Saturday, February 25, 2017

Day 86: False Satisfactions

Day 86
Numbers 10-11; 2 Thessalonians 2

There will always be something to complain about in life. No matter how much you have or how good life is, there is something that could be picked at or better. When we are dissatisfied, we go looking for more or for a fix, which could lead to trouble. When and if we do find that worldly fix, it won’t be long until we are dissatisfied again. Today, we can learn some valuable things from our readings in finding true, and the only lasting satisfaction in Christ alone.

The people led by Moses sure loved to complain. Can you blame them? I think after wondering around the wilderness that long and not knowing what the end was going to be would have me right there with them. The problem with this is that the people failed to see and be thankful for what they did have. The Lord had delivered them from Egypt, even though they started to second guess and think life back there wasn’t so bad after all. The Lord has supplied them with food, even though it was the same thing every day. The Lord also supplied them with great leaders, like Moses and Aaron to interpret what He instructed them. While there are two sides to a situation, the people needed to start seeing the good, rather than what was always bad.

When we complain about everything in our lives, it is easy to take for granted what the Lord has given us. What if instead of complaining every time we felt dissatisfied, we thanked God for what He has given us. I think our attitudes would change quickly. Our complaining not only affects us, but it affects the people in our lives and around us. Even though Moses had been working so hard to follow what the Lord wanted him to do with the people, the complaints seeped through him to the point he lashed out at God, exclaiming how heavy this burden had become. (I feel like this some days with my toddler.) The people didn’t care about Moses and how hard he had worked, only about themselves and what they believed they needed and deserved. Be aware of who is affected by your complaints.

When we are dissatisfied, we may end up with what we want, so be careful. The Lord sent quail to the people, but He also told them He would send so much meat, that they would be sick of it. I can imagine the people complained about the meat after some time, and they do continue complaining later. In our own dissatisfaction of life, we face the temptation to look for something “better” or a “fix”. The people of Thessalonica are warned about falling for false prophesies and false teachings. People can come across as flattering and “right”, but that doesn’t mean they are. A temptation can come up as something you “deserve”, but that also doesn’t make it right. Be careful where you look to for satisfaction. Only Christ can truly offer you that. 

Consider what you are saying to others about Christ if you are constantly dissatisfied. God states in Numbers 11:23: "Is the Lord's arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you."
When we begin to question God, and thinking there is something better out there to satisfy our hearts over Him, it sends a message to others, especially those who don't know Christ, that they don't need Him. That He isn't as great as they have heard. That He is exactly what they thought He was. Be careful! Don't let others stumble over what your little discontentments cause to be an eternal loss. Prove that God is all you need.

Where are you tempted to look for satisfaction in this life? In a relationship? Job? Achievement? It is clear that Christ is the only One Who satisfies. He created our hearts and our entire being and knows what we need. Be careful as you start justifying “what you deserve” and “what would be better”. Those are the times we fall hard over our steps and realize those things never fully satisfy, and soon we’ll be looking elsewhere again for something else to fill the void. Fill it permanently with what Christ offers you.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Day 85: All You Need to Know

Day 85
Numbers 8-9; 2 Thessalonians 1

In a culture that is constantly on the move, we are always looking ahead to what is next. We want to know all the answers to where our troubles will lead us, or know the next turn to take in our lives, or simply know all the answers to what God is doing. We live, wanting to hold a spotlight in order to see what is way up ahead, and judge others in what we see now, but God is more of a candle guy. He knows what we need to know as far as a candle can shine, not a spotlight.

I found it interesting when the men approached Moses and asked if they could celebrate Passover since they had made themselves unclean by touching a body.  Moses, approaching the Lord to ask Him instructions, learns what they are to do. It makes it seem so simple as we read this, to ask God what we should do in a certain situation. He doesn’t always answer so clearly as He did to Moses. One thing we should keep in mind though is that when we ask God for something or for direction, He may hesitate on answering because He wants us to learn along the way, growing us more deeply in Him. Other times, like this instance with Moses, He’ll answer right away because He knows we need to know right away. It’s all about having faith day to day and step by step in keeping our eyes on Him.

