Thursday, April 7, 2016

Striving Thriving Thursday

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 98: Today, I am grateful for a thriving Thursday. 

We were not created to survive, but to thrive. Thursday gets a pretty tough rap. All focus turns to Friday, but there are 24 hours in this day to be spent carefully and thoughtfully. 

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. - Romans 12:1

It took me years to come to terms with this verse. "To present you bodies as a living sacrifice" brought visions of Christian martyrs for the cross. I was not sure I could stand up to the test, so I felt like a failure. I first memorized it for VBS but it was simply words. I am glad I did, because when we memorize as a child, we keep it in our hearts, and eventually the meaning becomes more clear. 

Yes, following Christ can mean a sacrifice, but the word "sacrifice" stuns us and we miss the sweetness of this little morsel... and miss reading it in context. Let's read on a bit more.  

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. - Romans 12:2-4

Yes, we were not created to just survive...but to we present our lives, our being and our every breath to His service. Not just in submission (although, Christ modeled submission to God's will) but in surrender as we offer up our lives to His service. 

We were each uniquely designed...DNA proves that...if you are a science person and need proof. We all have talents, resources and opportunities to serve. Do we give a little time out of guilt and obligation ... or do we choose to come alive in service to our Lord? It is a choice...a powerful one. 

Non-conformist by the world's standards...we choose to be held to a higher standard, not by the laws of man, but the word of God. And in that service, remaining humble... "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think" . 

Thursday is not a day to tie a knot and hang on, but another precious day of breath. It is another day to learn, shape and embrace the plans He has for us. How can we choose to thrive today? 

Let's embrace "the best Thursday of the week"...and make it an offering.  Fill that coffee cup (again, if necessary) and saddle up for this fifth day of the week. Pack some friendly encouragement for friends along the way. Be you were created to succeed in His service. Sing, dance, draw, teach, wash, scrub, write, calculate, build, cut hair, wrangle children, cook and work to His glory. There is contentment in the "living sacrifice". There is life in the sacrifice!  

In a nutshell...this Romans passage spotlights the joy found when we seek to make this life not "about me" but "about Him". We can choose to let our spirits worship him in all that we do. 

Adding an Old Testament connection reminds me that our Lord does not change. This is a great verse for a Thrusday:

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” - Isaiah 6:8

Not always easy...but always satisfying. 

Ear Worm is awake and singing ApologetiX "Follow Me" (a parody on the Uncle Kracker tune) based on James life. I think it is my favorite ApologetiX song. (Thank Teater family for hooking me)  

Today, I am grateful to be striving for a thriving Thursday.

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