Sunday, May 24, 2009

Live it Up!

My Mom always taught me that there are way too many people who are in the "time of their lives" who are letting the moments slip by unappreciated.

I have noticed the dangers of "waiting to live" in many people. They are waiting for some event before they can really appreciate their lives. For example, "when I graduate,..." "when I start my new job,..." "when I start making money,..." "after I have the baby,..." "when I get a house,..." etc.

"Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal." --

Look for the reason that THIS DAY is the "time of your life."

There are several "ROBBERS" of this mentality:

1. Ungratefulness. If you are not grateful for what you HAVE, you will always be concentrating on what you DON'T have. If you are grateful for what you have, it will be enough. You will be able to rejoice with others even when they have more or "better" than you, because you are so grateful for what has been given to you.

Look at your spouse and find reasons to appreciate them. It never fails to amaze me that I have been blessed with a person who committed to walk through life with me: all the ups, downs and in-betweens. Someone who has known me from "way back when" -- who knows the reason behind my joys and tears and looks deeply enough to see my heart. This has come from seeing the best in HIM over the years too, and not expecting perfection from him. It has come from investing into our relationship by constant efforts. It has come by living the Word of God -- having a soft answer, loving him for who he is without trying to change him, allowing him space to grow as a person, and not leaning on him for my sole source of joy.

Look at yourself and find reasons to appreciate who you are. Do yourself a favor and give up perfection. Instead, simply strive for excellence. Don't be so hard on yourself! Appreciate who you are, and focus on your strong points. Don't get hung up on little imperfections so that you can't enjoy who you are and live out 100% the life God created you to live. "May you live all the moments of your life!" -- "Fully present, fully alive!" Give yourself some room!

2. Another huge "robber" that insidiously robs us of our ability to live victoriously is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness will SAP your life of its joy. LET GO, give it up, lay it down, forget about it. Set people FREE. The ministry of reconciliation has been committed to each one of us. I am convinced that if anyone harbors unforgiveness towards ANY ONE in ANY WAY, there is no way you can be fit for the kingdom of heaven. Jesus had a lot to say about unforgiveness. He said what you do to the LEAST of people is what you do to HIM. He said if you can't love MAN than you can't love HIM. He said to forgive 70 x 7! Why? Not just because the person seeking (or NOT seeking) your forgiveness needs it -- because YOU need it. YOU need it to even be forgiven by the Lord for any sin YOU have committed (the same way you forgive others is the way YOU will be forgiven!). Forgiving others for things they've done to you says that you do not hold them responsible for your life, but you hold the LORD responsible. Forgiving others opens your life to walk in 100% forgiveness from the Lord for YOUR transgressions. Forgiveness shows the Lord that you KNOW that HE is in control and disallows any person to negatively impact your physical, emotional, spiritual or mental soundness. Forgiveness is the anecdote for bitterness. Bitterness can never raise its ugly head when forgiveness is present!

“One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”

A LOT starts with NOT being THANKFUL:

Romans 1.21-26: Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and agodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen (so be it). For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions.

CHALLENGE: Be GRATEFUL today for ALL you have. Don't allow ANYTHING to rob you of the JOY of this day! Tell your spouse how much you appreciate them -- SOAK up your moments! And "Live life so completely that when death comes to you like a thief in the night, there will be nothing left for him to steal."

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