December 13 is my spiritual birthday. The day I made a decision to accept Jesus as Savior, and be baptized to honor this most important decision. I was 13 years old. My accepting of His love was so sweet to me. It was a simple prayer service in a small building (not a church), with my parents and a few others. The simplicity will always be remembered along with the compelling and overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit in that moment.
Upon realizing this, I was determined to create a purposeful day and prayed for God to reveal new things, old things, and promises. He was faithful.
That morning I was deeply moved by Matthew chapter 5. Jesus came to fulfill the law and challenged us to a new way of living. “Jesus help me to renew my mind and not conform to the world around me.”
My spiritual heritage comes from many generations before me. It was the faithfulness of grandparents, parents, and mentors that took the time to nurture my faith and live out their faith in front of me that made the difference. One very special night, my parents honored my spiritual birthday with a gathering in which my mentor, Inez, was there–her physical birthday was that day, too. I vividly remember that celebration. She has gone on to be with the Lord!
During my workout the instructor said, “Does anyone know what today is?” I smiled. “It’s 12-13-14. This number will not happen again for another century!” Then from across the room someone shouted, “Yeah! And, I think a meteor shower is supposed to happen.” Jesus and I laughed together and talked within my soul. “Jesus, this IS a special day even beyond all these things mentioned, for a soul that will live with you for eternity brings great joy, it’s an eternal gift! At the end, the instructor shared this quote,
“To do anything less than your best, is to waste the gift.”
Tears came to my eyes as I remembered my “new thing”–to transform my mind and not conform to the world. ‘Lord, I want to give my best, and not waste this gift of salvation! I want to honor and obey your commandments!”
My encouraging verse this morning:
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8
We have a tendency to look back over our life and cloud celebrations with regrets, what if’s, and our past. Oh the magnificent beauty that God is showing my soul! “Anna! I came not only to fulfill the law, but so that you can have an abundant life!” Sin will always be with us, but God is calling us to celebrate our eternal gift that lives within us. We are souls living in a body! Your soul is separate from the things of this world and is the very gift that you give to the world–to shine the light of Jesus in a dark world. You are not the darkness, even if you are in the midst of suffering. You are His and His love and light –HIS GLORY– is who you are……your gift……….
Don’t waste it! Celebrate it! Let it SHINE!