JENGA: THE SOUL EDITION

Have you ever played a game of Jenga?

You remove blocks of wood one at a time until the entire structure crumbles. The last one to remove a block before it falls is the loser.

Our spiritual lives are no different. Every good and perfect gift from the Lord makes up our soul.

Forgiveness, joy, peace, fellowship with other Christians, prayer, Bible study…the list goes on and each “block” makes for a strong foundation.

As we remove pieces from our lives, however, our foundation gets shakier and shakier. Soon we are trying to stand strong without all of the pieces the Lord gave us.

And we begin to crumble.

Here’s the good news! Unlike the classic game, we can add pieces back. What the Lord gives, He gives freely and doesn’t take back. (James 1:5) So even if you discarded pieces long ago, they still belong to you.

Build your foundation back. Stand strong. Now is not the time to be playing with half your blocks!

Judgment Isn’t Reserved For the Old Testament

Thankfully, Jesus’ death and resurrection did away with the law and put us under grace. We now operate by the power of the Holy Spirit and have mercy that wasn’t afforded to the Old Testament saints.

That’s what makes it easy to dismiss a lot of the consequences faced back then. If I’d been turned into a pillar of salt every time I looked back on things I’d left behind….

But you can’t dismiss God’s judgment as being “old-timey” and not pertinent in today’s society.

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he….Deuteronomy 32:4

He was perfect in the Old Testament, just as He was perfect in the New. He is perfect today and will be perfect forevermore.

If we are to be Christ-like, we are to be perfect ourselves.

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:11

We are going to fall short. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…Romans 3:23

Does that mean we might as well give up and do whatever we want?

Heaven forbid.

His judgment WILL come.

When you stand before Him at the judgment seat of Christ, every thing you’ve ever done will be judged. Every word, every decision, every action. Anything that isn’t JUST or RIGHT will be laid out in front of you.

There is mercy. There is grace.

But there’s also judgment.

Be a person of truth and turn from iniquity. Study always to show thyself approved.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth….2 Timothy 2:15

AUGUST MEDIA PICKS

Sometimes I have to do a little research to find a book, movie, and song to recommend for the month. NOT THIS TIME! All three have impacted my life greatly in the last few weeks.

First, we have the song. Trading My Sorrows is a great little song, popular with children as it has some cool movements to go with it. But for me, the message matters most. No matter what we are going through, our joy WILL come in the morning. Some of our night seasons may be longer than others, but it’s all going to be okay. What better way to stand on the promise than to trade it all for joy right now?

Trading My Sorrows (Yes, Lord)

Next, we have the book. Actually two. (deep sigh) I’ve read over two dozen books this summer, chart-topping contemporary fiction that I couldn’t put down. And then I found myself through with my summer stack so I went to my shelves. I have another 30 or so TO-BE read books that I either couldn’t get into or never even opened. It was there that I found a couple of Karen Kingsbury books I hadn’t read. It’s been awhile since I’ve read her books and the change from contemporary, popular fiction was a little jarring. Scriptures from page 1. The Holy Spirit as much of a character as the protagonists. Complex, flawed, searching characters who were more relatable than anything I’d read in a long time.

Why did I stop reading Christian fiction? And how nice was it to be okay with God reading over my shoulder, not needing to repent for storylines that were “just harmless fun”. I read these two consecutively and when I tried to read a secular book afterwards, I just couldn’t. My spirit had been changed and was craving more of what God had for me, not man. I ordered three more Kingsbury books and decided to stay on this track for a little while. I strongly recommend giving her a read!

It’s Christmas in August for my recommended movie. Okay, it WOULDN’T be (as this is one of my pet peeves) except that lightning destroyed my DVR and I lost this movie along with some other Christmas movie-watching traditions.

Angels Sing is a tear-jerking but ultimately uplifting movie with an incredible cast and great music that shows the power of forgiveness, especially the all-important self-forgiveness. You have four months to find it and add it to YOUR Christmas watching experience!

For past recommendations, visit here.