“In a very real sense it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do His work, to bear His glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualifications, there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.”
Madeline L’Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art
I don’t know about you, but I have found this to be true in my own life. There are so many things in life I could never have done without God. Starting this blog was definitely one of them! I’m a shy introvert, so who could imagine I would lead a retreat? Give talks to groups of Christians? Even teach the adult Sunday School class? So, never turn down an opportunity because you’re afraid to try. If you sense it is something God wants you to do. Leave it in His hands and He will give you the ability to accomplish it.
“The first thing I ask is that people should not make use of my name and should not call themselves Lutherans but Christians. What is Luther? The teaching is not mine. Nor was I crucified for anyone. How did I, poor stinking bag of maggots that I am, come to the point where people call the children of Christ by my evil name?”
“To wait on God means to pause and soberly consider our own inadequacy and the Lord’s all-sufficiency, and to seek counsel and help from the Lord, and to hope in Him (Psalm. 33:20-22; Isa. 8:17) … The folly of not waiting for God is that we forfeit the blessing of having God work for us. The evil of not waiting on God is that we oppose God’s will to exalt Himself in mercy.” John Piper
” If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people”
“The sin underneath all our sins is to trust the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ and must take matters into our own hands” ― Martin Luther
I don’t know about anyone else, but this is certainly true of me. One of the books I read during Lent (40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole) suggested that we fast from premature resolution — in other words, wait for God rather than rushing to find the answer yourself when there is a problem or question. I’m trying to do this, but it’s hard. I like to fix things, get things done, take care of any issues. Why? Because if I don’t, I worry about it (there’s that lack of trust issue). So, like any addict, I’m taking it one day at a time.
What about you, reader? What’s the sin you need to conquer every day?
“This I long for, that I may be wholly united unto Thee, and may withdraw my heart from all created things, and by means of sacred communion, and the frequent partaking thereof, may learn more and more to relish things heavenly and eternal. Ah, Lord God, when shall I be wholly made one with Thee and lost in Thee, and become altogether forgetful of myself? Thou in me, and I in Thee (John 15:4); so also grant that we may continue together in one. Verily, Thou are ‘my beloved …. the chiefest among ten thousand’ (Song of Solomon 5:10), in whom my soul is well pleased to dwell all the days of her life. Verily, Thou art my Peacemaker, in whom is the highest peace and true rest; out of whom is labor and sorrow and infinite misery. ‘Verily, thou art a God that hidest thyself’; (Isaiah 45:15) and Thy counsel is not with the wicked, but with the humble and ‘he giveth grace unto the lowly’ (Proverbs 3:34).”
From Of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
For more posts the sacrament of Holy Communion see:
The Bible tells us to pray for everyone, not just our friends and families, the people for whom we have affection. In fact,
” But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:27-28
I’ve been trying to do this recently. It isn’t easy but it’s helpful. When we pray for someone who has hurt us, or who seems to be set against us, we begin to be more understanding, and we start to see our own shortcomings. This short reading from Of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, touched my heart during my devotional reading this morning.
“I offer unto Thee my prayers and sacrifices of propitiation, for those especially who have in any matter hurt, grieved, or reviled me, or who have done me any damage or displeasure. For all those also, whom at any time I have grieved, troubled, burdened, and scandalized by words or deeds, knowingly or in ignorance; that Thou wouldst grant us all equally pardon for our sins, and for our offenses against each other.
Take away from our hearts, O Lord, all suspicion, indignation, wrath and contention, and whatever may wound and lessen brotherly love.”
In Sunday School recently we were discussing the final judgement. In 2nd Corinthians the apostle, Paul says:
“For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10
Then we pondered this question. If we are saved only through the atonement of Christ, not because of our good works, then what will our “reward” be? We decided that although our good behavior doesn’t save us, it is God’s will that we progress in our sanctification — remember the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30)? The master commends the servants who used what He had given them to produce more. That simple phrase — “well done, good and faithful servant” was the greatest reward they could receive! It goes right along with the C. S. Lewis quote below:
“I know of three classes of people among those who are being saved: slaves, employees, and sons. If you are a slave, fear punishment; if you are an employee, look only for wages; if you are more than these — if you are a son–then revere God as Father. Do what is good because it is good to obey a Father. And even if there be no reward for you, it is reward enough to have pleased your Father. Let us take care not to despise these things.”