3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!
If you were to examine your life (your walk) this past week, ask yourself to take inventory in all that you do. That is, to say, when you wake, work, eat, play, sleep and interact with others where does the Lord stand in your life? Is God the Father, The Son and The Spirit the authority in your life, in all that you do? Are you using your time, your talent and your treasure that you have been given by God in ways to honor Him? Are you focusing more on what you want and how you want to promote your Kingdom instead of God's Kingdom.
For me, this is a daily struggle. If I am brutally honest, there are days when I wake that I want to just roll over and sleep all day. Or there are days that I just want to do life for me and my indulgences. There are days that I just want to be selfish and not look out for others that God has given me to steward over.
I was talking to our Care Pastor after Men of Faith yesterday, we both went out for breakfast yesterday and instead of the whole group of guys, it was just him and I. It was really a great conversation and I truly enjoy this man of God who has been serving God's Kingdom since 1983. When you meet him and his wife you truly see two servants that understand what it means to turn it back toward God. They serve not to "check boxes" rather they do it to magnify God's glory. So I was telling him that sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by what God has done for us, sending his Son to die on a cross to cover all of my sins. I told him that I feel a deep sorrow and compassion for those who do not know him on their day of judgement and that their names that will not be written in God's Book of Life.
I also talked about the other question that we, who are truly Christ-Followers, will have to give an account: What did we do with all the things that God has given us (His Time, His treasure and His talent). Did our lives magnify His Glory. Please don't take this as a condemnation or as a blog where Lance and I are trying to condemn you, the reader. Quite the contrary. This is an indictment toward us more than you. I am an Elder of our Church, the leader of our Men's Group and Family Man that is given the charge to rear my children in the ways of the Lord. I do not take this question toward you, rather, toward my daily walk.
There are days, months and even seasons where I can honestly tell you that I do get it and that I do magnify God. But if I am really honest with you, then I feel like I have to share that I feel that there are more days were I am losing the battle against my old sin nature and the ways of the Evil One, who is a liar, and who is seeking to destroy everything good in my life. He would love nothing more than for me to exist and to gratify my earthly desires - he wins over my life when I do this. Or to fall in temptation and give in to it - he wins over my life. Or to self-indulge in my old sin nature - he wins over my life. A lot of times I hear this silent voice in my life that would say words like, "you hypocrite" "you fake" "you're a liar" and "nice CHRISTian example - way to lead your life and your family". Over the younger years of my life, I would cave and retreat and fall back into that wretched part of my life. These days, God has given me a stronger understanding of His Word and His love for me that is unmatched by anyone in this Universe. I say to this silent voice, "Guilty! Guilty of all that you are accusing me of, BUT I am covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.
That means that all of my sins of my past, my present and my future are covered by His Blood. That means oh silent voice and accuser of my sins in my life that God has won, death no longer has victory over my life. Sin no longer can hold me because Jesus has paid for it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What I wrestle with today is whether my life is magnifying the Lord in all that I do. Am I being a good steward with all that I do? I find consolation in that most of the time, I am broken and that I am a sinner and am broken and need daily repentance in my life to continue to make God the authority in my life that I know He is. I have to ask for wisdom and guidance in all that I do. Yes, I can be selfish and sinful, but I can ask brothers that I am walking with and my best friend (my wife) to hold me accountable: Are my actions meeting my daily walk required by God.
Where do I find this in Scripture you ask:
Examine yourself: 2 Corinthians 13:5(ESV) 5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
Renew yourself: Romans 12:1-2 (ESV) A Living Sacrifice 12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] 2 Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]
Pursue God's Holy Living (only capable thru complete trust and obedience in Him and His Word): Colossians 3 (ESV) Put On the 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. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,[e] free; but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Psalm 34: English Standard Version (ESV)
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!
Let us come together and reason with one another. This life is but a vapor? What do you want to echo in eternity: Did I live for my self or for a higher purpose (God's will)?