Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Oh Deer

This week my wife and I had a rather unique experience. A deer ran into our living room window. Nothing was broken, except the deer's pride perhaps. "Oops. I ran into a house."

The only thing I could think of for why the deer did such a thing was that the woods surrounding our house was somehow reflected in the window and the deer thought it was running into the woods. Whatever the reason, the deer was clearly confused and lost.

That got me thinking. We humans can be a lot like that confused deer was the other night. Blindly charging ahead, not checking to see if what we are about to do will harm us or hurt us.

Jesus told us we are to "count the cost" before we do something.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?" - Luke 14:28-34
Have we as Christians estimated the cost of being a Christian BEFORE we became one? It will  cost us plenty, just as Jesus said. It has cost me friends and relationships, even family members. No one told me about the "fine print" before I became a believer.

That's not true. Jesus told us the cost 2,000 years ago. I just didn't hear Him.

I re-wrote this story because the previous version did not glorify God. I did not glorify Him and it cost me. I feel like I let Him down and didn't give Him my best nor the honor that is due Him.

Before we do anything in this life we must first ask ourselves, "Is what I am about to do or say honoring to God? If it is not, why am I about to do it?"

Is running into this house the God-honoring thing to do? No? Then we need to repent, turn around, and try a different direction, a different story.

Honoring God with the living of our lives should be a very high priority for us. It should be our duty. We are representing God here on earth. To quote a Todd Agnew song, "If Ephesians says to imitate Christ, who do we look so much like "the world?"

May we always be thinking BEFORE we act. May we always "count the cost" before we commit to any action or words. By doing that we will be honoring God with our lives. And that's what Christians are known for.  Jesus told us . . .

13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:13-16

May we look before we leap. May we stop and think before we "jump into things" or open our mouths . . . or in my case, write a story. May we ALWAYS honor God in what we say and do . . . like a city on a hill. So that others might see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.

Shine Your Light - Nichole Nordeman
My Jesus - Todd Agnew

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