The cloud we read about that directed the people where to go when also seems like it came in handy in knowing God’s direction. The people only knew day by day though, if they would move or if they would stay put.  As a type A person, I always like to know what is coming. When am I traveling? Where am I going? I like to pack my bag in preparation of it and know what I will need. The people didn’t quite get that. They would see day to day where they would be. I think this is important because God has a reason for that. We often ask God to lead us where He wants us and show us what is ahead, but it seems like we hardly ever pray for Him to use us here and now, content in where He has put us. The people here had to rely on the day to day, rather than know where they would be later.  It took them 40 years to finally reach the Promised Land.  God had a reason for it.

It is best to face hardships in the same way at times too. We read Paul’s encouragement to the people of Thessalonica in his second letter to them, as they are facing persecution and hardship. Paul reminds the people of Christ’s return someday and His judgment on those who persecute. We seem to want justice NOW, and answers NOW, and relief NOW, but God doesn’t always work that way. If our faith is in Him and we can truly say “I trust You, Lord,” then we can have confidence that one day we will. Have hope in that. Today may be hard. This life may be hard. But God’s plan is much bigger than the depths of our mind. He is doing great things in the midst of your struggle. 

Paul reminds us to keep doing the good things our faith prompts us to do, and says he prays that the believers follow a life that is worthy of Christ’s calling. Honor comes when we live lives in complete faith towards Him. This doesn’t mean we’re not proactive with our faith, or that we are lazy stating God will take care of it all, but it means we live a life that is open to His leading, trusting that He will handle the judgment of our enemies and the steps of our lives.

Are you someone that needs to know what is up ahead in life? I know I like to be prepared having all I need for what is to come, but God doesn’t always work in that way. We like to hold a spotlight to see what is coming, but God gives us a candle so we know what we need to know now. Jill Briscoe said “If you know Christ, then you know all you need to know.”  Live life like you’re holding a candle in front of you, trusting that God will give you all the answers when you need them. Stay alert in His Word and leading. You know all you need to know.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Day 84: Grace Wins

Day 84
Numbers 7; 1 Thessalonians 5

We live in a time right now where people are literally shutting each other out. One of the worst things I've experienced from other Christians is a lack of grace, when Christ has shown them the most ultimate form of grace, which we can't live without. It is heartbreaking when we need to act like complete children, throwing tantrums and casting away relationships over things of this earth and desires of OUR hearts. Even children come back when their mom was mean though. I was raised to agree to disagree and not throw away relationships over disagreements. True maturity comes when you can put your differences aside and still work side by side, because you know what? The gospel and spreading the Good News through our love is the way we do it. If we can't even love each other and keep open hands to those who need to know the Truth, we are failing at what we do.

We read about a people thousands of years ago who had differences. They were people. Yet, they knew their bottom line and each group of people shared offerings to God in the dedication of the tabernacle. Why was this important to the people? Because they worshiped and brought thanksgiving to God for being in their midst. They knew they couldn't do it without Him. All the disagreement aside, they agreed on this. There is something even bigger that this pointed to, however. This was preparation of the coming Savior. We no longer need to approach Him through the curtain or the priest, but we can approach Him boldly wherever we are! He allows us into His presence when He is so perfect and we are so rebellious. THAT is grace.

Paul offers us some amazing advice as we wrap up 1 Thessalonians. He tells us to respect others and to encourage each other. Keep in mind that he was talking to a group of believers, who, like us, struggle with disagreements. Paul lists many things that we as believers need to be doing:
Honor our leaders
Encourage one another
Be light in the darkness (don't run from darkness, but be light in it)
Stay self-controlled (especially today when we are tempted to add to the "noise")
Live peacefully with one another.
Warn and urge the lazy
Encourage the timid
Take care of the weak
Be patient with everyone
Always to good to all people
Always be joyful
Never stop praying
Be thankful no matter what
Don't scoff the Holy Spirit
Hold tight to what is good
Stay away from every type of evil

These are words he gave to believers, not unbelievers. These things take grace and patience and a completely different lifestyle than the world we are in. We all need grace, but we need to hold tight to truth. Grace proceeds truth (1 John 1:8-9). We don't have to have our life cleaned up to come to Christ. We let Him change us after we wrap up in His grace.

