In 2007, I met and had the privilege to get to know my cousin Laura; a true God-send. Though battling stage four breast cancer, we developed a loving Christian relationship, centered in family, though long-lost cousins before. I was blessed beyond measure by her conversation with me in the little amount of time we had. She loved the Lord till her last day and knew that her Father in heaven loved her. Laura wrote to me: “All my life, I had wondered. I felt there was a void in my life, something was missing. I think I always knew it was Jesus and when I went to church, I never felt better. But, I had felt like an outsider...like maybe He was someone else’s Jesus...not mine, because I didn’t grow up in a church. I still felt that way when I started going to church, but God held me and pushed me through the fear so I could make HIM my own! I feel fortunate that that experience happened. I know God would have pursued me in other ways, but I really desired him...wanted that void filled. What a loving God, I realized that I was made to worship HIM and that is why the void was filled. The Bible started making sense, had new meaning. And, my desires to be the good girl were backed with a biblical perspective. My own philosophies and mind-set began to make sense to me. It was like I was waiting for HIM all along, but never knew how to ask...was afraid God wouldn’t want me. I was wrong, though. He has always been waiting, patiently! So cool!”
Romans 15:5-7 “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.”
Christian teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan of the video series 'That the World may Know' writes: “If we are freed from the bondage of sin to forgiveness and salvation by the mercy & grace of God through the atoning blood of our redeeming Savior Jesus Christ, let our kids, our family, our friends and neighbors see our joy because God is the King of the Universe. God created this magnificent creation - order out of chaos. Sin put creation back into chaos and sin became a kingdom of bondage. But God has said that His kingdom will be restored. The people of God say “The Lord is my King forever and ever.” And if the Lord is King then we have a kingdom. But the kingdom of God truly starts not by what we do. We can do nothing by our power bring the kingdom. The kingdom starts when God acts. The finger of God comes first. We are delivered by grace; a grace with unbelievable power. God is blessed that we call Him King, but He wants to know if He is our king. Does He rule in our life? Is it His reign? Is He in charge of our life? Are we truly glorifying God with our life? God wants His kingdom to be active in our life. Our Lord Jesus told us to pray: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.” If we want to be part of the kingdom with which God is changing the world, we can not leave out the last piece. Once God delivered us, He expects us to join the story, which means doing His will. In our desire to bless God for His grace, we have to be very careful not to shut ourselves out of the action. The point is that God is saying, “I am at work in your world. I am defeating evil and bringing Shalom (order and peace) and I want you, my children, to reflect me to those who blindly follow other gods. Be like Christ.” When we say: “God, we’re in.” He replies: “Fantastic! Now let me train you.” God doesn’t call the qualified, but qualifies the called. May His kingdom come as we learn, from the grace of God, to do His will. Now let God shape us into the community He wants us to be.” And may the glory be to God.
Heavenly Father, O God, forgive us for our sins, for they are many. Cleanse us by the blood of Jesus Christ. Fill us with your Holy Spirit. Give us a heart that delights to please Thee, to do your will, to fulfill your purpose in us and for this world and to bring glory to your name. For Christ’s sake. Amen.
Reflecting Christ, Brian