Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday Snippets

Here are my notes from church today:

There sermon today was on Luke 4:1-13 which is on the temptation of Christ.  Basically Jesus goes out in to the dessert because God led him there and then he is tempted by the devil for 40 days all while he is not eating anything.  First the devil tells him to turn a stone into a loaf of bread to prove he is the Son of God.  Jesus says "no, the scriptures say people do not live by bread alone".  Then the devil shows him all the kingdoms of the world and says he will give Jesus authority over all of them if he will worship him.  Jesus says "The scriptures say you must worship the Lord your God and serve only him."  Then the devil takes him up on top of a mountain and pretty much dares him to jump off saying that scriptures said God's angels would protect him and not let him get hurt."  Jesus refused saying "The scriptures also say "You must not test the Lord your God."

That is faith.  When temptation is strong, believing God's word and knowing you will get through it.  But you know what the best news of all is?  Even if you fail a million times, God will not love you any less.  There is nothing you can do that will make God love you any more or any less than He does right now.

I loved how JD related these to three temptations we face in today's world:
1. Prioritizing the gifts of God above God Himself
2. To go around God to get the will of God
3. To interpret God through your circumstances rather than God's word

You may have also noticed I have a countdown to Easter on my sidebar with the days remaining in Lent noted.  I gave up smoking for Lent.  I can't even talk about it.  I'm embarrassed that I even do it in the first place.  I am afraid I am going to fail.  I am sad, because as bad as it sounds, those 4-5 cigarettes I had between getting home from work and bedtime were my friends, my comfort.  I miss it.  I'm cranky and moody and sad and scared.  All over stupid cigarettes.  And it was only a few a day.  You would think it wouldn't be so bad.  But I haven't had a puff since Tuesday.

I don't know how this is going to turn out.  I don't know if I will last until Easter.  And then once I get to Easter, I don't know if I will never pick up a cigarette again or what.  But today I was filled with comfort knowing that no matter what happens it won't make God love me any more or any less than He already does.

Oh, and please a note to non-smokers:  Please don't be so judgmental of smokers.  Smokers know what they are doing is bad for them.  Most of them have internal struggles with it that you can not imagine.  We already feel bad enough about ourselves so please don't make it worse.  In fact, I think that can be said for most people in general, even the cocky ones.  Most of us are our own harshest critics and the last thing we need is someone else to tear us down.  What most of us desperately need is someone to build us up.  Maybe today you could say the kind or encouraging word that could make all the difference to someone in your life.

In the end it's not about behavior modification, it's about heart change.

And please bear with may be a few moody, bumpy, cynical weeks for me.


Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

You can do it! I'm sure the first week is going to be rough (as you have already figured out) but just remind yourself why you're doing it and that should help. Have you tried any gum or anything like that?
Good luck! You can do this!

Jess said...

Wow all of your comment and totally agree about faith and that no matter how many times that you fail God will always be there and loves us no matter what.

BTW totally agree with the smokers things, I used to smoke, gave up cold turkey just under two years ago, and i agree with everything that you said.