Newsletter: November 4, 2015

Hello Church Family,

Intentionally planning our days in order to live faithfully to God does not have to be drudgery. Do you remember the scene from last week? Essentially there was a group of ladies trying to outdo one another with all they had given up in order to watch their favorite TV shows. It has been a few weeks now, but I don’t remember any of them weeping or speaking in hushed tones about how they hated changing their lives to fit a show’s schedule. In fact, they were almost giddy with excitement at the changes they had made. I’m serious. Giddy!

Well now how could this be? They are giving up things that once were regular parts of their lives and some things that remain very important. How could they be excited about self-discipline and planning?

The delight and enjoyment these people find in television enables them to look past the difficulties and sacrifices they experience without thinking twice about them. What you plan to do reveals that in which you delight. Your source of delight exposes what you value. What you value holds the reigns of your heart. Who/What is holding yours?

How does any of this help us intentionally plan our days to the glory of God? What I just described is meant to serve as a test to help evaluate our lives and hearts. However, this kind of test is one of observation and not application. Maybe you think about this test and your life, asking God to illumine your mind and heart to see what is there, and it becomes clear you are not treasuring Christ in every area as you should.

If this is the case, you and I both need to thank God for revealing sin in our lives. It is often painful and always humbling, but is definitely for our good. However, if we will not repent from sin when it is exposed in our lives, we will grow callous and insensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Furthermore, if we continue down this path, we may demonstrate that we were never Christians to begin with.

As Christians, we know that we have been given a new heart and a new life, but we also know that we are still battling our flesh. That means we have two sets of desires: those of the old man and those of the new. We know Christ should be holding the reigns of our heart. We know God and His kingdom are of infinite value. We know we must delight in Him with all that we are. But what about when we forget? What about when we don’t feel like it?

When we forget, we fight to remember by sticking to the plan. When we don’t feel like it, we fight to feel by sticking to the plan. When these seasons comes, we cry out to God to keep and guard us. We plead with Him to help us long for Him as we know we should. We ask the Holy Spirit to fill, restore, and lead us back into faithfulness.

We are best prepared to fight when we have planned to fight. We need each other in this battle and I am glad we are on the same side. Let us plan to fight together.

Luke 6:43-45; Matthew 6:19-21; Romans 8:12-28; 2 Corinthians 7:10-12

Gentry