We all need grace. If we remember this, we can handle our relationships so much more maturely. Don't throw away unity and relationships over things of this world when we have an eternal God. Heed Paul's words and remember that we are one body working together to share the love and good news of Christ. We never have to clean up our lives to come to Christ, but we need to allow Him to change us once we come to Him, including throwing our pride to the side. Show love to all around you and be patient and self-controlled. Your words, your actions, and the way you deal with all people will shed light on who you are. Be careful to be light in the darkness and not fall to the ways this world tries to entangle us.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Day 83: Beautiful Faithfulness

Day 83
Numbers 5-6; 1 Thessalonians 4

There is a lot in this world that tells you to go and do what makes you happy. While I am all for doing what makes this life beautiful for you, God tells us to do what makes you holy. This doesn't mean we need to necessarily stop doing the things that make us happy, but we do need to make sure we are being faithful to Him in our happiness and that the things we are doing are pleasing to Him. Today's readings talk a lot about purity and being faithful to yourself, to others, and to God.

Showing yourself respect goes deeper than simply standing up for your rights, as many in this world believe today. Being faithful to yourself in the ways God's Word lays out in our readings today creates a different view than what this world tells you to do in respecting yourself. God tells us to show respect for our bodies. What does this mean? Not only should you avoid sinning sexually, which is becoming looser in this world today as well, but don't flaunt it for the world to see when it is only meant for your spouse. This is tough in a culture that tells you to "express yourself" and making you believe that when you show more you get more. Ladies, this is why the types of guys you attract won't care about your heart, but your body. Get them on board with what is on the inside before allowing them more. Ladies want the heart of a man. Men want the body of a woman. He needs to earn it before you allow him in. (Check out Mark Gungor's Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage here - there is more than material for marriage in there.)

Faithfulness to yourself also comes with reputation. Paul tells us to live "quiet lives" and to "mind our own business". In other words, quit gossiping and causing others to question your motives. If you were ever to be blamed for something you didn't do, would it be easier for you to stand your case if you have been gossiping to everyone or living a life that only fulfills your needs and wants? Live a life above reproach, so that when someone does try to cast blame on you, it is hard for anyone to believe them.

This ties directly into being faithful to others around you. No one can just get that from you. They have to earn it and the trust needs to be built, but once you are friends, spouses, etc. follow the same rules towards them that you would want on yourself. Be faithful to them and protect their reputations, not gossiping, slandering, or spreading hate. We read an interesting process in Numbers 5, as the rituals of finding out if a woman is guilty of an affair is laid out for us. As the woman's faithfulness is being put to the test, her husband's is as well. The type of man to put that test on an innocent woman would be shameful indeed. But the type of woman who would fall guilty to that test is also shameful. Be faithful to one another. Do everything in your power to fight for your marriage, friendships, and relationships with family. I know the bottom falls out on the other side of that coin at times, to which I say the other person didn't do their job in that. Don't feel guilty for another person's unfaithfulness to you.

The most important one we can have faithfulness to is God. When we show Him faithfulness, we pour into the other areas of our lives that we need to be faithful in. He is the foundation. A heart that beats for Him will be one that protects yourself and others through faithfulness. We have an incredible hope that comes through our faith in Christ and allowing Him our entire life, keeping faithful to Him before all else. If we obey and are faithful to Him, pouring His Word, His values, His promises into our souls, in turn, we will live lives that are beautiful, regardless of how messy they become because He shined in them no matter what your situation was. If you remain faithful to Him, abiding daily in Him words, you can overcome through His power.

How faithful are you? Do you show you are faithful to God on a daily basis? To others? To yourself? First and foremost, be faithful in God's Word and promises, and all else will fall into place. Treat others and yourself in ways that are honoring to Christ. Be the type of person who lives a beautiful life because of the messy circumstances you allowed God to pull you through. Your faithfulness to Him will flow to other areas of your life. Allow Him to work in it.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Day 82: Purpose Benefits

Day 82
Numbers 4-5; 1 Thessalonians 4

There is something to having purpose and carrying it out wholeheartedly that causes great joy in life. Having purpose in doing the Lord's work is an even deeper form of joy that can only come from Him. As we read today, purpose and obedience to God's calling on your life has great benefits. 

As we continue to read how God organized the people in Numbers, we begin to see how they moved forward as one to carry out the work God put before them. Their lives centered around Him and the were careful to do the work God called them to do. There is a little foreshadowing here to the church today. God has placed skills, gifts, talents, passions and experiences in our lives to carry out His work. Are you merely a spectator in the church, or are you a team player in moving the body forward? 

