Oh, How He Loves…
April 13, 2010
Today I am desperate for the Restoration. For the day when all things are made new, when all is well, when His reign is felt in our hearts, attitudes and choices. Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand, that it was here, that it was now. But I am so bad at bringing it about, at inviting God’s shalom into my world. Instead I remain angry and lost and confused. The Kingdom of Heaven seems far off, and I know that I can’t bring it on my own. I continually grieve the Spirit in whom I have been sealed.
I have been struck by Ephesians 4 the last couple of days. Any version is powerful, but I’ve been reading it in The Message.
I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.
My life seems to be continual fits and starts. But I want to run steadily on the road God has for me. And wanting is just as good as doing, right?
No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.
No prolonged infancies. No prolonged infancies.
Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.
Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
The more I learn from Scripture and seminary and books, the more I understand how intense and deep God’s mercy is. He judges, yes, because He is just (and we wouldn’t want it any other way), but He continually sends His prophets to beg for repentance, for righteousness, for recognition of sins. He gives us chance after chance because He wants to show us mercy. His desire is to bring beauty from ashes, to bring new life out of dry ground. And this is His desire because He loves us. He is continually loving us.
And so when I fail, and when I see the broken and evil around me, and when I sit and yearn for the Day that is yet to come, I rest in thanks that my God is merciful. That He loves. That He sent His Son as the perfect, sacrificial example, and His Spirit to guide me in truth. What a beautiful God.