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Juggling Act (a Timeless Truths blog post)

juggling

Have you ever tried to juggle? Perhaps you went to a circus and were amazed at the objects the performer could juggle seemingly effortlessly and you went home and tried to recreate the performance yourself only to discover it wasn’t as easy as it looked.  You may have been motivated to keep trying and eventually discovered that with a lot of practice you got better … not perfect, but certainly better than your initial attempt.  As in all of life, it takes time to get good at something worthwhile.  Oftentimes, we get discouraged too soon.  However, if we continue to make an effort, most likely we will improve.  Has your life gotten really busy?  Have you felt like you were trying to perform a juggling act?  Have you made an attempt to prioritize what’s most important so that particular ball doesn’t get dropped accidentally?  Matthew 6:33 (ICB) says, “The thing you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what God wants …”  So, this timeless truth reveals what our number one priority should be in our lives … putting God first … putting our personal relationship with Him first, making an effort to juggle our lives in such a way that this most important relationship is prioritized, nurtured, and protected from all of the other events going on that would try to distract and detract from what should be the foundation of our lives.  When we choose to put God first we are acknowledging His place in our lives; we are acknowledging He is most important; we are acknowledging our need and our desire for Him to be involved in every area of our lives.  But how do I do that? you may ask.  I work nights, or, I have to sleep when I can … I have a new baby, or, my family responsibilities make it hard if not impossible to put God ahead of everything else.  The answer lies in your heart, not the particular time of day or particular location you choose to spend time alone with God one-on-one in a personal relationship with Him.  It doesn’t have to be difficult.  Very busy people can learn the act of juggling if they put their mind to it, and, perhaps, get creative.  For example, don’t worry about the amount of time as much as the quality of time you spend with God in your personal relationship with Him.  This may mean you only have a few minutes at the beginning of the day (or ending if you so choose) to intently focus on God in prayer and tell Him whatever is on your heart as you simply talk to Him about whatever may be in your heart to say.  It could be just talking to Him about your day and getting his feedback as you stay quiet for a few minutes to listen to hear the Holy Spirit respond … perhaps by giving you the idea of what to do in that situation, perhaps by giving you a sense that He has heard you and He cares about whatever it is you’re going through (good or bad) and He’s just glad you took the time to share it with Him and get His direction of what He would like you to do in that situation.  As your life gets pulled in many different directions, and as you practice your juggling act, don’t worry if you drop the ball now and then … just keep practicing until it gets easier and easier and before you know it you will improve until you don’t even have to think about it … God will naturally be first in your life!

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Freedom (a Timeless Truths blog post)

man jumping

How many of you would like to be free just about now? With all the regulations in place it seems that rebellion against authority is a given (regardless of whether or not that rebellion is actually carried out). We were not meant to live under the tyranny of rules and regulations that cause us to forfeit our freedom. We were not meant to live without a means to express ourselves in an appropriate way … that’s why so many people have fought for so long and for so hard so that we could enjoy the freedom that is meant to be ours. Did you know that Jesus was one of those people? Did you know that Jesus came to set you and me free? For too long religious leaders would have you believe otherwise. For too long people have been led to believe they had to follow a long list of do’s and don’ts in order to receive favor with God … but that’s not true. The truth is found in scripture. The truth says in Galatians 2:15,16 (NIV) “We … know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.” This is good news for you and for me. It means we don’t have to be perfect. It means we can choose to trust in Jesus’ perfection that is credited to us on our behalf when we accept his free gift of salvation. It means we can enjoy freedom in a personal relationship with God knowing, by faith, He accepts us, approves us, and loves us unconditionally … all because of what Jesus did for each and every one of us when he died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and to justify us before God as we put our faith and trust in him alone to make us righteousness. Galatians 5:1 (NIV) is also an encouragement to us as it says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Of course this doesn’t mean we should just go out and commit every kind of sin imaginable though because we’re trusting in Jesus. No, on the contrary, because of what Jesus has already done for us we should have an attitude of gratitude … and that gratitude should motivate us to want to live in a way that is honoring to him. So, as you ponder the timeless truth of the freedom Christ has already made available to you, check yourself to see if you’re actually living in that freedom. See if you are trusting in Jesus alone to make you right with God. And don’t be afraid to exercise that freedom as you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you in how you live your life because the Holy Spirit will never lead you in a way that is contrary to scripture and to honoring God. Be thankful, therefore, for the freedom you can enjoy today … no matter where you live … for John 8:31, 32 (NIV) says, “ … Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Also, 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV) tells us, “ … where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

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