Wednesday, July 8
Apostles' Creed Focus
“The third day he rose again from the dead”
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” - Ephesians 2:8-10
You know the outlook of your day isn’t the greatest when you're looking forward to the end before it even starts. For myself, this was most characterized in parts of my high school summers working landscaping. Everyday we would start work before the sun rose and would arrive home close to when the sun set. Those were long, hot, days of labor. I dreaded every morning waking up and could not wait until that part of my summer was over. I wished I could fast forward though that time and move on to something better, greater, or more fulfilling. I never felt like those days held much purpose at the time.
The problem with my attitude was I never took into consideration that not only do our lives have purpose, but our days do as well. As Ephesians 2:8-10 explains, we don’t work to earn our salvation, but we certainly work out of how our salvation has changed us. Everyday as a Christian is a chance to live out the hope we have been given because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. There is never a period of time when God isn’t working in and around us.
For some, this may mean a changing of mindset in a season that seems to be full of waiting. Waiting for a better career, for a suitable spouse to show, for a trial to be over, or for something more fulfilling to come along. For others, this might mean seeking out how God is working in monotony because if we are honest with ourselves, everyday life isn’t a highlight reel and we set ourselves up to fail if we expect it to be.
Everyday for the Christian holds purpose because of the hope we carry. This hope should propel us to be driven to live a life of fruitful good works and worship to God. No day is a waste of time. We never know how our daily interactions will go with others or what God will show us when we least expect it. Are there days you’ve wanted to skip recently and if so, why is this? How can you shift perspectives in seeing purpose in every day? No matter the day or time, there is a reason and place for it in the Christian life.
Lord thank you for making all aspects of my life purposeful. Thank you for providing meaning to every one of my days. Let me find ways to grow closer to you, disciple others, and live a life shaped out of the hope I find in you. Amen.
Verses for Further Reflection
1 Timothy 6:6-7, Matthew 6:19-21
Hold out a handful of pennies. Ask which one is worth the most. Hopefully they will say, "They are all worth the same!"
Pretend to argue with them that you think the shiniest ones are worth more than the dirty or old worn pennies. Finally ask them how they know they are each worth the same. Answers may vary, but lead them to understand that they are "all pennies" and that each one is marked with the value of "one cent."
Just like all these pennies are the same, we as people, as human beings, as God's highest creation are the same.
God has marked each of us with His image. Even when that image became damaged by sin, God valued us. Our value and worth to Him did not change - so much so that Jesus came to die for each one of us. God deemed each of us worthy of sending His son to die for our sin.
Just like these pennies, He didn't wait for us to get all shiny and clean. We are of worth to Him even while we are dirty and dingy.
Because we are of such value and worth to God, He sent Jesus to die in our place because of our sin. Jesus took our punishment. All God asks is that we turn away from going away from Him and come back to Him by believing and trusting in Jesus. In God we trust.
Encourage your kids to remember each time they see a penny that they matter to God. He loves and values them and wants them to put their trust in Him every day. Also remind them that every person matters to God; therefore, they should also matter to us.