So I just went to Subway (the Sandwich restaurant chain)) and ended up talking to a couple who were finishing their sandwiches. I asked how they were doing. The lady responded, "Just the same stuff every day" (actually she said it a little different than that. I didn't have any time to respond to her comment because they were on their way out the door at this point. But I started thinking. "Wow! Without Christ that is EXACTLY what life is like-just the same stuff every day. Really the way she said the phrase reflected hopelessness-and if I would have had time, I would have loved to talk to her more, but it wasn't meant to be.
I was reminded again of the truly hurting and lost people all around us in this world that we live in-people that God longs to draw to Himself-to a saving faith (trust) in Him--and to a knowledge of the TRUTH-JESUS CHRIST WHO IS THE TRUTH. And the amazing thing is that He doesn't NEED to use us who have trusted Christ in that process, but yet HE CHOOSES TO DO SO. We are salt and light that reflect Him-His vessels and channels to be used as HE sees fit for HIS perfect purposes, rather than our own.
Life isn't "just the same stuff every day" because we have HOPE-HOPE IN JESUS CHRIST'S death, resurrection, payment for our sins in our place---and it is a HOPE THAT THE WORLD DOES NOT HAVE AND IS DESPERATE FOR BUT MANY DO NOT KNOW IT 1 Peter1:3-5 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."
Life isn't "just the same stuff every day" because we know that God is in control. He is sovereign over all. (You know before I was brought into a personal relationship with God, I really hated the fact that God has always been sovereign.---Must be something about human nature wanting to be in control) But there is a real freedom when we realize that God truly IS IN CONTROL. WE don't have to be-and as much as we may think we want to be in control, we really don't want to be. THAT IS SUCH A BURDEN TO TRY TO CARRY----instead those of us that are His, can leave that to Him and simply trust Him. 2 Samuel 7:22 "How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears." (Amazing how much the Old Testament talks about the sovereignty of God--Never saw that before!) Jude 1:4 "For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord."
Life isn't "just the same stuff every day" because we know we have an Eternal Home waiting for us--This life IS NOT all there is!!! Jesus honestly told us in John 14:1-3 " "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
Life isn't "just the same stuff every day" for us who have trusted Jesus, because in the midst of our troubles we are not alone-God is with us! He will never leave us! He said in Hebrews 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Does life get hard? Yes! Believers are NOT EXEMPT from SUFFERING, but as I said we face nothing on our own--he IS WITH US!!!! THAT NEVER CHANGES!
Life isn't "just the same stuff every day" for us, because we have a God who has honestly and truthfully told us everything that we need to know in His Word! He answers the BIG QUESTIONS that the philosophers agonized to answer for centuries, and that those who don't know Christ are continually asking. He answers these questions in His Word-the Bible.
BIG QUESTIONS AND TOPICS LIKE THE FOLLOWING:
1) He tells us what the meaning of life is and why we exist--to live for Him and His glory. He tells us where we go when we die-Each person will go to eternity either in heaven or hell depending on if we have individually and personally trusted Christ and His all-sufficient sacrifice for us on the cross in our place or not in our lifetime.
2) He tells us where life began-that He created the world and has always existed and that He created everything in the earth-but that man is his prized creation. We are of immeasurable value to God--so valuable that He sent His One and Only Son Jesus Christ to die for us! John 3:16-18 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
3) He tells us about death and why it happens-that death is a result is sin entering into the world (that Adam and Eve were the first created human beings in Genesis and that they disobeyed God by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil--and that death is not simply physical separation, but also a spiritual separation from God, if we have not yet trusted Christ for His gift of salvation-a gift free to us because it cost Him everything--and he HELD NOTHING BACK--HE GAVE EVERYTHING--ALL OF HIMSELF! Romans 5:12-19 "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." (OK I can't quite explain everything I want to at this moment, as I just read that (the first time, of course), but wow! How cool--Future blog post, Lord willing!)
4) And as I said before, He tells us the solution for our sin-a problem we could never fix on our own, by sending Jesus to die in our place-as a substitute, but we have to TRUST IN what He did for us--for that payment for ours in to be "applied to our account or life." (see John 3:16-17 and the Romans 5 verses already posted above)
LIFE MAKES MORE SENSE WHEN THE BIG QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED-there is peace with God, peace with oneself. WHAT A LOVING GOD TO ANSWER OUR DEEPEST QUESTIONS! HE KNOWS WHAT WE NEED-WE CAN TRUST HIM!!!
Life isn't "just the same stuff every day" because God desires that all would come to a knowledge of the truth. He wants everyone to come to Him, but not everyone will. But He says in 2 Peter 3:9-10 "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare."
Life isn't "just the same stuff every day" for those who believe because God is on our side! Romans 8:31-34 "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."
Life isn't "just the same stuff every day" because we, who have trusted in Christ alone for the forgiveness of our sins, also have purpose here and now in life. Wherever we are and wherever He has placed us-we are to be reflecting His love to the dying world of lost souls around us--taking advantage of every opportunity He gives us....being available....surrendered to Him. Matthew 5:13-16 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
And life is not "just the same stuff every day" when we are growing in the JOY of our relationship with the Lord! It is the way things were meant to be! Colossians 1:3- "We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints—the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Life is not "just the same thing every day" when we realize His GREAT love for us and KNOW that HIS LOVE IS BETTER THAN LIFE!! We must keep and make it a priority that He is our First Love in this world. We must not be like the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:2-5, of whom he said these strong words, "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place." It is very clear from this passage that God doesn't want "what we do for him," so to speak, if I can call it that without getting misinterpreted. HE TRULY WANTS TO BE THE FIRST LOVE OF OUR HEARTS--AFTER ALL HE LOVED US FIRST!!!!!WE MUST NOT forget that He is our first love!--there is no other!
Is Jesus Christ my Absolute first love??
How can I seek to allow Him to keep having that first place of love in my heart?
If He isn't, what have I allowed to take the place that only He deserves the right to have in my heart and life?
Life isn't "just the same stuff every day," because one day "the way things are" will be done and over with---Jesus already has the victory over all of it! He is coming back for us! And one day we will see that when sin is done away with and those of us who have trusted in Him will one day dwell with Him in perfect fellowship, serving Him, with no sin in the way, and EVERYTHING WILL BE RESTORED AS IT WAS MEANT TO BE IN A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH.
See the following:
Revelation 21:1-8 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
AND IN ROMANS 8 the following:
Romans 8:19-21 "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."
AS YOU CAN SEE, LIFE ISN'T "JUST THE SAME STUFF" EVERY DAY!!! Praise the Lord! Let's not forget these things! Let's go tell precious people that are still lost, that God loves and longs to bring to Himself--these things--TODAY AND EVERY DAY THAT GOD GIVES US!!! Let;s listen--really listen to those who are lost around us and hear what they are really saying between the lines....and share the TRUTH OF THE GOOD NEWS UNCOMPROMISINGLY WITH HIS LOVE FLOWING THROUGH US!!