Lather, rinse, repeat...we've all read it many times on the back of our shampoo bottles.
It's kind of catchy...bouncing off your tongue. Well, while showering today after returning from youth retreat, I'm compelled to come up with my own new phrase because it's a 'life or death' situation, a limited time of availability...we must be diligent about what we do.
Three R words kept jumping into my head...retreat, rejoice, repeat. My 3 R's...the Rcubed, you could say...RETREAT, REJOICE, REPEAT.
It's important to RETREAT from the world...get into study...READ His Word and ponder His plan. During this year's RETREAT, we studied and discussed the prodigal son story...Luke 15...known to many... usually emphasizes the youngest son.
Yet, the older brother was lost in his own way, too, for not recognizing the compassion and love of his own brother AND father.
By giving the youngest son his inheritance and freedom to go 'discover' his worldly life, to discover what was TRULY important...the FATHER mirrors our loving God, our Father in Heaven.
As children ARE their parent's joy, even in the struggles, WE ARE GOD'S joy...WE WERE GOD's JOY before we even WERE...
WE ARE NOT A COINCIDENCE...HE ADOPTED US BEFORE WE "WERE":
Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.
Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure He took in planning this!)
He wanted us to enter into the celebration of His lavish gift-giving by the hand of His beloved Son.
HE SAVED US...PAID THE PRICE FOR 'OUR' SIN (THERE WAS NO SIN IN HIM):
(7-10)Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds.
And not just barely free, either.
He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making.
He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
IF YOU'RE NOT SURE OF WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT YOUR PURPOSE IS...SPEND MORE TIME WITH HIM...HE LOVES YOU AND IS ONLY A PRAYER AWAY...
(11-12)It's in Christ we find out who we are and what we are living for.
Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
THROUGH CHRIST's RISING FROM THE DEAD and SITTING AT THE FATHER's RIGHT SIDE INTERCEDING ON OUR BEHALF, our excitement is spilling over the rim of our hearts...
After studying the lessons and discussing the issues many understandings were found and shared...then came the REJOICING!
We celebrated being His...being with each other
...being loving toward one another...just as the Father and son rejoiced together.
sharing god's love and promises to "his creation" is ours to complete...
That's where the REPEAT comes into our 'to do' basket.
REPEAT His Word when you see pain, when you see need, where you see hurt...they may not have heard THE GOOD NEWS...
We DO HAVE A REASON TO REJOICE...HAVE A PARTY
...Our Savior is ALIVE!!!