CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Life, the Universe, and Everything
By Dev Bradley
Hey, I'm Dev and I'm new to the blogging realm. I am going to be stopping in more frequently to share some thoughts on life, the universe and everything and how we live our lives in fellowship with God and with each other. To give you a little background on myself, I've been married for almost 18 years, I have one son, whom we adopted from Thailand, I retired from the U.S Air Force after 20 years of service, and I have taught in a Christian school for two years. As we go through our journey together, you will learn more about me.
I am in no way, shape, or form an expert on life, the universe and everything; but I do believe strongly in Proverbs 27:17 which states, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man (and woman) sharpens another." I am also a big fan of John 8:1-11 where Jesus says, "He who is without sin can cast the first stone." With that being stated, it is important to remember that we all live in glass houses and we are all in this together.
My last assignment in the Air Force was at the US Air Force Academy. We taught the cadets several decision making models. Probably the simplest model we taught only had three steps.
1. Is this choice, right or is it wrong?
2. Is this choice, good or is it bad?
3. If I make this choice, who besides myself could or will be hurt?
I would like to modify this model by adding a fourth step:
4. Am I choosing God in this choice/decision?
Our society teaches us that life is all about us, that more is better, that it is all about doing what I want to do, when I want to do it, and how I want to do it. Our country's culture, political culture, and the American Christian Culture all influence how we live our lives. We need to take care of one another. Now, I am not saying that we all sing Kumbaya and have a big group hug, but we need to take care of our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as people who think we are crazy.
I am very thankful for the community of believers that I get to live my life with. Because of them my relationship with Christ and God the Father is stronger. We sharpen one another, speak the truth in love, and practice grace and forgiveness. This is difficult because it is in direct contrast to our culture and against how many of us were raised—and because we are all selfish. Jesus stated in Matthew 22:34-36 that the two greatest commandments are to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments." So it is all about loving God and loving others. How are we doing?
I will be the first to tell you that many of the decisions I make in my life are based off of emotions. It is my default setting. It is difficult to choose God in every aspect of my life. We are influenced by so many different things in our lives. As Christians, it's hard to "walk the walk and talk the talk." We must be authentic in our journey and accountable for the good, the bad, and the ugly. We must choose God in how we are living our lives. We must take care of each other, our family, our friends, and even non-believers, and live in the love, grace, forgiveness, and strength of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We sharpen one another, love each other, take care of one another. If we do not live this way, it is all window dressing. None of us are perfect, but if it is all about loving God and loving others, then we need to strengthen our relationship with the Father and with Christ, with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and with people who think we are crazy. We are the example of love, grace, and forgiveness to non-believers. If we can't show love, grace, and forgiveness to our families, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ, why would non-believers have any desire to know Jesus?
This is just the beginning of our journey together. I will be back with more thoughts on life, the universe, living our lives for God and everything else. Take care and God Bless!
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Published on 7-15-13