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Standing in the ashes

I Corinthians 3:12-15 – “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Last night, we had a missionary come and speak at our church. He made this statement that really touched me (he said he had heard it from one of his teachers when he was at seminary) – “One of these days, I fear we are going to find ourself standing in ashes.”

Now, I know that sounds grim, but think about it for a moment in regards to the verses above. There will come a day when all of our actions, words and thoughts will be tried by fire. The motive and desire behind each of these will be examined in the Living Fire of God’s Word. Yikes. All I can say is yikes.

So very often I do things off the cuff and don’t even think about how or if they will effect me eternally. It’s just a silly little this or a quick little that – but all of those little things can effect me in a big way. Sometimes it’s the culmination of little things that build upon one another and then one day you find them crumbling ontop of you. Your attitude is in the toilet and life feels bitter. That, my friend, is a recipe for ashes.

Thankfully, Paul reminds us that we can’t lose our salvation in the midst of all our failures. You see, in the midst of the trying by fire, we will escape because of the blood of Jesus Christ. However, that doesn’t mean that we may or may not find ourself standing in ashes.

I want to go through the fire and find treasure left over. Pure treasure that I can give to Jesus as a thanks for all He has done for me. I know that they could never be enough and that they will earn me no favor but nonetheless, I want to give them to Him.

It’s Thanksgiving week. Many of you will be prepping food to offer to your loved ones. You will be cleaning house, making plans for get togethers and preparing for the Christmas season. Now is the perfect time to put into practice the desire to serve with a pure heart. It’s a great time to store up treasures in Heaven rather than holding onto things that won’t last.

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One step away

Romans 2:1,2 – “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.”

Judging. It is a common practice for us today. It is easy. You look at someone or see some action and boom! Judgement is passed. 

It is hard not to judge someone. We think that we are above reproach and therefore have the right to pass judgement upon someone, especially someone “in the world”. We see their action and see their clothes and we automatically assume that we know exactly how they are. What we don’t know is that on the inside a major war is raging for their eternity. We have no clue of the internal struggles that these people may be going through. Instead of bombarding them with judgements, we should be embracing them and encouraging their desire to walk a different path. 

We also read about and hear about people who have made the choice to seek out another affects instead of their spouse. In this case, we know by their actions and their choices that they have made this decision. However, we need to be cautious of our wrath and disappointment. We need to understand this truth – we are all but one step away from the same decision. 

One step away from choosing someone else over our spouse. One step away from seeking out the temporary comfort of drugs and alcohol. One step away from maxing out our credit cards and stepping into the world of bankruptcy. One step away from losing our jobs and our homes. 

There are times that require us to make judgements in regards to someone’s choice and actions. However, when those times do present themselves, we need to do so with love and the opportunity for forgiveness and restoration. Vengeance is something that we are to reject. It is not our responsibilty to seek it out. God will take care of that. But above all, we need to be careful. 

We need to be cautious in our judgements and we need to remember that only by the grace of God do we stand where we are today. He has given us the ability to recognize problems and potential situations that may cause us harm. We need to use it. We need to listen when He is whispering to our heart that this is just not right. 

I want to encourage you today, princess, to be cautious in your judgements. Be aware and appreciative of your delicate situation. Remember, you are only one step away. 


Impressions

Romans 2:1,2 – “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.”

Have you ever met someone and immediately made a judgement about them? You see the way that they act and dress and immediately form an opinion about them. I am so very guilty of this. And that is wrong.

I met someone recently that dressed nice, had a bit of a boisterous personality,seemed nice but at the same time a little rough around the edges. This person had told me that they are getting a divorce. I immediately thought that it had to be in part because of her personality. I found out yesterday that this person is getting a divorce because of domestic battery. God has really convicted my heart over this one. My heart is broken for this person. I can’t imagine.

Every day we meet so many people and we really have no clue about what is going on in their life. It’s like that song “Give me your eyes” by Brandon Heath. Every day we see people. We watch people. We make judgements about people. And we have no idea about what people are feeling or going through or dealing with – we need to get involved in people’s lives. We need to make ourselves available to people. We need to open up the door of opportunity to share Christ with the world.

We can’t just live in our own little spiritual bubble and expect the world to come to us when they have a problem. No! Jesus was out there, elbow deep in the problems of the world. He didn’t just sit on some mountain waiting for the lost and dying world to come to Him. He got out there in the nitty gritty and proclaimed the Good News.

Why do we sit back and judge when what the world needs is Jesus? Do we think we are too good to talk to them? Do we think that by involving ourself in their lives that we will somehow become tainted? If we think these things, we are guilty of sin, just like the people we are hesitant about.

It’s coming upon Thanksgiving in a week or so. We have so much to be thankful for and so many blessings to count. Yet, we need to reach out. We need to show someone that yes, I have been blessed immensely but I see your hurt and I want to share a bit of my blessings with you. Do something for somebody without expecting anything in return. Ask God to show you who He has in mind for you to bless and to be blessed by helping.

And choose not to judge until you have heard the whole story. The details are so very important. Life is too short to live high on your mountain away from everything that is important in life.