In the midst of a world that seems to be spinning faster and faster out of control, it’s important to remember who You are. You are God of all that is. You have created the vastness of the universe. And you are at work ensuring that Your will is as real on earth as it is in heaven. For this we give You all praise, honor and glory!
Your love is infinite. Your grace permeates all creation. And Your purposes are imbedded in everything that is. For this we give You praise, honor and glory!
You embrace each of us individually. Love us unconditionally, transformationally and invitationally. And call us to share in the fullness of Your life. For this we give You praise, honor and glory!
May we respond with awe, joy and hope. Trust You with everything in our lives. And live as You have created us to live. Starting now. Continuing in each moment and every situation. And lasting forever more. Indeed, we give You all praise, honor and glory!
You use a lot of energy when you are hurt deeply, expend an incredible amount of energy when your reputation is impugned and empty your reservoir of energy when you are threatened. Of course, you have to deal with these threats. Often forcefully. But you don’t have to fall into the trap of believing it’s your ability to do so that somehow determines who you are as a person. Your identity is always determined by God who loves you unconditionally, every single moment and regardless of what you do. And it is this reality – and that’s exactly what it is – that enables you to keep everything in your life in perspective; deal with whatever happens; and frees you to invest your energy in more important ways: loving God, cherishing others and living your life in the abundance of God’s grace. So today and everyday, remember whose you are.
It’s the same question whether it’s our nation, where you work, your family or your church – do you want to make your point or do you want to make it work? That may sound simplistic, and perhaps it is. But it’s also true. That’s because it is always a temptation to prove that you are right instead of rolling up your sleeves, engaging other people, learning, growing and joining with them to get something positive done. Certainly you’ll always have opinions. And some of them will be so important the only way you can remain faithful is to refuse to compromise. But most of the time in most situations and with most people, God needs you to be that person who trusts God enough to take the first step to make things work. And you can. Because God’s the one helping you do it.
You can recite the symptoms: increasing violence, a growing gap between ethnic and religious groups, anxiety, fear and hopelessness about the future. It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s an accurate description of the world you experience. So how did we get here? There are some obvious answers: technology – especially social media, lack of opportunity for a better life, institutions that have failed and a growing cynicism that has taken on a life of its own. But there is one thing that has had a far greater impact than anything else. It’s the fact that we are created by God to be in relationship with God, but far too often turn away – as individuals, churches and the world. So what do we do? Focus on first things first. And the first of all first things is that God has created you, loves you passionately and longs to be in relationship with you.
God’s love is unconditional because there’s nothing you can do to make God love you any more than God already does. It’s transformational because God is not going to leave you the way you are. And it’s invitational because God wants you to join God in healing a broken world. You know how to deal with the unconditional and transformational aspects of God’s love, even if the whole change thing is a struggle. But you probably struggle to understand how you can join God, how God can use your help and how you can make a difference. These are legitimate questions. And they will be answered fully – as you love others, care for those who are hurting, help people experience God’s forgiveness and healing, and work for justice in a world of sin, greed and oppression. So respond to God’s invitation and begin to experience the depth of God’s love.