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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Put it to Use!

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.

Last week I was talking to my mom on the phone when I picked Biscuit up from school.  When we got home and walked through the garage, Biscuit was eyeing a new golf bag.  He touched it, examined it, and smiled.  I asked him (still on the phone), "Is that your dad's?"  Biscuit said, "Yes."  As he raised up the cover I could tell there were new clubs, too.  "Are those new clubs?", I asked.  Biscuit replied, "New irons."

I began to tell my mom about my husbands' new bag, clubs, and a recent 'how to swing' video he had bought. "He's really trying to improve his game," I said to her within earshot of Biscuit.  Biscuit turned around and joined in the conversation with, "Yeah, but it would be better if dad actually got out and swung the club instead of just watching a video!"  Biscuit walked on to do his homework, as I kind of laughed about what he said and went on to finish the phone conversation.

When my husband got home, Biscuit and I relayed the whole 'new golf stuff' conversation to him.  He laughed about what Biscuit said, too, but quickly told him he had been practicing - even when Biscuit didn't know about it.  The old bag and clubs I had bought for him 23 years ago, so obviously he was due for more.  The old bag had holes in some of the pockets.  Even so, my husband and I laughed about his renewed hobby and getting new gadgets that go with it.

(Disclaimer: My husband knows about this blog post and approves.) Our conversation led to us joking and laughing about other 'things' that he had purchased over the years.  He's always been into the newest 'health/exercise' products and sometimes get-rich-quick schemes when we were newlyweds.  He admits it. It's not uncommon to find new things that are going to help him in this area, yet they sit around the house often unused. 

I'll never forget finding boxes and boxes and boxes of envelopes and papers in the closet in the first few years of marriage.  It was one of those 'stuffing envelopes' scams.  I never asked what happened to those.  Pretty sure they ended up in the trash!  Other things have been exercise bars (huge) that hang on the door frames.  Never saw it used.  Haven't seen it in years.  A huge, plastic exercise ball....I saw it used a few times.  FUNNIEST THING EVER!  There's no way I could have balanced on that ball.  I'm pretty sure my husband found that it was that way for him, too.  Didn't see it very long.  Many smaller, less HUGE things have stayed and gotten used: kettle bells, books, exercise videos, and a few other things.  But you know what?  It's true what Biscuit said.  If those 'gadgets' and self-help things aren't put to use, they will never help.   

Nothing - no matter how new and nice and useful it may be - will work, if we don't put it to use.

The same is true with our spiritual life.  When we become a Christian - which can ONLY come through Jesus. That process begins by believing in Him, realizing that our sin separates us from God and that repenting of that sin, confessing that belief, and coming in contact with the blood of Jesus that is symbolized through immersion/baptism.  It's at that moment we receive a wonderful gifts: Remission of our sins and the Holy Spirit to live in us!  

Maybe we found out about Jesus by hearing a sermon or lesson.  Maybe you read about Him yourself or someone told you about Him.  Maybe some of you even read about him online - through a website or blog.  Perhaps even now your are just now hearing about Him by reading this post.  YOU NEED JESUS!  HE IS THE ONLY WAY TO OBTAIN SALVATION!  HE IS YOUR ACCESS TO GOD!

But, just like Biscuit said, that my husband must swing the club and put those new tools to use, YOU must use the gifts God gave you.  The gifts He has or He will freely give you!

Here are THREE STEPS TO PUT OUR GIFTS TO USE:

1.  USE GOD'S WORD
You and I must use God's Words.  Even if we hear the words from someone else, we'll never grow and mature like we should if we don't read them ourselves.  

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 
1 Peter 2:2-3

2. BE MORE LIKE JESUS BY RELYING ON THE HOLY SPIRIT
You and I must strive to be more like Jesus.  The Holy Spirit lives within us and will help us grow and be more like Him, but we have to allow that Spirit to help us.  When we don't 'put the Holy Spirit' to use, we are grieving Him.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 
Ephesians 4:29-32

3. WALK IN HIS FOOTSTEPS
We can talk the talk of Christianity, but if we're not walking the walking our talk is useless.  There is more to believing and confessing that a one-time-covers-it-all deal.  True belief, true confession results in true change in our lives.  Not that we'll never sin again, but that our walk is striving to imitate Jesus....that we're not deliberately sinning.

Changing attitudes and habits is not always an easy task! Established thoughts and behaviors resist being altered! However, change is easier when we clearly see the dangers of continuing old habits, understand the benefits we can gain by adopting new behaviors and learn what actions are needed to replace our old behaviors. This gives us a clear path we can follow.  The path is the one where we're following Jesus' footsteps.  We can read all about that in the Bible.

If we are not walking with Him, we're not living in the light.  And if we're not living in the light, we're in serious trouble.

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 
1 John 1:5-7

To remain in Jesus is to strive to walk with Him....by His example we read about.

 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.  
1 John 2:5-7

When we stop walking with Him, we're forsaking God, His Word, His Spirit, and His Son.  We're saying to God that we don't want His gift of salvation.  And that's the saddest and most heartbreaking state of "not putting to good use" there could ever, ever be.

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because[b] to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Hebrews 6:4-6

Nothing can separate us from the LOVE of God, but we can choose to turn away from Him.  We can reject His salvation. Sadly, it happens all of the time. 

Put to 'good use' all that God has given you!  Remember, if you've got all of the 'stuff', but not actively doing it, it's useless.  And Biscuit might need to have a talk with you!

On this GRATITUESDAY, I am grateful for the opportunity God has given me to put His gift to good use!  I pray that my goal and desire is to serve Him to the best of my ability.  His gifts of salvation are free, but He wants me and all of His children to love Him and serve Him.  That is how I show Him I love Him.  I want nothing more that to do just that!  I hope and pray that is your desire, as well.


 
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