Life is to death as death is to Life.  Billy Graham once said, “From the moment we are born, we begin to die.”  Life is a reflection and it is important to understand what, who, and how we are reflecting.  This comes by what we read, listen to, and watch, who we hang out with, and how we handle our priorities and situations.  What do our lives revolve around?  It is natural for us to seek with our minds and hearts for temporary pleasures that last for a brief amount of time.  It is supernatural for us to seek with our minds and hearts for spiritual matters that will last for eternity.  We cannot make it through life on our own.  Robert W. Youngs pointed out that “Sir Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Prize-winning poet, once said, “I have on my table a violin string.  It is free.  But it is not free to do what a violin string is supposed to do—to produce music.  So I take it, fix it in my violin and tighten it until it is taut.  Only then is it free to be a violin string.”  By the same token we are free when our lives are committed, but not to be what we were intended to be.  Real freedom is not freedom from, but freedom for.”  In this life, we have freedom to grow.  Carl Jung has stated that “Growth at all levels must include spiritual development as its most subtle and valuable aspect.  The life of the spirit, manifest in the consciousness, must evolve in accordance with certain principles and forms, which, in turn, must be related to all the other levels of human existence.  If they were unequal or detached, life could not continue.” 

I highly encourage the reader to click the following link and watch this 11 minute skit:

I love this video.  When we accept Jesus Christ in our lives and have complete trust in Him, God takes all of the junk in our lives and begins making us the way we were intended to be, just like Jesus.  Unfortunately for us, it does not happen overnight.  While we are living on this earth, we will continue to be a work in progress.  God gave us mountains so that we can learn how to climb.  Every mountain has a valley to go through.  We are never alone when we go through valleys or when we are at the lowest point of the mountain because God is there through it all.  He is with us and for us through our entire lives and the question is will we trust Him enough to let Him work THROUGH us in addition to working ON us?

It is all too easy to live in the lie that we have to earn love.  Maybe we do this because that is the impression we got growing up at home or maybe from past experiences with relationships.  It is time to examine our minds, our hearts, and our ways and return to the LORD.  Grace is needed to save, it is needed to grow, and it is needed for love.  Grace realized is glory defined.  Grace realized is glory shown.  Now is the time to repent to connect. Repent from “stinking thinking.”  Connect to God’s love.  Let us stop trying to earn and start to receive.  Let us immerse ourselves in the love God has for us and so desperately wants to show us. 

1 John 4:7-16 declares, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us:  He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  This is how we know that we live in him and he in us:  He has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.”

Galatians 2:19-21 declares, “For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me.  So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God.  My old self has been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless.  For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”

2 Corinthians 4:14-18 says, “We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you.  All of this is for your benefit.  And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.  That is why we never give up.  Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.   For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!   So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

Matthew 6:25-34 says, “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the sky:  They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Aren’t you worth more than they?  Can any of you add a single cubit to his heightby worrying?  And why do you worry about clothes?  Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these!  If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith?  So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’  For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first the kingdom of Godand His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.  Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” 

A.W. Tozer once said that “things do not just happen in the kingdom of God, they come to pass.”  The Message version of Matthew 6:25-34 says:  “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?  What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.  People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.  Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.  Don’t worry about missing out.  You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

This 11 minute video of Jars of Clay singing “Worlds Apart” seems to be an appropriate ending for this entry.  I encourage the reader to play the video with your eyes closed and listen to and meditate to the words of the song: