Sunday, January 18, 2009

Focus Empowers

Strong, bold confidence is coming into me as I honor the focus I sense is pleasing to God. My focus is aligned to my call. All Christians are called...in the sense of Romans 1:6-7. We are called to belong to Jesus Christ and to live holy lives. It is only through experiencing the indwelling Christ and understanding our respective callings, that the Christian will be able to live his or her life with poise and purpose, and confidence.

I am making changes (some are quite painful and feel risky) to write as I answer God's call in my life. This week I received some payback for all that obedience. I interviewed my first Christian ex-offender for an article in our first prison newsletter. I told him I wanted more than an encouragement for the time when the inmate will be released. I am keenly aware that lifers and death row inmates will read these newsletters. Many of them are Christians. He lit up with a light in his eyes as he told me, "Kay, I wasn't saved until I was arrested. I was unchurched and in the county jail I encountered Jesus Christ. I had never known such peace and joy in my life. I spent 7 + years in prison, but every day with Jesus in prison was better than any day free in the world without Him."

As I heard him go on and on about life in Christ compared to the best the world offers, I was convicted of my lack of gratitude daily for my salvation and life in Christ. Have I ever thanked God for salvation ....even if I were to end up in a prison cell? Oh, this narrowing my life to make room to become God's scribe is intense, but I am already blessed beyond compare with the witness of my first subject of my first article.

I'm walking in my gift from God; in the church in the Kingdom of God. I'm focusing on that gift in Christ; praying to be operate in strong gentleness with God's people. Ephesians 2:19b -22 "...members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."

My focus to please God above all else has led to Holy Spirit leading me to the need in my church that matched the gift working in my spirit for a place to work. Yes, focus means cutting away things that don't line up with the main thing; but oh, what a joy to be concentrating on the main thing: Jesus Christ alive in me in His Body: the dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

3 comments:

Bringer of Peace said...

Thanks for sharing your focus. I found it interesting about the man considering it better 'in prison' with God. It reminded me of my brother-in-law in one respect. He already loved the Lord but is incarcerated, we believe, unjustly. It has been a challenge for him, but on the other hand, other prisoners have been 'blessed' by his witness and life.

Thanks again for sharing.

Chatty Kelly said...

What an amazingly mature Christian who came out of jail. Good words today Kay. Praise God that I don't have to experience a prison cell to know him, and forgive me Lord for the days I take you for granted!

Scott said...

You've really warmed my heart and allowed me to obtain just a little more patience! Thank you so much.

It helped me to hear that you are having to make changes, lots of changes it sounds like, in order to fulfill the purpose God has set forth for you.

It helped me to hear of your rewards for being obedient to him. Then I see you realize that you are "cutting away" things that don't line up with that purpose. Oh, it just fills me with excitement!

I'm soon going to be making a major change. Going to change career's, God willing. And I'm certain that he is. Christian Counseling is where my path seems to be leading me. Something keeps holding me back. Fear, worry, wonder. I'm sure they are all a part of it. Now, I'm not so sure it isn't God himself saying, "Whoa, buddy! We got some other things to do first." So exciting!

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.