I Deserve This...

It's a crisp fall day, I mean, spring day here in Cleveland at a balmy 45 degrees. I'm snuggled up on the couch with a late lunch while my two littlest ones {and the only ones home, at the moment!} are curled up sleeping... Ahh... Add a warm cup of coffee, The Chew, and some blogging, and I'm in heaven, people. In moments like these, it's soooooo easy to think, "sit back and relax this afternoon away, momma, you deserve this...."

I heard a statement many years ago that stopped me in my tracks and continues to do so when it crosses my mind. Now this is the cold, hard truth, you guys, so brace yourselves:

The only thing I deserve is an eternity in Hell.


Stop and let that sink in for a moment.

How often do we tell ourselves that we deserve something, either subconsciously or consciously? I catch myself all the time, sometimes daily:

I deserve to stop at Starbucks this morning. After all, I was sooo busy getting everyone else ready and taken care of this morning that I just didn't have time to grab some coffee at home.

I deserve to sleep in 10 more minutes {even though I know it will make us borderline late, stressed, and rushed} because two kids were up in the middle of the night.

I deserve to take a ridiculously long shower, even though I assured my husband I would be "quick" so we could get to church on time.

I deserve a day away from my children. I deserve to go shopping at the mall. I deserve this chocolate bar, to watch my TV show, this new car, a few drinks, this vacation, this new stuff for my hobby...

...until you allow the reality of your sinfulness and brokenness to really seep in. Apart from Christ, we are all sinners who deserve one thing: an eternity in Hell. All we are, all we have, and all we can afford to buy and do is because of the kindness, mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. I don't know about you, but I don't want a false attitude of entitlement permeating my life, and I especially don't want it in the lives of my children.

How often do we really stop to ponder the goodness, kindness, love and grace of God, that while we were still sinners, He sent His Son, His perfect, sinless Son, to hang on the cross and die a sinners death... for us. He was made to be sin for us so we wouldn't have to be anymore. EVERYTHING we are and have is because of Him. We don't deserve any of it. Your money? Ya, it's His. Your car? His. Your time? His. Your home? Yep, His again. You get the idea.

God longs to bless us abundantly with gifts because of His great love and kindness, and He also wants us to enjoy those gifts!! But as you enjoy them, keep the Giver in mind and ask Him how He might want you to use those things He's so richly blessed you with. As summer approaches and the kids are so excited to be done with school, bask in the sun, and hang out at the pool {just about as much as their parents!}, I'd encourage you to think beyond yourselves and what you deserve this season.

Take some time to pray and ask God what He wants you to do with your time, talent, and resources for His kingdom this summer. There are so many needs out there, and you might be just the person He wants to use to meet them! Serve. Bless. Give. Encourage. Love. And enjoy your summer!