Nothing but blue skies do I see…
*GOD*day all! Nope, that’s not looking right either. No, not so much you say. If your day(s) aren’t always covered in blue skies then you are just the person the Lord and I want to have a little sail-away chat with.
Let’s sail away and take a moment and rethink what a good day in-Christ looks like. Come on, what do you have to lose? You might end up looking at your day through nothing but blue skies from here on in.
You’ve already got a boarding pass to what is to come. We just get a bit disappointed and side-tracked, and we forget who our sailing partner is.
Now I have to share here that this is a truly GOD-incidental moment for me. One of those times when you know GOD is talking to you for sure. You know GOD is inspiring you with something He needs for you to grasp. I’d actually knew the subject of what GOD was instilling me with this morning, even had the song from Bryan Duncan pop into my little fifty-three year old brain, what I didn’t have was Scripture, UNTIL… the phone rang. Yes, true story, believe this or not, that’s between you and GOD. The phone rings, and who is it? It’s GOD!!! No, really, truly, honest before GOD. I have this set up on my phone from 411-GOD.net. When that number calls, I have it in my contacts as “GOD”. Because it’s always a call with a Word from GOD’s Word. So GOD-calling, works great. No matter what, at 8AM. each and every day GOD calls me.
So, any who… the phone ringy-dings and it’s GOD and His Word for the day is from *big drum roll from on high*, now read on to experience this beautiful GOD-incidental moment yourself.
1-6It was’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
7-10Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
Don’t we all just love it when things go right? When everything is as they seem to say on television a lot these days will be, “sunshine and lollipops”. Yet that’s not what I remembering signing up for, how about you?
So when you are driving in the car and a road closes. Or you are heading out the door and the rain is pouring down. You get to worked just to be thrust into overload, who still holds this day in their hands. What makes us forfeit His holding it all, and our grabbing it back so we can get what? Upset? That’s what we trade for? How stupid are we? Sorry, if that word offends those of you who don’t like that “s” word, but really we can be as stupid as sheep. Instead baa-baa, we are wah-wah, and stroll right off the cliff of trust, thrusting ourselves into what I’m going to call stupid-ville.
Today I got to thinking about all those moments that catch us off guard. How we are so quick to point out that person who looks so calm in the face of everything and yet goes wack-a-do when something small happens. Recognize that person? You, maybe. Me? Dontchaknow it! I’ll admit it, I’m big on handling big things and bad on handling little creep in the door upsets. Dan, my husband, huge on handling big things, bad, bad, on handling little things. We, each unique in our abilities, we’re designed with glitches that need to be taken into the GOD-shop for repair.
So today, remember this, no matter what happens on the platter of this, after this day is done, it’s still all in His Hands. So I’m proposing that we bring to mind what lies ahead of us, no matter what lies before us. Like Paul, let’s show that we are living for Eternity and that we can’t be licked by some crazy moment in time.
They Can’t Imprison the Message
12-14I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him. Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah.
15-17It’s true that some here preach Christ because with me out of the way, they think they’ll step right into the spotlight. But the others do it with the best heart in the world. One group is motivated by pure love, knowing that I am here defending the Message, wanting to help. The others, now that I’m out of the picture, are merely greedy, hoping to get something out of it for themselves. Their motives are bad. They see me as their competition, and so the worse it goes for me, the better—they think—for them.
18-21So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!
And I’m going to keep that celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done. I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.
22-26As long as I’m alive in this body, there is good work for me to do. If I had to choose right now, I hardly know which I’d choose. Hard choice! The desire to break camp here and be with Christ is powerful. Some days I can think of nothing better. But most days, because of what you are going through, I am sure that it’s better for me to stick it out here. So I plan to be around awhile, companion to you as your growth and joy in this life of trusting God continues. You can start looking forward to a great reunion when I come visit you again. We’ll be praising Christ, enjoying each other.
27-30Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition. Your courage and unity will show them what they’re up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God. There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting. You’re involved in the same kind of struggle you saw me go through, on which you are now getting an updated report in this letter.
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t leave you with a little song in your heart to hum along with the Scripture above. Have a happy and joyous day on the Love Boat with Jesus, for there will be an Eternity of nothing but blue skies that follow.
After This Day is Done, by Bryan Duncan:
Put your troubles away and come sail away into your day, and when trouble comes, close your eyes just for a minute and be mindful of Jesus who won’t allow anything to rock your lifeboat that hasn’t first filtered through the Father’s Hand.
Ladies and gentlemen we are each going to have some days where the skies won’t be so blue. Some turbulent waters are going to have to be sailed. I have to tell you something though, and anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m not the strongest woman on the seas of life. I however do indeed know GOD is by Captain on this journey. It is moments like this one this morning, when all hell on the high waters of life might be rising up, and yet… Nothing but blue skies from GOD and His Word, and all His Forever and Always promises, do I see (sea-sea–nothing but the beautiful deep blue-sea-sea-sea).
Rule to take:
Because it’s only together we can do all things through CHRIST. Sometimes we forget that we are in all this together.
Until all have heard of His Love,