1 John 2: 15-17
15. Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
1 John 2:28
And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from Him in shame.
Imagine that day when Christ will return. He will you know. He will return. Where will I be when it happens? Where will you be? Where will this world be? Will it be tomorrow, 20 years from now, or centuries in the future? No one knows. But when I read these words from John it always makes me wonder if it could be in my life time and, if it is, will I heed this advice?
I want to.
I want to remain in fellowship with Christ. I want to be full of courage and not have to shrink back from Him in shame.
We have been given a warning here. Don't love the things of this world. It is as simple and as hard as that. We have been given great insight into wisdom living in this passage. However, this wisdom can be overwhelmed by the cares of this world.
We usually acknowledge those 'cravings for physical pleasure, and everything we see' as unwise. We say to ourselves: "Be careful, stay away from those things." In the Christian world there are those standard 'taboos'. These are easy for us to see as things that are needed to be 'given up'.
But what about the cares of the world that are not frivolous? What about those places of pride in our achievements and possessions that we hold so close to our hearts?
Those cares of this world that are not frivolous? I'm referring to those that are given as important to the belief systems we are grounded in. Doing good in our community, being of service, buying a home for our loved ones to live in, finding a partner to do life with...
Things like family, community, caring for the poor, sick, hungry. The list of good deeds goes on.
I remember having great pride over some really good things in my past.
I am taken back to a rainy day in the early years of the turn of our century, @2000. — A really rainy day.
As a single mother, I took great pride in being romanced by God and *enlarging my tents through my teaching position, my home, and especially my kids. I taught a Bible study in my home every Wednesday evening and I loved the women that came and did life with me there. My home church was grounded firmly in the Bible and it was growing rapidly. We as a body of believers were being challenged to listen to God in ways we had never done before. I had wonderful book mentors during these years, like A.W.Tozer, George McDonald, Maj. Ian Thomas, Eugene Peterson... and I took pride in learning from them.
But nothing changed and called me to *enlarge my tents so much as a mission trip to Europe. These pieces were all stepping stones, but the final push was the call I heard after traveling to Holland in 2000 with our church's youth. It wasn't right away, it took some time, but it was there and the more I begged God to clarify it, the more real it became.
On that rainy day I was re-reading the paperwork I had received from Greater Europe Mission, a mission organization I was praying about joining. Every inquiry made was a door I anticipated to be closed, yet it led to open door upon open door. The paperwork I was re-reading was the final agreement to become a full-time missionary in Europe.
Selling the home God had allowed me to buy? my car? most of my belongings?Leaving my three young adult children?Leaving my home church, and all of those women in the Bible study I loved so dearly? I was overwhelmed with the reality that God was calling me to leave all of these.
But the greatest sacrifice of all was in my heart that no one knew. Marriage. By signing that paper I just knew I was signing away the possibility of ever marrying again. Because, I would be a missionary and the people I would meet as a missionary would not ever be interested in marrying a divorcee. And I was a divorcee and had been alone since 1988.
All that I was letting go of were good things. None were frivolous.
But God called me at that time to release these very good things.
I find it interesting that the one thing that caused the greatest tears was this view of re-marriage. The thought that I would never marry again was so painful, so gut wrenching, I basically laid over my red-prayer-chair-ottoman and could not stop crying. But, His Still Small Voice did not silence. I listened and signed, mailed the paperwork off, and was accepted. I was commissioned to Greater Europe Mission with Women's Ministries in 2003. God continued to *enlarge my tents.
What did I learn from this experience? Hold people, positions, possessions, and possibilities loosely. Nothing but God need be the driving factor of my life.
It does not mean I do not have them. Good grief, God even brought another man into my life to love me and for me to love. And people think God doesn't have a sense of humor!
But, I want to be able to stand courageously and with no shame when Jesus returns for His bridegroom.
He has romanced me for so many years and I want to continue being loved into loosely holding even those things that are considered good.
*enlarge the place of your tent...Isaiah 54 read it here! biblehub.com
God has not stopped *enlarging the place of my tent. But since that day of surrender, I have to admit, nothing has ever gripped me so greatly and caused me to realize He was calling me into something beyond. I don't ever want to forget it.
I don't want to forget it, because it lead me into a place deeper and more wonderful than I had ever known. And the more I remember it: He is more precious to me. And, amazingly enough, I value those really good things even more. I just don't hold on to them so tightly. They take their rightful place in my heart.
