Proactive ForgivenessNovember 29, 2023
A Life Worthy and PleasingJanuary 16, 2024
I was renovating houses when I turned forty-five. I sat myself down and asked the question, “Do I want to be doing this when I am sixty-five? Do I want to be chasing sheet rockers and tile men and listening to homeowners fuss about the electrician not showing up?”
The answer was a definitive, “Not no, but absolutely no!”
What then to do?
If I want things to be different, I have to do things differently. So I embarked on a journey for the next five years to change things, knowing sixty-five was right around the corner.
Now I am turning sixty-seven and asking this: “Where will I be in five years, at seventy-two? What will I be doing?” Or more importantly, “Am I satisfied with where I am now, or do I want to continue to grow?”
But let me drill down a little more on that question, with an eternal perspective in mind: “Am I satisfied with my relationship with Jesus, and where I am in my spiritual journey – do I want to see myself at seventy-two as the same “spiritual Sam” I am now?”
The same answer surfaces: “Not no, but absolutely no!”
Might you pause for a moment, look at your age five years from now, and ask yourself these same questions?
Jesus gave us a warning about complacency:
“The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”—Luke 12:47-48
I am guessing you do not like the first part of Jesus’ statement, and are a little nervous about the second part. But Jesus is clearly saying that you and I know what we should be doing, and not doing it is not just being complacent and lazy, it is … unacceptable to Jesus. All of you reading this, yes you, have been given much. Jesus, yes, sweet, full of grace Jesus, is very clear: “I expect, I demand, you do something with all I have given you!”
What then to do?
Certainly laziness and complacency is unacceptable.
Bump your trajectory. Imagine a graph with a line showing your growth rate in the important areas of your life. Let’s just summarize those areas with this: Body – Mind – Spirit. (More on B-M-S next week)
I hope your graph is trending upward – we never drift into growth. We never drift into anything worthwhile. And I hope you want to continue to grow, especially spiritually, no matter your age. (If not, please feel free to Unsubscribe from these Putting Greens.)
So if you bump that trajectory today by just a little, and yet keep your same current upward trend, the results five years from now will be dramatically different.
So to bump our trajectory today, let’s start with, “What can I do differently, so I can grow closer to Jesus?” Can I start with a little more Bible reading in the morning, or if you are already reading the Bible daily, read a little slower? Slower is always better. We don’t want to skim the surface; we want to scuba dive into the rich depths.
Practice the Presence of Jesus
Perhaps start a daily conversation with Jesus as you go about your day. Bring him into the details by talking with him about anything, even the seemingly mundane things. I do, and it adds such a richness to my walking around life. (It may seem a little silly, or affected, but he is real and he will respond.)
I will end where Peter starts his second letter,
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness …8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure … —2 Peter 1:5,8
“Add to … in increasing measure.” In essence, bump your trajectory. Today. Tomorrow morning. Not … five years from now.
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