Living is to Die for

Living is to Die For Pic

If I really like something, I’ve been known to say it’s “to die for.” My favorite restaurant is Abigail’s in Rocheport, Missouri. It’s a quaint bistro in a small tourist town and has only a few tables. The menu is constantly changing and offers gourmet entrees that are “to die for.” That’s cliché, of course, but it got me thinking about my life and the choices I’ve made, and how one choice in particular gave me a life that is truly “to die for.”

What are you living for? Do you set goals? How about priorities? If you answered “no”, I would like to suggest that we all set goals and priorities, even if we don’t know it. To make my point, let me ask you:  Is there some expectation that you have for your future like good grades, a degree, a promotion at work, a bigger house, having a family, finding love? (The list goes on and on) In fact, the world is filled with these things that can easily become distractions. That’s right—distractions. These things are important, but are they all-important? Are they “to die for?”

What is it we are supposed to be living for? Jesus said, “He who would save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life shall gain it.” How exactly do we lose our life and yet gain it? “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul?” Mark 8:36 KJV

Society would have us believe that we are a success if we have a good career, a nice home, drive a nice car, send our kids to college, and save enough money to retire. I’ll admit—that’s an attractive scenario, but the truth is—from the moment we were born, we were destined to die. Our life is like a vapor as explained in the book of James. “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” James 4:14-15. Within that verse is the key to losing our life but gaining it. We should constantly seek God’s will and direction in our plans, our goals, and our priorities. This life is not about us. It’s about God and His kingdom. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33 KJV

I have always been a work-oriented person. Whatever I was working at, I always wanted to do my very best. That sounds admirable, right? IT’S NOT. My heart was in the wrong place. I performed for myself, the goals I had set for me, the priorities I thought were important.  All for the glory of me! But, when I in all my ways acknowledge God, he directs my path.  (taken from Proverbs 3:6) And His path for me is always better, happier, and full of peace and power. It is not always the easy path, but the hope I have in Him is greater than anything this world has to offer.

Now, I have written this for those of us who have acknowledged Jesus as our savior, asked for forgiveness for our sins, and made a decision to follow Him. Perhaps you don’t fit in that category. If you’ve read this far, I’m afraid you’ve come to a fork in the road and must choose the way you will go. If you decide to accept Jesus, he’s only a prayer away. Call upon Him today and be saved. We are all sinners, but we must call upon Jesus to become a sinner saved by Grace. My prayer for all of us is that we’d fully know the Savior and understand that a life lived for Him is truly a life “to die for.”

God Bless You All.

God & Betty Crocker

 

bettcrocker

When I got married, my mother bought me a Betty Crocker Cookbook so that I could learn to cook! I still have, use, and cherish it today. Thank you, Mom and Betty Crocker!

I tell my Sunday school children that the Bible is the “cookbook” God gave us for life. Just as we need a recipe to bake a cake or cook a meal, we need God’s word to “make a life.” Without a recipe, our cake may not turn out as intended. Well, in the absence of God’s word and its application, our lives will not turn out right.

I have made many mistakes. Haven’t we all? They could have been avoided, just by knowing God’s word and heeding it. “Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:18

When Rick and I purchase an item requiring assembly, he has a tendency to assemble first and look at the directions later. This is not always a good thing! In that same attitude, we tend to live our lives according to our will, before actually consulting God’s instructions. After all, He is the manufacturer and we are simply the product. How we stand up under repeated use and pressure depends upon adherence to the specifications.

The big difference between baking a cake without following the recipe and living a life apart from God’s direction is that a cake CAN’T rise once fallen, whereas a life CAN be changed [immediately] by consulting the “Manufacturer” and His instructions. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

What rewards we stand to reap, when we spend a little time listening to Our Creator! A fellow writer recently confessed she didn’t read much. She further clarified she mostly reads the Bible. I thank God for that. If we read at all, it should begin with God’s word. ”Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV and “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11

Now, let me say, I don’t believe the meaning of “hid in my heart” is memorization only. If you can’t memorize easily, you shouldn’t disregard this verse as “it’s too hard for me” or “I can’t do it” and therefore, never try. Many scriptures surface in my mind that I have not memorized. Sometimes it’s from listening to others, like a Sunday school teacher or minister. But more frequently, it’s because I, myself, have simply read God’s word.

So, just as Betty Crocker taught me how to cook, God teaches me how to have life more abundantly, when I consult his Book.

God bless you all. Have a fun and fruitful summer. Suggested Bible reading 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Psalm 119.