July 11, 2013

Living or Non-Living

{:via:}

I do this lesson with my kindergarten students each year. We go outside and look around. I point out different things in nature. Then, we go through our checklist to see if it is living or non living to make our final decision.

The other night in my quiet time I was thinking about these questions and how much they relate to our spiritual lives.

There is a difference between existing and living. You can see it in plants; they look unhealthy. Their leaves are brown, and they aren't as beautiful as they once were. They are livening but they certainly aren't flourishing.

This difference is easy to see in plants by just looking at them, but it is often a lot harder to see in people. We can put up an exterior that says "I am great at flourishing," meanwhile we are merely existing on the inside, or worse dying.

"Instead, immense in mercy and with incredible love, 
He embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives 
and made us alive in Christ" 
Ephesians 2:5

"I came that you may have life, 
and have it to the full."
John 10:10


God certainly did not intend for us to merely exist He has called us to an abundant, constantly flourishing {:even at 85 years old:} life.

Are you growing?

If something is living it must be growing. Are you a more mature Christian today than you were last year?  This doesn't mean that the normal ebb and flow of any relationship doesn't apply. Every relationship, including our one with Christ has its ups and downs, but what I mean is, even in those low moments do you have a better understanding of Him and His plan for you than you did last year?

If not, it may be because sometimes growing means cutting off what is dead in your life so it doesn't prohibit you from growing, or worse dying completely. Growing isn't always easy; it causes growing pains and cutting off what is dead in our lives can often be painful because it has been a part of us for so long. Things that are dying may be: toxic relationships, addictions, too much time working and not enough time with your family. If you aren't sure what might be dead in your life, ask God to reveal that to you so you can press in to Him at a level you never have before.

I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you’ve picked up this bad habit of not listening. By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.
Hebrews 5:11-14

Does it need food?

Living things require food. Most of us don't hear directly from God in an audible voice on a daily basis, if ever. But, we need to make sure we are feeding on Him and the way we do that is getting into His Word. His Word will feed us what we need for EVERY thing life could throw at us.

But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
2 Timothy 3:14-17

Does it reproduce?

A rock will never reproduce another rock, but plants are constantly reproducing. Healthy and living things reproduce. Are you humbling yourself enough to not just "feed" on the word but instead using that energy you are getting from your "food" to pass on to others. I've heard it said that if you want to know how healthy a leader is, look at their followers. We should be leading others in their walk with Christ and not just getting them to the altar {:salvation:} and then leaving them there to fend for themselves. We bring them along on the journey with us. The best way to mentor someone is to simply let them be in your day to day life - no performance, no flowery sermons, just you simply living out your calling in Jesus in everyday life. 


"Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20


Does it breathe?

What are you taking in and releasing. We should be taking in His word, fellowship with other believers, encouragement from friends while we should be releasing encouragement, joy, positivity, and  Christ spirit in our daily live.

These questions have really challenged me lately to ask the questions of myself and also asking them to God to reveal to me what I need to work on in my own life.

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4 comments:

  1. Great post! With a hectic schedule, merely existing can too easily become the norm. This helps to bring what is important back into focus!

    ReplyDelete
  2. that is amazing, and exactly what I need right now. thank you so much for posting.

    ReplyDelete

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