Coming from someone who works in the church, I can tell you right now that no job is too small. There are pieces, big and small, that come together to do work God lays before us. Simply shaking a hand on a Sunday morning can ripple great first impressions across a person's heart as to this whole "church thing". Don't overlook your purpose and calling within the church. If you are a Christ-follower, there is a role you need to be in. 

Purpose also combats sin and temptation. I firmly believe that if we are truly focused on Christ and the roles He's put us in, we will combat the temptations in our lives with more conviction. We will still stumble, but getting back up will be easier if we know Who we're running to. The church in Thessalonica had Paul worried as he feared they would be tempted by what was around them. However, he learned differently when Timothy reported back, and he was full of joy. Not only were the people thriving against temptation, but they were thriving in their purpose in being the church.

Discovering our purpose in God's plan is huge. Not only does it help you combat temptations in your life, but you gain an immense amount of joy in all circumstances. Serving Christ through the church is a calling if you are a Christ-follower, as we see foreshadowed in Numbers and carried out in Paul's letters. Are you serving in the church, or are you merely a spectator? Allow the gifts, talents, skills, and experiences that God has placed in your life to serve Him.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Day 81: Givers and Takers

Day 81
Psalm 36-37

If it is one thing I have learned over the last few months, there is a vibe left by those who take that completely contradicts that of those who give. I can't even tell you how broken, depressed and hopeless takers have made me, yet, Jesus warns us that those "thieves" come to steal and destroy. Rather than always thinking of the material things that are taken from us, it all became clear to me that Jesus came to seek and save us, while others who steal joy will be pushed aside. 

Our reading in Psalms today is no different in offering the hope that comes from giving, even when takers are everywhere. David is struggling with the poison that comes from that vibe of wicked people. He questions himself and feels the joy being sucked right out of his life as he continues to run from his enemies. I can only imagine how draining it is for David to be in such a situation of the feeling of constant judgement, wickedness, and hate towards him.

There are perks to being a giving, Godly person. God will lead you. He delights in you. Even when they stumble, they will never fall. (Ps. 37:23-24) I think we sometimes fear giving of so much of ourselves. This is understandable. People hurt you. People take advantage. People leech to you. It's a tough world in the one of a giving spirit. However, God's promises are that we don't have to go it alone. We never need to worry about losing anything in this life because He is the ultimate thing we need. David tells us not to worry because the wicked will fade away.

We serve a giving God. He gave us the ultimate sacrifice and He gives to us on a daily basis if we truly trust in Him. "Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, Your justice like the great deep." 36:5-6
His giving is endless and immeasurable. We can be a piece of that in someone's life, and continue to be filled up by Him. The readings of these Psalms tell us how we are to be and the blessings and consequences that come with each. 
Be someone who pours into the lives of others around you. There is a reason God placed people in your life right in front of you. Don't steal joy or cause someone to question their worth. Continue to give for the Lord in all you do. Work as if you work for Him, because even if your life and your work feels meaningless, it has purpose. Remember that the people who continue to take from you will soon fade. Do the will of God and you will have all you need. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Day 80: Worthy Battles

Day 80
Numbers 1-2; 1 Thessalonians 2

I have always been one that shied from conflict. I hated getting people worked up and getting people angry with me. Conflict and fighting have always been things that I avoid most. While I have that "peace-keeping" thing down, I have to remind myself that conflicts are not bad - in fact, they help us grow in our knowledge and view of the world outside of our bubbles. What you do with that conflict is where you get into trouble. I have learned, however, that there is one battle that is always worthy of fighting, and that is the spreading of the Good News to all people.

Numbers opens up to a feel of military organization. God directs the people on how to organize and takes a census of how many people there are per tribe. While I must admit, Numbers isn't my favorite book in the Bible, I can see how it had to be used to organize so many people. The Israelites had faced hardships and frustration, but as we enter into Numbers, we see a shift in the dynamics, as the prepare for battle. I firmly believes that God uses those frustrations and conflicts in our lives to teach us and grow us into facing bigger battles ahead.

One thing you notice about the tribes, is that God ordered them to camp around the Tabernacle, which stood in the center of the camp. This is very symbolic and meaningful as we look at our own lives and consider if we are in fact keeping Christ at the center of everything we do. If we fight alongside Christ, we do not fight in vain. However, if we go about doing our own thing without Christ in the center, we may find ourselves fighting against Him, and we will be fighting that battle forever.

