Sunday, February 1, 2009

2 Essentials

Pastor Stan preached a great sermon today... one definitely worth repeating and sharing with my out of town friends. :) It's on the essentials in our lives, of which everything else stems. It helped remind me of my priorities, and that my life should reflect those things... not just be filled up with things that take time but that don't root.

The two essentials are this:
1. Love God
2. Love other people

Pretty simple right? Absolutely. But it's not just saying you love God and love other people, it's reflecting that in the things you do and the way you live. It's not enough to just say it. Ever hear "actions speak louder than words"? We all know they do.

Pastor gave 4 things that we can to do show those two things.
1. Be real always
Being fake and phony is usually because we're insecure, shallow, or carrying pride... and if we're doing those things, the focus is on us and not on God. When we're not being ourselves, we're taking away the individuality that He created in us. When we're trying to be like other people, or pretending to be someone we're not, we're not being who He created us to be.
It's so easy to get wrapped up in trying to please other people and be what they want you to be, but the reality is that only one opinion matters, and HE created you to be a particular way, and loves you just as you are. (Joshua 24:14 - "Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.")

2. Keep it simple
Do activities that matter and reflect the priorities in your life. If you are too busy, you often miss opportunities to see what He wants you to see, and you may miss chances to show your love for Him and those around you. Our activities should bring meaning and fulfillment to our lives. As Stan said, we all still have things we have to do like cleaning house, cooking, etc. But our "electives" should carry meaning and value to us. Are the things you choose to do in your free time reflecting the essential things in your life?

3. Keep your life prioritized
"Love that isn't expressed isn't worth much". That phrase just really said a lot to me today. I'm a bit out of outwardly expressive person, and likewise I often feel like everyone should love like that. Not everyone does, and I've learned that. But if you never tell people or show people that you love them, how do you expect them to know? My philosophy for life is that we should live as though today is the very last day we'll get to tell those around us how much we love them. We aren't promised the next minute, let alone tomorrow. We should cherish those around us... each minute we get with them, each conversation had, and all of the laughter (and even tears). I'm thinking back over the last few years and all of the people He has used to encourage me, support me, and love me. People are so precious!

4. Re-examine your life
Take inventory... hold onto the things that are good, and let go of those that aren't. We should decide what stays in our lives based upon what matters the most.
I think that many of us tend to do this every few months anyhow, simply because we get too busy and overloaded and are forced to stop doing some things. But it's important to refocus frequently also.

I hope that you all have a great week, and that you find blessings in the ordinary beautiful things of your life... hugs, smiles, laughter and friends. May He bless you richly and completely this week as you LOVE! ~

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