Let’s talk about what it means to be PLUGGED IN. I asked Cort to explain how electricity works to me in layman’s terms. He said this:
“Electrons are bumping into each other. Electricity has a supply source pushing it and it has to be grounded in order for it to work. It takes pressure to get the electricity to move to the ground. Without the ground it won’t move.”
This reminded me of the scripture from Ephesians 3:17 “Then Christ will live in you through faith. I also pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation.”
We are rooted and grounded in love. Just like electricity needs a ground to move and produce energy-we do too. Our ground is Jesus Christ and the only way we can be energized to do His work is to be plugged into God’s Holy Word. God IS our power source. The only way we can be energized is to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He came to this earth to show us how to live for Him. He shows us time after time that our answers are in scripture. It is only when we take the words of this book and fill our hearts with them that we will know the Truth. When we know the Truth we begin to live, walk and work in it.
Romans 12 says that we should be a living sacrifice-holy and pleasing to God. We are to dedicate our lives to pleasing God out of our LOVE for Him. When we get plugged in we learn how to do this. It takes time, commitment, discipline, patience and yes, accountability! This is why it is so important to be in fellowship with other believers. The Body of Christ. It comes with hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth, and purpose. The purpose is to make disciples- to teach, to love, to nurture, to grow and to help others fall in love with Jesus.
We learn through God’s Word what it means to be the hands and feet of the Body of Christ. Like a beautiful flower in the garden that starts as a seed, we are watered, nurtured and fed. When the time is right, then weBLOOM! It takes a dedicated gardener to get us to this point. Blooming is a process. When we bloom we become the hands and feet of Christ out of love. We don’t do things out of a sense of duty, but because we are rooted and grounded in love. Out of love we cook food for the hungry at Lamb’s table and we fill backpacks with food for kids to take home, kids who may not have a meal all weekend long. In compassion we visit the sick and lonely in the nursing homes and hospital. We go out into our communities as missionaries to serve God to others in the way that they need it. I don’t think Jesus wanted to die the way he did, but He knew that was the way that we needed it. Selfless love. We were created to BE, we were made to DO and we were told to GO.
In Deuteronomy 6:4 we are told this Truth: “The Lord is our God. The Lord is the only God. 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “
To me this means I am to love God and God alone. The first book of Genesis tells us that he is the source of life. “ In the beginning GOD created….” He is my Creator, my power source, and my outlet. I must plug myself into Him in order to do the rest! In order to love Him with ALL of my heart–not just part of it. In order to love Him with all of my soul–not just a piece it. In order to love Him with every ounce of strength that I have and then some. But how do I do these things when I know can’t do them alone?
Matthew 19:26 says: “With man, that is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.” Without God I can do nothing. But with God all things can be done! This is why we must plug ourselves INTO the power outlet of God Almighty!Once we plug into God’s power then the gifts that he has poured into us will begin to come to life.
We all need help coming to life-just as Lazarus needed help being unwrapped. It takes others to help us unwrap and we cannot do it alone. We aren’t meant to. Jesus commanded the friends of Lazarus to unwrap him-why? Because Lazarus was just standing there, in bondage with no control over the situation and all he could do was wait for his friends to begin to take the wrapping off. Can you imagine being Lazarus? Peering out from behind the smelly, stinky, itchy, cloth of the grave? After 3 days of death I can only imagine that there were a few bugs up inside those wrappings…If I were Lazarus I would have had my eyes wide open screaming, “Let me outta here so I can tell everyone what my God has done for me! He really does love me and yes, he can use a dead man!” Imagine being Lazarus… waiting and watching for his friends to move….what would have happened if no one moved? He’d still be wrapped up and in bondage! He couldn’t do anything, but his friends loved him enough to do it for him and when Jesus told them to take off the grave clothes and let him go they did!
I saw Lazarus this week with my own eyes. Not the Lazarus in scripture but someone resembling him. You see I am involved with a group of people who go out and serve the needy. On this particular occasion a family needed help moving. A family that none of us knew. They had been evicted. The father is out of work, the mother is deaf and the young son has a seizure disorder. They had no vehicle and they had to move their belongings about a mile away. 6 of us went to help this family move yesterday, but the funny thing is we didn’t help them, they helped us! I’ll never forget it, ever. When we pulled up and got out of our vehicles the man came running up to us with a big grin on his face and he said, “ you all are awesome, I can’t believe you are doing this. I am so thankful that you are here. We didn’t know what we were going to do.” Later on he told us that their only other alternative was to walk to their new home carrying all their belongings with them. They would have been exhausted from going back and forth so many times. They had no vehicle. But they had faith that their friends would come. Friends that we didn’t even know we had! Our family grew by three more yesterday and I got a glimpse of what Lazarus might have seen behind his wrappings….” They are here! They are here! They have come to unwrap me and to free me from this bondage! They really do love me…”
But the really funny thing is that I was the one who was being unwrapped! We were all unwrapped by this family yesterday. Their attitude of willingness, work and commitment spoke to each one of us in a different way and today we are all a little lighter because we left some of our own wrappings along the road with theirs.
You see, life and growth is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes prayer, commitment, discipline and yes….friends and sometimes it is a friend you don’t even know yet, but God knows. Friends who are willing to unwrap you one layer at a time until they get down to the fresh, new, beautiful person that is underneath those graveclothes-the person that God made and that Jesus commanded to COME OUT! Lazarus was changed from the inside out because of the POWER of God! I’ll bet you that he was jumping out of his skin to get out of that wrapping and tell the world what happened to him because of the power of God and I know a little boy and 6 adults who have already told people what has happened to them.
All things are possible with GOD!
Father we come to you with humble hearts this morning and we give you thanks for all that you have done for us this week and in the week to come. We ask that you put people in our path to unwrap us and for us to help unwrap. We all need help Lord and this is why we are called a family. There are other family members out there whom we have not even met yet and we ask you to place them in our paths for a divine meeting from you.
If there is anyone who is listening who would like to know you better I ask that you place someone in their life who can help them to fall in love with you. We love you Lord, It’s in your Holy and Precious Name that I pray, Amen
A side note: Many thanks to all who have unwrapped me during my life but especially these past few weeks. I feel like, I too, have been raised from the dead!
You know who you are and I love you all! Blessings for your own journeys…..d.