• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Make An Effort, Not An Excuse

This weekend my niece came to town and we had the best time! She usually comes every summer and I look forward to that time with her. She is in college and works so it is hard for her to get a weekend off. After she left this time I was thanking God that she makes the effort to come here. If she did not make that effort, with all of the hustle and bustle of life, we would not have a relationship with her. She makes this trip a priority every summer and by making the effort to invest in our relationships we are able to make lots of memories and build a deeper relationship with each other!

One of the best investments we can make in our lives is our relationship to God. Life distracts us from focusing on God but we must quit making excuses and make efforts. Effort is the best indicator of interest. Matthew 6: 33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Jesus encourages us to put God first in our life. This verse promises us three things that we can trust when we make God our top priority. We become a member of a new family - the body of Christ. We are given a new life - a fulfilling life lived in the joy of knowing Jesus is our Lord and Savior. And we are given new freedom - we can live free of the burdens of sins that have been forgiven

God already loves us. 1 John 4: 10, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." God loved us first. God wants us to know Him and He is at work in everyone's life. Acts 17: 27, "God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us." God desires a relationship with us. Revelation 3: 20, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." He is knocking but we must make the effort to answer the door. We must get up, go over to the door and open it!

Faith in Christ gives us a two-way relationship of joy with God. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11: 6, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." God never said life would be easy as a Christian but He did make it clear that it would be beneficial. When we do things His way, He shows off! He reveals His glory and we are drawn to Him.

Make your relationship with God your highest priority, over everything and everyone else in your life. If you do this you will experience the fullness of God's blessings. When you make God your first priority you will want to participate in a local church. This is necessary to fully develop your relationship with Him. If you ask God, He will lead you to a healthy church where you can grow in your relationship with Him. Look for a church that preaches God's Word. Study the Bible and schedule daily time to focus and meditate on God's Word. Be still and listen for God's responses. Pray about everything. Worship God throughout your everyday life. Focus on His presence in the midst of your circumstances. Communicate with Him and thank Him for who He is and what He is doing.

Are you making excuses? Are you making the effort?


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