Monday, December 17, 2012

Need counsel?

Daily quote from Real Simple
"If everything went the way it was supposed to, I'd be happy." Many of us approach school, marriage, and other parts of life with the blind optimism of the inexperienced.

"Real life" is a shock! We hurt and get hurt. We hunger and thirst. Our families suffer. Our finances become undercut or in disarray.

"What happened?" we cry. "Life wasn't supposed to be this way."

In light of last week's shooting of youngsters, I agree. We are created for so much more. God made us to be moral, upright, and kind. He set us in family units where we find safety and peace. He designed human communities that are supposed to love and nurture us.

But we have chosen our own way. We decide each day whether or not to live within God's boundaries. The tides of our minds tug us here and there, yet each person must define how obedience or disobedience will affect self and others.

Our struggle against God takes many forms: anger that God allows free will of others which destroys and tears down. Sometimes we rage when He hedges us in and doesn't let us rampage through life in purse selfishness and greed. Often, we're confused when He doesn't give us a checklist of "do this, do that" and we feel like we're muddling through our options in the dead of night.

Jesus showed us how to live in relationship with God. He came as our Wonderful Counselor to demonstrate the flexibility, gracefulness, and justice of his Father. When friends betrayed him, he forgave. When disciples sought power, he empowered them with the Spirit not political clout. As he walked the roads of Israel, he lived every moment to the full.

We treat the Beatitudes and similar teachings of Jesus as metaphorical and impossible to live up to. Yet Jesus doesn't say that turning the other cheek, not worrying about tomorrow, or being meek are ideals that we can't achieve. In dying to self, he brought us new life. That's the abundant life we bring to others through self-denial, godly living, and alignment with God's truth.

Jesus calls us to do the radical. The unthinkable. The holy. In the middle of horror, grief, and despair, he pulls us into his Presence (if we'll let him) to transform us with his Goodness and Mercy. How will you make time for your transformation today?

Read more:
*For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

*I have loved you, says the Lord. Malachi 1:2

*May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Moravian Prayer: O faithful and steadfast God, you are unmoved. You are rooted to us and bound to us by a divine love and we humbly offer you our worship and praise. Amen.

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