God wants us to have a goal to GROW

Did you know that every person matters to God? Every one of us!
It doesn’t matter if you are black, white, Hispanic, purple, or polka-dotted. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, educated or not. It is not about what you can do for God. It is about what God did for you. It is about the Cross. It is about what God did for you because He loved you so much. It is the message of the Cross.
At LFA, we have been having a “Selfie” series of messages. As Pastor Jeremy said today, “Check your selfie before you wreck your selfie!” I think that means to take inventory of our lives.
In Ephesians 5:15, the Bible tells us to be careful how we live. We are to make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.
We have the ability to wreck our lives. No one plans on wrecking their lives or their marriage. They just don’t plan NOT to! Think about it! If we don’t work on making our lives and marriage better, they will decline.
We are to be careful how we live and how we walk. We are to be wise. There are certain things that we just should not do. If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it! If you know it isn’t right, then don’t even go there!
We are to slow down and think about God, and be cautious how we walk. Think and pray before you act.
Have you ever been driving along the road, and made a stupid mistake by not paying attention? Maybe hit the guardrail or concrete abutment? I hate to admit it, but I once kinda bounced off of one. Yikes!
The guard rails along the road system are along the roads to keep us from straying into dangerous off limit areas. As was in my case, it is better to bounce off guard rails instead of going off a cliff!
As in driving, it is with life. We need to set up guard rails or boundaries in our lives. We need to be intentional in our lives. We need to set goals for self, family, finances, etc. We also need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. God wants us to stay sensitive but also do what He has already told us to do.
There is an acrostic for what we are to do:
G- What is the goal?
R- What is reality?
O- What are the obstacles?
W- What do you believe God wants you to do?
God has the answers to all of it. He does not want us to be foolish. He wants us to understand what
God’s will is. We may deceive ourselves and others deceive us, but God says, “You know better than that.”
We are to listen to God and set boundaries. We are to not have excessive indulgence in alcohol, sex, food, money, material things, etc. We are to live within a healthy margin and be careful.
We are to be filled with the Spirit and hunger and thirst after righteousness.
The main way to check ourselves is to give ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We are to understand His will for our lives and be wise.
We are to intentionally raise Spirit-filled children. As parents, that is our responsibility!
We need to live lives of integrity too. If we walk in integrity at church, we need to do so in our work and our dealings with others and even our family.
If you are a leader in a church, you are held to a higher standard because others look at you as a model.
It may not be fair, but it is what it is.
It is time for us as Christians to clean house. We need to make wrongs right and if needed, ask for forgiveness.
I once knew a guy who was a robber before he became a Christian. Once he got saved, he went back to those he had robbed and made restitution. Perhaps some of us need to go back and ask for forgiveness and make restitution.
This week’s homework assignment is to take inventory of our lives and make corrections where needed. We are to set up some guard rails, and if necessary, ask for forgiveness and make restitution.
If we are faithful and ask for repentance, God forgives and will bless us for our faithfulness. Now blessed is a good place to be!
Be blessed, my friends. Keep life between the guard rails!

Jan Allbritton is a Diboll resident who teaches at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School.