I wake up early--nearly every morning at 3:00 or 3:30. That’s New Mexico time. In Ohio it is 5:00 or 5:30 and for many years that was the time I got up to prepare for my day. I’m not a morning person, believe it or not, even though I get up early. I simply need those extra hours to get my mind and body in gear to work for the day.
Even discounting my problems with my knees and difficulty getting around, I still needed to move at my own unhurried pace, thinking my slow thoughts and drinking my coffee….and finally taking that slow and careful crutch-trip from my back door to the garage. I won’t claim to have done much meditating or bible reading during that time. My mind barely put coherent thoughts together to remember to put my glasses on! Don’t reproach me, just realize that I’ve never been a quick starter. I did and still do a lot of staring into space until my mind comes up to speed.
Now, I no longer have to be someplace at some specific time, but after all those years of getting up at five o'clock my body is adapted to the early wake-up time. And now, no matter where I am, I guess my internal clock still runs on Ohio time. So now here at Notah's house I still wake up at 3:00 AM but I can spend the time doing other things besides getting up and dressed. I play the news or creationscapes (quiet hymns and gospel music accompanied by a background of scenery and scripture) or something else lulling and sit here thinking or sometimes putting myself back to sleep.
This morning I was thinking about how people serve the Lord and how some seem to step into living for Him and go onward and upward,never looking back while others seem to embrace the concept of salvation but never really make a success of pursuing godliness. Some set out to serve the Lord with joy and commitment but others treat it as a arduous task. Some struggle over certain things but persevere to victory. Others just don't seem to make any effort to triumph over sin or questions in their Christian life. The first group continues to grow and prosper in the Lord. The second group is up and down in their experience, even, at times, losing out with the Lord entirely, but professing highly all the while.
I came to the conclusion, simplistic maybe, but still here it is: It all depends on how much we love the Lord. Jesus said of the woman who broke the box of ointment over Him, Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. How much we are willing to do for God depends on how much we love Him. How much we love Him depends on our perception of how sinful we were.
If we have truly seen ourselves as God saw us before our salvation, we are overwhelmed by the sacrifice Christ offered for us in spite of our unworthiness. (while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ) In many church buildings across our country today there is no firm characterization of sin preached. “Sin” is an amorphous concept, an unspecified, mysterious something bad that God hates. There is nothing specific about it so when a soul does come to God through a sincere desire to know Him the person has no concept of their own sin. It is just something for which they have to say they are sorry.
In other church buildings, there are pastors who are true to the souls of the flock. They not only give their flock a firm characterization of sin, but they present specifics. And with that preaching comes a perception of our sinfulness before God and firm conviction. THEN when we come to God in repentance we truly realize the depth and breath of our sin and with forgiveness comes a great love for God. That love is so great that we refuse to let anything interfere with our devotion and service. And like the woman we love Him much.
Thank the Lord for faithful ministers in His Church!