sin, grace, and salvation

Achoo… – the germs of sinful influences

You know that saying about either being in the middle of a crisis, coming out of one, or headed into one? Well, in our house that seems to be true of colds. You are either getting over one, have one, or are coming down with one. Little miss Jayla is in the middle of one right now. Her brother, who struggles to share toys with his friend, had no problem sharing his cold. Have you ever tried to keep a three year old from loving his little sister? Nearly impossible. To Kemper, loving his sister means petting her face and smothering her with kisses, even if he covers her with snot and spit in the process. Yuck! A big brother’s love. As Jayla battles this cold, things are pouring out of her. Snot from her nose, drool from her mouth, tears dripping a stream from her eyes, and five dirty diapers in one day. The girl is a fount of bodily fluids. Since she seems to be losing a lot of fluids, it is important that I kept her feedings regular and pumping liquid into her. What I’m filling her up with is pretty important. Actually, it’s pretty important for my other kids, too, even when they’re not sick. I’m not talking about nutrition and hydration anymore. I’m talking about being aware of what I feed into my kids and those around me spiritually and emotionally. Sassy attitude, disrespect, and sometimes just plain meanness towards each other have been flowing out of my little ones lately. It’s a nasty slime seeping out in words and actions instead of through a dripping nose. I started to think about how I can help fight off this “cold” that seems to have infected my family. I realized that, like with Jayla, I need to pump the good stuff into them. God’s word has the antibiotic. Luke 6:45 states, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” So, I need to be filling my kids’ hearts with what I want to come out. I have to admit that I haven’t been doing that very well lately. Our nightly family devotions almost disappeared with basketball season, and we’ve missed church, Sunday school, and Awana a few times in the last month or so. Considering that what comes out of us, is a direct result of what goes in, I haven’t been very good about filling my kids’ hearts with the Lord so that what comes out of them reflects his love. The world and society try daily in so many ways to infect us, causing bad behavior and attitude to spew out. This “virus” isn’t only dangerous for kids, but we adults can become infected too. Our actions and attitudes reflect what we allow into our hearts and minds. When I feed my heart and soul with God’s word, his love is more likely to come out. When I fail to read my Bible daily, am I more likely to lose patience and get angry instead of showing God’s love? When I watch mainstream media, am I more likely to accept behavior that is clearly not godly? When I hear others using profane language, are those words more likely to find their way into my vocabulary? Yes, yes, and yes. When we put ungodly things into our bodies, ungodly things come out. I want to fill my kids up with the Lord, I want to fill up those around me with God’s love, but, first, I need to fill myself up. I need to take my daily dose of antibiotic consisting of quiet times with my Bible, relentless prayer, friends and family who support me and feed into me, and a constant awareness of the Lord. When we store up good in our hearts, we can share that good and God with those around us.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for always being available to fill me up with your love. I’m sorry for ignoring your word and your attempts to draw me closer. Please help me to fill up with you so that I may pour out your love to those around me.

Amen.  

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