It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
(Paul, servant of Jesus, 2 Timothy 2: 11, 12, 13 KJV)
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
(Jim Elliot, servant of Jesus)
If I ask Jesus in, if I entrust to him my heart, my soul, my life, my self; he never leaves me, he never forsakes me.
If in fear, or other selfishness, I act in a way that lets others believe I do not belong to him (I “deny him”), he removes his power from me, he removes from me the ability to affect change on his behalf (he “denies [me]”).
Though I “believe not,” Jesus does not deny me (he does not leave me); because he is in me and “he cannot deny himself.”
For my life up until the last two weeks I have been fighting the battle with myself the wrong way. When I knew I had to do something I don’t like I have tried to push myself through keeping the negative attitude, hating what I had to do, and trying to last until it was done.
In the last two weeks I have discovered something I have probably heard for the last 50 years but have chosen to arrogantly ignore.
I focus now on how I will feel when I am done with the distasteful task. I think about it and keep thinking about it and it motivates me to do the task and complete it. This includes: water flossing my teeth, cleaning my computer screen and keyboard, snowblowing the driveway.
The possibilities are endless I now see.
“Old too soon, smart too late?” Old too soon is true. But it is never to late to learn.
When I first came to know Jesus I was impressed by how some people prayed. They spoke eloquently, with many words flowing powerfully to God. I tried to imitate them. I couldn’t at first. With practice I was eventually able to “pray like a Christian.” I found myself inadvertently demonstrating this to my friend who had been a Christian for years. When I was finished praying I triumphantly felt like a hypocrite. I realized that during all my “training” I was learning to pray so that the people that heard me would be impressed. I wasn’t praying to God.
God reminded me how He has talked to me. Short, simple, and meaningful. I decided to emulate Him. Now I pray to God, not people. And my prayers are usually one or two short sentences. And God has graciously provided for others, my family, and myself in response.