March 3, 2013

Which is Your Favorite Label?

A Penny saved is a penny earned - With debt being what it is due to greed and lack of delaying gratification, this saying has more meaning than ever.  We need to pray about how we spend our pennies – it matters, they do not come easily. But they sure do GO quickly.  But this is not our direct topic today; however, it does have relevance. 

We have been speaking about being proven trust worthy. Let’s say: Trust Kept is Trust Earned.  We can only earn trust if an opportunity is given.  When the invitation is in our hand, we then have an opportunity to give them proof of our faithfulness.  If no one accepts our invitation, then no one will become our trusted friend.  This is why God first loved us, then offered something which could be trusted, His dear son’s very life.  Christ is out here begging for an opportunity to be proven faithful 24/7 and God asks us to test him on His faithfulness to His promises.
So many people demand our trust, before they have given us anything real to validate that it is a “wise investment”.  Without a product to sell, it is a scam.  Rather like the good old “Brooklyn Bridge Scam”   But it does not stop the con artist from ripping us off does it.  They look good; they have their portfolios all backed and swear on their good character or name.  If we do not take the leap of faith, they also have tales to attempt to shame us for being cautious as they dangle the what might-have been's before us.  In the end, we have to accept the truth that, we the person, are of no interest to them.  That is the REAL bottom line.  They will be moving on to someone else who will give them what they want – it’s not personal!

But this is not right, that is why it hurts.  If anything, life is supposed to be personal.  That is ALL it is about, people and relationships.   What has happened to humanity, so many of us are unconscionable? People have no ears to hear themselves, how they interact, the words they hurl toward others, how disconnected they are.  They do not feel well at all, but if they were sick or hurt they sure would notice that they do not feel well at all – did you catch the difference?  There is a large one.
None of us have room to be offended, because we ARE the offender.  Maybe not all the time to each other, but we ALL are all the time to God’s son; end of story!  He has already let us off the hook.  He is not offended; He gladly paid the price for all our offenses.  He does get hurt when we reject His gift and keep on hurting others though.  He gets jealous when we worship other God’s and thumb our nose at Him.  But HE never stops loving us, reaching out to us and attempting to show us what is real.
In 2 Corinthians chapter 5 we are given a beautiful picture of Christ giving his life so that we can be tailored with a new suit of favor.  It states that he does not hold our past sins against us.  I can see him fitting us, stretching out his tape measure and holding up the material.  Our new label reads Gods Favor, but there are people selling other suits claiming that they are “tailor made” for us.  These knock offs are hard to distinguish at first glance. As we stated, con’s are good at their trade.   Satan tried to con Jesus into choosing his knock off over God’s tailor made suit of honor in Matthew 4:8 we are told.  The devil showed Christ his best stuff and said I will fit you in my best suit of glory if you will just bow down and worship me.  You can have it all…..why continue suffering when you have this right at your fingertips.  I am sure this one rolled out “Don’t you deserve it Jesus, really now…..think about it….after all you’d been through and done? Think about yourself for a minute!  
These con’s and distortions are being touted amidst us and even coming out of our very own mouths much of the time.  If we are willing to be honest, we will acknowledge it, if not….we’ll move on.
For the next few days I want you to pause and think about all the conversations going on around you, because they do not stop. They are not only around us, they are within us, in our hearts and mind.  We have discussed this topic often. How will you view them?  How will you approach them? What will you say when it is your time to speak up? Each conversation is real, even if you are having it alone.  If it is a memory, we project others into them; we speak for them and give them our own perspective.  We project and set future events and God says this actually puts future events into motion.  IF they were not real, they would not change us or the happenings in our life.   
Second point we want to think about is this:  Any conversation which you keep, even if to ponder if you are going to keep it or toss it out, you agree there is some validity to it, or you would have already tossed it.  If we make room for the things we “hold against “our self or others in our closet, we will be pulling them out and sporting them, or dressing someone else in them.  Sometimes we don't like what is in our closet and we want to find someone else to throw it off on - after all, isn't that the nice thing to do.  Sometimes, we just think our stuff is really great and believe everyone would look better if they just dressed like us.  
But what about when we take it a step further and begin to tailor them in our own creations?  We pull out our measuring tape and size them up.  We hold up our fabrications and drape them well.  What a prideful, arrogant thing to do.  Now think about how offended we become when someone likes what their own clothes better.  What do we do when people do not want to change just because we said so?    
The reason we need to be trust worthy before someone considers our opinions is because we are supposed to be helping them with discerning their look, confronting them with objective feedback and telling them when they have pulled out a suit with the wrong label.  But we are to do this in love, not rip their garments off and mock their choices.  Proverbs 19:11 states that “sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
Let's not treat others as though they are misfits.  Remember, they have a personal designer who knew exactly how He wanted to dress them.  He knew how each design would be fashioned to show off His creative genius. Before we choose to cast our opinions out there, I pray we pause and withdraw our critical eye, stop reforming them into our own image and then look again.  I pray we see them.....really see them and become overtaken by His glorious finished work.
Today, I pray that we look around in appreciation of the ministry of reconciliation and thank God that we all are well suited in favor and being worn by Christ himself.


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©Candace Huffmaster 2013, All Copy Rights Reserved

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