105, Hebrews 4:12)
  • His promises to sustain me and rescue me from the world’s destruction, no matter how I’ve messed things up. (2 Peter 1:4)
  • His adoption, granting me a new family, no matter my biological roots. (Romans 8:15)
  • His hope for a new future, no matter what my current circumstances. (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28)
  • His forever home where there will be no more tears, no matter what life is like now. (Luke 23:32-43)

It’s really all about Jesus.

What is my part? Allow him this work. Embrace Him. Yield to Him. Trust him, no matter how hard life may be at times. Rest in who he is, knowing he is as powerful and loving as he claimed.

With gratitude for the power of the gospel,

Robin <3

Christianity From a Fresh Perspective

 

NEW SERIES, WEEK ONE OF FIVE

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I’m one of those Christians who used to focus all my efforts on, “To be a ‘good Christian’ there are certain things I must regularly check off my list to please God”.

I know I was saved by the blood of Christ because of God’s amazing grace, and so didn’t earn my salvation. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Jesus, so I serve him daily, motivated by love and gratitude. Yet for too long, I thought my service was that which either garnered God’s greatest love, or in those moments I failed, his disaporoval. I never considered He’d throw me out of heaven, mind you. Jesus paid for my salvation. But because I didn’t realize the depth of love that drew me, nor the power Christ holds to keep me, I believed the lie that I had to perform to please.

My “necessary” list wasn’t long, and not “legalistic” in my mind. After all, my list included only those things Jesus said I needed to do. “I must have a quiet time; I must pray; I should share my faith regularly. I need to go to church; I need to love my neighbor.” I generally enjoy these activities very much, but when I failed to do them – GUILT attacked because I lived under a false perception of God.

There is truth to my basic assumptions, as God does state clearly many times in his Word “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) He also states that we are to set our minds on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2) Yet, as I grow in my relationship with Jesus, I’m learning the key to my richest life in Christ comes when my focus shifts from what I devote to him to who he is and what he’s done.

I’m discovering the greatest joy in my walk with Christ comes as I grow in intimacy with him. My obedience then flows out of doing those things that allow me the greatest opportunity to know him fully, rather than coming from my fear of displeasing him.

This seems like a small shift in perspective, only mincing words, but I’m finding the reality, played out, leads to quite a dramatic change in the outcome.

As I look at the moral crisis in America, along with the decline in many aspects of the church in America, I’m confident if that seemingly small shift in perception were corrected and acted upon, the church would meet that crisis head on and make a dramatic difference.

Over the next 5 weeks, I’d like to take the opportunity to look at various aspects of the Christian walk from a fresh perspective in the hopes that, as believers who love and follow Jesus, we will come away with renewed hope that the church can and will change the world. Will you join me?

September 6: “A Fresh Look at Jesus”

September 13: “A Fresh Look at My Relationship With Jesus”

September 20: “A Fresh Look at Daily Devotion”

September 27: “A Fresh Look at Worship”

I’d like to end by introducing a song I recently heard for the first time, entitled “The Gospel” by Ryan Stevenson. The cry of my heart in this series is for God’s people to be reintroduced to the Lover of Their Souls, and the Power that raises the dead and makes blind eyes see. Please join me, for I believe the gospel of Jesus proclaimed through His church is still the only answer. It’s the only remedy to the crisis we find ourselves in.

With greatest hope because of the Gospel,

Robin <3

 

 

When You Long for Change…

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Hi!  How’s your afternoon been?  My morning was quiet, with the usual morning activity.  The dog, Holly, has been a bit barky today.  I’ve gotten a lot of calls made – calls I’ve needed to make all week.  The dishes got done, and I’m hoping to paint a door or something before the afternoon is out and Gary gets home.  Tonight is an impromptu movie night with a friend.

I’ve been thinking more about yesterday’s conversation on “change”.  Making changes in life isn’t easy; that’s why most New Year’s resolutions never follow through past a couple of weeks.  And some changes are downright impossible in our own strength.

