Mar 3, 2014

Who needs cozy.....

Today's Reading: Matthew 13:24-52
Find our reading plan here. 

When the Lord wants you to remember something, He shows it to you over and over.

Don't ever think anything in life is a "coincidence". It's a "God-incidence". Every single time.

This is what has been happening to me over the last week and a half. The verse that will be our Memory Verse for this week, has been everywhere I turn.

Last week in my Wednesday morning small group, we discussed this passage.

I have also used this verse countless times lately to try to teach my children. Really, I need the reminder probably much more than they do.

Our Monday Memory Verse:

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4

BAM. There it is.

It's pretty self-explanatory, right?

When I turned 30 years old, the Lord opened my eyes to this kind of living.

If I am being honest, It's taken me a while to put it into practice.

Some days, I don't practice it at all. Again, just being real.

For the first 30 years of my life, I was pretty content. I was a Christian, and had been since a very young age.

Most of my family were also Christians.

Spiritually speaking, life was good.

But, then something happened.

God started talking to me about getting out of my "circle".

Basically, I could continue to live within  my four walls, happy and content that I was going to heaven and most of my family would be with me.

OR, and here's the big OR....

I could get out of my four walls, and" look to the interest of others", and their spiritual well-being.

My comfort zone was pretty comfy. I had a cozy church, cozy church friends, cozy family life...life was cozy.

Jesus Christ was asking me to go beyond cozy.

Way beyond.

The first step He asked me to take with Him, affronted my biggest fear....rejection. He was ready to knock down that rejection wall, by killing two birds with one stone. Dealing with the fear of rejection, and stepping out of my comfort zone. Whoa.

Huge, people, huge.

Eyes closed, and His hand in mine, I took that first step.

Whew.

Without that first step, I would still be within my four walls....looking to my own interests, but not to the interest of others. Gulp.

Yes, I would still have gone to heaven.

But, I would not have near the excitement, awe, and wonder, of a life outside of my four walls.

I would not have near the stories to write about on this site. I would not have been changed by the people that I have met outside of these four walls. The people that have broken me to pieces due to their stories and their testimonies.

Yesterday, I had the incredible honor of visiting my friends church in our small town of Madison, Georgia.

The church was African American, and we were the only white people there. Which of course, bothered no one.

I could hardly stop the tears, or lump in my throat, as we sang together in unison.

The Lord gave me the sweetest vision of Heaven in those two hours.

This church was nothing like mine. Oh, but it was everything like God's church. His Church of One.

I was once again reminded of how beautiful the Body of Christ is. A coat of many stunning colors.

A stained glass window of diversity and differences....yet brought together to create one heavenly masterpiece. His Body. His Church. His Sons and Daughters.

I was reminded, again, in the pastors message. as s he read from Philippians 2:4....

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

Reminded again.... this life is not about me. It never ever was.

I drove to the grocery store late that afternoon, crying my eyes out as I drove. {big surprise, right?}

Jesus was once again showing me that the cozy life was not what it was cracked up to be.

When we step out of our comfort zone, go beyond ourselves, and follow Jesus Christ.......

We will never be the same.

Ever.

My eyes were opened at the age of 30. However, there have been times along the way  that I wanted to close them back shut. It's painful, it's hard at times....it can be uncomfortable.

Oh, but then I remember my Jesus on that cross. He took my sins. He took my pain. He took it all, so that I could live. Truly live.

He "looked to the interest of others" by dying for them.

Without His sacrifice, I would not be here.

I'm forever indebted to His interest in me.

How about you?

Is it time for you to take the first step out of your comfort zone?

Maybe your testimony needs to be heard. Maybe your heart needs to be healed by reaching out to those outside of your four walls. Maybe life has gotten stagnant and stale, and you just haven't been able to put your finger on why.

Can I tell you something? Today is the day. Jesus is standing there, hands outstretched...beckoning you to walk with Him outside of your circle and into His World. A world that needs you. A world that needs your interest. A world that will break your heart into a million pieces, and then some.

When our hearts are broken for others, our hearts become whole in Jesus.

 "So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to obey everything that I have told you to do. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of time.” Matthew 28:19-20


Cozy is overrated,


jill