Filtered For Purity

The water was so inviting, sparkling blue and clear, as I glided through my morning swim. I was fully enjoying the peaceful calm of silence as my ears slid under the water’s surface and blocked out any exterior noise. As I looked up into the sky, the clouds gently floated by, changing formations with each lap. What a perfect setting to have a conversation with my Lord. He had my full attention, and I was surrounded by the beauty He created.

The pool’s filter suddenly caught my eye. For such a large body of water, it really has a pretty insignificant presence, yet, if the filter’s not working…well, I’m not swimming in THAT pool. Without the process of the water entering into the filter system, being cleaned and balanced with chemicals, that pool is no longer going to be inviting to swim in. As a matter of fact, it’s going to be green, smelly, and filled with bugs!

We need God to be our filter. Our lives can represent a sparkling, beautiful swimming pool, or a disgusting, algae-filled mess! It all depends on our filter. Are we giving God access to every drop of water in the pool of our hearts? Are we inviting Him to re-circulate, cleanse, and bring into balance every area, so that others see a life that is “inviting”? Or do we try to only let some of our water run through His filter, and therefore, our lives look a little cloudy, and truth-be-told, pretty unhealthy. If a water test was performed on us to compare us to balanced, healthy water, there would be no hiding the impurities.

Our hearts need open access to God’s filter. Each one of us who have given our heart to Jesus have all the equipment we need to reveal a beautiful, pure heart…but only if we’re connected to God, allowing His Holy Spirit access to every motive, every thought, every action, every fear… every ounce of our being. Yes, this is loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Recognizing that He is all we need to purify our hearts and reflect the true beauty of a life He has permeated. Open your heart to His filtering process today, and you will receive blessings far greater than you can imagine.

Psalm 51:10 ~ “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

 

1 John 1:9 ~ “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

 

Images courtesy of BrandonSigma & PANPOTE at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Got Joy?

There are many things in this world that try to rob us of our joy. For me, it usually starts with what I have my mind focused on. From there, the attitude is on a slippery slope based on what the circumstances are around me. I’ve recently made a decision to choose to display right attitudes daily. What exactly does this mean? Well, it’s a decision that I must manage every day. I may not be able to control my circumstances, but I can control my attitude toward them.

In John 15:11, Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” You may be asking, “What? What has He told us? What is “it” that gives us Christs’ joy, and therefore makes ours complete?”

The answer starts in verse 9, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” So then, according to Jesus’ words, experiencing His love fills us with joy as we remain in it.

Perhaps you noticed the “if” in His promise. “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love.” Well, Jesus didn’t leave us struggling to know what His commands are. He spelled it out very clearly in verses 12-17. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose and appointed you, so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”

Jesus was the perfect example of love…all the way to the cross. He then calls us His friends! Jesus loves us in the same way His Father loves Him. He promises to not withhold His love from us…we get to remain in it. Then He calls us His friends…chosen by Him and appointed to do important, worthy work for the kingdom…and if we lack what we need to accomplish that, He just says, “Ask Dad…He’ll give you what you need.” I think I feel the joy bubbling up…do you?

Go and love one another, in the name of Jesus. Have a blessed day my friends.

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Perfect World

What do you see? Louis Armstrong saw trees of green, and red roses too. He saw their beautiful blooms as gifts for me and for you. This song goes on to speak of the blue skies and white clouds, the blessings of day, and sacredness of night. It marvels at the colors of the rainbow and humankind speaking words of care and love to one another. Yes, this song describes a wonderful world.

Again, I ask you, what do you see? If you watch the news, you will be getting a much different glimpse of the world. If you’re elbow deep in diapers, formula and temper tantrums, you may be getting another glimpse of the world. If you’re exhausted from the demands of your job, relationships, and finances, you may be getting yet another glimpse of the world.

Perspective…what do you see? Where is your focus? We do not live in a perfect world. This world has been marred and maimed by sin which causes damage, destruction, and heartache at will.

I believe we do live in a wonderful world though. There are gifts of beauty all around us. Wonder and amazement are calling to us from creation. There are people who show kindness and love to one another. Everybody? No. Many? Yes.

Look for the good, search out the positive, and then thank God for it. One day when Christ returns, He will set up His kingdom, and those who know Him personally will get to experience a true perfect world.

Until then, search out the wonderful, thank Him for it, and when you see the opposite of wonderful, ask Him what He wants you to do about it. He may give you a tangible opportunity to contribute to the making of wonderful, regardless, you always have the privilege of being able to pray about the situation that is disturbing and heartbreaking.

I challenge you today to make a list of your wonderful. From everything within your body that works as it should (and if you’re alive, that should be a pretty good list in itself), to all that you enjoy in creation, to the relationships that you have been blessed with…well, you get the idea.

Let’s give thanks and praise to God in all things, because He Is Worthy!