Get in the shower…
Locate a bulldozer to shovel my husband out of bed…
Wake up three sleepy girls with extreme bed head that even a brush is challenged by…
Break up a fight about who gets to hold the Hannah Montana movie in the car…
Get into a wardrobe war with a 5 and 6 year old…
Once the clothes are on, try to limit the spills of apple cinnamon oatmeal that usually takes a tumbling nose-dive off the spoon and into someone’s lap…
In the background, hearing my husband’s chants of, “Are you ready yet…?”
Push down the horns that are beginning to emerge from the top of my head…
Find socks and shoes that actually match…
Throw a few coats on and we are perfectly ready to go!
The great news is that when God calls us, we don’t have to be perfectly ready. God calls the unprepared and the unqualified. The Bible tells us He prepares and qualifies us as He calls us (see Col. 1:12). The main ingredient begins with our heart. Is it a willing heart? Is it a pure heart? If this main ingredient is present, you will hear from God (see Matt. 5:8). If we are available to God in a maximum way, we will be, “transformed into the same image from glory to glory just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18) which will enable us to then, “walk worthy of the calling” (Eph. 4:1-3).
He chose us out of the world (John 15:19) because we are His treasured possession (see 1 Peter 2:9). We were chosen as His dearly loved children even from the beginning of time (2 Thess. 2:13). Isn’t it nice to know that God had something special in mind when He saved us? God handpicked us for a specific purpose. Our personal journeys and life experiences whether good or bad make us perfect for a life that is on mission with Him.
When we feel less than adequate and unworthy to be called, we can be reassured that, “He will instruct us the way chosen for us” (Ps. 25:12). He gives us the desire and power to do what pleases Him (Phil 2:13) so that He can complete the good work he began in us.
When God initiates the call, it is not always about the “wow factor.” It is usually for the purpose of changing us, growing us, strengthening us and molding us into His perfect image–into people with more than just a mere knowledge of God. It is to stretch us beyond Sunday morning. It is to develop in us a heart that anticipates and expects to experience Christ during the week.
Why does he call us? That is simple! He calls us because He loves us. He draws near to us so that we can have eternal life, which is to “know Him and Jesus Christ whom He sent” (John 17:3). From Genesis to Revelation, God speaks to His people. Who are these “people,” he calls? The Bible says, “all are called” (see Rom. 1:5-6). The very moment you received Christ in your life, you were releasing your life to be used anyway that God would choose! Since we are all called by God, the only difference is the type of assignment He gives each one of us. So when the God of the universe comes knocking, lets be one of those who is ready to hear, know, grow, and go!
Pint-sized voices giggling, tea cups clinking, 5 pairs of feet stomping, bells ringing—those were some of the sounds drifting from my daughter’s overcrowded bedroom. Next, I heard small voices whispering, “I’ll take this one and you take that one, I’ll swap you this one for that one!” Then, the door flung open and the commotion was put on hold as they all sashayed out of the bedroom. I asked my children and their friends what they were doing. With an accomplished look on their faces and eyes gleaming, they replied, “We are swapping toys!” Later, it was decided that swapping toys might not be such a good idea. Someone had aggressively forced an overpriced American Girl doll outfit and fuzzy pink slippers on an oversized one-eyed teddy bear. The Ken doll, who was once very dashing and fully clothed, had not only lost his self-respect and his one true love (Barbie) but his head too! As I explained to the girls that this ritual needed to be discontinued effective immediately, something clicked in my head. I advised them that someone might receive and “uneven swap,” and that person would be very sad.
I thought to myself, Jesus made a very uneven “swap” for us at Calvary’s cross. He, being the perfect sacrifice, “took our sins away by nailing them to the cross,” (Col. 2:14). There on that lonely hill, Jesus, the “visible image of an invisible God” (see Col. 1:15) said, “Do you want to swap with me?” I imagine Jesus saying to us, “If you will only believe in me, love me and commit wholeheartedly to me, I will swap your sin for my righteousness. Jesus was definitely “short-changed” when He “swapped” His righteousness for our sin. He was short-changed but that did not effect how He loved us. He, being man and God all at once, “passed on to us what was most important”—the gift of salvation (See 1 Cor. 15:3). In this uneven exchange, God equipped us so that we could “know” Him, relate to Him and experience Him everyday.
I had my daughter sit down and draw the picture shown above (picture inspired by Rev. Bob Tebow). A cross, a picture of her and the swapping of her sin for God’s righteousness. I explained that like the exchanging of toys, she emptied out an oversized bucket containing all the bad stuff she had ever done or ever will do into Jesus’ perfect and mighty hands. In return He tightly clothed her with all of His goodness, all of His righteousness. She didn’t have to do anything to receive this uneven swap…it was free. It was as if she gave Jesus a dirty old rag and in return He gave her the most beautiful princess gown she could ever imagine! Why? Because Romans 3:24 tells us, “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous.” God gave Jesus the ultimate assignment which was to “die for our sin,” (1 Cor. 15:3). That way when God looks at us, he no longer sees the stain of our sin but Jesus’ glistening love shining in and through us!
God, the Bible says your thoughts are precious about me (see ps. 139:17) and my prayers are like incense before you (see Rev. 5:8). You are with me at all times (Ps. 139:18). You promise that you will “always go ahead of me,” never abandon me or forsake me (see Deut. 31:6). Search me Lord and know my heart. Thank you for your, “overflowing redemption,”(Ps. 131:7). Please speak through me as I teach my children about your undeniable love for them.
(By: Dr. Tim Kimmel)
“Your name is known to every generation” (Ps. 135:13).
1. Look at your calendar. How much of your time do you spend nurturing an “others-oriented,” attitude with your children?
2. Look at your checkbook. How much goes to serving others rather than yourself?
3. Look at your attitude. What makes you feel like you are doing a great job at raising your kids?
4. Look at your heart. What are the things that bring joy and satisfaction to you and your family?
5. Look at your reputation. How would your friends, co-workers, teachers, and neighbors characterize your priorities?
6. How much TIME are you spending with your kids?
I nitiative for