What's your story? Here's mine. 2.02.23
Why do you do what you do?
What’s your story?
But first, before you answer, the New Year is still young, and today is a great day to make the choice to have a different kind of year, one lived closer to Jesus. Choosing his higher way--to break free from the things that ensnare us, to take care of the bodies he gave us, choosing to practice self control, etc. can test our mettle, and so he gave us the Holy Spirit to help us in this life.1 In the past weeks, we have looked more closely at this under-appreciated member of the Trinity, and what a Friend he is!
What's your story? Why do you get up and put on your pants, and do what you do every day?
Allow me to answer, please. Though I have failed many times over my life, still
it is my highest desire to honor God with who I am
and to draw people to TRUTH~
the magnificent truth of God's great love for them,
his beautiful way of life for them, and an eternity with him,
all of which we learn through the pages of the Bible.
So, my story, or why I do what I do, always includes my relationship with God. Despite what some say, relationship with God is simply not about religion; religion is a man-made construct. Rather, relationship with God flows out of how he revealed himself in the truths of the Scriptures, which came alive through Jesus Christ. Thus, I have been writing these Morning Briefings for 15 years now, teaching through many books of the Bible, sending via email. It started with two business men, so that they could access biblical inspiration no matter where they were in the world, since they traveled a lot.
Truth: people are hungering for relationship with God, meaning in life; many do not realize that meaning in life flows out of their relationship with God--purpose. Through conversations in taxis, airplanes, the gym, nail salons, airports and restaurants, I have learned people want to get to know God without going to church, because frankly the Church has not really presented herself well.2
What's my story? My story includes apprehending the truth of what can be known of God as he has revealed himself, and bringing it down to where we live—in the busy-ness of the Western world, the oppression of the Middle East, the skepticism of academia, the growing secularism all around us, and the hopelessness of dark situations. You see, I believe Jesus’ I Am statements, chief among them I am the Good Shepherd. That Shepherd came to earth to know us. Note: God came to us, as opposed to every other religion in the world, which revolve around us trying to be good enough, us trying to get to God. We believe, and we trust. . .we are invited to follow him. Yeah, that's it--we simply follow like sheep.
What' your story? Why do you do what you do? Do you want to be a sheep with me?
In three days, I will fly across the Atlantic Ocean to join a group of people from six different states to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. But, why? Because there is nothing like seeing where Jesus was born, grew up, lived his life, died and was resurrected. "Why does that matter? And how can we know any of it is true," you ask? Because archaeology has unearthed the evidence for all of it. Historians, besides those from scripture, recorded it. Truly, there is nothing as stimulating or as confirming as experiencing the Truth of the story, the Truth of that Rabbi who changed the world forever. From young to old, each will know and be able to tell what she has seen; he will one day pass from this earth, knowing that what he was told about Jesus was true. That's why I do what I do.
What's your story? Why do you do what you do?
I am endeavoring to learn from the sheep. Jesus had quite a lot to say about this: I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.3 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.4 Whilst in Israel, we will see shepherds with their flocks out on open hillsides5. What a picture of our Savior as the Good Shepherd! [If you want read more on our Good Shepherd from John 10: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+10.1-30&version=ESV.]
Yes, the sheep hear their shepherd’s call and simply follow; actually, it seems they amble. They are simple, trusting, some might say ‘dumb’ animals. I love the idea of simply following …
What's my story? I suppose I am trying to figure out the way of the sheep, and trying desperately to follow in the steps of my Shepherd. In the days to come, I will endeavor to send you snapshots and tales of the Land. Because besides following the Shepherd, I want to help others follow Him as well!
What’s your story today? Why do you do what you do…’ever thought about it? Remember, we have been called to be sheep who respond to the voice of the Good Shepherd. Hmmm.... so good.
Love this song: Glory, Honor, Power:https://www.youtube.com/watchv=2x63bhSMEQk&list=RD7IWMiFpko8M&index=7
1 - Morning Briefings, www.pastorwoman.net. - last several
2 - Do not get me wrong! I love going to church, and I believe the local church is the hope of the world. Furthermore, I believe we are commanded to keep the Sabbath--I'm all good with that. However, I also know that the church is filled with flawed human beings and we do not always represent God well. Outsiders oft see insiders as hypocrites and a whole lot worse.
3 - John 10.14
4 - John 10.27-28
5 - so very different than our penned-in, electronically-tagged sheep I am used to seeing in the Central Valley in California.