The people of Thessolonica are no different. We read about the suffering that they endured as they formed their lives in Christ. Paul reminds them that it is important to please God, and not people. I personally struggle with this. I find approval from people more than I try to find it in Christ, and that leads to trouble. People change, God never changes. For Paul, sharing the Good News was a battle in Thessolonica. They had to work hard as they proclaimed it. They continued to walk alongside the people, to share something that was of Christ, and not of man. You can sense Paul's relief when he states that the people took the message and ran with it. Though the battle to share the Good News was just that for Paul and the people of Thessolonica, as we read about the persecution they endured, the people knew that it was a battle worthy of all they had.

Do you fight battles against God or with God alongside you? Living in the Word and proclaiming our allegiance to Christ can sure seem hard at times. We as a country are very blessed to be able to worship openly and freely, while there are so many others that aren't so friendly with Christ and worshiping Him openly. The battle to proclaim the Good News, however, is one that should be top of our list as Christ-followers. It is the Hope of the world and the Light in the darkness that can cover this world. Share it. Fight for it.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Day 79: Rules of Freedom

Day 79:
Leviticus 26-27; 1 Thessalonians 1

I think we all go through times in life where certain rules feel unfair or we just are plain annoyed by them. As kids, we probably didn't care for some of the rules our parents put into place, but as we get older, we can begin to understand why we have or had rules (hopefully). If you think of rules from the standpoint of a competitive sport, you know they are necessary. Without the rules, it would be a free-for-all, chaotic mess. People would get hurt and the game itself would essentially go nowhere. Life is similar to that because of the "rules" God sets out. 

God didn't set rules to cast a cloud over us or make us feel constrained. In fact, God set the rules for His people because He loves them, and doesn't want to see the consequences of their actions ruin the rest of their lives. He knows the path you will go down and where it will lead you. If you truly know in your heart that God wants what is best for you, then following the rules will come naturally and with ease.

God lays out very clearly what will happen when the people fall away from Him. We can view this as a punishment from God, or we can view it as the consequences of OUR own choices, despite the warnings from God. (Remember when I mentioned that He knows what will happen down the path we take?) This happens today. We make a choice, despite the warnings, and we end up angry at God. (By the way, there is nothing wrong with being angry with God, but blaming Him is another story.) Our actions put us there, yet we think it's God's fault. Believe, believe, believe that God wants what is best for you. All His plans are good and His ways are good. His thoughts are higher. 

It is very evident from the way we read this section of scripture in Leviticus, that we WILL break the rules and fall out of line with God's will in our lives. However, we also read that God has redeemed us and has welcomed us back when we decide to turn around back to Him. His grace and love are always ready to have us back.

Rules can actually empower and cause you to thrive. As we jump into 1 Thessalonians, we read how the church was a model one in Thessalonica. The people from all over looked up to it. Because the people had received the message of Good News and actually carried it out, following God's leading with obedience, they thrived. Even though the people had suffered for their work in Christ, they didn't turn. (vs. 6) Rather than blaming God with their sufferings, they "received the message with joy, despite the severe suffering it caused. As a result of their obedience through that suffering, they have become the great example to all around them.

The people of Thessalonica knew the lean on Christ when things got hairy. They knew where they foundation was, and because of that, they endured the storms of persecution. It is important to know who's rules you choose to play by. You can play by the world's rules and have acceptance in this world for your lifetime, or you can play by God's rules that never change, and have the only acceptance you need now and for eternity. This proves, however, that even if you follow the rules Christ gives, it doesn't mean life will become easier. It just means you know what source you're turning to.

There is freedom in the rules. Seems contradictory, but if you really think about it, not having rules would lead to chaos and no direction. A game of football (or Monopoly for you non-sporty people) wouldn't make sense without the rules. Life is the same way. However, you choose who's rules you play by. You can conform to all of the ways of this world, experiencing it for a lifetime, or you can be transformed by Christ and His Word, and have that acceptance for this life and eternity. Life won't be any easier either way, but your foundation will sure be different depending on which way you go.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Day 78: Positive Outlook

Day 78:
Leviticus 25; Matthew 28

There is much reason to be optimistic about your future if you rely on Christ in your life. We place so much time trying to control our lives and cling to what isn't even ours, yet with Christ, we have all we need. As we read today, we can stand confident that there is so much more life in Him than in anything we can ever possess in this world.

