The “I Shoulds”


I should work in the yard this week. I should make that phone call I have been dreading so much to make that I have put it off for 3 months. I should write that letter to my friend who I haven’t seen in 20 years. I should quit eating so many sweets and watch my diet.

“I shoulds” and “I shouldn’ts” keep many people from either becoming a Christian or living a victorious Christian life. People think, “I should quit drinking and smoking. I should start going to church. I should start giving more money to the church. I should do this and I should do that.”

Yes, you should, but think about this: our Lord forgave the thief on the cross and promised him a home in heaven. That thief was guilty, but he never had an opportunity to repay what he stole, or go to the synagogue, or give his tithes and offerings before he died.

Jesus forgives us and accepts just as we are, because His grace takes care of all those sins. His sacrifice on Calvary paid the cost of all my sins-past, present, future. There is no sin I could ever commit that will  not be paid for. It is His righteousness, not mine, which is the basis for my salvation. Any other way implies that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was not enough.

However, as Paul said in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say, then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” (or as the King James Version says, “God forbid!”) The same grace that took care of my sins when I was born again also enables me to live a victorious Christian life. Thank God, He accepts us just as we are, but He doesn’t leave us there. God’s plan includes more than an eternal home in heaven. He loves us too much to leave us in our sorry state.

Lord, give me grace to live for you. I put it all in your hands-my life, my money, my habits. Enable me to be the person You have planned for me to be.



New Beginnings

Sunday is my rest day. After church and lunch, I usually put my  nightgown back on and take a nice long nap. When my children were growing  up, they knew to be quiet or take a nap themselves. Sometimes we had friends  of the children over for Sunday afternoon on the condition that they would  play quietly in the bedroom and not disturb “mother.” The child that made  too much noise usually didn’t get invited back for a while.

 Every mother knows the need for a rest time at least once in a  while. Even after the children are bigger, they need to wind down in the middle of the day. Right after lunch is an ideal time. It gives your food   time to digest. If you are not sleepy, reading a nice soothing book and quietly watching tv can calm you down. Then when rest time is over, you are ready to tackle some new job.
 Our world is too busy. There are so many things to do and places  to see so we hurry from this activity to that one and don’t take the time to  relax, but finding time to rest actually gives us more energy to do more  things.
 We should designate a rest day, just like God did at the end of  creation week. God rested on the Sabbath day because He was finished with  creation. He didn’t need to rest, because God doesn’t get tired, but He needed to see an end to His work and after a rest period, start something new.
 God has placed within each of us a need to start over again. We require new beginnings. God’s Word says, “Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:23.
 God gives us a whole new set of mercies every morning. He is the God of new beginnings.