God Lifts You Up

You have experienced what it’s like to be forgotten, overlooked or treated as if you have nothing of value to add. Probably too many times and perhaps right now. God knows your pain – and God wants to take it away. But you have to help God by allowing God’s love to penetrate your walls of protection, actively look for what God is doing and trust that God’s love defines you far more than what anyone else does to you. And when you do – even if it’s only a tentative first step – you will experience how God lifts you up when others want to keep you down.

The Right Question

The right question is often far more important than the right answer because the right question engages you in a process of reflecting about important matters that leads to many more important questions. Here’s one of those important questions. Do you try to fit God into your world or do you consciously live your life in God’s world? Only you – and God – know the answer to this question, which means only you – and God – can answer it. The point is not to get it right and then move on with your life. Rather, it is to think about your life, how you’re living and what you really want to do. And that’s a journey that begins right now and ends in the heart of God.

Where is God?

You may find yourself asking, “Where is God?” And it is understandable why, especially when you are facing painful and life-changing realities, and longing for signs of God’s presence, healing and hope. But what if you were to start by saying, “God is here!” Instead of wondering, you assume God is present seeking to make God’s will a reality in the everyday stuff of life. Instead of hoping, you expect God to make a difference because God has promised to do so. And instead of nervously waiting to catch a glimpse of God, you take it for granted that you will discover God in just the way God wants. You may say this is just a matter of perspective. And you would be right. Because it is. But it’s one that changes your life. 

“Doesn’t – Does”

God doesn’t wait until you are perfect to love you – God does love you perfectly right now. God doesn’t love you conditionally until you prove yourself – God loves you unconditionally even in your worst moments. God doesn’t care how religious you are – God does care that you be religious about loving God and your neighbor more and more each day. God doesn’t want you to become a super-human – God does want you to be fully-human because Christ comes alive in you. 

A Sunday Prayer

Lord of All That Is,

Too often we are so caught up in our own joys, struggles, hopes, failures, mistakes and victories that we forget the most important thing about us is You.

You are the One who has created and loves us. You are the One who has sent Jesus to redeem and lead us into life that is both abundant and eternal. You are the One who gives the Holy Spirit to continuously comfort, challenge and shape us.

So with a single breath, we simultaneously confess our self-centeredness and give You thanks. 

Grace us into knowing Whose we are and who we are. Patiently guide us into a deeper relationship with You that enables us not just to survive but to embrace life. And be the potter to our clay so we become disciples who share Jesus’ love in real ways in real lives that really make a difference.

We pray this in the strong name of Jesus – not because of what we can do, but because of all that You do.

Amen. 

A Work in Progress

I’m a work in progress. But, thankfully, I don’t have to do it on my own. This is because the Holy Spirit is at work – sometimes gently nudging and sometimes giving me a quick kick on the backside – to get me where God wants me to be. So here’s what I’m learning yet again. It’s not so much what I do for myself. Rather, it’s what Jesus does for me. It’s not about what rights I have. Rather, what matters is loving God and my neighbor with everything I’ve got. It’s not me prevailing against others with whom I disagree. Rather, it’s trying to bring about reconciliation. And it’s especially not about how good a Christian I can become. Rather, it’s living by grace every moment of every day. Indeed, I’m a work in progress. Come, Holy Spirit, come.