Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day 24 of My Lenten Journey

24. Mediocrity:  something that is adequate, but not that good.

I fall victim to mediocrity all the time.  You might be thinking, "Are you kidding?  Nothing Jennifer does is mediocre.  She is over the top in so many ways."   Remember we are talking about how we serve and honor God.  Yes, I am mediocre at best.  I would even go as far to say it is the majority of the time. That is part of why I challenged myself to do this blog over Lent.    I would be in His Word daily, doing my best to see what He wants me to refine in my life.  Yes, I get my BSF lesson done.  I go to church, when we are in town.  I pray.  But, am I doing the very best that I could be doing, probably not.

As I searched for the word, mediocre in the Bible, of course it came up with nothing.  However, I decided the opposite was "with all your heart."  That phrase appears at least 25 times in the NIV version with 10 of those reiterating the verse below.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  Deuteronomy 6:5

Side note:  I have decided that with most of these "things I need to give up,"  the Bible truly words them with the opposite or positive spin the majority of the time.  Of course, there are always the "don't do this or that," but usually even that is followed by the positive.

As I was researching online I came across a very good message from a church in Illinois.  It took the book of Malachi and explained why it was a book which talked about mediocrity.  The author basically sketches out a flow chart of what happens when you are mediocre in your love for God.

1.  It begins with a cynical attitude.  "God will be pleased with just enough."
2.  Therefore, we give a blemished sacrifice.  "God won't mind getting what's leftover or the hand-me-downs."
3.  We then give a compromised example.  It spills over into our lives and character.
4.  Then we end up saying no to the little things, which lead to the big things God is asking us to do.
5.  We end up with an unrefined heart and an empty life.

Of all of the minor prophets Zechariah and Malachi do have one of my favorite verses and it goes along well with the Lenten idea of letting go and letting God work in our lives.  This is my prayer today that he continues to refine me daily.

For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap.  He will sit like a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.  Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness.  Malachi 3:2-3

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