Monday, September 24, 2012

Boundary of Change

As part of the September Christian Writer's Blog chain, it is my pleasure to be a part of this group. Our monthly topic is "Change" Please follow the links at the right sidebar to follow the chain.

Change is the fundamental ingredient of life – we can not live without it, life would not exist without it. From the moment we are conceived to the moment we die, Change comes. Of all the topics I've written about boundary's, Change is boundless – Change is never ending, without limits or exceptions – Change will happen. Every breath creates change, every movement involves change. We can not stop or prevent Change because Change is it's own entity.

I can't remember a moment that did not involve change. From changing my mind about what to wear, what to eat, where to work, where to live or who to marry. If change were not involved, life would be rather dull. With that being said, change comes at some intervals we are not comfortable with or expected.

In a book called “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson, the author deals with four types and reactions to Change. He explains most debilitation to change are from poor role models. Excellent book I highly recommend.

I think most people would agree, that we don't like the unexpected – Sudden loss of a job, the ending of a relationship or change in living situations. We adapt, but sometimes the change is devastating which takes years to recover.

With the negative effects of change, also comes the good things life has to offer. Change brings with it accomplishment, fulfilling a long held dream and discovery of what God created us for. These things wouldn't be possible without Change.

With all the Boundary's God established, one might think that He would put a limit on Change – but there isn't any. I believe God in His perfect wisdom established change as a form of protection. That may sound strange, but without changing our mind or circumstances, we may not ever desire to seek the truth which gives us the strength to carry on through the good times and bad. Truth that gives hope of a future without change in the presence of the Lord.

These are my thoughts anyway – Shalom

Friday, September 21, 2012

Boundary of Protection

Life is all about boundary's and the way we operate in them. When we live within God’s boundary we find peace and fulfillment, when we live out of bounds we find chaos, confusion and pain of every kind.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe. I prepared for the trip by learning a bit of the language and customs so that I would “fit in.” But with all my preparations once I arrived, I quickly realized I was in a foreign land. Trying to live a godly life without trusting Jesus is like being in a foreign country unable to speak the language.

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Don’t be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” (Psalms 32: 8-9 NLT).

So what is the boundary of protection? Jesus said, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love.” (John 15: 5, 9-10 NLT). (Emphasis mine)

If we have trouble, illness or struggles in our life, does it mean that we are out side of the protective boundary. No not at all, we have the peace of God that keeps our mind and heart focused on the Lord. Evil will come against us, but will never triumph. Paul wrote:

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or are in danger or threatened with death? Even the scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day: we are being slaughtered like sheep” No despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”” (Romans 8: 35-37, Psalms 44:22 NLT).

When we purposely cross the protective boundary there is fear, disappointment, anger and strife. We question and blame God for our trouble and trials. When we live within the boundary, we find joy, hope, peace, encouragement and blessing of every kind, knowing if God has lead us to it, and he will lead us through it.

Are you living within the protective boundary's? Do you have peace in your life and peace with others? Or are you pointing the finger of blame because of your bitterness and discontent.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Boundary of Creation

O Lord, our Lord, the majesty of your name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens” (Psalms 8:1 NLT)

I stand in awe of creation. Every single minute detail is perfect in form and function. Everyday begins with an awe-inspiriting sunrise and ends with a magnificent sunset. The tilt of the earth and its path around the sun, predicting the changing seasons. The vastness of space and breathtaking feeling of being so insignificant against the billions of stars in the night sky. Soaring birds in flight, a cool gentle breeze, and a newborn baby’s cry, are the many wonders of God’s creation.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize this orchestrated perfect balance did not occur by chance, but was designed with a specific purpose. We become so caught up in the cares of life, that we fail to see the magnificence of God' handy work all around us.

In all of creation, man is God’s crowning jewel, and is the only being that has special privileges. We are designed to commune with God as his children and friends. We are his masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).

The scriptures say that when God made the earth and the universe, he said it was good. When he created the animal and plant life on earth, again he said it was very good, but when he created man and saw everything that he had made, he said it was excellent in every way (Genesis 1:31).

