2 items tagged "Change"

  • God's grace rescues you...from you

    “Pretend that I have a bowl of water in my hands and I shake it vigorously and water splashes out of the bowl. And suppose I ask you why water spilled out of the bowl, and you answer that it spilled because I shook it. It all sounds pretty logical, doesn’t it? But the answer is only partially correct. Why did water splash out of the bowl? Because water was in the bowl. If the bowl had been filled with milk, you could shake it for eternity and water would never spill out of it. In the same way, it is very important for parents to understand and humbly admit that when we are shaken by the sin, weakness, rebellion, foolishness, or failure of our children, what comes out of us (words, actions, attitudes) is what is already inside us.” - Paul Tripp

    This can be a hard pill to swallow! What this means is the ongoing issue we face is not our kids’, spouse’s, co-workers’, and family’s problem. It’s ours. No one can force us to say and do anything. What comes out has already been there. The cause behind our actions has been hiding out in our heart, probably for a long time! The people we have in our life are simply giving our heart the opportunity to reveal itself in words and actions. Jesus says it like this, “How can you being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (Matt. 12:34-35)

    If we continue to shift blame to others for our bad attitudes, actions, and words, we will fail to reach out for the help that is ours; the forgiving and transforming grace of Jesus. Praise the Lord, you can change! You don’t have to be ensnared by sin and it’s patterns any longer. With the power of God’s grace and working of the Holy Spirit in our life, we can begin and continue to produce good treasure that our circumstances can’t steal!

    For more from Paul Tripp, check out his book Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

  • What season are you in?

    In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon lists the seasons of our lives in pairings—contrasting one season with the other. Inherent in all these contrasts is an important point: Seasons end, and new seasons begin. It’s important for us to recognize the seasons that we are in and when it’s time to take the exit ramp for a new destination. Let’s take a look at a few seasons that we need to recognize and quickly take the next exit:

    1. Unforgiveness: Forgiveness has a way of unlocking the shackles that keep us bound up in bitterness, anger, disappointment, and depression. If these feeling are holding us captive, then it is time for us to move on. If someone wronged us long ago and we’re still waiting for justice, it’s time to let it go. Let’s step into the new season of forgiveness!

    2. Cynicism: It takes no courage whatsoever to tear down other people or their ideas. It is not a spiritual gift to find every weakness in someone’s character and worldview. If we find it easy to do these things rather than encourage, build up, and offer our support, then it’s time for us to move on to a new season. We must also be careful of allowing cynics to be among our close circle of friends. Cynicism is always contagious. Let’s move into the new season of encouragement!

    3. Anger at the Church: It is unfortunate that there are many people who have been wrongly treated by church members. Many have not stepped foot in a church for years, due to the wounds they experienced. However, there is an alternative route to take, rather than avoiding a community of believers. Even if we have been wounded, we can all decide to move on and explore a relationship with God, in spite of whatever happened to us. Let us never use someone else’s bad behavior as an excuse to keep us from growing in relationship with God and being a part of His Bride (the Church). With grace and forgiveness, let us move into a new spiritual season of optimism about God’s plans for us and for the church!

    Do you find yourself in an unproductive season? What steps can you take to move on?

    What new season is God opening up for you?

    To find out more, check out Bill Hybels book Simplify: ten practices to unclutter your soul

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