Monday, July 16, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 7

Wow, I can't believe it has already been a week since I started this challenge! So far I've really enjoyed receiving an e-mail each day that includes scripture, a devotional and a challenge centered around cultivating a heart of gratitude. The challenge for Day 7 is to thank the Lord out loud for how He has worked in me. I thanked Him earlier in my head (or heart) for working in me in a specific way, so this is my way of thanking Him "out loud." Earlier I was provoked by an individual who has openly rejected Christ. I have ben provoked in a similar manner before only to respond in my flesh with a self righteous attitude, which is in no way honoring to the Lord. Today when the individual began saying things that I typically would have verbally debated, I told myself, "This is the part here you keep your mouth shut." Through Christ in me I was able to do just that. I thanked Him for helping me have self control and for His continual work in helping me develop a gentle and quiet spirit. Please understand that those who are lost do need to hear the Gospel in order to understand it. My former college pastor once asked something like, "How many times have you argued with someone and the result was them repenting and trusting in Jesus?" What a provoking question to be faced with. It is okay to disagree with non-believers and even debate with them so long as your priority is doing so with a heart that loves and cares for them. As Christ followers we are called to be peace makers. Presenting the Gospel in a self righteous way often leads to planting seeds of dissension and it makes sharing more about being right (our pride) and takes away from who Christ is and what He has accomplished. The Lord has done great work in me and I realize that there is much work yet to be accomplished. I am grateful that my salvation comes from Him and not from any work I've done (because even if I tried no amount of "good work" would could save me). Additionally I am grateful not only that He saved me, but that He wants to work in me to make me more like Him. What a blessed (or happy) life it is to be known and loved by God!



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