“…And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
We Christians are often very good at quoting scripture, especially verses that bring us comfort and strength in times of need. These verses have a way of making us feel good and bring us relief in knowing that we aren’t alone and that we have One who goes before us on this faith journey. But I wonder how intricately do we know the passages that we cling to? Do we know a scripture’s complete context and the full understanding of the words we utter from memorized verses in whatever translation that we’ve memorized them from?
Do we sometimes pick and choose the passages that most suit us in our times of need? Perhaps our troubles have begun way before the physical worries manifest themselves in our lives because we have failed to include the Almighty into our day and moment by moment. God doesn’t want us simply to check in from time to time with Him, like some teenager would with his or her parents while they are out late with friends. No, instead He desires the fellowship which lasts all day.
For example, the focus verse that I have listed above has been taken out of context many times. We stop short of reading it in its full entirety because we only want the good that comes from God. We only want what we want and we fail to understand that this relationship with God first begins with love and devotion to Him. From this all things flow. Now, don’t misunderstand me. We do not love simply to have good things happen to us. God is not some genie who grants wishes if we are good to Him. We pleaded with by the Holy Spirit to love because He first loved us. We are invited to become partakers of His kingdom and to be called sons and daughters of God. There is no better invitation than that! But you see love isn’t about getting stuff…that’s not love at all. We don’t love God to get things or because it benefits us in a prosperity sort of way. No, instead a right relationship with Him demands of us our full devotion and love.
This is the path least taken in this world.
This is the place where true faith walks in tandem with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus looked into Peter’s eyes, these same eyes that stared blankly at accusers while his lips denied his allegiance to his Teacher. Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Not once, not twice, but three times – the same amount of times Peter had lied and denied Him. Imagine the conviction of that moment. Envision sitting there with the Son of Man and coming face to face with your shortcomings and failures? I am certain that the tears of shame would flow, and my heart would be rent.
Jesus still asks us today, “Do you love me?” He pleads with us “Let me in, allow me access to your daily life…let me be a part of who you are – can I be a part of your very identity?”
What will your answer be?
Something more to ponder today.