Thursday, December 7. 2017
Read I Peter 1:13-21 and I Corinthians 12:4-27
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48
Just as we are all different parts of the Christian Body, we didn't all become a believer in exactly the same way. My experience was gradual, no flashes of lightening or roaring thunder.
I was born into a family composed mostly of believers in Christ. All were members of the local Methodist Church and because of this, I began going to church as an infant. My mother played the organ at that church and I was in the church nursery on many days of the week. I was very comfortable spending time at church. I was blessed to get to learn about Jesus and God as I grew up. My parents, mostly my Mom, instilled in my siblings and me a Biblical moral code. Treating others as we wanted others to treat us, in other words, with respect and kindness, was part of that moral code. Doing good in school was another part of that code.
As part of this testimony, it is important to say, our family was not perfect, in fact there was a lot of emotional and irrational controlling behavior. On the surface we looked happy and perfect, but underneath that surface was a dysfunctional family. I think that going to church as a family was a stabilizing factor. Each of us handled the dysfunction differently. I reacted by trying to be the perfect oldest daughter in every way. I worked hard at it and failed.
I'm sure someone shared about having a personal relationship with the Son of God, Jesus, but I don't remember hearing that until I was in High School. There was a Weekend Retreat at our church with speakers from other United Methodist Churches. One of them asked me about my personal relationship with Jesus. My response was "What?". I thought I was already saved, because I'd been a good girl, was at church a lot, and was a member of the church, my Mom was a Christian, I didn't run around with the wrong crowd, etc. I asked him, ”I thought I was already a Christian, what more do I need to do?" He explained that I had to admit I am sinner and only Jesus could forgive me of those sins. I also needed to ask Jesus to be the center of my life. So I did. That was easy! My heart and life had been leading up to this prayer.
God has been directly involved in my life ever since. Have the last 40 + years been easy? No! Have I listened to and followed Jesus in all my decisions and actions? No! My primary sin that I confessed in High School is one that has pushed into my life many times since. Before inviting Jesus to be my Best Friend and God to by My Father, I chose to live my life, my way. After inviting Jesus into my heart the Holy Spirit moved in and I began to make better decisions. I discovered it was easier to be that "good girl" I had always wanted to be. I still was at church a lot. I still am. I no longer force myself to be "perfect". God didn't call me to be someone else's definition of "perfect". God called me to be His Child, His Daughter, His Follower, His Hands and Feet. Because of Jesus, I am being created into the Perfect Kristen.
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for helping me gradually become all you want me to be. Amen.
Prayer Focus: those who are feeling like a failure… and need Jesus