Points Cards

Everyone has points cards. For some of us, we are faithful collectors and others it’s just a ‘whatever’ thing. For example, I used to be an avid air miles collector, but I never seemed to be able to collect enough of them to buy anything. So when they decide to put an expiry date on them, I decided to use mine up.  So, being the girly girl I am, I ordered something that would make doing my hair ‘easier’. All I had to do was pick up a section of hair and let the curler grab it and I’d have a head full of beautiful curls in no time. I make my hair curly normally — at least four out of seven days a week — so I thought something to do all the work was awesome. I anxiously awaited its delivery.

Then it came. I was so excited. I opened it up, took it out of the box, read the instructions and plugged it in. My hair was about to get quick, perfect curls and I wouldn’t have to do all the work. I was EXCITED!!!! It beeped that it was ready, so I took an exact 1/2″ section, faced the machine the right way, let it grab my hair and waited for the beep saying it was time to release the hair.

BUT IT HARDLY CURLED!!!!!!

Seriously, I did everything right. I followed the directions. My hair was clean and brushed. My section was perfect, but still the results were less than my expectations. But I persevered. I  curled every section of my hair — twice (because that was the only way to get an almost true curl). It took almost FOREVER. My arms were aching because that thing was so heavy. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

The lesson? That will teach me for trying to take the easy way out. But there is more here.

Some days, I feel like Christians treat their faith much like I did that hair curler. We wholeheartedly want Jesus to bless us, to give us perfect lives, to make everything easier but we don’t want to go through the work to reach the spiritual that the Lord desires to lift us into. Instead, we want blessings handed to us. But at the same time, we don’t want to cultivate a relationship with the giver of life.

In fact, we have adopted a norm whereby we think some prayer, and maybe going to church, or saying that we believe in God, is all it takes. Certainly, I’m guilty of this and when I look closely at my peers, I’m pretty sure most of us are equally guilty. But Jesus wants a real relationship with us. And relationships — much like getting the perfect curl require work. They take time. They take nurturing. They take patience and understanding. And the best relationships are worth every second of cultivation, when we see how we have grown spiritually and taken on His likeness in our day to day.

Some of you may never have heard this message before but I can tell you Jesus already did the hardest part…..He died for us! He shed His precious blood on the cross so that you and I can be redeemed, filled with His joy and peace and love. This is why Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” and He only asks that we respond to His love in our hearts.

Everyone has points cards. For some of us, we are faithful collectors and others it’s just a ‘whatever’ thing. For example, I used to be an avid air miles collector, but I never seemed to be able to collect enough of them to buy anything. So when they decide to put an expiry date on them, I decided to use mine up. So, being the girly girl I am, I ordered something that would make doing my hair ‘easier’. All I had to do was pick up a section of hair and let the curler grab it and I’d have a head full of beautiful curls in no time. I make my hair curly normally — at least four out of seven days a week — so I thought something to do all the work was awesome. I anxiously awaited its delivery.

Then it came. I was so excited. I opened it up, took it out of the box, read the instructions and plugged it in. My hair was about to get quick, perfect curls and I wouldn’t have to do all the work. I was EXCITED!!!! It beeped that it was ready, so I took an exact 1/2″ section, faced the machine the right way, let it grab my hair and waited for the beep saying it was time to release the hair.

BUT IT HARDLY CURLED!!!!!!

Seriously, I did everything right. I followed the directions. My hair was clean and brushed. My section was perfect, but still the results were less than my expectations. But I persevered. I curled every section of my hair — twice (because that was the only way to get an almost true curl). It took almost FOREVER. My arms were aching because that thing was so heavy. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

The lesson? That will teach me for trying to take the easy way out. But there is more here.

Some days, I feel like Christians treat their faith much like I did that hair curler. We wholeheartedly want Jesus to bless us, to give us perfect lives, to make everything easier but we don’t want to go through the work to reach the spiritual that the Lord desires to lift us into. Instead, we want blessings handed to us. But at the same time, we don’t want to cultivate a relationship with the giver of life.

In fact, we have adopted a norm whereby we think some prayer, and maybe going to church, or saying that we believe in God, is all it takes. Certainly, I’m guilty of this and when I look closely at my peers, I’m pretty sure most of us are equally guilty. But Jesus wants a real relationship with us. And relationships — much like getting the perfect curl require work. They take time. They take nurturing. They take patience and understanding. And the best relationships are worth every second of cultivation, when we see how we have grown spiritually and taken on His likeness in our day to day.

Some of you may never have heard this message before but I can tell you Jesus already did the hardest part…..He died for us! He shed His precious blood on the cross so that you and I can be redeemed, filled with His joy and peace and love. This is why Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” and He only asks that we respond to His love in our hearts.

“But He gives more grace. Wherefore He saith, “God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” (James 4:6-10)

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