When we get saved and accept Christ in our life, things are suppose to get better, aren't they?
In fact, they do get better, but often not in the way we think they should. We have to remember that life isn't about us, it is about God's purposes. As Pastor Tommy illustrates, just because we ask for something doesn't mean we are going to get it.
1. Pride makes us think we have a clue.
Jesus said in John 12:25, "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." This verse seems disappointing; just when we begin to love the life we have, it's gone. But it is in the surrendering to God that we find true joy. This is something we can never discover by making decisions our own way for our own benefit.
We must remember that it is God's will that is perfect, not ours. As Christians, sometimes we let pride determine what we deserve. We think we deserve a house, a job, or a successful business. But spiritual life doesn't work that way. We grow in the image of Christ by surrendering all we have to God, trusting Him to lead us on the best path for our lives.
2. Do we really know where we are? Do we reflect on where we are or what we are doing?
Ecclesiastes 3:9-10 has an interesting perspective on this: What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. Life isn't easy, nor was it meant to be. God had made us to work even before the snake tempted Adam and Eve.
3. Jesus is not only God and Savior, He is our friend.
Now we know He wants us to work and to do His will, but He wants us to be our friend, too. We have to remember too that the Creator knows what is best for us.
When my daughter was smaller, she loved sweets and preferred to eat them over every other food (she gets it from me). But knowing that healthy foods were better for her, I had to guide her to eat what was good, not just what she wanted.
Jesus knows what is good for us too, even if we don't like it. He is our friend, the one who always has our best interest at heart. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.John 15:15
4. The only true relationship man can have with God is humility.
To be first, you have to be last. This is something that Jesus taught over and over again, not only in words, but in actions. Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, one of the most humbling tasks of His day. (Try getting your boss to do that!)
Then Jesus did the ultimate thing: He gave his life so that we could live.Then Jesus did the ultimate thing: He gave his life so that we could live. If the conditions where reversed, most of us would send someone else to die in our place.
If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 1 John 4:20
Tommy gave us a two part homework assignment for the year 2009:
1. Say "I love you" to everyone you talk to before you talk to him or her, not aloud to the person, but in your own heart. By saying, "I love you", you set your mind in a position to love others before yourself. (By the way, this technique works wonders for anger, too.)
2. In everything you do, do it humbly so that you remember that it is all about Jesus. Put His work first.