Monday, September 19, 2011

It Is Going To Be A Most Excellent Day

What are you going to choose today? You have choices you know. Now that you are a follower of Jesus Christ you are no longer a victim of your day. Jesus told us that he came to set us free and those whom he has freed are free indeed. This freedom is from anything that hindered you or bound you, preventing your fellowship with God.  Let's consider those things the negative things in our life, such as sin and the emotions that come along with those sins.

Today is going to be a day filled with many things, some positive and some negative but even the negative can be turned into positive with Jesus. It really depends on where you let your mind go and what decisions you take. You can decide to dwell on the negative things and wallow in self-pity or you can choose to keep focus on Jesus and all of his benefits. That is the freedom you have to choose. Let's look at how simple this really is.

In Colossians 3 we receive instruction on what we need to do to keep today a Christ-centered positive day, despite the circumstances:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)

Not tough right, except that there will be a hundred things pulling at you and trying to distract you. Most of us know about the obvious sins, the negative stuff, the things that destroy us:

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)

These are some of the biggies and the most obvious but there are other things, less obvious. These are probably more common to us because they are mixed up with our emotions. Most of us will probably not jump into bed with someone today, unless we are married to them, but consider these negative parts of us that we may encounter:

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. (Colossians 3:8)

Now these are more likely the things we will trip over today when we allow our gaze to drop away from Jesus and we start focusing on ourselves. If we start to see things as being unfair in our day it means we are not setting our heart and mind on things above. Someone says something to us and we become offended. Someone does something to us and we become hurt, angry even. We want justice which is another word for revenge. We can become jealous very easily if our heart is not in the right place. I don't have to go down through the list, you know the negative emotions you have felt and why.

When we are focused on Jesus, when our heart and mind are fixed on the things from above, the Kingdom things, our reaction to our environment and circumstances are much different because we have a new reality:

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:9-10)

As we face this day our reaction to our new reality should be obvious to everyone. The old is gone and we have put on a new garment because Jesus gave us the freedom to do so:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

These are the positives that we want to live in as we walk through our day. They are produced in us by the Holy Spirit when our mind and heart are focused on the right things, the things from above. It is amazing how our relationship with Jesus turns everything around and upside down. If we were to continue reading on in this passage we would discover that we are told to accept the peace of Jesus and to be thankful, to have a grateful heart. Gratitude is one of the keys to a positive day. When you allow your heart to be changed from focus on the negative parts of the day and you start seeing things with God's eyes, it is amazing how gratitude changes how you see the negative.

So there you go, you have a choice in this day. If you become a victim in this day it is because you chose to be a victim. If you experience a negative day it's because you chose for it to be negative. That is the freedom you have been given. But also remember that same freedom allows you to choose a positive day filled with peace, joy, hope and love. You can choose victory over defeat even in the face of the lions. My friends, choose life instead of death today. Avoid sin, cast off the negative emotions, get your eyes off yourself and fix them on Jesus. Trust him in all circumstances and learn to fly today allowing your heart to be fill with gratitude, peace and love. It's going to be a most excellent day because of Jesus.

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