Sunday, October 22, 2006

You Snooze, You Lose

Sleeping has to be one of my favorite things. There's just something about cuddling up in a big comforter that makes me feel relaxed and safe. Sadly, because I love sleeping so much, I've found that, as I've gotten older, I have begun to sleep later and later. What used to be a wake-up time of 6:00AM for school has turned into a 10:00AM rush to get ready for the day. This may come as a shock to you, but I've found out that the later you wake up, the less time you have until the day is over. Because of this, I've found that I have to stay up later to get things done that I could have gotten done earlier. This forces me into an endless cycle of going to bed later and consequently waking up later because of the lack of sleep.

This type of cycle can wreak havoc in our lives! We begin to get less done during the day and get used to sleeping more and more. In fact, I suppose it could get so bad that, if we are sleeping while others are working then others will be sleeping while we are working and it will cause us to have to work alone! Proverbs 20:13 says, "If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!" This verse reminds us that an unhealthy balance of sleep will cause us to lose what we would have received if we were awake and working for it.

Not only does having a healthy balance of sleep allow us to get more work done, it also is important for our walks with Christ! In Mark 13:34-37 , Jesus tells us that we need to be ready for His return at any moment. As Christians, we have been called to be fishers of men for Him (Matthew 4:19). Therefore, we need to work diligently for the Kingdom of God at all times! How can we do this though if we are stuck in bed?

Do you need to work on finding a more healthy balance of sleep? Are you making the most of your day by wisely using the time God has given you? The Bible makes it clear that when we find a good balance of sleep we will benefit from it and that we need to use the time God has given us to work diligently for Him. An unruly sleep cycle can cost us our health, jobs, friendships and even make us feel so rushed that we forget to spend time with the One who allowed us to live another day! When you wake up each morning, thank God for the opportunity He's given you to use that day for Him. Then, instead of turning over and going back to sleep, jump out of bed and begin your day. Because, when it comes down to it, if you snooze, you lose.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Get Rooted

To me, one of the most beautiful things to see is a mountain side covered with trees. It's as if the mountain comes alive as the squilions of trees sway back and forth synchronized with the movement of the wind. Even more amazing is the way God has designed trees to stand as tall as they do without falling over. A tree's roots attach to the soil beneath and give the tree nutrients and stability. Not only that, but a tree's roots prevent erosion by stabilizing the soil around them and also improve the quality of water by slowing and filtering rain.

Collosians 2:6-7 says, "And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." As Christians, the only reason why we are able to stand tall in God's presence is because of our decision to root ourselves in Christ. Through this decision we have been given the amazing opportunity of beautifully showing the world God's gift of His grace.

But what does it mean to be rooted in Christ? When storms come and go in our lives, if we are rooted in Christ, we will filter all that we experience through "the truth [we] were taught" by Him and allow Him to produce in us what it is He wants. There is no doubt that, because we live in a fallen world, we will face situations that will challenge our allegiance to Christ on a day to day basis. However, since Christ is our foundation, our "faith will grow strong" and we will be able to pull all spiritual nutrients that we will ever need from Him. He will provide the stability we need in order to face anything that comes our way and nothing will ever be able to snatch us from His love (Romans 8:38-39).

Growing our roots in Christ isn't only a benefit for us, it also benefits those who have yet to come to Him. In a world filled with evil "erosion", we should be a constant erosion deterrent for those around us. Others should be able to tell that we are rooted in Christ by the way we act and talk. The less erosion those around us experience, the more likely they are going to be able to see the eternal benefits of rooting their lives in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Have your rooted your life in Christ? If so, are you stopping the evil erosion that plagues the world today? As Christians, we need to constantly spread our roots in Christ and allow the spiritual nutrients we receive from Him to cause an "overflow [of] thankfulness" in our lives. When we do, others will see the beauty of God's grace and they will be spurred on to check out the soil that only He can provide. As you go throughout your day, remind yourself that you are secure in Christ when He is your foundation and allow yourself to be moved by His will. Because one of the most beautiful things to God is seeing His "trees" swaying back and forth with the movement of the will of His Son.

This post was for my boy Josh.