Yet, the Bible says that change is not only possible, but necessary and doable.  I’ve seen drastic changes in me in so many areas the last few years – changes that were needed, but I was powerless to perform alone.  Changes now made I find greater freedom and relief.  How was I able?

Jesus, plain and simple.  Through the same power that raised him from the dead. Offered because of his extravagant love.
When Jesus changes us, we discover true freedom and relief! Click To Tweet
If you are someone who longs for change – I encourage you to join me for the next couple of weeks.  I won’t preach. I just know that Jesus has changed me and continues to do so. I have experienced first hand his amazing love, and his power to do more than I could ever ask or imagine.

We’re gonna look at Jesus’ perspective on change, the tools he’s promised to effectively make change, and stories of change.  Please join me!  I don’t want to do this without you!

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
    and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
    for those who love him.” I Corinthians 2:9

Looking forward to meeting with you for coffee next week!

With Love,

Robin <3

A Refreshingly New Perspective

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Let’s Get Practical

How has your day gone?  I awoke at 6am, had my quiet time with Jesus and worship.  I’ve begun walking with a neighbor at 7, but she cancelled out, so that didn’t happen today.

The Lord has really been helping me to change my perspective on my daily routine!  I haven’t been a morning person ever, but am finding I don’t accomplished as much in a day as I need.  I have to make a change!  Yet, I’ve been working on this area of my life for years!  It’s a difficult area for me.

I’m doing so much better than when I first became a homemaker – back then, I’d get up after my husband left for work, feel overwhelmed, and go back to bed until noon.  Pretty bad.

Until about 3 weeks ago, I’d usually get up between 8-9.  But with hubby getting home around 3:30, add getting ready, 2 meals, a quiet time, blogging, occasionally writing, phone calls, and walking the dog – there wasn’t much time left, and the house was looking deprived.  And I was feeling guilty.  Does anyone else relate?

“I hate getting up so early when I don’t ‘need’ to”.

“But it isn’t helping me accomplish what is needed, and is hampering my ability to get things done.”

I’ve come to see my perspective is obviously skewed by my wrong thinking.

My standpoint  isn’t working at all!  I need a change.

So, about 3 weeks ago, I went to the Lord and asked,
Lord, I need a new perspective - Please exchange my perspective for yours. Click To Tweet

With that prayer, God brought to my attention 2 blogs – one on minimalism/decluttering, and a second that features a planner that organizes my daily tasks through a check off sheet, with a week at a glance.  Along with these tools, God has begun changing my perspective, by changing my attitude, to one of joy, which is truly a miracle.  I’m also finding that tasks that once seemed overwhelming or too mundane, aren’t being seen this way any longer.  I’m actually amazed at the transformation, and know I can take no credit.  But God!

A couple of days ago, I thought, “What if this doesn’t last?”  I immediately had to rebuke that thought as coming from the enemy of my soul and remind myself that God is faithful. He will continue to help.

I’m so grateful that God cares about something as “small” as this (it doesn’t end world hunger or cloth the homeless, but God cares because it means something to me and my family).  I can picture him, in heaven, looking down at me in my tidier house, and saying, “My girl – good job.” Not because he cares so much about my clean house, but because

God cares about freeing me from the inside stuff that weighs me down.

What’s weighing you down on the inside?  In what areas of life do you need a fresh perspective?  Can I pray with you?

I’d also love to hear your stories of freedom in new perspectives.  Please!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11

With love,

Robin <3

How Is My Standpoint Affecting My Perspective?

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Peggy asked a very cool question about the relationship between perspective and standpoint. “Perspective – the way we look and understand the things around us. Like standpoint, but somehow more active maybe?”

In art, Standpoint is “the position from which someone is able to view a scene or an object.”  If I’m going to be really honest with myself, where I’m standing – the way I spend my time, the things that take the attention of my ears and eyes, the thoughts I give way to, the attitudes that I allow to break free and splatter will all affect my perspective.

