One story, we like to tell happened shortly after we were married. Like all newlyweds, we had little money, and I wasn't working. It was a lot like today. Jobs were scarce. And in the midst of these money problems, we were anti-burgled. When you get burgled, someone sneaks into your house, and steals your stuff. When you are anti-burgled, someone sneaks into your house and leaves you stuff. In our case, it was about $200 worth of groceries. That's a lot of groceries nowadays. Back 30 years ago, it was more than a lot of groceries. And we continue to be grateful that God took time to let someone know about our need, and how they could fill it, many years later.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
God's Heart - IIa
We recently considered a couple of Paul’s prayers. I would like to return to one of these prayers. Paul said, that when he considered what he knew of God’s plans and purposes, it moved him to pray. It was so big, and so dependent on people, and so different that what people expected.
So, he prayed for people’s hearts to be strengthened. People will need to make decisions that involve things that are foreign to them, that take them out of their comfort zone. We now that; we talk about that; do that is another thing altogether.
He prayed that Christ makes his home in our hearts. It is in our hearts that Jesus changes our spiritual DNA. He changes our motivations, our values, and our priorities. It is important in this process that Jesus live there, not just come for a visit each week.
He prayed that we establish root in God’s love. There are many people who try to follow God from some sort of duty, some sort of “ought to.” Duty/obligation/ought will only take people so far. Look how far Jesus’ love took him.
And he prayed that we will understand the immensity of God’s love. There is no unit of love, but we all have a sense of degrees of love. So, we need to realize how sold out God is for us. Too many of God’s family do not realize the extent that God is willing to go for them, so they are unwilling to step out for him.
And he prays we would experience that love. It is one thing to feel the “warm fuzzies” of God’s love. I am not going to argue against them. I am going to remind us that we are people. And when we are faced with the cold, hard facts of life, the “warm fuzzies” quickly vanish. However, God is real and personal; he has given, is giving and will give hot factual evidence of his love. We have all experienced those facts. Sometimes from God’s hand personally. Sometimes through his body, who are also his family. We need to hang onto these.
And he prayed for us to become complete. God transforms us, heals us, feeds us and strengthens us, so we are mature. Mature does not mean there is no more room for growth. It does mean we have made progress in thinking, speaking and acting like Jesus. Our motives, values and priorities are more like Jesus. And so, we are in a better position to be an asset, while God completes his plan.