Monday, May 16, 2011
FULL HOUSE, FULL HEART, FULL JOY!
After our guests for the first celebration left, we began another with our immediate family. It was my birthday and our daughter-in-love baked a cake for me and began cooking a scrumptious lasagna dish she had labored over all afternoon. Then, it happened. A powerful thunderstorm sent hail and rain blowing hard enough to knock out our power. Predictions were that we would not have full power until later in the evening. Should we wait or order pizza? We ordered pizza thinking we would never have time to bake the lasagna. Just as our son left to run to the store and pick up our order, the lights returned. We canceled the pizza, baked the lasagna and had the best celebration. Why do I say it was the best? Because we had a full house with people we loved and fellowship that brought full joy. What made the time together even more special was the fact that Jesus Christ our Lord was present in all the celebration. He is, after all, the unseen guest at every gathering in our home.
When we make Jesus Christ the Lord of our life, it means far more than Sunday morning, Wednesday night worship service. It means living in Him daily and dwelling in fellowship with the Holy Spirit as our teacher and guide. We take Him to work, We take Him on our vacations and into every gathering we have with friends and family. Our lives are no longer our own. In fact the Apostle Paul wrote these words in Galatians 2:20: "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." So what happens if we close the door and leave the Lord behind?
Becoming a Christian does not mean that we will never stumble or sin again. However, we do have a choice once we are freed from the power of sin and death in our lives. Before Christ, we had no choices we could make. Our choices were always to do what our heart desired, and that desire was to sin...to live for ourselves. Once we were set free by the blood of Jesus Christ in saving faith, we then were able to choose whether to live for God or go back to our old ways. So, if we leave the house to head out for the office, we can decide to run the day under our own power or put it in the hands of our Savior. Considering that Jesus Christ raised Lazarus from the dead, healed withered hands, cleansed lepers and made the sick well, I know whom I want to accompany me in all my activities. If I depend upon my own human abilities, my days become frustrating if not impossible to manage. I cannot keep the Law of God...I cannot love my brother or sister.....I cannot avoid evil speaking! I need the power of the Holy Spirit abiding in me every moment as much as I need the next heartbeat to keep me alive!
I love the words of Job when he said: "In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:10). Our very next breath is in the hands of God and when we come to realize this
and live like this it makes a big difference in every area of our lives. This is what made our day of celebration so rich, satisfying and fulfilling. We gathered together in the love of Jesus Christ. I know what it is like to go to secular gatherings as compared to Christian ones. There is a world of difference in the quality of relationships. If we have a relationship with the Lord, all other relationships are much sweeter. This is the way the Lord designed it.
Our house is once again quiet and everyone has returned to their homes. A work week is about to start once again, but the precious afterglow of Christian family and friends will linger on into eternity because Jesus presided over the celebration. He was the honored guest in our hearts and at our table. He is the one who makes our days rich with meaning and full of purpose. We must all make certain that He is the first one we greet each morning and the last one we say goodnight to. Then, throughout the day, we need to talk with Him as we walk through our activities so that we will experience a full heart and full joy by abiding in His presence. Each day can be a celebration when we walk with Him. Selah!
How do you celebrate Jesus with your loved ones? I welcome your thoughts and comments.