Friday, August 28, 2009

Making the Connection

Jesus (Jn 15) said that whatever I ask in His name would be given to me. Really? Has that been my experience? I’ve never been quite sure what that phrase really means. In diagnosing and dissecting it I may have talked myself into disbelieving it. However I notice it’s connected to bearing fruit – “I chose you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last – so that whatever you ask in my name…” Maybe I’m not experiencing the promise because I’m not living the premise – maybe I’m not bearing fruit and obeying as Jesus commands. So today I make a new commitment: to boldly pray and believe that what I ask for has been given, to act as if it has been given – and to keep praying until it is a visible, verifiable reality. And in that process God can confirm my asking, chastise me for it, or correct it until I am in agreement with his will. “Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.” Meanwhile I’ll try to be more concerned with bearing fruit than with how to get what I ask.

Lord, keep me alert to the opportunities you put before me this day. Amen.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What God Offers

In the Prayer Guide a while ago – which I had sinfully been neglecting – I read that thought that God most often appears in weakness – even Jesus resisted the temptation to come with more power. Why is this an important insight? “This is why, if we keep clamouring for things we want from God, we may find ourselves disappointed, because we have forgotten the weakness of God …We had thought of God as the dispenser of all the good things we would possibly desire; but in a very real sense, God has nothing to offer except himself.”

I’d been praying for so long that God would send someone with a major gift to help the General Fund and the Building Fund – to do the miracle; even promising that He would certainly receive the glory. But maybe God wants to work another way. Just maybe He doesn’t want to do the big public miracle but, rather, wants to move behind the scenes in the hearts of people. Maybe my prayer from here on needs to be for people to open their hearts to God’s Spirit and for the Spirit to transform hearts; would that not lead to great – even miraculous – things?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You're Only As Good As...

There's an old saying in sports that you're only as good as your last game. As unfair as it seems it is quite true. Oh, past performances might lead to a better paycheck but they do not help today's performance be good. Last year's game or performance, last week's, or even yesterday's does not help today one iota. I think Paul had the same idea in mind. He wrote his second letter to the Corinthian Church to defend his credentials against those who sought to discredit him. He then states that he could go on trumpeting his goodness and quality but "I refrain,so that no one will think more highly of me than is warranted by what I do or say."

Paul understood that no matter what his past credentials or reputation, what was important was how he behaved in th
e present. He wanted to be judged by his current 'performance', not his past. "Think only as highly of me as my speech and action warrant." I find this to be a great daily reminder for myself - today is what counts. What I say and do today will be tomorrow's 'last game.' Live every moment for the Lord. I'm only as good as what I do in this moment.