Tag Archives: Clarity

Identity

The movie “Toy Story” has some wonderful imagery in it that fascinates both children and adults. One of the key elements of the movie is the idea of identity, belonging. It’s a big deal to the toys that they belong to Andy and are part of his life.

This idea of identity and belonging is big in the bible as well. It’s key to the story of the gospel that because of Christ I now belong. I have found my identity in Christ and my belonging in the family of God. We all want identity and belonging, we all long for it and God knows we need it. The last book of the bible talks about this in an interesting way,

Rev. 3:12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.

Clearly, when Christ is done and we have been claimed by him he will mark us as his own. All will know who is our Lord, what is our Location and who has given us Life. Ownership, identity, belonging will finally be settled once for all. We will eternally be His.

“Who are you?” someone might ask. You can now answer with clarity from Jesus, “I belong to God, my home is in the new Jerusalem and my relationship is with Jesus himself.” If that doesn’t give you an identity, a belonging then nothing will!

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Time

Early this morning I met with one of our guys. We were talking about priorities, what’s important, how to use our days. It was a great visit, but what was clear was his frustration with simply not having enough time for all the things we discussed. He didn’t say so, but I could tell I was frustrating him and he was kind enough to smile and nod as I spoke of using our time well for the important things.

What I know, having been in the business world myself, is the reality that we simply don’t have enough time! Life is simply insane! We acknowledge the need to read God’s word, to pray, to spend time with family, but how do we fit it all in? We can’t, and sadly we don’t.

After my friend left the man at the next table turned to me and asked, “You’re a pastor, aren’t you? I was listening to your visit and…….”

He then proceeded to talked about how busy his life is, how hard it is to do the things I was talking about. I didn’t realize I was speaking to two men, but I was. I told him I understood, having been in his world for many years. He admitted that it’s hard to fit it all in and I know that is a reality.

I think the best victory of our enemy is to keep us so busy that we have no time for the truly important things.

Paul wrote these words, that fit best in the world we live in today, “make the most of your time, because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:16

The days dictate a different approach to time, a different way of dealing with a clock spinning so fast that we feel out of control. How do we slow this thing down? How do we recapture our lives, our time? We all have to work, but in those moments that are ours how do we live, how do we use the seconds that we claim as our own and use them well?

It demands clarity about what is most important to us. What do we want to invest our lives in? In twenty years will you be glad to say, “I am so glad I spent those hours watching The Bachelor.” It demands we decide what’s important to us and act like it!

I’m a chronic couch potato. When I get home from the day all I want is my chair, some ice tea and some time to do nothing, but is that how I want to be remembered? I think my grand kids will remember me best in my recliner. Without thinking I’ve used my moments and communicated what’s important to me. In the warp speed days we live in, at least for me, I think I need to be more intentional about how I use my moments. Might I invite you to join me in this different look at our use of time in these last days?

 

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Choices For A Reason

2 Timothy 2:20-22  Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Therefore flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 

This passage has always given me encouragement and direction. It gives clarity to usefulness. It describes my part in being a vessel the master can use. I admit that I’m still, even at 60, in process…being molded, making choices that determine my usefulness. It’s a lifetime project to become a vessel for honor, sanctified (set apart), useful to the Master, prepared for EVERY good work. It’s my goal to be a vessel God can use. I know he’s doing his part, but he also challenges me to be part of the process as well.

The last verse of this passage is my part. In it Paul turns from what God wants to see in my life, my choices and my actions. It begins with this admonition, “Therefore flee _______, and pursue ________. After both verbs are things to make decisions about. How do I participate in becoming a vessel, a person, God can use? I make some simple choices, 1. flee certain things and, 2. pursue other things. The bible calls this sanctification. It’s my intentional decisions to agree with God’s desire for me and make choices that conform me to what he wants me to be.

Flee some things, pursue others. Pretty simple, isn’t it? Yes and no. First, I need to know what God wants me to be. I need to know what the good and bad choices are. I need to know a few basic things and from those things I am invited, I’m challenged to make some choices. They are choices to follow and obey God or follow and obey the flesh and the enemy. I know, this all sounds really complicated, but it’s not. It’s so simple children get it. How do so many of us adults miss it?

Here are some things I have heard from adults that tell me they don’t understand what God wants or is trying to do in their lives. They don’t want to be vessels the Lord can use. From their mouths you will hear, “I know God wants me to be happy, so….” or, “It may be wrong, but I know he will forgive me.” You have heard things like this as well. It’s a way to give us permission to pursue the wrong things and flee the right things. We have gotten it completely backwards when we choose to do it our way. One thing is clear, if we choose our way we will be of little or no use to God.

I wonder, as I encounter people and their choices, what do they really want? Do they want to please God or themselves? If, and I think some would be so honest, if they want to please themselves they have just declared themselves god of their lives and dismissed the God who saved them. It’s a dangerous path. There is no happy ending when we choose our own way.

But, I watch others who want to be that “vessel of honor”, that person God can use. They are amazing! I’m thinking of several of them now, both men and women, who are intentionally working with God to become a vessel of honor, someone God can use. They are fleeing the wrong things and pursuing the right things. They are choosing wisely and it shows. They are becoming what God designed them to be and the glow of that, the impact of their life is changing lives around them.

God, the master potter, is making vessels of honor, but each one of us must be part of the process if we are to be what God designed us to be. We make the right choices for a reason….choices because we want to please God. Choices because we were called to be people God can use to change the world around us. Choices that have eternal rewards.

Make your own list. What is on your “flee list” and what is on your “pursue list”? These two lists will tell you a lot about the vessel you are becoming. It may mean you have some choices to make. It may, and I hope it does for many, encourage you that you are becoming what God designed you to be. Either way we are challenged to be part of what God is making us. What kind of vessel are you becoming?

 

Visit Mike at http://mikemesserli.blogspot.com/