Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Why do we do what we do? Have you thought about this at all? I began my reflection while waiting at a train station for my son to return from a week long mission trip. He went to help clean up a school in New Mexico, which is just what a thirteen year old boy wants to do over sumer break, clean and go to school. Why then did he go?
When I was in college I boarded a plane and flew across the ocean to a place half way across the world, and I still ask why did I do it. We do many things some of those actions we like to talk about, others we would like to forget, and others we wish everyone would just stop talking about. The question is still why did you do it I you do not want people to remember.
The answer is in our hearts. when we fill our minds and bodies with certain things we tend to think and act accordingly. Sure at times in a moment of weakness we may do things that we normally would not do. It is the weak moments I wish to discuss. Thirteen years ago was a pretty trying time for me. I started college, My little sister passed away and to tell the truth I was more intrested in having the college experience than anything else. For the most part everyone would say that I was a good kid. My parents said they were proud of me, but spiritualy I was a wreck. When my sister died I thought I was greiving well, but now I realize I was running. I made choices that maybe I should not have made, but once an action is done you cannot take them back.
The results changed my life. It is amazing how that happens. I became a father. In an instant every priority in my life changed. I can say I made some bad choices but I will never say I regret this one. There is a reason I do not regret. I know that god can work all things out for the good of those that trust Him. My son drove me to examine the direction of my life and I had to make some pretty big changes. I began to understand aspect of God that I never knew before and I could see how God was working in areas I never realised. I had a son and I knew that God used him to keep me from going into a life that I one day would regret. As I began to let God into other areas of my life I began to see more changes.
Times of weakness or trials are the times we lean on the past and begin to grasp at various vines to regain some hope of our footing. In this scripture Paul talks about filling a life with Christ, and out of that filling acting according to that base. When we begin a journey with God in our lives we start for a multitude of reasons. Where we end up has a lot to do with us. God may save our soul, but we also have to respond all relationships have responses and action on both sides. The more we invest our lives into a relatonship the more we are changed and influenced by it.
Paul says that he speaks because a new nature has come into his life. He speaks not out of his own words but under the influence of the Spirit of God. His life is filled with God, his words and actions drip with the grace given to him through that relationship. He is not the same person he once was. I am not the same person. God got my attention and asI began spending more time with Him my life changed. It changed in a way that I was willing to leave my family and board a plane to another country. It has changed me so much that I am willing to let my son do the same. It has changed me so much that it has spilled out into the lives of others, and I begin speaking and acting according to a grace that without God I would not have. I do not do things I used to. Does this mean I will never sin again? No I am fully aware of all my weaknesses. When the stress piles up sometimes I return for a moment to that place I once was. I have noticed something though, the more time I spend with God in prayer the more grace and love I can share. I have also noticed the more that I pray the more open I am to serve the world around me because the Spirit prompted my heart. The more time I spend in prayer the more strength I have to deal with those around me that sap my spiritual energy. The more time I pray the more I want to pray, to worship and to speak to others about my relationship with God.
We pray and reflect on scripture because it deepens our relationship with God. We pray because it changes us into the people that can live and breath hope into the world. It is through the change in us that God answers most prayers. That answer is often a simple act or word of love to someone that needs it.
Today as you celebrate the day of the Lord remember what God did to provide a way and life free from the bondage of sin. And just enjoy some time with the God that loves you.
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