Friday, September 21, 2007

September 21, 2007

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abides in me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit.....If you abide in me and MY WORD abides in you....herein is my Father glorified that you bear much fruit." John 15: 3, 7, 8


There is never enough of least for me. If I had $1 for every time in my life that I have said "I wish I had more time" or "There is just never enough time", I could take my entire family to Texas de Brazil several times over!!

Yet the amazing thing is, I have the same amount of time as every one else...24 hours a day. I have no less time than Bill Gates. I have no less time than President Bush. I have no less time than Martha Stewart for Pete's sake!! But I never get all of my TO DO list done...never! It seems I mark 6 things off and add 12 more. It's maddening to me.

But, you know what? I pretty much do what I want to do. I MAKE time for what is important.

We all do. I find a way to do the things I REALLY want or need to do. And we REALLY, REALLY make time for the things we REALLY, REALLY love. For instance....if you have a favorite TV show, you will work your entire evening around getting to the TV set by 8:00 (or whenever it comes on). You will finish dinner, get the kids in bed, quit working in the yard, or leave a friend's house in time to get home so you will not miss it. will TiVo it or record it so you don't miss an episode. But the point is YOU MAKE TIME.

If you are an avid deer hunter, you make time not only to hunt, you make time to keep up with the latest techniques and latest products on the market to bag the monster buck. You watch hours of hunting videos, you subscribe to all the best hunting magazines, you frequent the hunting stores for all the latest and greatest products to make you a better hunter. You get online and chat with other hunters to learn what they are doing. YOU MAKE TIME for what you love! (I'm not picking on hunters...I just have them in my family so I KNOW how they are:) )

So, where am I going with this?

I was reading in Ezekiel this morning (on my S-L-O-W trek through the Bible) and I was struck by one phrase that the Lord kept repeating over and over to Ezekiel. God had come to Ezekiel in a vision with a message to take to his people who were in exile for their rebellion against Him. (Remember Lamentations?) The phrase he kept repeating was "rebellious house". In Ezekiel 2: 4,5 God says "The children are obstinate and hard-headed...for they are a rebellious house." Again and again, He uses the same phrase "rebellious house". And all I can think of is how much He is talking about us!

The more I read His word, the more I see that we are far from where He wants us to be...not just as a country...but as HIS people! His Word is our plumbline. It shows us where we are off base. It shows us how we are SUPPOSED to live, how we are SUPPOSED to love, how we are SUPPOSED to forgive.

I am reminded of a story in II Chronicles 34 about King Josiah who took the throne when he was only eight years old! Yet, "he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord" (vs 2).

He tore down the idols and places of idol worship and he burnt the bones of the priests who had led the people astray. He sent men to repair the temple and while they were doing so, Hilkiah, the priest, found a book....the law of the Lord given by Moses! And Shapan (the scribe) took it to King Josiah. "Hilkiah, the priest, has given me a book" he told the king and he read it to him. "And it came to pass, when the kind heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes" and said "for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord to do after all that is written in this book".

Dear friends...we need to be IN THE BOOK. Not just dust it off on Sunday mornings so we can follow along with the preacher as he reads or so that we will look "spiritual". We need to open its pages and allow its words to penetrate our hearts like it did King Josiah's. We need to SATURATE ourselves with God's word. Think about that phrase a minute. SATURATE YOURSELF WITH GOD'S WORD. If you are saturated, there is no room for anything else. If our minds and our hearts are saturated with God's word, there won't be any room for what the world says is how we should act. We won't be influenced by how Hollywood thinks. Our language won't be that of an R-rated movie. Our lives will be overflowing with the love of God. We will love like I Corinthians 13. We will forgive "70 x7" as Jesus commanded. We will carry our brother's burdens. We will lift up the fallen and we will share the GOOD NEWS!

What are you filling your mind with today? What are you saturated with? Maybe we need to empty out our "cup", wash it out, and ask God to fill it up. Then we need to turn off the TV, shut down our computers, lay down our magazines and open up the Word and allow Him to fill us.

Fill my cup Lord

I lift it up Lord

Come and quench this thirsting

of my soul.

Bread of Heaven

Feed me til I want no more...

Fill my cup, fill it up

And make me whole.

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