Monday, February 27, 2017

Live as He Lived

When 2017 started, I set a goal for myself to memorize one verse a week.  To some, 52 verses sounds overwhelming, but considering I memorize the lyrics to at least 20 songs a year and songs are longer than verses, this didn't seem overly ambitious to me.  I picked a few of the verses based on the fact that they had the word 'grace' in them.  (Acts 20:24, Acts 20:32, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Romans 6:14, 2 Peter 3:18, Hebrews 4:16, Hebrews 12:15)  I picked one verse because it comes at the end of the passage in Ezekiel where it talks about the breath breathing in life to the dry bones.  (Ezekiel 37:14) And this weeks verse came because of a video I saw at church yesterday where a canvas print of it was in the background. (1 John 2:5-6)

As I wrote out this weeks verse on my ring bound index cards, and then on the page that houses my list for the week in my planner, I realized that it was fitting beyond measure because I just finished The Broken Way last night.  The title is a reflection of how we are to live the abundant life, the life Jesus lived while He was here ~ broken and given.  This book has not been an easy read.  It has lead to more apologies than I would have thought possible.  It has opened my eyes to the absolute death grip I have on self-preservation and the way I have built up impenetrable walls in and around my heart.  Walls I didn't even know existed.  Slowly, but surely, they are starting to crumble.  I think it helps that with a trusted few I have given the torches, the horns, and the battle cry.  It's also why the Ezekiel verse was last weeks memory verse.  These dry bones need to start rattling and come back to life.

1 John 2:5-6 reads:

But if anyone obeys His word, love for God, is truly made complete in them.  This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.

Learning The Broken Way, and all that it entails, has been a challenge.  I'm just at the beginning of this but the manifestations of its impact is evident in things I have done, words I have spoken, prayers I have prayed.  Now more than ever, I want it to be obvious that everything I do is because it's the way Jesus did it.  I know I won't go from this moment forward to the grave doing it perfectly, but my hope is that with each attempt, and with His all sufficient grace, I will get better.  I want my love for God to be complete because His love for me is what will always make and keep me whole.

Father, this year has not been short on Your grace, mercy, or compassion.  You have been there through every painful revelation, opening my eyes to see, my ears to hear, and my heart to know. You have held my hand, lifted me up, and calmed my fears.  The miracle of this communion is one I want to continue to celebrate daily.  Help me to be a living sacrifice, one that shows the broken way that Jesus willingly took for me and all that You have breathed the breath of life into.  Revive the dry bones and make us an army that dances for the joy You have given.  Let our lives be a song that praises You.  In Jesus name, amen.

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