Archive for September, 2011

Time is Short

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

The laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent(2 Peter 1:14, NASB).

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines imminent as “ready to take place; especially: hanging threateningly over one’s head.” Quite obviously the Apostle Peter, when he penned the words above, recognized that he could die at any moment.

Why, then, don’t we realize the same thing? We may say we are aware of that truth, but if we really were, I think we might live differently.

Eight months ago I moved my mother into a retirement/assisted living facility where caregivers were available to help her with things that I normally took care of but was often unable to do, especially when I traveled. In an effort to help her make the adjustment, I had business cards made up with her new address and phone number on them so she could pass them out to friends and acquaintances. Because they were designed as business cards, I felt I should put some sort of “tag line” on them, so I chose “waiting for the call to come home.”

It seemed appropriate at the time, particularly since Mom was nearly 90 years old and not in very good health. Yet, when I look at the card now, I think, “Why didn’t I realize how prophetic that was?”

The thought was reinforced yesterday when a column I wrote in June was posted in an online publication on August 31. I’d forgotten I’d written it until it popped up on my Google Alerts, so I clicked on the link to refresh my memory. There it was, an article about my mom, written in the present tense. Now, two months later, I was speaking of her in past tense.

Whether we are nine or 90, we need to live as the Apostle Peter, with the recognition that the “laying aside of [our] earthly dwelling is imminent”—“ready to take place,” even “hanging threateningly over [our] head.” Because Peter understood that, he devoted the last of his earthly energy and time to calling sinners to repentance and saints to a deeper commitment. Time is short, beloved. I don’t want to waste what little is left. How about you?

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Copyright 2011 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 30 books.
“Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World”

and


“Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today”

She also writes novels:

No Greater Love

More than Conquerors

The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

What Goes Around …

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6 37-38

I’ve read and heard these verses many times.

I’ve heard them used to manipulate. “Give a lot of money to the church and God will reward you.”

I guess that’s the Bible’s get-rich-quick advice.

I’ve heard them used to frighten. “If you judge others, God will judge you.”

So if I don’t judge others, God won’t judge me? Not so sure about that one, either.

I wonder if Jesus was saying something pretty simple. I wonder if He was telling us, “What goes around, comes around.”

I think He might have been telling us that the way to find generosity is to be generous and the way to experience forgiveness is to be a forgiver.

He wasn’t manipulating, because that’s not how He operates. He was just telling us how the world works.

The key is to understand that it’s not about changing someone else. When I’m generous or forgiving, when I resist the urge to condemn, my own heart is changed.

It’s not a magic formula. You don’t become suddenly wealthy by giving away your money. You don’t prevent someone from judging when you don’t judge.

But in the long run, I think He’s telling us that our hearts are changed with the same measure we use.

Maybe I ought to pray less about receiving and more about discovering opportunities to give. Maybe experiencing God’s blessing involves seeking ways to be a blessing to others.

What goes around … comes around.

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Dixon
Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com