Jerrad Lopes helps every day families learn how to follow Jesus in every day life. Dad Tired is a group of guys from around the world who are taking their faith, their family, and their marriage very seriously. You can become a part of the group by going to DadTired.com and clicking on the Community tab, which will link you to our closed Facebook group.
Many of you have reached out to me after last week’s podcast, where I described the really tough times my wife and I have been going through, and dumb decisions that I’ve recently made. Thank you so much. Thank you for your kind words and prayers.
I was just telling a friend this week – all of us are struggling through our “junk”, as part of our sanctification process. In other words, God doesn’t just save us and bails on us. But, He keeps walking with us and in His grace and mercy continues to expose to us our junk in order to lead us to repentance and help make us more like Him.
I just wish I could stop messing up in front of so many people!
But, I guess it comes with the territory.
Regardless of all of my junk, God is good… all the time!
Lately, because of His goodness, he is drawing me closer and closer to Him! Amen!!
Now, I bring all this up because I think that too often, we tend to fluctuate between to false gospels…
The first tells us that our behavior is so bad that we fall into a spiral of shame and guilt – much like when Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden after they disobeyed Him. Too often, we just want to hide when we feel like we don’t have our act together.
On the flipside of this, there is the lie that we tell ourselves that says: I’ve been praying regularly, I’m reading the Bible, I’ve got my act together, so now I can approach God because my behavior is better.
Both of these are false gospels.
The truth is that all of us are broken, sinful enemies of God who are desperately in need of His grace, which He earnestly gives to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. He has taken us as enemies and made us sons and daughters – heirs to His kingdom! Therefore, we shouldn’t be filled with shame, but know that God love us and send His Son to die for us because He knew we would blow it, and yet He STILL loves us! Also, we shouldn’t be so proud to think that because we are so amazing, that our behavior makes us right with God so that we can approach Him… it’s’ impossible for us to be pure enough to approach God… but He invites us to because He loves us, not because of how we behave.
There are no such things as good days and bad days in God’s economy. We are in need of God’s grace all the time. And He redeems us and cleanses us continually, as we humbly repent and pursue His will.
So, get this… whether you are performing at your best or at your worst, God’s view of you doesn’t change.
Switching gears just a bit, when I was in Africa last month – without cell service and many of the other luxuries that I enjoy here at home – I was able to connect with the people around me much deeper without all the distractions that I normally surround myself with. This started me wondering if we are able to daily live fully present in the moment in America.
That got me looking into a “movement” called Minimalism. It starts with looking around your home and simply de-cluttering all the non-essentials. In the U.S., we are such a consumer-based culture where we buy more and more stuff all the time. So, Minimalists strive to get rid of the things that 1) we don’t absolutely need; or 2) do not bring us joy.
As I started purging these things from my home, I discovered a refreshing sense of clarity.
This made me start to wonder if I can do this same thing beyond the stuff in my house. Could I begin to de-clutter other aspects of my life? The easy start was getting rid of unnecessary apps on my phone. Could I trim down my connections on Facebook? Could I get rid of certain music that doesn’t necessarily bring me joy or draw me closer to God? What about distractions like cable TV or home internet?
I started evaluating everything in my life and evaluating if I actually need it, or does it actually bring true joy to my life. So, I’ve now been a Minimalist for a whopping ten days and I’ve noticed much more order, not just on my phone and in my home, but in my heart and mind as well. I find myself less distracted and much more aware of God’s blessings in my life. I’ve been a better friend, husband and dad over this past week-and-a-half by simply having more time to devote to the people around me.
So, ask yourself… are there things in your life that actually distract you from being present or put barriers between you and God or your loved ones?
(This podcast is by Jerrad Lopes. Discovered by e2 media network and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not e2 media network, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)