God always has a plan that includes the entire world. Without question, it also includes you! His big picture plan for the world and His individual plan for your life come together when we ask a question – “What’s in your hand?”
One of the things we’ve grown used to is the idea of “just add.” We like the idea that you can have something you just add a little something else to . . . and presto! You’ve got something of great value.
Have you noticed a lot of unrest all over the world recently? It’s sobering. And it affects people. Even folks who feel pretty stable are wondering – “What is going on these days?” There’s a complete lack of contentment, and people want to know how to respond to all this unrest. In a world of upheaval, what hope is there to regain a life of contentment?
Jesus gives really great advice about contentment, and I think it’s super relevant right now.
Every believer in Jesus has struggled to quit sinning at some point. Things you don’t want to do, you seem to migrate toward. Things you do want to do, you seem helpless to carry out. It feels a bit like being trapped. Still, you want to please God and live a good life.
There was a famous person who struggled to quit sinning. And they figured it out.
Lord is Before Savior
Most followers of Jesus have heard the dignified title “Savior and Lord.” I would like to suggest something about this title. Of course, it’s true, Jesus is Savior and Lord. But let’s consider two things. First, from the beginning, way back before anything was created – Lord is before Savior. And second, for every sincere Christian who lives their faith with resolve, consistency, and passion, this title starts to flip around – from “Savior and Lord” to “Lord and Savior.”
Encouragement is always easier to receive than rebuke. Yet, we all need both. Truly we do. Unfortunately, most people put all their energy into defending and protecting themselves instead of opening to whatever truth is being presented. That’s a sign of insecurity, and possibly pride. A secure person who is humble doesn’t worry too much about their defense. Maybe a little. But they rally with courage, receive an honest message, pray through it, filter out whatever is irrelevant, and apply whatever is helpful. It’s as if they are saying, “It is what it is. And that’s OK, because I’m aiming for more of Christ.” They are willing to accept the bottom line: we affect each other.
Do you ever feel you just can’t get your act together? Do you sometimes doubt what you bring to the table? Maybe you think you simply don’t have much to contribute. You do love the Lord and want to serve Him. You want your life to make a difference in this world. However:
- Eloquence – thinking on your feet – is not your native tongue.
- You lack wisdom.
- Blaring in your face is your weakness, not your strength.
- Although you trust God, you find fears nesting in your heart. Fear of failure, pain, what people will think, missing God’s best, exposing unattractive character in yourself or someone else, hurting or letting someone down, your past haunts future progress.
- The task before you is overwhelming. You tremble at what God asked you to do.