This summer has brought a lot of change in my life. There have been changes in work location, work peers, friend groups, church, learning to speak a new language, and much more. It has been busy and oftentimes frustrating beyond belief. There have been storms as well as smooth sailing, sadness and joy, loneliness and renewal.
Later this month we have a long vacation scheduled, and I am really looking forward to it. Contrary to what some people might see on social media, I’m feeling burned out. A break from this craziness will be very much welcomed before the kids start at a new school and we adjust further to our new life here personally and professionally.
With our family’s move overseas, in many ways we have a new life. New opportunities to grow in our faith and to love others. New friends, new interactions at local shops, new coworkers, and new missions.
The same for us as Christians. Upon our decision to choose Jesus as lord and savior, we were given a new life. An opportunity to put on a new self.
3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.[c] 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[d] with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:1-10)
Each time I read today’s scriptures I have varying thoughts; mostly self-assessment. With all that is in my life, am I seeking up or seeking the things of this Earth?
Is my desire to go on vacation stronger than my desire to grow in my faith and lead others in their faith? Do I seek renewal through rest and relaxation or renewal through begging for mercy due to my sin?
If the answer to this question resides solely on the pictures in my phone’s photo library then it would seem I’ve got a serious idolatry problem. Food, wine, adventure and leisure.
On the other hand, these last few months I’ve experienced God’s faithfulness and gentleness unlike any other time that I can recall. Continuing the habit of journaling every other week (because the “next post” is always on my mind) has helped convict me of my idolatry and helped keep my focus on the kingdom of Heaven.
Thank you to the rest of the Bible Journal team for your commitment to writing and sharing. These daily posts are shaping me. Your love and efforts are making a difference.
Thank you also to our readers. I think about so many of you as I write, as though I’m preparing a speech to you as friends and family in the same room. May my heart and motives be pure for God’s glory.
In closing, I challenge our readers to pick any verse of the Bible. Read it, pray over it, then write down your thoughts. I think you’ll be moved more than you might expect. Either share the thoughts with someone or keep it between you and God; the challenge is to take a step to go a little deeper.