Tuesday July 9th

Good Morning Everyone,

Our theme for this month: “The Gift of Being Yourself”

Our Bible verse for today: “How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the  wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2 (CSB)

Our thought for today: “The best life you can have is the one lived in the center of God’s will.”

Yesterday we began thinking about the spiritual transformation that God is bringing about in you through the process of sanctification. We considered the truth of Philippians 1:6 and the fact that at the moment you placed your faith in Christ God started working in you to transform you into the person He wants you to be.

I also noted that your part in this is to cooperate with God by placing yourself in a position before Him everyday whereby He can continue molding and shaping you into that person. You do that by means of the basic disciplines of the Christian faith. Those are things like prayer, Bible study, group worship services, memorizing Bible verses, acts of service to others, etc. The reason God instituted such practices is because they open us up spiritually to the work of the Holy Spirit in our mind and heart. The more those practices are a part of your life, the more spiritual transformation you experience.

Living a life fully immersed in and surrendered to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in your life is not as difficult as you might think. First, you train yourself in what Eugene Peterson once called “a long obedience in the same direction”. You incorporate the spiritual disciplines into your life and then you train yourself to practice them every day. You consistently do what you’re supposed to do, and you are where you’re supposed to be, day in and day out until it becomes a part of the normal ebb and flow of the rhythm of your life. At that point you won’t feel right if you don’t do those things.

Second, you simply relax and live your life within the boundaries God has established in the Bible. In the Bible God has given us the boundaries He wants us to live within. Those boundaries are actually very wide and they give us a lot of room for living a rich, full, and happy life. But they are boundaries, and we do have to stay within them. The best way I’ve ever heard this explained came from professor Dallas Willard. He told of how when his children were young he would send them out to play in the fenced back yard. Once they were out there they were free to choose their activities for themselves. They could play in the sandbox, swing on the swings, sit in chair and read a book, or any of a number of other activities. The only rule was that they had to behave themselves according to the rules their father had established, and they had to stay within the boundaries of the fenced yard. That’s how God most often deals with us, His children. He sends us off to simply live life and enjoy it, but we have to stay within the boundaries.

Living like that takes a lot of the pressure off of us. We don’t have to have it all figured out. We just have to stay within the boundaries and obey the rules. And we also don’t have to be perfect. We can just relax and enjoy being the person God is transforming us in to.

Apply yourself to spiritual growth. Become the person God wants you to be. Live within Biblical boundaries. Then relax and enjoy your life. Enjoy just being you.

God Bless,
Pastor Jim

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