Do I like the effect?  If the answer is “yes” – wonderful.  If the answer is “no”, then maybe I need to change my standpoint.  God’s given me freedom to choose where I stand – that is his gift to each of us.  How am I using it?

There is a children’s hymn I learned as a child – that has been reworked by “Casting Crowns”, called “Slow Fade” from the album “Altar and the Door”.

“Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands
As darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattering leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away….

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away…

People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see”

Songwriters: JOHN MARK HALL
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
For non-commercial use only.
Data From: LyricFind

 

 

Late last year a Beth Moore Bible Study, ‘Entrusted’ challenged me with the question, “Do you have the guts to ask God to change you in an area that has been you all your life, but you know needs to be changed?”  I was so convicted and challenged by Beth’s question.  Fear was beginning to take more of me than was comfortable, and I longed for freedom.  So I took up the challenge wholeheartedly.

God is answering those prayers in ways I couldn’t have imagined.  He can do the same for you.

How is my standpoint affecting my perspective?

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” (NIV version)

“Lord, change me from the inside out.  I don’t want to stand here (name the place) anymore.”  Thank you.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Looking forward to tomorrow, and our continued time together.

With much love,

Robin <3

The Importance of Perspective

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Welcome!  What a beautiful day it’s been.  The sun is peaking through right now, but while eating lunch, snow flakes poured from dense clouds just outside… Beautiful!

I’ve thought much about what I’d like to bring to the table this week. If you ever have a comment you’d like to share, please speak up!  Discussions are far more interesting if there is more than one participant!

As I welcomed 2017, I happened to be enjoying the book “If You Find This Letter” by Hannah Brencher.  In it, she mentioned the concept of choosing a “word” for the year.  I thought, “What an interesting idea!” and read on. Later the same day, I read two blogs focusing on the New Year, and each mentioned the same thing!  I began to wonder, “Lord, are you wanting me to do the same?”

As this idea incubated, I reasoned, “The area God has most focused on the last few months has been in regards to being less fearful, more brave.  Aha, ‘brave’ must be the word!” However, the Holy Spirit checked me, and I sensed “no, wait”.

A couple of days later, as I read, the word “perspective” jumped off the page!  “Is this the word?”  “Yes”, I sensed my Lord reply.  I was a bit surprised, as it wasn’t what I would have chosen, but as I mused, I began to understand.
In order to make sense of our world, a proper perspective is required. Click To Tweet
Even “bravery” requires perspective, during trials, in order to truly be brave.

Merriam-Webster defines “perspective” as:

  1. 1a :  the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the spatial relation of objects as they might appear to the eye; specifically :  representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distanceb :  a picture in perspective

  2. 2a :  the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed perspective>; also :  point of viewb :  the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance perspective>

  3. 3a :  a visible scene; especially :  one giving a distinctive impression of distance :  vistab :  a mental view or prospect perspective on the international scene — Current Biog.>

  4. 4:  the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions

It also adds a history of perspective in art which works well in our discussion:

“To the modern mind, it’s hard to believe that perspective had to be “discovered”, but before the 1400s paintings simply lacked accurate perspective. Instead, important people and objects were simply shown larger than less important ones; and although distant objects were sometimes shown smaller than near ones, this wasn’t done in a regular and accurate way. Just as odd, many paintings didn’t represent the other meaning of perspective either—that is, a scene might not be shown as if it were being seen from one single place. Today, perspective is used much like standpoint. Just as standpoint once used to mean simply the physical place where you stand but today also means the way you “see” things as a result of who you are and what you do, the same could be said about perspective.

Does this pique your interest?  I look forward to your thoughts.

Let’s continue tomorrow… Have a wonderful evening!

The rest of the series:

How is My Standpoint Affecting My Perspective?

A Refreshingly New Perspective

When You Long for Change

With love,

Robin <3