This week's memory verse:
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." --Philippians 1:6
I am the same person I once was...only different. I spent my whole weekend trying to relive the past. High school reunions are fun because you get to see and talk to friends who you haven't seen for years. The problem comes when you try to relate to those friends in the same way you did back then...or you try to be who you are now with people who knew you then. It's like a weird time warp...the pieces don't all go together right. I had fun Saturday night...I wish I would have stayed longer...but I spent all day yesterday thinking about how weird it felt...how I quite easily slipped back into the roles I played 25 years ago, and it didn't feel quite right.
I think it is because God has been working on me all these years...trying to make me more like Christ. Our memory verse says he began a good work in me and he will carry it to completion when I meet Jesus. With all the experiences I have had in the last 25 years, there is no way I could be the same person...THANK GOD!!! He is making me more like Christ!
1 Peter 2:20-21 says that to be like Christ, we have to suffer injustice the way he did. I know that doesn't mean I have to be beaten, spat on, and hung on a cross...our lives give us our own crosses that we have to bear and most of them are unfair and hard to deal with. If we allow God to be with us during these hard times and rely on him, as Christ did...then God will take those experiences and use them to mold us into a more Christ-like person. But...we have to be willing.
Being willing means setting our hope fully on Christ, be obedient, self controlled non-conforming...we have to actively be a part of our Christ-like transition. (1 Peter 1:13-16)
In the last couple of years, I HAVE been more actively involved...through my First Place 4 Health group, as well as other Bible study groups and church activities I have been a part of...I have been more focused on God, and in his word most days. That has helped me to be more balanced and willing. I WANT to follow Christ...be loving and accepting of others...treating everyone I meet with love and respect...to be obedient to my Heavenly Father's commands and plans for me. 25 years ago I wasn't mature enough to know all that....I am now....but I am still growing and learning.
I love the person God is making me into...I love that I don't have to live in the past to feel the "glory days." I also don't want to get SO focused on the future and heaven that I don't live for today either. It truly is a balancing act! I am just glad I don't have to try to balance my life alone...I have God leading the way.
Many of my old high school friends have had their own crosses to bear, and some are still struggling to find themselves...25 years later. I am glad I had the opportunity to visit with them and share some laughs and memories. It is fun to remember...and I hope I have many more chances to meet with these friends for years to come...but I'll take living in the present to living in the past any day!