Sunday, May 21, 2000

Rest in the Lord

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

I've learned the hard way over the past couple weeks just how hectic life can become two months before a wedding. There's invitations to mail, flights to book, hotels to reserve, and honeymoons to plan. Things get so hectic so fast, it is easy to lose perspective on what the wedding day is all about. However, I don't want to get so caught up in the pressure of the moment, that I lose sight of what is truly important - my relationship with Dee, my relationship with my family and friends, and most importantly my relationship with God.

I want my wedding day to be a day of smiles not frowns. I want to be able to relax enough where I can enjoy being in the company of all my family and friends. Quite frankly, I don't see that happening unless I take time out to release my burdens to the Lord. If I do, I'll come to see that all these decisions that seem so momentous right now, truly aren't. The most important decision has already been made - and that was to trust in the one who designed marriage in the first place.

I'm sure things will only get tougher as the countdown to the wedding date intensifies. But I hope by July 1st, my heart will be in the right place. I don't want to reflect back on that day as one of burdens, but rather as one of countless blessings.

Monday, May 8, 2000

What Does it Mean to be Born Again?

"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3-3)

"Born again." "Saved." They're words most people shy away from or apply a negative connotation to. Personally, I do not like describing myself as "born again" or "saved" because I think it gives off an "I'm a part of the exclusive club" air.

The truth is, the club isn't so exclusive. God extends an open invitation to ALL to reconcile themselves to Him through His son, Jesus Christ. Just as through one man's disobedience (Adam) we were all separated from God, through one man's obedience (Christ) we can all be reconciled to Him.

Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). The choice is ours to make. If we feel we can stand before a perfect God on our own righteousness - God will respect that decision; He has given us all free will. However, be warned. The book of Isaiah describes our righteousness before God as "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6) and the book of Romans declares that "there is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10).

It's a decision that must come from within. It requires no magic words or spells. All that's required is a true repentance and a true desire for the Lord Jesus to come into your life. Jesus said "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened" (Matthew 7:7).

I pray that one day you too will ask. I pray that one day you too will seek. I pray that one day you too will knock. I haven't the words to express the joy, the peace, and the love you will find if you do.