Sunday, January 17, 2010

Spiritual Makeover Part 3

One day, we are going to get a makeover like no other.

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:50-52 NKJV)

Just imagine: no more gray hairs, no more worries, no more fears and no more pain. God has promised in His Word that our glorified bodies will not age or suffer the effects of decay.

After reading that scripture it almost seems a waste to invest so much money in dressing and fixing something that is dying! These mortal bodies are decaying and will one day perish. It seems a better investment would be made in spiritual matters.

Jesus takes us to task about our investments by summing up the commandments in two: We should love Him with all our heart and then love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves.

Trust me, you will invest in that which you love. The challenge to married couples is to invest in one another as much as Christ has invested in you. The challenge is focus on the spiritual and eternal and less on the earthly and temporary.

Surely, when we invest money in preserving or fixing up our bodies we are demonstrating love for ourselves. That's easy enough. But how much do we invest in others? Do we demonstrate love to our spouse by loving them as much as we love ourselves? That's not so easy sometimes. I'm learning that the things that are best for us aren't always the easiest to do.

But you can do it, because God promised He would never put more on you than you are able to bear. We are told that we can do "all things" because HE is able to give us the strength we need in the hour we need it most. Loving an unkind spouse can be done in the power of Christ. Caring for a mate who has Alzheimer and can't remember your name is possible in the power of Christ.

And I believe in doing those things, our spiritual transformation begins and we will looks our best when we look most like Christ.

It's Marriage Mondays ...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spiritual Makeover Part 2

If you are anything like me, a look in the mirror, no matter how brief, often becomes an attempt to fix a stray hair or two, pluck out a new gray or frown at the lines forming in my face. These days, we can do something about our physical imperfections. The multi-million dollar cosmetic surgery business suggests that people want change, even if it is only temporary.

Our Father, however, challenges His children to take a second, more closer look and see ourselves through His mirror. In 1 Samuel 16:7, He says that He does not see as man sees, "for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (NKJV).

Why? Because our hearts are who we really are and truly no amount of makeup or cosmetic surgery can change the condition of our heart EXCEPT for Jesus. Through salvation, the sinner can exchange his or her sinful heart for a heart of God. We can be more loving, kinder, more patient and give selflessly to our mates and others when Jesus has given us the ultimate MAKEOVER!

If your spouse doesn't see God in you then it may be that you need a spiritual makeover. Remember that physical mirror I spoke of in the beginning? Well, God has a spiritual one - His Word. His Word is called the "perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25) and when we look into His mirror daily and make adjustments to our character, personality and attitude as the Holy Spirit directs, it is promised to us that we will be blessed.

We are admonished to not just be hearers of God's Word, but to practice it diligently (James 1:22) so that we can be justified. (Romans 2:13)

Unlike cosmetic surgery, surgery on our hearts may take more time but my prayer is that the next time you look in the mirror you'll see an individual transformed by God's love.

Don't know if I'll look at myself in the mirror the same way again. Seems the frumpy hair and stray grays won't have as much significance as making certain that my heart is right before God. And a heart that is right before God is a heart that is free to love, forgive and bless.

It's Marriage Mondays ...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Spiritual Makeover: Part 1

In his book, "Have a New Husband By Friday," author Kevin Leman supposedly shows women how making a few changes in their attitude, behavior, and communication style can revolutionize their marriages and bring out the very best in their husbands. I love the catchy title and I'm sure many have purchased his book with good intentions but the skeptic in me doubts that's possible. My husbands has WAAAY too many problems to fix by Friday!

Seriously, though, the author couldn't be more right. If I want a better marriage or a better mate, I have to allow the Holy Spirit to fix me first. The only person I can truly change is myself and even that is a tough task without the aid of the Holy Spirit.

In need of a makeover? Consider this from 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV): "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" I am so comforted by the fact that Christ has made me anew through His death, burial and resurrection. Through the Holy Spirit, I am enabled to live a victorious life and have a God-honoring marriage.

The transformation begins by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2) and then changing our behaviors. We must purpose in our hearts to love unselfishly and give wholly of ourselves whether our spouse has earned it or not.

It's Marriage Monday ...