Anyone who has mailed a letter lately knows that USPS markets a stamp that retains its mailing value for as long as you have it, regardless of any cost increases on regular stamps. That is a convenience and money saver for anyone who invests in enough stamps to last a long time. The book Transformation The Servant’s Heart–A Life of Faith has a similar value, according to one reader. This particular reader of the book is a prisoner sentenced to life in a prison in the United States. More important than his life sentence is the fact that he has been a believer in Christ for more than ten of those years. He may be confined by prison walls but he is spiritually free in Christ. His sentence lasts until his life ends or by some miracle he is paroled, but his freedom in the Lord lasts forever. After reading Transformation, he used it as a guide for a Bible study he conducts in the prison. He made this statement. Transformation is a “forever’ book. What he meant by that is that the truths considered in the subjects of the book are of unending value to any Christian who sincerely desires to live a real relationship with God. Anxiety, hypocrisy and pride are things that will forever plague us, but the power of God’s Word is everlasting and Transformation is based on the truth of God’s Word.
The title of this blog is true. Practicing enables anyone to do some something better. I had to take piano lessons when I was eight. They didn”t last long because I didn’t practice. However, many years later my lessons paid off. I knew something about music and it made my current interest in music much more easy and enjoyable. Although I’m getting along in years I am always learning to something new and different, and although I’m no expert I can do a lot of new things. On the flip side, however, it’s different. Jan and I moved to a different home recently. An important desire was for a shop because I have been learning to turn wood. Since our new home had no shop, we planned to build one. Since I was limited as to the cost the plan was small, but adequate. Thanks to God’s grace, the job is almost completed. Friends helped and a contractor worked with me. I have built things in the past, but I quickly discovered that the previous skills I had had faded away due to lack of practice. It was embarassing. While I was trying to think the next task out, someone else was already doing it. Finally I just relented to just doing what I was told. I think that the same thing often happens to us spiritually. We get so interested in something else, often worldly interests, that we lose sight of what we once knew of living a life for Christ. That’s when we should acknowledge that He is the qualified Master, the Director of the Way; we are His servants. The job gets done quicker and much better. You might check out my book, Transformation The Servant’s Heart–A Life of Faith. It’s purpose is to remind us of our relationship with God and help us practice a life of faith as His servant.
There is a saying about putting things off. It goes, “Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy and carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the “someday I’ll” philosophy.” Putting things off for fear of failure could be true as well. In either case the procrastinator is trying to avoid something that he or she doesn’t want to face, often by false presuppositions and self deceit. For the person who is contemplating becoming a follower of Jesus or for the Christian who is examining their relationship with Him, it is important to consider the consequences. “The Four Spiritual Laws” include the statement that “God has a wonderful plan for your life.” Nothing could be truer, but there is another aspect to consider. Accepting His plan includes the probability of persecution and suffering, but it is limited to this life. Not accepting His plan also brings suffering, but in this case it is eternal. In a relationship with God, He provides the power to deal with suffering. Without Him, you do it on your own. Don’t put off making the choice. Following Jesus pays off. He suffered for us by paying the extreme penalty for the sin of everyone. There is no way we can earn the forgiveness that He bought for us. It is by grace we are saved. Don’t wait. The suffering He allows in our lives strengthens us and draws us closer to Him. Then is when we begin to experience that wonderful plan He has for us. I spent the last three years in my Air Force career being ridiculed and accused simply because I was a believer in Christ. The final result was a stronger trust in God and the realization that I had procrastinated far too long in making the choice to follow Him.