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Monday, October 12, 2015

What Do You Want To Be?

Growing up, I probably wanted to be a teacher in the beginning, but by second grade, I knew teaching wasn't for me.  After that, towards late elementary and early junior high, I wanted to be a fashion designer.  I liked the "in" fashions at the time, and was different than everyone else in my small town...I never, ever wore jeans, except to show my calves in 4-H and that was only because I had to.  Following the fashion designer years, I wanted to be a home economics teacher.  That was my favorite class, and even though I couldn't stand to sew and cringed at the thought of teaching it, I was willing to do it to pursue my dream.

A few year later, I began dating my husband.  I still planned to teach home ec, but the program began disappearing in Oklahoma colleges.  Only one had it, and it wasn't close to where I was going to live. I married, just went to college for the closet degree that went along with that field, and finished going a year and a half from graduation.  I've thought about going back some day, but mostly just liked to tease our daughter that I would just wait and go with her.  The funny thing is that she's more "done" right now with college than I am! Ha ha!

Deciding what to "be" when you grow up is difficult. There are so many choices! So many options! So many things to do that it's hard to even imagine.  I'm actually doing what I never realized I wanted to do when I was young - be a stay-at-home mom.  Staying "home" was definitely nothing that appealed to me. I was a "go-er".  How funny that now I'm thrilled when I do get to be home more than a day or so at a time!

Last night we heard a lesson about being a child of God vs. being a Christian.  It was actually very interesting and something I had never thought of before.  He talked about how that when we obey the Gospel, we become a child of God, but that to be a Christian means to be a follower of Christ.  I knew all of that, but think about this that he said:  We can be a child of God BUT STILL choose not to follow Christ.  We see it all of the time, actually.  One may believe, repent, confess, and be baptized, yet still not TURN away from the things of the world to follow Jesus.  WOW!  That is so true.  It is not just a one day thing.  It's an every-day-I'm-striving-to-follow-Him thing!  And if and when we fail, we don't turn away, but keep on going....striving to follow Him more closely.  When we do fail and turn away, continuing to grow further and further away from Him, that is when we are in trouble.  His grace is sufficient, but His death was worth more than just a one time commitment that it quickly forgotten.  Because He loves us so, He wants us to love Him.  And loving Him is striving to do His will.  It's striving to transform to His image.

Being a child of God and a Christian - a true Christ-follower - THAT is what we should all want to be! Nothing else in the world matters more than that decision.  No degree is more important than having our names written in the Book of Life.  No life choice is greater than deciding to dedicate your life to Him.  Living with Him in eternity is more important than any earthly destination.

What do you want to be?  I pray you want to be a child of God AND a Christian.  Faith is belief PLUS obedience.

You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. Galatians 5:4

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

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