Archive for the ‘Commitment’ Category

Students and teachers all over the country are preparing for a new school year. Even though they may be returning to the same school, there will be an element of change such as new teachers or students, new friends, different classes, different expectations. They prepare by purchasing new clothes and new school supplies, making plans, and building expectations.

What do you do when you’re expecting a change in your life? In most instances, we also begin making plans and gathering the necessary supplies to make that change easy and successful. We often do whatever is necessary to be sure we are ready for that change.

One Sunday, the preacher asked how many of us came to church expecting change and how many came prepared for change. Thankfully he didn’t ask for a show of hands because honestly that question knocked the air out of my sails. I was forced to admit to myself and God that I’ve just been going through the motions lately.

I am normally a person who prepares for change. I’ve spent most of the summer preparing for the change in my teaching position. There were so many things to do and learn, and my primary focus was on getting ready for the change. But lately I’ve failed to prepare my heart and mind for the change that God wants to do in my own personal life, in my walk with Him, in my heart, and in all other areas of my life on a regular basis.

As Christians, we are called to be more Christlike, and let’s face it, we are far from that goal. It’s an ongoing project that will not be complete until our time on earth is done, so we must take every opportunity to seek those changes which need to be made.

God calls us to be different from the world in Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. In order for us to be transformed, we must be ready to change.

Spend time in prayer before church services and ask God to prepare your heart to be willing to recognize any change which He is calling you to make. Spend time during the week reading His word and taking time to hear what the Holy Spirit wants you to do. Change doesn’t just happen. We have to prepare and plan for it. Get up and get ready for God’s change in your life. You’ll be glad you did!

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God Calling

Last night my cat darted outside and refused to come back even though a cold front was quickly dropping the temperature.  This morning as I was getting ready for work I could hear her outside the window calling to me.  As I got ready for work, she followed me from room to room and called to me from each window.  She was relentless until I finally took the time to go and open the door for her.

God is also calling to us.  Like my cat, He will follow you to every room of your life calling out to you.  Maybe He’s sent messages through the words of a friend, a scripture, a devotional, or a song.  Maybe He’s calling to lead you in a particular direction, to guide you back to a close relationship with Him, or most importantly to offer you the gift of salvation. 

Do you remember the story of Jonah? God called him to go to the city of Nineveh, but he didn’t want to go. Instead he boarded a boat and ran in the opposite direction trying to escape God’s plan. But when God sent a huge storm, the men threw Jonah overboard after deciding that he was the reason for the storm. God then sent a big fish to save Jonah because He still had a plan. After three days in the belly of the fish, Jonah finally agreed to obey God’s calling and go to Nineveh. 

Imagine how much easier things would have been for Jonah if he had answered God’s calling the first time. I’m so glad that He is persistent like my cat and keeps calling my name. Unfortunately sometimes He must take drastic measures (like a huge fish) to get our attention, but thankfully He’s also a God of second chances. 

God speaks to us in many ways. I’m so glad that He is persistent like my cat and keeps calling my name when I don’t listen. Honestly I don’t often respond to His first call because I’m busy, hard-headed, in denial, hindered by pride, afraid, uncomfortable, or just want to do things my own way.  Recently, I  was contacted by two people about using a gift more, one a dear friend and the other someone I’ve never met personally.  I now recognize that as God calling my name.  He is calling me to open the door.  A door that He is waiting to lead me through, a door of obedience. I just have to prayerfully open the door. 

What is He calling you to do?  Maybe it’s a call of action.  Something He wants you to do.  Someone He wants you to forgive.  Someone He wants you to contact. Something that is outside of your comfort zone and makes you want to run like Jonah. Don’t keep ignoring His call.  Whatever the reason you’ve not answered, stop now and listen.  Really listen and open that door of obedience instead of running in the opposite direction. I assure you that once you make the choice to obey, God will equip you with all that is needed. 

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