Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving ~ Going Deeper

I was walking in the woods near our home a few years ago when it came to me – echo, aroma, reflection – e.a.r. These three words are the essence of three important principles of life for me and formed an acrostic that highlighted a fourth.

Echo is one of the words in Eugene Peterson’s translation of I Thessalonians 1:8, “your life is echoing the Master’s words”.
Aroma or fragrance is found in II Corinthians 2:14, “through us spreads the fragrance (aroma) of the knowledge of him everywhere”.
One of my favorite reflection verses is II Corinthians 3:18, “And, we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory,” (NIV)
E.A.R. – My ear is the part of my anatomy that enables listening. If I am going to be an echo, the aroma, and a reflection of Christ to my world, I need to be listening to him.

I am thankful for the Word.
I am thankful that I hear God speak through his Word.
I am thankful that his words are personal.

Do I really believe them? I Thessalonians 1:8, II Corinthians 2:14 and 3:18 all are speaking about me. I am the echo; I am the aroma; I am the reflection that pictures Jesus to my world. I’m reminded of a simple poem I heard years ago,
You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do and the words that you say,
Men read what you write, distorted or true,
What is the gospel according to you?

Even more than my deeds and words (those things I do) is who I am. Is the echo of my life, the aroma of my life, the reflection of my life a picture of the gospel?

One way I answer that question is to consider what I am thankful for. Am I thankful for the way God created me? Am I thankful for my life story? Am I thankful for the message God is giving me? Am I thankful that I cry easily? Am I thankful for the times I hurt? Am I thankful for the ministry God is giving me? Am I willing to be thankful when I don’t feel thankful?

“give thanks in all circumstances;”
I Thessalonians 5:18

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