I Corinthians 16:13 (NLT)
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.
We made it! He made it! God did it! Just like He promised, our son is very much alive. Today is his new birth birthday which in the world of medicine particularly a bone marrow transplant is quite an event. Our son survived the most grueling and harrowing of treatment and survived. The finish line on the race of faith seemed to be pushed back farther and farther with each leg of this journey of hope. When it looked like we were on the threshold of victory another diagnosis would come crashing down. Each remission celebrated briefly before it was over, but not this time. God said, “No more!”
In my heart today, I am compelled to be a witness to tell you that it’s worth it. You will make it. Just don’t stop…believing, hoping, moving and breathing in Jesus. He will do EXACTLY what His Word said it would do for you. Human beings have a tendency to quit long before they are near failure. Fear robs them of victory – fear of failure, fear of lack, fear of life. Be on guard today. The enemy wants your blessing. Stand firm in the faith for it is the platform of promise – the position of those who receive. Be courageous – the greater the promise the bigger the battle. Be strong. The Lord is your strength and to remember that now will serve you well. Finally, do everything in love. Living in love with Jesus Christ is not something we do but fully accepting everything that HE wants to do, be and will in our life.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.
Every single day, we decide how we will live. It is called freedom. We have the right to decide if we will love God, obey Him, and commit our life to serving Him. Mercy comes each morning for all the times that we do not choose well. Life and death are in each moment. The Love of God produces life in us. Life that cannot be taken out by sickness or disease. See nothing can separate us from the Love of God. However, love can die in a marriage simply by misunderstanding. When one person or the other does not “feel” love so they look elsewhere for that which seems elusive. However, really it was not about not being loved or feeling love but rather they were not committed to love. They wanted and desired the other person but never really loved them. Love is constant. It is continual. It does not go back and forth. Real love remains for the duration and does not end. True love is eternal. We must love the Lord with that kind of love to live in His Blessing.
What is your choice today? Will you choose life? Are you willing to fight for your new life? Or is it just easier to sink back into the routine of a normal life? I tried a normal life. Reached a certain level in God and decided to stay there. It was a good place. I did the right things and reaped from meager sowing. God had something else in mind. He looked around Heaven and knew that there was more to my life than this so when the enemy came asking to test me – the Lord allowed him to try me. Why? Why would a God who loves me so much allow us to enter such a trial? To live on the edge of death for three long and treacherous years. As a mother desperate to see her child live, God knew I exactly where I would run to. He knew that I would come crashing into His Presence and demand my rights as His Child. He had been waiting for me there in the deeper depths of His Love for a long time. But comfort and complacency had built a sound structure in my life – no longer feeling the need to press in anymore and quite satisfied with life – I stopped. Or at least I thought I had, but I was drifting. My anchor of hope was loose and platform of faith getting shaky. Each day though death was being shoved down our throats, we fought for life. A new life. A new life for our son. But God’s Love didn’t stop there. He has a new life for us, too.
2 Corinthians 3:8-9 (NLT)
Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!
Life is not perfect. Life is not fair. The sooner that we accept that this world does not really know how to love and sin is its driving force – the better off we will be. Bad things will still happen to good people. This does not in any way impact the Glory of God that can shine in our life. We must expect the greater glory of the new way offered through salvation and given to those who are committed to Christ. We must expect it which means believing enough to prepare for it, be sensitive to it, make room for it, and celebrate it openly when it comes.
The Holy Spirit is constantly creating new life in us but can do nothing if we are not willing to let it out. Many don’t see what the Lord is doing because they look at life with skeptical eyes that call miracles coincidence living in constant fear of waiting for the other foot to fall. The devil is a liar. There is most definitely a finish line of faith. It may take five minutes to get there, five months, five years or even the rest of your natural life. God doesn’t require us to run over it. Some will barely make it, like me crawling across it complete brokenness and total weakness before God. It doesn’t matter just don’t stop believing, seeking, hoping and loving.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT)
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Tomorrow they will scan every inch of our son’s body for cancer as they do every three months. For almost four years, I have dreaded the MRIs and PET scans. Too many times, they would be the bearer of bad news. It occurred to me last year that I have no reason to dread these things. I have heard the worst too many times to count and Jesus has come to his rescue every single time. I am completely confident that the scans are clear of cancer. Everyone has their limit. I know a woman diagnosed with stage 4 cancer who was told after one round of chemo that her tumors were responding and that there was hope, but since the therapy was so rough she decided to forego the treatment and live the rest of her days without all the negative side effects. I am praying for a girl whose heart was so terribly abused and broken that she seeks death daily in addiction and perversity because she has lost all her hope. I could share with you countless situations of people who I pray for that have given up. They just stopped living although they are still breathing. Your life is worth fighting for. Jesus felt you were absolutely worth dying for. The place where we find the love, joy and peace we need to keep going is in the Presence of Jesus Christ. I believe also that when we stop pressing in that He will allow pressure to come that pushes us closer than ever before. God’s Love for us knows no boundaries. He will fight for our life when we give up on it. He will love us when we don’t love Him or ourselves. God will work every detail of our life for good despite our unwillingness to try. It is up to each of us if we will experience the Glory that comes to those who live in such a place. Those who decide they want a new life. The ones who become convinced it is worth having.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
To be full of new life means to be empty of self. Athletes leave their blood, sweat and tears to win the big game. Christians do the same. Winning the race of faith means choosing life every single day even when things seem hopeless. You can never give up but must keep putting one foot in front of the other. My stress reliever was the gym. I would get on the elliptical and run. I would keep going past the timer some days. Surrounded by a room full of sweaty people, all I could see was a dusty mountain that I was climbing. With each footfall, dust would bellow out. Rocks would rise up in my path and I would jump over them. As I ran I would pray and sing songs of faith and deliverance to remind my soul, we were going to make it to the top of that mountain. I wonder if the other exercisers could see all those tears. It didn’t matter because when my run was over I would be standing on the top. My son would be standing next to me and our arms would be stretched over our heads with our hands lifted high. I had this vision countless times. I cannot ever remember looking up from the ground in my thoughts but being focused on the path I was running. Like Abraham, I was going to make it up this mountain. It didn’t move when I told it to so going over it was my only option. I didn’t know how God was going to do, but simply believed that He would. I went so far as to even think that God would raise Him from the dead if necessary to keep His Word true. He did. Today I stand on the top of that mountain celebrating the victory found in Jesus.
Was it worth it? You be the judge. My son is alive and well away at college. It took this monumental journey to change me completely. Rather than pressing for one race, I am reaching for the prize again. It feels good! It will take my entire life to complete the purpose God has for me to perfection. It will take all of my life to fit in what He has planned. I can decided to keep going today or give up completely and just walk way. I will not give up. I have tasted victory and it is sweet. His Name is Jesus. He won this battle for me. In fact, He won the whole war. I do not every have to settle for less again. My life is a culmination of a Heavenly Prize that just keeps getting better and better which each tiny step closer that I take towards Jesus. I am not taking leaps of faith but baby steps. There is more to life than this moment or your life would end right now. It is worth having or Jesus wouldn’t have made a way for nothing. No the great potential in life is for those who choose to “be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” The key to your success is simple – just don’t stop.
Living for Jesus is anything but boring. It is full of entertainment. There is love, tragedy and triumph there is in every classic tale. As this chapter of my life closes and the book is hoisted to the shelf, I cannot help but wonder what my next great adventure in God is? Will it be like this one? Or will it be entirely new and different? I have no clue. But I fully expect the happily ever after that comes with fairy tale princes and princesses for He is my soon and coming King!
Galatians 6:9 (NLT)
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.