Monday, September 01, 2008
Thanks for praying the other day...
God is good. His greatness is shown by His kindness. We rob only ourselves of the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience when we keep hold of our stubborn heart. (Romans 2:4)
I have wondered at how many show contempt for others, mocking and acting as it those they were "exposing" are supposedly less worthy of God's grace that others... In fact to do that is to show contempt for the kindness of God.
My daily prayer is for those who seem to have contempt for the kindness of God and see that Grace is not worthy of extending to others. I not only prayer for them but for my own heart which at times seems to lack the ability to give grace to those who are graceless to others.
Yet, my heart is always for reconciliation. I desire only that the hypocrisy stops. That this hate clothed with a thin veneer of love is exposed and that those who live such ways find the love of God. This love is impossible not to pass on to others as it changes us from the inside out. Once touched by this Love of God that dwells in us as we dwell in Him we cannot help but give it away.
My actions may not always seems loving to some. Yet, the pain of holding the mirror to myself to see who I really am is often painful. Sometimes God uses our friends who feel like enemies to hold that mirror up for us to see.
I remember before I was found by Grace. I heard a man who spoke of this grace. I was "saved" and did all the "right" things... yet I found I hated this man more than any other man I had known. My only desire was to prove him wrong and expose him for the fraud he was....
Yet, God had other plans for me. I listened to his show on the radio and read through Hebrews. I took extra effort and care to keep the context of each chapter as I read. If in chapter 1,2,3, it stated one was secure in their faith, then in chapter 6 and 10 I had to keep those in context of the previous chapters. When I finished, I was profoundly shaken by my discovery that my theology... ( my understanding of eternal security) was wrong. I then read this man 's book... Classic Christianity... and discovered even more of God's grace for me.
I love this man, Bob George, and consider him to be one of the greatest influences on my life and it's course. Funny thing is, Bob and I would not agree on many things, yet, Grace which is rooted in Love, covers our differences. These things are so little and meaningless in contrast to what God's grace is doing in our lives.
My prayer for those that call themselves my enemy... (They are not now and have ever been mine) is that they come to grasp how great this Grace God has for them. I pray that they are so infected by it they are changed from one who judges and condemns others in the Name of Jesus, though He Himself did not come to do that, to one who desires only to show the kindness of God.
Sometimes a friend holding a mirror up to us, will feel like our enemy... yet, in the end if we see what God is doing, that friend will be one of those who had loved us most of all.