Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To Know the Power of His Resurrection

I often find myself impressed with myself.  Look at how well I behave.  Look at how "selfless" that action was.  I'm such a good person.  God must be glad to have me on His team!   I'm sure that God is just shaking His head in disappointment when I think these things. 

If anyone had the right to say that, it was Paul.  In Philippians 3:4-6, he talks about who he was, and it is an impressive resume in those days.  But in verse 7, he continues on:  "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, (I'll stop here--end of verse 9--momentarily, as I always feel like Paul spoke in run on sentences! :)). 

Paul was someone, as far as humans go, but even he said that he counts it all as loss for Christ's sake.  It is all worthless if you don't know Christ as Lord.  He wanted Christ so badly, that he would give up everything that made him who he was in order to be with Him.  Would you give up your car if it meant you would lose Christ?  Would you give up your job if it meant you would lose Christ?  Would you give up your family?  What is your most prized possession?  Would you give it up for Him?  This is a good rule of thumb to test where your heart is.  If it would be too much for you to give up your friends, children, job, car, life, etc for the sake of Christ, then you don't really want to know Him.  I had some friends that gave up their really good jobs and lives here in the US to go to China.  Even believers thought they were crazy bkz he was an attorney!  It didn't make sense . . . but He was calling them to go, and they don't regret it at all. 

Paul continues in verses 10-11 (NASB):  "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."  He would give it all up so he could know Christ and the power of His resurrection and even the fellowship of His sufferings.  He gave it all up, knowing that it wasn't going to be easy, but it was worth it all. 

I remember several years ago when this became real to me that I needed to know Him & the Power of His Resurrection.  Why was that so important?  The answer revolutionized my life.  I need to get back to that place.  Lord, please take me back to that place.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


On Saturday evening, our normally very hot tap water got even hotter.  It was nearly boiling coming out of the tap.  I didn't think much about it until the next morning, when I was almost done my shower and realized the water wasn't very hot.  My poor husband had even less hot water.  By the time he was done his shower, there was no hot water.  Later that afternoon, there was still no hot water.  So Miles went downstairs and did a few things like flipped the breaker and reset the water heater, but to no avail.  We had no hot water. 

Miles was going to be gone all day the next day, and he wouldn't have an opportunity to look at the water heater until Tuesday.  I was frustrated, but knew that I had other options for the morning. It was so inconvenient to go to the gym before work though!  I prayed, "God, would you please fix our water heater?  We don't have the time or the money to deal with it this week." (not that there is ever a week that we have time or money to deal with it :)).

Monday morning we had no hot water, so I went to work out and get a hot shower at the gym.  I was grateful for that option.  I was reminded that every time something goes wrong with our house and I'm inconvenienced, I remember my friends who are serving overseas and don't have regular water or electricity.  I prayed for them a few times throughout the day.  I went to Target where the cashier politely responded to my "how was your day?" with the same question.  Well honestly the entire day was a bit ridiculous, but I just said, "Fine, except we don't have any hot water at our house."  But being reminded of my friends who live in a country that has more water per capita than anywhere else in the world, but they don't have the infrastructure to support it (meaning they often don't have water at all), I added, "But at least I have running water."  The cashier responded, "That is true.  What a good way to look at it."

So I went home trying to remember that I need to be more grateful then I am.  I look at our kitchen counters covered with dishes bkz we can't wash them, and I think, "What would Trichelle (one of our overseas friends) do?"  Well, she'd boil water to wash them in.  So I put the teapot on the stove.  I was rearranging the dishes, so I could create the most efficient environment for washing the dishes.  I got something on my finger, so I turned on the tap to wash it off out of habit.  THE WATER WAS HOT!!!  God fixed our water heater!  Thanks God!

As I reflected back on the previous day or so, I was reminded how I take things for granted, and how much less stressed I was when I just accepted my situation and did the best I could with it.  God doesn't always work that way, but I'm so grateful that He did.  He is the Giver of all good gifts (James 1:17).