When I stand in front of Him on the day He returns. He will call me, and any who have followed into something so much more and way beyond.
Praise be to God, the One and Only Three in One.
Because He IS the I AM, i am
robyn rochelle cox
RR&BC,LL© All writings protected by copyright laws. Contact author or link to this page or website if you use or reference.
We have a problem. By 'We' I mean the Christian Church.
There is an apathy, a growing discouragement and a potential explosion from shore to shore of many countries today. We have gotten away from some basics, some truths about life on this earth.
Often people attend church without a reason other than habit, a social event, or a guilt trip. Often pastors preach out of duty, job, or even with a lack of belief.
And the sadness: The solution to the problem is a relationship that awaits us. A relationship available and easily within our reach.
This relationship is not forbidden, or hidden.
Sometimes living in a country that allows us to enjoy this Bible, this Life, also creates in us a despondency or boredom with a relationship that truly stands up to the word awesome. WE ARE ENTERTAINMENT JUNKIES. If a relationship doesn't have bells and whistles, make us feel happy (not joyfilled-happy, but giddy feeling-happy) all the time, we junk it.
We want relationships that meet our whims, instead of relationships that meet our deep needs.
Yes, and an awesome relationship is what is available in God. But instead of entering into this awesomeness, we veer away from it.
We are starving for something to hold on to. Something to give us ground we can build on.
And as is often the case, we walk away from the simple for the complicated.
A step in faith cannot be explained. It cannot be calculated. It can only be experienced. It can only be simply trusted. As children we come, as children we are received.
Almost 40 years of my life have been held together by reading the Bible on a regular basis and sinking those words into my heart over time. I am not perfect. I don't claim to be. But I do know this. As a woman that fights fear, I have found my battle less horrifying when fought between the pages of the Holy Scriptures.
Me, in my prayer chair, reading, listening, contemplating, writing, reading, stopping, and having faith that what I am reading was written as a Love Letter directly to me from God.
My prayer chair became a place for me to read, reflect and live out what God was giving me to ponder. No bells and whistles were added.
I began to read through the Bible when I was a new mother of three children ages 5 and under. I was only 25. I had been active in church from my youth; after marriage and children I had continued going to church, singing in the choir, and even going to Sunday School. Yet something was missing. I felt that it was cold and unmeaningful. I had known a desire before that was lacking now.
I remember calling a friend of mine in Cincinnati, Ohio and crying on the phone. "Debbie, I am afraid I have committed the unpardonable sin."
My friend Debbie actually laughed out loud. Now mind you I was balling my eyes out, like doing the whole ugly cry on the other end of the phone, and she started laughing.
But this wise young woman brought me up with a start, "Now Robyn, I don't think if you had committed the unpardonable sin you would be crying about it. You just need to get real with God and tell Him you want to know Him. He wants to know us. He will make Himself known to us if we ask Him to."
I hung up the phone and found myself lying prostrate on my bedroom floor. I remember a depth of my heart breaking and without ever knowing I would share this with the world I got real with God. I begged Him to make Himself known to me. All I wanted was to be able to hear His voice and to touch His hand.
As a child, no answers, no pretense, no agenda, I picked up my Bible that day. I opened it. I read. And, I cried. and the next day... and the next... very simply. Very easily, this child took one step at a time, hiding the word in my heart.
in a year, or two, or three I realized that I had read the entire Bible and it wasn't that overwhelming. I came back daily over time and read word by word, page by page, chapter by chapter, book, by book. I jumped around in the books, even in the chapters. But, I let the words sink in without having someone else, other than God telling me what they meant. I simply prayed and asked God to cleanse my heart with His words.
It wasn't difficult. It wasn't overwhelming. I was gentle with myself, because God is gentle with us.
But I needed Him. I still do. If you are honest with yourself, you do to.
And as we do this mysterious, yet methodical process of intimate time with God we will grow deeper in HIM. Because: "In the beginning was The Word and the word was with God and the word was God." John 1:1
Do you need something to ground you? Are you feeling the sway and push and pull of life? Have you ever just got HONEST and REAL with the great I AM?
Let us know, we would appreciate the opportunity to pray with you for simple faith to enter into His Words and begin to hide them in your heart.
Come and join us, or comment below.
Because He IS the I AM, i am
robyn rochelle cox
Welcome to our web site. We are here to serve you.
Robyn and Biff Cox
All writings are protected under copyright laws. Contact the author or link to this page or website if you use or reference.
Robyn Rochelle Cox
WHOSE AM I?