Tuesday, April 14, 2009
This past week, I was reflecting on truths that I know, and came up with yet another question to drop on unsuspecting friends during casual conversations. :) Are you ready for this? *I happen to think that it is a profound question* If you were to complete the following sentence with only one word, what word would you use to fill in the blank?
God is __________.
Pretty grand huh? I think that this question (when answered) gives a true glimpse into the heart and soul of the person answering. This question is so profound because it essentially sums up ones' view of God -- in one word. Allow me to illustrate.
-If someone were to answer "God is forgiving", that could imply that perhaps this person has a past that they are ashamed of, and when they view God, they choose to dwell on the truth that God has forgiven them of their sins and washed them white as snow.
-Another possibility could be the answer "God is sovereign." The inference that could be drawn from this is that one chooses to dwell on the truth, and take comfort and peace in knowing that God is a big God. That the God they serve has everything under control and that He has a beautiful plan for their life. That nothing is outside of His reach, and that everything is under His power.
So yeah, I really like this question to say the least. My answer to this question, in case you were wondering is love. To me, God is love. Sounds cliche right? But really, I tend to view life through a love colored lens. The way I see it, God breathed me into existence because He loves me. Even when I turned from Him and was lost in my sin, He loved me so much that He wished to make a way for me to be back in relation with Him. He sacrificed Himself, out of His great love for me, to make atonement for my sins. He purchased me with His blood because of His love for me, and, in return, has given me freedom. He has liberated my soul because of His love for me, and He dwells in me and speaks to me out of His love for me. Yeah, to me, life revolves around love. Which is truly a mind blowing concept! Because of His love for me, when I encounter people who are broken and hurting, I wish to pour love into them, His love, through me, into them, because I know that the one thing they truly seek is unconditional love and I know that God's love is satiating and eternal. Love is what makes my world go round and it is because of God's love for me that I am satisfied in Him.
Moving on, I found myself reading 1 John 4 last week. It has this to say: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. We love because He first loved us. If anyone says 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother."
I think that so often, many people feel as if there is a long "Christian To-Do List." I've heard fellow believers talk about how draining it is to be a follower of Christ. They've mentioned that they feel that there is so much to do in a day, that they hardly feel as if they have the time to do it all -- from praying, to having devotions, to evangelizing, to loving others. Not to mention the guilt or feeling of inadequacy they experience if any one of these things is not accomplished in a day. Here's a thought... why don't we spend our time loving God? When our focus is on loving God, everything else is sure to fall into place. When we truly love God, we want to speak to Him, and prayer comes as naturally and is as necessary as breathing. When you whole-heartedly love God, you wish to gain more knowledge and understanding of Him, through reading His word. Out of your love and adoration for God, you will naturally love those that He loves, and if you find someone that is lost, you will desire for them to know and experience God's love and presence in the same magnitude with which your heart experiences it.
Chew on this fellow believers... If your focus is currently on checking off the items on your "Christian To-Do List" -- meaning that if you are currently focused on accomplishing the great works that are unspokenly expected of Christians-- focused on things like praying, having a diligent quiet time, evangelizing, loving others, or any of these like things (all of which a great things might I add) this merely means that your focus has been diverted from God and to the works of this world. My encouragement to you would be this, may you love God. May you abide in Him, and may your eyes and heart be focused purely on Him. May you come to find that out of true love for God, everything else in your life will fall swiftly into place. He loves you. May that truth resonate in your heart today and may you stop focusing on works and start abiding in Him.
I'm done. :)