Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scotch Guarded by Grace

Moms know a lot about stains. And spills. And tears. And dirt. But so does God. Before I was a 'Jesus Girl' God saw me as someone wearing dirty ol' rags covered with stains and tears and dirt; it was as if I was trying my hardest to look dressed up for the world but I didn't even own anything other than torn, stained, & painted on play clothes. I was filthy. And then one day for some reason he reached down his big ol'arm from Heaven and offered to take my tattered, worn down rags and exchange them for brand-spanking-first-day-of school-type stark white clothes. My Daddy bought me a brand new outfit; paid for in full by his very own son, Jesus. And the beauty of it was I hadn't done anything to earn it! How awesome is that: I didn't have to do anything but recieve these beautiful new washed-white as snow clothes! Now come on thrify moms, THAT is a bargain!

For many of you, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. Anyone that has come to accept Jesus as their savior knows that his blood has washed away all our sins, he has made us white as snow. But recently God gave me a revelation; he didn't just wash away my sins and make me white as snow, he scotch-guarded me! Okay, now I know that sounds corny, but stick with me here. I think sometimes Christians think that every time we sin, the same thing happens to our snow-white robe that happened to our once cream carpeting that was beautiful and spotless b.k. (before kids); it starts looking dingy to God. He must look on us as 'less' now, we have failed. We are no longer worthy, and it's even worse to sin after salvation because we know better. But that is wrong. God's word tells us that there is NOTHING we can do to un-do what the cross did for us. There is nothing that can make God see us as anything other than his beautiful, precious, white-as snow child. My salvation is scotch-guarded by Grace.

Now please hear me on this, and hear me loud and clear. If you had saved for months and finally gotten rid of your hand-me-down plaid sofa and bought yourself a beautiful new white couch, you would do everything in your power to keep it clean. Even if you had it scotch-gaurded against spills, I would bet that you wouldn't offer your 2 year old a glass of grape juice on that couch. No, you know how much that couch cost, and you know it's not worth the risk. The same is true with us; if you really and truley know and appreciate the cost that Jesus paid for your stark-white robe, you would do anything in your power to keep it clean; anything in your power to keep yourself from intentionally sinning. But we are human; we sin. We make mistakes, we say things we shouldn't say, lose our temper, and think thoughts that we hope nobody will ever know. Unintentional spur-of the moment, my flesh got the better of me type sin. And that's where his Scotch-Guard comes in handy. That's where we find our freedom in Christ, where Grace abounds.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We All Need Somebody...

...to lean on. (anybody else have that song stuck in their head now?!)

I recently was reading in the book of Exodus and came across the story in chapter 17, where the Amelakites were attacking the Isrealites (brief history: this is right after Moses had lead them out of bondage & slavery in Egypt and they traveling through the desert in search of their Promise Land). So Moses ordered for Aaron and Hur (basically his two trusty side kicks) to prepare the men for battle. During the battle Moses went to the top of the hill and held his staff in his hands with his arms raised up to the sky. As long as he held his hands up, they would win, but when he put his arms down, they began to lose. And then I read this verse:

When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.(Exodus 17:12)

The thing that first struck me was that God knew that Moses' hands would grow weary. He knew he was asking Moses to do something that he could not do in his own strength, yet clearly he had been called to do it. Mamas; I don't think God has called us to do this all by ourselves either. Don't be too stubborn or proud. Even if it means your husband or children have to help with housework and it doesn't get done 'right', you will survive. You have a sacred, holy calling and it will require help from time to time. Ask for it, accept it. I pray God will put those people in your life that are able and willing to help.

The second thing I noticed was that Aaron didn't try to do Moses' job for him. My first suggestion to Moses would have been: "Here, you must be tired, go sit down and just let me hold my hands up instead". He also didn't suggest that Moses must be doing it wrong if he was getting so tired, No, Aaron didn't get in the way of God's plan at all, he simply helped strengthen Moses for the calling God had on his life. Mama; is there someone you know in your life that needs an Aaron? I don't think we should EVER miss an opportunity God gives us to be a blessing to someone, especially when they need it the most- when they are growing weary fighting the battle God has called them to. Sometimes when we see another mama struggling we want to advice-them right out of their battle; whether it be out of love or arrogance we want to quick-fix the problem in the way we think seems best. But Lord, help us remember that we cannot fight each other’s battles. We have to let everyone fight their Amalekites the way God has called them; and all we can do is help strengthen our fellow mamas. When a mama feels like she is doing nothing but treading water, we can't pull them to shore- only God can do that in his own time and in the way that will bring that mama closer to Jesus. But we can strengthen them; we can pray for them, offer to babysit, pray for them, take them a meal, pray for them, send them a note or words of encouragement, we can pray for them, we can be a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, and we can pray for them. (Do you get how important and powerful prayers are yet?!). God has put an importance on Christians not only being in fellowship with one another, but also strengthening one another; and I believe that is vital to our Christian walk. ("Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galations 6:10)

Dear Lord,
Keep my eyes open for a mama that might need an Aaron in her life. I don't ever want to miss an opportunity to be a blessing to someone. Even if the only thing I am able to do in the moment is to whisper a prayer for my sweet sister; help me not to miss it. Help me to recognize how important it is that us mamas strengthen one another. I'm all too ready to offer advice or ideas when they simply need my love-which is your love through me. Help me keep my mouth shut and my heart open.

And Father, thank you for the Aaron's in my life. People that bless me and strengthen me by praying for me, or take the time to encourage me, or people that go out of their way to help this weary mama out. I know I am doing what you called me to do, but that doesn't mean my arms won't get tired. Thank you for putting people in my life that simply do nothing but help me hold my hands up in the air from time to time. I know how important friendship and sister hood is with fellow believers and I pray that you always surround me with encouraging and Godly women that can help me on this journey.

In your precious name,
Amen