In our modern society with all the scientific and technological advancements we have been made, it’s easy to remove God from the equation, but everything is in its place just as God ordered it. All our discoveries should bring glory and praise to God, but our own arrogance takes credit.

Before we go forgetting about the wonders and boundaries of creation, this is what the Lord asked Job when he thought he had all the answers;

Who is this that questions my wisdom with such arrogant words? Brace yourself I have some questions for you. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Do you know how its dimensions were determined and who did the surveying? What supports the foundation and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and the all the angels shouted for joy? Who defined the boundaries of the sea? I said “this far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves will stop” (Job 38:2-10 NLT).

Let's never forget we are not the founders nor creators of all we possess, but are mere benefactors of a the wonders of God.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Boundary of the Physical

Of all the religions on earth, there is not one whose God became flesh, lived with his creation, died to save their lives and rose to life again. But this is what Christianity is all about.

Our Almighty Eternal God became a man, talk about physical limitations. He surrendered his omnipotence to become a servant, and his omnipresence walk the earth to seek and save the lost, fulfilling ancient prophecies about the one who was to come.

While Jesus walked the earth, he submitted to the same physical boundary's we are bound to identify with our weakness and frailty. The Lord truly knows how it feels to be tired, hungry, pawned, hassled and not given a moments peace. The scriptures note that Jesus often sought refuge alone to pray. (Mark 6:45-46) If Jesus needed that time of refreshment, we do also.

I have known many dedicated loving Christians who refuse to take a break, thinking its a weakness and not a godly attitude to say they are overwhelmed. The Bible calls this “walking in the flesh” seeking our own ways of serving God.

We are mere flesh and blood and our strength is limited. We grow tired, hungry, and age. But with Christ in us, we can accomplish more than our physical limitations. Jesus is the one doing the work through our bodies as we yield our life to him.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33 KJV). Everything we need is already ours in Christ. The Lord knows the balance of a fulfilling life is dependent on our relationship with him.

Serving God is our highest privilege, the joy of our life, not a painful pilgrimage.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Boundary of Arrogance

The Holy Bible is full of stories of arrogance and self reliance, but one of the most arrogant rulers, I believe was King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Like most ancient rulers, they believed that the sun and moon were at their command, but there is only One Lord, God and King of the Universe. Fortunately these earthly rulers learned a painful lesson of who really is in charge.

Similar to Pharaoh Ramses, the Lord had used a powerful earthly kingdom to prove His authority. Through Pharaoh, the Lord revealed His power to keep His word and through King Nebuchadnezzar He revealed His power to discipline those He loves. Through scripture the Almighty God reminds us that He will use many sources of correction to wake us up, like He did the Israelites, who had slipped away from believing the Lord.

As the story of King Nebuchadnezzar unfolds, he is allowed to besiege Jerusalem and take the Israelites away as captives. (Daniel 1:1-2). While the Israelites were captive, the King knew they were a special people and wanted the finest in his palace.

The king had already witness the power of God to protect those who honored him, when he protected Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3: 26-30), but his praise of the Eternal God was short lived because of arrogance.Soon the king was back to self-worship.

King Nebuchadnezzar became quite enamored by a young Israelite named Daniel who could interpret dreams (Daniel 3:46-49). The Lord wanted the King to know, who was the real authority on earth once and for all, and so he sent the king a dream. Daniel again was given the ability to interpret this terrible dream and had the unpleasant job of informing the king what God was going to do with his arrogance.

In the book of Daniel, the prophet described the dream to the King, ‘This is what the dream means, Your Majesty, and what the Most High has declared will happen to you. You will be driven from human society, and you will live in the fields with the wild animals. You will eat grass like a cow and be drenched by dew from heaven. Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses” (Daniel 4:24-26 NLT).

King Nebuchadnezzar was humbled when the dream came true. The king learned that the Lord keeps his word and supplies all needs according to his grace.

For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death” (2 Corinthians 7:10 NLT)