I have to say that I was intrigued by reading of the "year of Jubilee." I had heard about it, but never have really dove into it to learn more. I do remember it from one of my favorite songs back in the day. (Maybe you remember it - "Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?")
Anyways, as I read, I realize that this year of Jubilee was a freedom of all bondage, all debts, all worries essentially. Could you imagine getting a Sabbath Day from your worries and the things that hold your faith captive? I can't tell you how often I worry about life's debts, bills, obligations, etc.

It was also a time of rest for the fields, meaning the people couldn't harvest or plant or work them. God promised them a bigger production in the year before though, that would carry them into the year after Jubilee. This was surely a way to teach the people to have faith in Him and know He is their ultimate provider and care-giver. 

This year of Jubilee sets up a lovely picture of how we are to face this life with Christ in it. I think so many times in today's world, we worry more about the money we earn, the things we have, the relationships we're pursuing, everything that can possibly have a worry. (No? Just me?)
But as we read about the overwhelming resurrection of Christ in Matthew, I can't help but feel a powerful peace of mind about what is to come in this time of our lives. There is hope beyond our graves and beyond the troubles of this world! How awesome that we can rely fully on that promise when we say "yes" to Christ!

It is easy to doubt. The disciples doubted when they had heard Jesus rose. The very people that were with Him constantly and learned from Him doubted. There is hope for you. Ironically, women were the first ones to hear the news straight from the angels at the tomb. Women, who were rarely allowed to bare witness or testimony. Why would God choose them to be the first to see, hear and share the Good News? Because no matter what our capabilities are in this world, and no  matter how someone views your role and status, you are an important asset to the movement of Christ. The guards were paid off to twist the truth about Jesus rising. We have 3 choices based on this. We can question our abilities and tell God, "nah, I'm not good enough. Pick someone else."
We can allow God to use us despite what this world thinks we are and spread the Good News from person to person, as Jesus did.
Or, we can deny it happened and twist the truth that we refuse to believe, even though it is written in the most truthful book that was ever created. As a Christian, THIS is your book. You claim Christ, you claim His words in every single aspect of your life. You can't be lukewarm. (Revelation 3:16)

We have a mission to fulfill. We have been commanded, not advised, not recommended, but COMMANDED to go make disciples. Jesus promises that He will be with us. If we truly have Christ in our lives, and we have said "yes" to His leading, we can have such a positive outlook beyond this world and beyond the grave. We can doubt our abilities and sit around, we can twist it all around and deny He ever rose and was here for us, or we can stand firm in knowing that He has our backs when we fall into HIS plan, rather than try to take it ourselves. Know that He will provide for you and you needn't cling to anything in this world by Him.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Day 77: Give it All

Day 77
Leviticus 23-24; Matthew 27:32-66

As we read about the various celebrations and festivals that took place among the Israelite people, we see a pattern in how they were instructed to give their first fruits, best sacrifices and Sabbath days to their God. The priority of bringing their best to Him is honestly a refreshing concept as we live in a day in age that likes to take the best for themselves before they give anything, if anything, to others, let alone to the Lord.

But, as you can probably gather here, we serve a jealous God, that demands the first, the best, the priority in everything we do. We can not have divided loyalties when we come before Him with pure hearts. Nothing in this world can do for us what He did for us, however, as you read today in our Matthew passage.

Jesus suffered utter torment on our behalf. Like the individual who was stoned in our Leviticus reading, He was also isolated, but from His Father, as He called out "My God, My God, why have You abandoned me?" Sin in the Old Testament times caused a person to be cut off from the community, whether it was for a few days or forever. Jesus did this as He took our sin on the cross. He bore that burden for us. As He died, the veil that separated us from His presence (as custom in the tabernacle) was torn in two, allowing a way for us to personally interact and grow in God. Jesus gave us this gift and made it so we don't have to face this world alone.

Jesus gave it all for us. We are to bring our best for Him. When we say "yes" to allowing Christ to rule in our lives, that is a "yes" to embedding Him in every single area of it. This is hard to do, but so freeing when you do. What part do you need to give to Him fully? Bring Him the first of your day, your earnings, your trust, your relationships, your everything. Give it all.