Friday, July 21, 2017

God reveals — How do I respond?



Yesterday I put a picture of outer space on my Internet browser. It reminds me of the verses that say, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Wow! If the universe is like this, what is God like?

My next thought is a question: Why does this awesome God care about me? I’m a mere speck in His vast creation. Yet He does care and when He reached out His hand to me, I grabbed hold of it, trusting Him to take care of my needs and guide me in the best way.

God takes the initiative, knowing what I will do because He enables me to do it. What if I looked at that photo and only saw the colors and shapes, didn’t think of God at all — just used it to design a quilt? What if I went outside and looked at creation, only to dig out a microscope or telescope and a notebook, trying to figure out where it came from? What if I did consider God exists, but relegated Him to ‘out there’ somewhere, no hand reaching out, not a person who cares about me, not someone I can trust?

And I did those things. I look back now and see how God persisted. He used the sun and stars to set my mind in motion regarding His existence. He used the mistakes I made to bring me to a sense of need for guidance. He used Jesus to show me that He reached out, and He answered prayer to show He cares about me and every detail of my life.

God’s love is always there. It never ceased when I was indifferent or when I said NO. It never increased when I responded nor does it decrease when I ignore Him. He selected me to believe and worked on me until I was ready for the gift of new life and faith. Salvation is God’s doing in those who gladly take His hand and in those who reluctantly admit we need Him. For that, I am truly thankful.

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.” (Psalm 92:1–4)

I’m thankful too for my brothers and sisters in Christ. God persisted with them too, bringing them into His family so that we could experience the fullness of His glory together. Some kick and pull back, but He hangs on to us because His love never fails.

“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13–15)

^^^^^^^^^^
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, for some reason beyond my comprehension, You choose to show mercy and forgive when it seems the more deserving response to my resistance is for You to walk away. You desire that Your people see Your glory, both in creation and in the more explicit and profound revelation of You becoming a man and walking among us, even holding my hand and walking with me.

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