Why God uses people to do his will

In her daily WEI email to teachers, yesterday Jan Towell asked for input on a student’s question.

The student acknowledged that God is omnipotent and that he caused a virgin to give birth to a boy. Then he asked why God uses people to accomplish his will instead of doing it himself directly.

I replied with the following answer:

This is a part of the fellowship that God creates. He uses people to accomplish great things because it involves others in his great plan. This is a great privilege. God allows us to work together with him. We not only enjoy his blessings, in Christ, but we also enjoy working with him to bless others. “Faith working in love” is what God does and what he calls us to do also, Galatians 5.6.

What might you add to enrich this student’s understanding of why God uses agents to perform his great works?

Touch but One or Two

If in this life I touch but one or two,
And see in heaven a soul that I had saved,
Let thanks be God’s that I, in faith, was true,
That for another the kingdom’s path was paved.

#quatrain #poetry #salvation

O Waster of Time!

O Waster of Time! Your minutes, one by one,
silently slip away unnoticed. Hours
are thrown aside, and days and weeks are lost
in mists of unplanned life and vague objectives.

JRMatheny

#poetry #time #quatrain

Relax!

Brazilians have a new word to tell someone not to worry: Relaxe! Relax. Don’t get worked up over it. No problem. Somebody used it with me recently when I was in line at the padaria with an armful of items and a younger man urged me to go in front of him. I protested that I was fine, there was no need for me to step in front of him. “Go ahead,” he said, “Relax!” So I did.

One guy I know tends to overwork and overthink. When he remembers to do it, he tells himself to relax. Unfurrow the eyebrows. Breathe deeply. Let go. Instead of being an escape from responsibility, relaxing in this way can becoming a path to trusting God.

Spiritual relaxation isn’t an occasional nap from doing the will of God. Rather, it is a state of being as a saint, a way of living in the Lord, an easygoingness that permeates the zeal for the house of God.

Such a state is needed for people who get worked up over the tensions of life, the pains of relationships, and the challenges of faith. Pretty much includes all of us, doesn’t it?

Here are three ways to relax spiritually, involving the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The saint tells himself to: Continue reading

#contentment, #corollaries, #peace

Following Jesus means imitating Jesus

Tonight we studied with a wonderful couple of new converts. Our conversation dealt with what it means to follow Jesus. A big part of that is imitating Jesus.

We mentioned that Jesus himself instructed us to imitate him, in John 13. There are so many areas in which this principle is applied. We read specifically about one, using the text of 1 Corinthians 10.23-11.1. (This chapter division is one of the worst, ever.)

People here have a tendency to put distance between ourselves and the Lord. After all, he was the only perfect human being, without sin. One brother even announced before the congregation that no one should follow his example.

But when it comes to limiting one’s personal liberty in order to please others, that they might be saved, Paul tells us to follow his example, because he follows Christ’s.

Everyone should be able to say that.

#discipleship #imitation-of-Christ #example

I love Jesus

An area congregation publishes a monthly bulletin for the city’s saints, called “I Love Jesus.” I went to speak there last month by request. My designated topic was biblical authority and instrumental music in worship. I began the first of two lessons with the sentence, “I love Jesus.” And because I love Jesus, I love the truth of Jesus, since he is “the way, the truth, and the life” Jn 14.6. Probably, not a few listeners caught my reference to the title of their bulletin. This year is, for me, the Year of Love. It might seem strange to some to talk about such topics as authority and instruments from a framework of love. But isn’t that the best (and maybe only) framework in which to treat them? And every other spiritual subject as well?

#love #worship #truth

He Builds His Walls

From fear, he builds his walls thick and high,
The child against the world, unloved, unheard,
The search abandoned for acceptance’ embrace,
Still aching to hear the approving parental word.

#poetry #family