Laying Down Our LivesWhat sometimes holds you back from laying down your life for others?
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The Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching, and I will certainly carry out all My plans” (v.12).
Last spring I planted an herb garden, even though I don’t have a “green thumb.” In fact, I only sporadically watered the plants when their environment reached desertlike conditions. But, fortunately, I was able to enjoy cooking with the fresh fruits of my labor throughout the summer. A year later, though, I looked out at my garden and realized that my garden—like my life—was in a different phase. The mint had taken over, some herbs were completely wiped out, and others were barren stalks. I decided it was a good season to pull them up.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 teaches us that life also moves in seasons. Although the truths found in God’s Word are unchanging, He uses varying methods at different times to accomplish His purposes. Our role as His people is to hear His voice, understand the times, and know how to respond (1 Chronicles 1:32; John 10:4).
Although biblical truths are universal, the application of them can be individualistic and personal. The things He asks of you may not be the things He is asking of someone else.
Even in the church, we can easily get caught up in comparing ourselves with others and feeling threatened if God is moving someone in a different way than what we’re experiencing. We may even go so far as to judge others by our personal preferences or our individual relationship with Jesus rather than by Scripture. Jeremiah 1 reminds us:
• God knew what we would do in His kingdom even before we were born (v.5).
• God has called us as individuals and will help us complete our work for Him (vv.7-9).
• Our role is to obey His Word; His is to bring it to pass (Isaiah 55:11).
When have you been lonely because God called you to do something different than those around you? How can we discern between biblical standards and individual calling?
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