At the beginning of the year, my resolution was to read one book a month in 2010. I started reading "Praying Scripture for your Children," then about halfway through it I gave it away to my sister, Heather, before she left for Argentina. The next book was given to me by my sister Amber and her husband Sam, both very book savvy people. The title and cover looked catchy, "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. After reading this incredible book and being highly convicted through every page, I would rank it as one of the most important books that I have ever read.
My simple resolution of book reading has now led me to a life Resolved.
** "Resolved: that I will live so, as I shall wish i had done when I come to die"**
The author relates a story of an elderly man finding Christ at the end of his life, and crying out in regret of his past years, "I've wasted it, I've wasted it!"
In no way do I want to come to the end of my life and have nothing to say, but "I've wasted it"
John Piper writes that "The opposite of wasting your life is to live by a single, soul-satisfying passion for the supremacy of God in all things." I can find myself passionate (in word) about a lot of ideas or things, but what moves me to deeds? This is a hard subject for me to wrap my mind around and write about. I have realized that as much as I pursue life, love, and fun; it is all in vain if God is not pursured and glorified most in my life. A few years ago, we felt as though God were just telling us to simplify life. Simplicity in not accumulating stuff and simplicity of heart. Now I see He is calling us to something so much deeper.....sacrifice. Two quotes in the book hit me hard 1) "There is more of God's glory to be seen and savoured through suffering than through self serving escape." and 2) "The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not moments of self-satisfaction but self- forgetfuless."
After full conviction through this book, I went on to read the book "Unfashionable" by Tullian Tchividjian (also recommended by book savvy bro-in-law, Sam). This book had a lot of similarities to the former, but it puts it into the concept of the Church. The most important life lesson from this book is when the author writes, "The church's main objective should be Self-Sacrifice for the world not Self-Preservation from the World."
Self-Sacrifice, What? I have been perserving myself since I was 11. Not willing to let the world influence me, keeping myself "holy" of sorts. But that has led to a self-righteous life. Because I am good and the world is not. It surely has not led to a sacrificial love. The life of Christ was all about Glorifying God the Father by loving the world so much that He gave up his life for it.
So what does this life of suffering, self-forgetfulness, and self-sacrifice look like? It is impossible, but that is the point, right?. Because with God, all things are possible. I don't have to rely on superhuman strength, but I do have to be willing to risk my life for the sake of Christ.
Tis the Lenten season, and I am gving up txting. Sounds silly, but it is pretty hard to do. Anyhow, I was preaching to Caeden like I usually do, rambling on about life, when he said, "I know what I am going to give up for God." As I asked what, rather proudly that he was listening after all. He said, "Sharing!"
ugh...so I will continue my preaching :)
The thing about kids is they keep me grounded, and on my face before God. It is that much more urgent for us to obey God because we have two little ones who need to see parents that move when God says move. Their character of heart depends on us. I can't expect them to be something we are not. Just like the phrase, "You teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are." I can preach and teach them a lot about life, but in order for them to be a child/teen/adult who lets the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross truly transform the very core of who they are, it has to be learned by seeing their parents live it out daily. That is a big task that I fail at daily. My prayer is John 15:5 when Jesus says "....apart from me, you can do nothing."
How do i teach my kids the Realness of Christ and the urgency of living all out for God? I am on that quest myself. What an image it would look like for us Christians in the Church to truly give our lives for this world. Not to live in seclusion and judgement, but to engage, make a difference, speak the truth, show love!
Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow
I will end with what my funny husband likes to call "Pillow Talk"
"Even sinners work hard, avoid gross sin, watch TV at night, and do fun stuff on the weekend. What more are you doing than others?"