Life is scary and governing is difficult. That’s why it is so easy to think it’s all up to us and therefore acceptable to do what we think makes us safer. But there’s more to it than this. Far more. So perhaps it’s time for those of us who call ourselves Jesus’ disciples to reflect on the bigger picture – what God says in God’s Word:
“So circumcise your hearts and stop being so stubborn, because the Lord your God is the God of all gods and Lord of all lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who doesn’t play favorites and doesn’t take bribes. He enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing. That means you must also love immigrants because you were immigrants in Egypt. Revere the Lord your God, serve him, cling to him, swear by his name alone!” Deuteronomy 10:16-20 – Common English Bible
How often will you listen to God today? Not talk to God, tell God what to do, think about God or even try to understand God. But actually listen to God. Probably not nearly as much as you should. Of course, you’ve got reasons – you don’t feel worthy, aren’t sure how to do it and struggle with whether God actually does communicate with you. But God does communicate with you. In fact, God never stops. Which means it’s time to just start listening to God. And when you do, you’ll be amazed how what you hear brings real clarity about the real you in ways that make a real difference.
While God fills you with grace and empowers you in wondrous ways, God leaves the choosing in life up to you. So how are you going to use the 24 hours God has given you today? You’ve certainly got lots of choices, especially when you consider all the things you have to do, need to do, should do and want to do. Which is exactly why it’s so important to remember that you can never make your best decisions in isolation, apart from God. Because God will help you make choices that enable you to better love God with everything you’ve got and your neighbor as yourself. Not just in theory, but in real life. Not just in words, but in deeds. Not just in broad strokes, but in concrete actions. And to do it one choice at a time.
It’s another day and my heart is overflowing because I know that nothing ever can change the fact that You love me.
But while I love You already, I long to love You even more. While I am growing in my relationship with You, I want to go deeper. And while I’m sharing Your love with others, I dream of doing it all the time.
So let Your love go to work in me. Help me move beyond all my doubts, excuses and questions. Heal, renew and change me. Enable me to become more compassionate, generous and joyful. And unleash me to fully share with others what You share with me.
Do you ever feel out of step with the world around you because you’re uncomfortable with a great deal of what popular culture, politics, media and advertising say life is supposed to be like? Hopefully so, even though the last thing in the world you want to do is be simplistic, judgmental or try to hide from real life. That’s because being a Jesus-follower sometimes does make you feel as if you are living in a different reality for one very simple reason – you put him ahead of everything else; especially culture, politics, media and advertisers. So it’s okay the next time you find yourself marching to the beat of a different drummer. In fact, it’s more than okay. Because the drumbeat you’re marching to is the heartbeat of God.