Proverbs 27:19 As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person.” (NLT)
Proverbs 23:7a “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (KJV)
Luke 6:45 “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – Jesus (ESV)
It is time to get back into the swing of blogging. I cannot use the excuse, “We are moving” because, well, we have moved! Verb tense informs me I am out of excuses. If you have followed my blogs, you have seen me go from being strongly antagonistic to Christians and Christianity, to finally realizing what the full measure of God’s grace is. God’s grace, accomplished through Jesus’ finished work on the cross, removes my excuses for hate, and for hell. I either must acknowledge that all things were finished when Christ said they were, or I must choose to defy the living God and call Him a liar. In my case, I not only accept that what Jesus did on the cross was a complete work of grace and mercy, but I confess with my mouth that, when Jesus was raised from the dead, He proved He and He alone has authority over life and death, including my own. This makes Jesus my Lord as well as my Savior.
Now, when I am confronted with a problem, a trial, or a temptation, I ask myself, “Did Jesus die of this too?” , and “Did He die this death for me?”, The answer, being “Yes!”, leads me to a trust that, because of the finished work of the cross, I can rest in the assurance that therein lay the power of the Spirit to bring me into harmony with the will of God. That trial, temptation, or problem takes on a different meaning in that light. This happens because, as I labor into the rest of the finished work of the cross, I am infused with the same Spirit of God that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. I now live because Christ lives in me. It is by the power of the Spirit of God, and the grace imparted as a free gift, that I am able to go from someone who hated God, and was openly at war with Him, to someone who is more than willing to submit to His will. I see submission as a strong desire, not a law, or a rule. I see it as a labor of love. The more I am infused with His love, grace and mercy, the more I desire it. The more He shows me these things, the more I want to give them away to people who, like me, who do not deserve it. It is for these people Christ came to this earth. Not for the religious, or the righteous, but the lost. And I was lost.
Where He Leads
If you have read my earlier blogs, you know that God used my sudden unemployment to get my attention. I had actually started praying and reading the Bible just a few months prior to my getting fired from the Military Base. During my unemployment, God led me from being a complete monster to being one of his own children. The first thing God restored was my walk with Him. The second thing God restored was my marriage. What wonders and miracles were seen during that time. The third thing God dealt with was my willingness to go where HE sends me, not where I want to be sent. I had sent out over 500 resume and applied for over 300 jobs all in a very defined territory. I wanted to live in Colorado springs. Failing that, I wanted to live in any dry, arid environment. I hate humidity, and prefer drier climates. The end result of all my searching was crickets. I spent almost 10 months trying my best to get a job in that defined territory. After months of futility, I had given up. I was, by this time, not only jobless, but we were homeless.
After I gave up trying to find a job, Sandy and I prayed. I remember this clearly. This was one of the most honest prayers I had ever prayed. I told God, “I give up, God! I quit!” I was tired of getting no results. All I wanted was to go do what ever it was God wanted me to do. Sandy is my witness. 3 minutes barely passed after I prayed, when I got a phone call from the person who would eventually be my boss. There was one problem…the job is in Houston. I had no desire to live anywhere NEAR Houston. It is low land, and very humid. Summer there is a whole new definition of hot and sticky. God must have been mistaken…right?? Wrong.
One of my prayers, during my job search, was that, if I had to return to the secular world, and not be a full-time minister, that God would lead me to a company where the work environment is not hostile, where people behaved in a civil manner, and it was OK to be a Christian. I wanted a job at a company that made no bones about their values, and those values were based on strong Christian values. When I had given up trying to get a job in the mountains, and asked God to find a job for me, and I received a call within 3 minutes of my praying that prayer, I ended up at this company that describes the exact environment I had asked God to lead me to.
From Found to Discipleship
So, here we are, caught up with each other. And I see that, now I am no longer lost, God has no intention of letting me bask in the answered prayers I just described. When God saves you, He has no intention of letting you remain the same. His goal, through the power of the Spirit of God, is to transform you into the very likeness of His own Son, Jesus Christ. And you have to start somewhere. Where is He starting me? Remember that I prayed to be allowed to work in a company whose values are based on Christian values? The expectation of this company is that I will live by 12 values that they put on the back of each business card, and openly declare in everything they do. These 12 values are what this series will be about:
The 12 Values:
DO UNTO OTHERS
HOW DO I THINK ABOUT IT?
Cognitive acknowledgement and understating are, at the minimum, a requirement. If, however, I want to BE these virtues, and live them, they must be more than well-defined words for me. Over the next few weeks, I will be taking on each virtue, and describing how God infuses a submitted heart with the ability to not only desire to do these things, but to actually do them. This is not because I have already learned them, or live them as well as I can, but because I have been shown in clear terms that, where the heart is, therein lay the treasure.
It all becomes a choice.
Care to join me?
Let’s be about it.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
In the Name and the Love of Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior,
David G. Perkins