Long walks and bike rides have been P.E. at the Jung Homeschool this week. Warm days and new spring life sprouting up and down the sidewalks from our house to the downtown riverfront call us outdoors. We respond with a passion, a camera, bikes and a scooter.
I remember why spring is my favorite season. Warm air, sunshine and flowers deliver joy and hope.
New life all around me. It calls me to step, more easily, into joy.
Do I realize, though, that new life is already going on in me every moment and every day? It’s as real and as glorious as this gorgeous ground covering I photographed the other day.
As my husband prepares to preach through the book of John over the next months, I soak up his thoughts. We talk in the mornings and on our drives in the car. He inspires me, reminding me that we once said that we wanted to live life as a NHANE (nawnee) family. An acronym he coined for us to help us remember to live like a “New Heavens And New Earth Family.” A very high calling…to live life as we would in eternity. A life where we will never again sin against each other. It’s not our expectation to do that perfectly, but more of a vision of what we long to see in our family. A vision that life in our home would be a foretaste of what heaven will be like.
What gives him…us…the boldness to even think we could pray for that or live like that at any moment in our day?
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” – John 20:31
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -John 10:10
The book of John was written so that would believe and so that, in believing, we’d have LIFE! What does this mean to have new life in His name and to have that to the full? Does it mean simply eternal life?
We have new life in Jesus’ name NOW. NEW life in THIS life!
“17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” -2 Corinthians 5:17
But how do we do this? Because my family didn’t just have sweet times tiptoeing through the tulips this week. We had our moments, you know what I mean?
It’s as simple…and as hard as…turning our minds to Jesus.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” -Hebrews 12:1-3
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life,appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” -Colossians 3:1-4
Are you and I setting our minds on Jesus and heavenly things?
What does that mean anyway? I’ve always thought Philippians 4 gives good guidance in what to set my mind to.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” -Philippians 4:6-9
Here are some questions I’m trying to ask myself regularly. I’d love to hear your thoughts on and answers to these questions!
What are some things you’re rejoicing over today? There should be some!
What are some things you’re NOT rejoicing over today? Are they making you anxious? Have you prayed?
Have you given thanks for anything lately?
What is something noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy you could set your mind upon?
I’d love to hear what these types of things are for you. A special promise of God that you meditate on? A command? A truth? An attribute of God? Please share!
You can expect the God of Peace to bless you with His peace as you think upon these things. It will guard your heart and your mind.
May the promises and truths about God and who we are in Him empower you to live the Christian life. May they sweetly sprinkle your path as these flower petals sprinkled mine this week!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -John 10:10Linking up with these lovely bloggers this next week: