Because Life Is More than Money

Smith Center customers and friends – welcome to Guaranty. We are soooooooooo pleased to have you as customers and friends.

Children often play whatever they have recently experienced. They play school after school and doctor after a visit to the doctor.  They play mommy with their doll like mommy does with baby brother. They play house. They play car pool. They play restaurant. Playing out all these things help kids figure out how parts of everyday life work. One of our kids shared a story recently about their kids playing Children’s Church.

Older sister to brother, “Now Ben, you have to pray and ask Jesus into your heart.” Younger brother complies. Older sister to brother, “Now you have to go tell somebody that you becepted [accepted] Jesus into your heart.” Younger brother goes and tells mom. Only God knows right now what went on in Ben’s heart and head. The part that makes me glad is that the kids play children’s church just like they play house, doctor and the like as a normal part of their everyday playing. I’m sure that that pleased God. God wants our relationship with Him to be normal and everyday just like school, work, caring for the baby, going to the doctor, etc.

I look forward to seeing evidence in my grandchildren’s lives that they have a relationship with Jesus and the relationship is growing and strengthening. And even when I see that evidence, I know I will also see the evidence they are still the same kids. They will still occasionally yell mean words at each other. They will still sometimes ignore their chores. They will procrastinate doing homework and practicing.

Accepting Jesus does not make us instantly good, as you have probably noticed. Jesus does make us forgiven and our debt fully and legally paid. But, even for God, the re-making of each of us into someone good is a long, hard process. We chafe and rebel against the changes that must be made in us. Changing from living life for ME to living life for WE is counter to our human nature. The new nature God gives us makes the changes possible, but not instant and not easy.

God expresses His grace by forgiving us even though we don’t deserve it. God expresses His mercy by withholding the punishment we do deserve. God expresses His love for us by changing us into someone good.

You and I cannot reproduce the character of Jesus, who is good, on our own strength. New Year’s resolutions, willpower and the best intentions are not enough. Only God has the power to work into us the changes needed to make us good like Jesus. It’s a process as long as the time lapse between accepting Jesus and your last earthly breath. The Bible reads at Philippians 2:13, “God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.”

Trying to put the little boy at ease, the doctor asked, “Will I hear Cookie Monster when I listen to your heart?” “No”, said the boy, “you’ll hear Jesus.” “My mom says Cookie Monster is my tummy.”

Happy changing!

 Doug Johnson