It’s all about me!

loveme

I’m a selfish man by nature… I really can’t help, I was born that way.

I was thinking about this recently and discussing how easy it is to live that way with a brother of mine. It comes quite naturally in most situations, but one of the times I notice it most is when I return from business trips.

I’m in an unusual sort of business. Believe it or not someone pays me to provide times for the participants in a running race. This business requires me to be away from home on numerous occasions and sometimes during the peak running season I can be gone for up to a week at some of our very large events.

It’s in these times that I’m particularly prone to myself. It’s almost like a surreal world that I reside when I’m at these events. The bottom line is that I have a certain amount of work that needs to be accomplished and I need to ensure it gets done. I wake up when I need to wake up, do the things that I need to do, feed myself when I’m hungry (in most cases) and don’t have to wait around for a wife and children.

It’s probably similar to a military man on deployment. He’s hanging with the guys and then they head out on their missions. When I come home it’s sometimes difficult to re-adjust. I have to attempt to snap out of “Kevin only” mode and start considering the ones God has placed in my life to nurture. It’s really much more difficult than you think and on more than one occasion (or maybe all of them), my wife has to gently remind me that she desires adult conversation when I return home. And, “oh right, I almost forgot God requires me to lead my family.”

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s word is sharper than any two-edged sword, and it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and this is very sharp indeed for me.

Husbands love your wives…  Ephesians 5:25

Husbands your wife is a weaker vessel… 1 Peter 3:7

Father’s train your children… Ephesians 6:4

It goes on and on for me and I’ve often found myself knowing that I need to put things off to stay ahead of the impending email that will soon invade my inbox. I’m pulled in a lot of directions, because Jen wants me to lead and I just got done leading and I’m a bit worn out.

It would certainly be a lot easier to just hide somewhere, but I can’t wait to get home and I can’t wait to see Jen and the girls, so the war rages inside.   I have responsibilities and I must provide for my family, but I must also lead them and nourish them and train them.

So the battle continues and it will for a lifetime, because one day the kids will be out of the house and then my role will change, but God still doesn’t let me off the hook. Lord willing I’ll still be a husband, and Lord willing I’ll still be a father, and Lord willing I will be a grandfather and have the opportunity to live out a multi-generational vision for my grandchildren.

What a battle…what a life…what an opportunity to deny myself, take up my cross and serve and honor the Lord.   He never promised a life of ease and comfort, actually just the opposite. If the Christian life you live is a little too easy, maybe it’s not true Christianity and maybe a war needs to rage within you?

It’s pretty easy to live life on cruise control. Jesus said those who desire to keep their life will lose it and those who desire to lose their life will find it. I desire to lose my life, but that doesn’t make it easy.

 

Kevin

Fruits…

http://challies.com
http://challies.com

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires – Galatians 5:22-24

This past weekend I traveled to Little Rock Arkansas for business.  As I’ve shared recently my company provides timing services for running events.  The unfortunate part of my job is that it takes me away from church more often than I care to be away.

In my vast experience of traveling the country I’ve learned a thing or two about air travel.  It’s rarely reliable.  If this is news to you and you are planning to fly somewhere, let me repeat myself and add to it.  It’s rarely reliable and rarely timely.

Now let me quantify this statement.  Considering how many flights, how many employees, how weather affects air travel and a thousand other variables, I think the airlines do an amazing job.  Their safety record is exceptional and I can get to almost anywhere in the country in less than eight hours from where I live, including connections.  I have no beef with United Airlines (my airline of choice).

Today I want to talk about people.

One only needs to take a trip through Chicago O’Hare or spend 20 hours at a race expo and realize very few people exhibit the fruits of the Spirit.  I don’t say this as a blanket statement over everyone I see, but I see enough people to understand how true and reliable the Bible really is.  Jesus said “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” – Matthew 7:14

So how do we know who has found it?

Paul tells us that those who find it exhibit certain qualities.  They have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Nothing brings out the worst in people like large crowds and not having their needs met.  You hear the complaints and the ingratitude almost non-stop, especially when things don’t go right.

Will “Born Again Believers” exhibit these qualities perfectly all the time?  Of course not, but by and large this is a snap shot of who they are.  It doesn’t mean I can check the box and say “yep, that one is going to hell for sure”; because we have no idea of what God will do in someone’s life, but Jesus told us few find it.  So I have to believe that few find it.

Are you one of the many or one of the few?

If your life exhibits, lack of love, and I don’t mean self-love, lack of joy, lack of peace and lack of all the rest of these fruits consistently, consider your position before God.  Do you complain about a lot of things in life?  Are you a malcontent?  Do you know how to do it better?  Are you God’s gift to the world?  Do you enjoy being miserable and making others miserable?  I see a lot of this.  I see a lot of this almost all the time.  I see a lot of this all the time by people that profess Christ as their Savior

Have you crucified the flesh?  What do you turn to when you feel frustration?

Some turn to medication…  Idol

Some turn to anger…  Idol

Some turn to drugs or alcohol…  Idol

When my flesh screams out and is in rebellion to God’s Word, I must crucify the flesh to show I’m a child of the King.  I have work to do.

I must take thoughts captive…

I must work out my salvation…

I MUST because He DID…  If I can’t I’m not right with Him, not to perfection but in ever increasing obedience to Him.

Kevin