Wednesday, July 17, 2013

To Really Live

Vibrant!
A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Romans 1:16 (MSG)
16-17 It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.”

I love the last line of this version of Romans 1:16 The person in right standing before God by trusting him....REALLY LIVES. 

None of us deserves salvation. We all fall pitifully short of God's standards. Our right standing does not come from attaining some arbitrary level of spiritual perfection. It's not based upon you pulling your self up by your boot straps and getting your act together. It is based solely on trusting or believing that Jesus is able to do what he says he can do. It is an extraordinary message of Gods plan to rescue EVERYONE who trusts in Him. Sadly this gift is not accepted by the vast masses of people in the world all around us. To access this gift one must use faith. 

We use faith when we sit on a chair  - trusting that it will hold us up. 
Its not like Jesus came to condem us. Its like the guy who gets bit by a poisonous snake. The poison is already at work in his body. Just because the medic shows up on the scene offering an antidote does not mean that the medic is condemning for getting bit by a snake. You are dying already - the question is weather or not you will allow the medic to administer the antidote to stop the effects of the poison before it kills you. Too often folks look at the antidote provided by Jesus and prefer to try every other home remedy they can think of to try and solve their problem, while the sands in the hour glass slowly slip away. 

So any way on to REALLY LIVING: Do you remember the old movie "The Wizard of Oz" 
Really living is like going from life in black and white to life in color. It must have been so amazing back when it first came out and the use of color in movies was new. Woosh - you get to Oz and everything is suddenly vibrant with life and color. Too many folks are barely living - they go through the motions of life but their mind or their heart or both are not really there. My favorite newer version and twist on the Wizard of Oz story is called "The Tin Man" I suppose that is just a side note. I could draw some spiritual parallels from the story but then I might give away spoilers for those of you who have not seen it yet. 

The idea of REALLY LIVING also reminds me of the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. What made the toy rabbit really alive is really being loved and played with by a child. In the process of being loved the toy would get very thread bare and worn.

“Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. 
When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, 
then you become Real.'

'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.

'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'

'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'

'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”


― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

It is God's great love that causes us to really live. Once we are done with trying to clean our self up, or find the home remedy to the poison of sin and accept the one remedy specifically designed to solve our problem. Then out of being loved and loving we begin to change. The more we get to know Jesus from His Word and from spending time in His presence the more we are transformed. 

Really living is not becoming all religious and keeping a very strict lifestyle of do's and don'ts. We become more and more alive as we begin to become in sync with who and what God has designed us each to be. Sure there are things the Word tells us not to do because those very things will damage and break us and make it harder for us to fully be all that God intends us each to be. 

I think REALLY LIVING is knowing you are in the center of God's design and plan for you.  Sometimes that requires some adjusting and refining as we go along. Sometimes it take a massive overhaul. The good news, however, is that no matter where you are in that process Jesus promises to complete the good work that He has begun in your life. All He needs from you is a trusting, willing and obedient heart. 

Another of my favorite movies is called Second Hand Lion's. The young boy, Walter is dropped off on the door step of his two uncles, who know nothing about raising a kid. They do however have a pretty good handle on really living life to the fullest. In their old age they have the most wonderful stories of their adventures. I think about that movie and wonder what some of us will have to share of our adventures. Did we really live or did we live virtually through TV shows and on-line games. 
Will you have stories to tell of how God did incredible things in and through your life or will you have spent your life in the numb bubble of addiction, guilt, shame or perhaps simply complacency.

I love this photo of David 
Well enough for this post. I heard back from the Massage School I want to attend and they are out of town on vacation until August 12th. The director said we would take care of the paperwork and final details after that. So I guess in the mean time I will continue organizing and cleaning my house. Having fun with my family and enjoying the summer. I suppose I could order my books because the note I got back from them sounded like they were pleased to know I would be attending their program. Well I need to run - I have two more guitar student to share the joy of music with, yet today. 

Prayer: I pray that you will allow the Lord to come in and help you to become fully alive in Him. That you would be so filled with His love that you would experience it's transforming power. 

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