Center Stage

 

all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  Colossians 1:16, 17, NIV

 

The saying “old habits die hard” is so true it’s scary!  Especially for recovering control freaks like me who find comfort in self-contrived order I think everyone should find just as logical 🙂

I’m finding the longer I walk this Christian journey down grace highway, the less effective my usual methods for dealing with things.  This is the case in every area of my life but particularly as a mother and homeschooler.  Lately I’ve had numerous experiences where the take-home point can be summarized by these verses from Colossians.  Everything truly is all about Jesus!  Every life and situation really is all about what Jesus wants us to know about Him and the glory He wants out of our lives.

What do I mean?  This morning, as usual, I had lesson plans and a schedule for both boys, but we didn’t start schooling on time. [Revelation: Make plans but don’t get too attached to them.]  Instead I had to deal with a character issue that I stumbled upon when I went in their bathroom.  [Revelation:  Character/integrity development is as, if not more, important than any other aspect of my children’s education and is well worth the delay.]  Normally, a delay in my well-crafted plan (especially over something I’ve taught and corrected them about a zillion times) would drive me up the wall.  I’m tired of letting 3 little people drive me up the wall and clearly my method of teaching and training on this issue hadn’t worked!  I left the boys in their rooms for a bit while I got my daughter and me ready.  I needed time to consult Jesus!

Would you believe, Jesus told me to walk them through one of my favorite meditation passages, Zephaniah 3:14-17, until the revelation of Him changes them?!  We just spent a half hour talking about Jesus in our Bible study during breakfast and I felt a tongue lashing would straighten them out a lot faster.  I told Jesus as much and He simply said, “Has that worked for you so far?”  Note: I just LOVE how sweetly He always answers me no matter how I come at Him.  Jesus is so cool, composed and gracious!   [Revelation: Parenting isn’t about getting my children to respond to me but positioning them to respond to Jesus!]

After throwing my time table “out the window” we talked about Jesus revealed in that portion of Zephaniah.  The more we talked the more peaceful and receptive their hearts and honestly they shared.  Also, I calmed down and received fresh insights to share with them.  Sure we started schooling an hour and a half behind my schedule, but we started the day with Jesus clearly at the center.  It’s where He’s always been and always will be.  Our lives and our families flow best when He’s the focus.  Any instruction and correction that keeps Jesus center stage is bound to be successful because He’s holding it all together.

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SOUL FOOD (Scripture References)

                                                            

Proverbs 19:21, NIV 

 

 © Vanessa A. Harris and The Legacy of Faith, 2012.

 

             

 

I’m Clean!

…who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…Hebrews 1:3

Tony halted, mid-sentence, interrupted by a familiar and unpleasant feeling.  The look on his friend’s face confirmed his hunch.  He glanced cautiously over his shoulder spotting Officer Grimm’s scowl.

“What are you up to Tony?” the Officer asked.

“Just hanging out with my boy, that’s all,” Tony answered.

“Is that so?  Let me be the judge of that,” Officer Grimm insisted while motioning for Tony to assume “the position”.  Getting frisked by him had become a regular occurrence.  He just wouldn’t believe anyone could really change.  It took Tony a while to believe it himself, but he knew better now.

“Like I said last time and a bunch of times before that, Officer, I’m clean.  I’m not that guy anymore.  I’m completely different now.”  “Yeah right! That’s what they all say….”

That’s what Jesus says, Tony thought to himself.  He and I know the truth and I take His word over anyone else’s.   

It’s tragic when you have enough faith to believe that Christ was judged for your sins yet doubt you are completely clean.  You know the kind of clean where the stain in completely lifted and there is no residue left…that squeaky clean.  There will always be “haters”.  People who “knew you when” and refuse to believe that your faith in Christ’s finished work is enough to cleanse you but it’s your perception of His finished work that dictates how you see yourself. If you are in Christ, God considers you as perfect as Christ is.  Not because of your behavior but because He knows He put every one of your sins on His perfect Son before unleashing His righteous judgment against them.  Our Father is so thoroughly pleased with Christ’s execution of their redemption plan that He glorifies Christ for it.  Jesus purged us of ALL our sins once and for all.  It was a thorough cleaning, leaving us spotless and to prove His work is finished He sat down.  There is nothing left for Him to do regarding our sin so there is certainly nothing else for us to do but believe.  He was judged in our place and washed us in His blood.  We are clean; our sin forever removed from God’s mind.

Don’t let anyone equate you with your sin and, for heaven’s sake, don’t do the dirty deed yourself.  Don’t hate on yourself by focusing on mistakes past or present.  Your account with God is settled if you are in Christ.  Believe it!  Don’t look over your shoulder for your “stuff” to catch up with you.  All that’s chasing you is His goodness and mercy anyway.  Look instead in God’s word for every revelation of Jesus Christ.  He is your new identity.  As you meditate on all He is, the Holy Spirit will remove your fixation on sin and make you more and more like Jesus.

Perspective is everything.  As we see ourselves and our little ones in light of the cross we’ll increasingly display Christ’s glory and encourage their faith in what Christ did on their behalf.

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SOUL FOOD (Scripture References)

1 John 4:17

Ephesians 5:27

Hebrews 8:12

Psalm 23:6

2 Corinthians 5:17

Galatians 2:20

Hebrews 9:14

2 Corinthians 3:18

© Vanessa A. Harris and The Legacy of Faith, 2012.