"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

God - Involving, Providing, Loving, Redeeming, Using

"How do we handle human conflict, selfishness, pride? It's a cosmic problem. But it needs a personal solution. Microsoft can't program selfishness out. The president can't veto it. A Pentagon printout can't give specifications for love. It's only when God fills us with his love, when God is willing to get involved in our mess, that we find the power to change." -- pg. 68

I love the verse in Ezekiel where God promised to replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh. In other words, He would change our hard hearts into tender, compassionate ones. Have you ever prayed for God to give you His love for others? For God to give you His eyes for seeing those people who previously got on your nerves or of whom you thought little? It's quite amazing how He can transform your thoughts and feelings towards people if you truly desire Him to do this.

"God's grace is not cheap. A moral God doesn't overlook injustice with a wave of the hand and a shrug of the shoulders. We can't wipe out the stain of our selfishness by our merits. We can't bridge the gap between our polluted selves and a holy, eternal God by our good works. No, penalties must be paid. In Christ they are paid." -- pg. 73 Whether we believe Abraham was ready to offer Isaac or Ishmael, the lesson is clear: "God himself can provide a sacrifice."

And many believe He did just this. We believe Jesus was the Lamb of God who gave Himself for our sins. As John the Baptist said: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

Also see this post where I copied a quote from someone convinced the cross shows God's sacrificial love.

"The cross reveals that God is not only zealous to uphold the moral order of the universe and to do something about wrong action and sin, but He is also zealous to uplift the one who has gone against the moral order and to redeem the sinner. So in the cross the justice and the love of God meet. There we see that God loved justice too well to forgive lightly, and loved man (and woman) too well to be indifferent." -- pg. 74

So God did not excuse sin as no big deal. It hurts Him. It hurts us. It hurts others. But God did not leave us alone to die in our sin. He loved too much and made a way to redeem us - wow!


In a chapter speaking of people with questionable practices talking to people about Christ, the author writes: "It seems that God used these foolish people not because of their foolishness, but because they loved in spite of their imperfections. They reached out in spite of their faults. They didn't wait until they had it all together before they dared to care. Their love was greater than their pride. God honored this." -- pg. 93

This gives me hope. We don't have to have it "all together" before God is able to use us. He can use us despite our imperfections. Yes, He is that good.


quotes from Daughters of Islam by Miriam Adeney

8 comments:

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

I love this. I've prayed for God to let me see people as he sees them, and its totally changed my perspective.

Wafa' said...

(God promised to replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh. In other words, He would change our hard hearts into tender, compassionate ones. Have you ever prayed for God to give you His love for others? For God to give you His eyes for seeing those people who previously got on your nerves or of whom you thought little? It's quite amazing how He can transform your thoughts and feelings towards people if you truly desire Him to do this), i keep wondering why God doesn't get involved and protect his children in crisi, like the one in Haiti for example, but the previous line shows me that we do have a choice here, and that he get involved by helping us see and feel right so we may be able to help and change the world into a better one.
Thanx Susanne for this eye opening paragraph :)

Suroor said...

Tell me Susanne ... how do you see me?

Do you think I'm Christian?

I tend to relate more to what you write and how you think rather than how a Muslim would explain things. Does thinking like a Christian make me a Christian?

Carmen said...

"It seems that God used these foolish people not because of their foolishness, but because they loved in spite of their imperfections. They reached out in spite of their faults. They didn't wait until they had it all together before they dared to care. Their love was greater than their pride. God honored this."


I LOVED this Susanne. Wow. A lot to think about. Thanks so much for taking the time to share it!

Susanne said...

Stacy, yes, I can tell that about you for sure! And I admire it. :)

My pastor encouraged us a few years ago to pray for God to give us His love for others and I really wanted to. It was amazing how God brought illegal Mexicans into my life soon after this prayer. People who many in my area don't like because they take jobs, live off our welfare and so forth. Instead God gave me a great love for them and helped me better see them through His eyes. About a year or so later, He brought Arabs/Muslims into my life and I adore them to this day. I truly believe it's because of this heartfelt prayer. When I feel my heart is hardening against people (like after I read a maddening post on polygyny or child brides *ahem*), I pray this so God will again fill me with His love and compassion for others. Thanks for your comment and example!


Wafa', thank you for what you shared. True, I think God wants US to be more involved in meeting needs and helping others. We are "His hands and feet" in the world, so to speak. I appreciate your comment as always.

Susanne said...

Suroor, I see you as a lady who is trying to follow Jesus.

Rather than following "labels" (Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Jew) and trying to fit under the umbrella of one belief system, I believe your desire to follow Jesus is commendable.

You know Jesus never told us to go down to the local church, do this or that ritual and then you could be labeled "Christian" for all eternity.

I think there are a lot of "Christians" who don't follow Jesus. And being "Christian" isn't the most important thing.

Following Jesus is.

The word "Christian" has so much baggage. There are "cultural Christians" who are "Christian" simply because they were born in a family that has been "Christian" for centuries. See I don't believe salvation is passed down. I believe it's a personal decision each of us makes to follow Jesus. Jesus called Peter, Andrew, Matthew, John, etc. to follow Him. He wanted the rich young ruler to follow Him, but the young man loved his riches more than following Jesus. Individual choices, individual decisions, individual consequences in eternity, right?

So do I see you as "Christian"? Hmmm, does it matter? I know people who believe Jesus is God and they trust Him as their Lord and Savior yet they shy away from labeling themselves "Christian" preferring to be known as "followers of Jesus Christ."

If I had to choose between the labels, I'd choose the latter for myself and I definitely think you are trying to follow Christ.

I love that about you.

Does this make sense or did I further confuse you? :-)

Remember that video I showed you a couple weeks ago of those Muslim followers of Christ? Likely they were young people who had accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, yet they didn't adopt the word "Christian" for themselves. The most important thing is not your label, but your heart. And I think your heart is in the right place. God said we will find Him when we seek Him with all our hearts. And to me, that's you! So, that's how I see you. Aren't you glad you asked? :-)



Carmen, I know! I loved that part. Made me realize God can use me despite all the bad things I do and the ways I fall far short of His glory. :)


Thanks everyone for your replies!

Suroor said...

Oh I'm glad I asked you because that is how I feel as well. You are the BEST Christian/Christ follower I know so it felt good to hear from you that it is more important to be a Christ follower than be called a Christian.

Susanne said...

Suroor, glad we are in agreement on the label thing. :-)