In addition to the reflections I’ve had about our church and it’s history and God’s faithfulness, I’ve also been reflecting on what God really wants from us.
My reflections came from reading through the bible chronologically. Honestly, I started reading through it two years ago and so I am definitely not following the one year plan for this as I am WAY behind, but I have enjoyed taking my time and savouring God speaking to me through His word and through Larry Crabb’s book, 66 Love Letters, which I am using as a companion guide. A few weeks ago when I read through Nahum, and had reflected on previous readings, it struck me that what God wants most from us is to humble ourselves before Him and to be self-sacrificing.
Judah’s King Manasseh was, to me, a shocking example of God’s grace, after humbling oneself before Him, that I cannot shake. Manasseh was a despicable, evil king who filled Jerusalem with the blood of his own children and people and disregarded God so much that he had Isaiah, the prophet, sawn in half! I can’t even imagine living in a time where child sacrifices and killings were everyday occurrences. But God humbled this king, and then he repented, completely changed his ways, acknowledged God as Lord of all and when he died, he rested with God. (Long, thoughtful pause.)
I’m not advocating that we live how we want and hope to repent at the end of our lives, I am just using this story as an example of how God’s love and forgiveness and grace to those who acknowledge Him as Lord is all-encompassing. It is convicting and leaves me in awe. Once we have acknowledged who God is, (whatever point that comes in our lives) it makes complete sense that we would give our lives to Him in service. This is much harder for me than almost anything else, as I am very tempted to do all the things that I enjoy and to make my leisure time and desires a priority. There are times though, when I am having lunch with homeless people or spending a bit of time with refugees, that I am convicted to be more sacrificial. I just wish those times would last longer; I haven’t figured out how to keep “that fire burning” on a daily basis.
However, I am convinced that God’s faithful, enduring, inclusive love for us and our loving response to serve others in a self sacrificial way is how we will impact the world.
What does it look like for you to humble yourself before God?
In which areas of your life could you make sacrifices?
Though they may be difficult, aren’t those reasonable responses to God’s grace and love in our lives?
As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! Psalm 119:7
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16