The God who is

I’m reading Jack Hayford’s “Manifest Presence”. At one point he talks about how we worship God simply because of who He is. Hayford references Exodus 3:17, in which God tells Moses, “I Am Who I Am”. I Am—well, I thought, if that’s good enough for Moses, it’s good enough for me! Then I read the whole third chapter of Exodus. This is the burning bush episode where God reveals Himself to Moses and sends him to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. And “I Am” definitely wasn’t enough for Moses: he spends most of the chapter going, “but…”
 
Several things strike me about this section. The first thing is that God alone is reason enough to be obedient. The second is that we always second-guess this. The third is that even when we do, instead of picking someone else for the task, God equips us—with staffs that turn into snakes and well-spoken brothers. But He equips us: He never does pick someone else to send.
 
You have been chosen. That’s the long and the short of it. There are things that God wants only you to do. Yes, there’s probably someone else out there who is better qualified, readier, more faithful, less doubtful–but they aren’t you. And it’s you God needs.

No ifs or buts about it. He Is.

Something to think about

Being a Christian is neither here nor there. Christians are a dime a dozen. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.

(Adapted from Matthew 3:7-10 Msg)

Inspiring Quotes

Prayer

When you least expect it, something happens that makes you realize that God’s up to something. We serve an awesome God. —@Godstagram

If God answers your prayers, He is increasing your faith. If He doesn’t, He is training your patience. —@Godstagram

Prayer is not designed to change God; it is designed to change us. –Richard Blackaby (via @iamnotafan)

A concentrated mind and a sitting body make for better prayer than a kneeling body and a mind half asleep. —@CSLewisDaily

Good things come to those who pray. —@Godstagram

Have you asked God what you can do for Him today? Instead of giving God a list of what He can do for you today, ask what you can do for Him. —@JoyceMeyer

Life

God does not make bad people, people make bad decisions. —@Godstagram

If I have a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the explanation is – I was made for another world. —@CSLewisDaily

Wisdom has two parts: 1. having a lot to say 2. not saying it. —@Godstagram

Which is worse: the pain of change or the pain of never changing? –-@JoyceMeyer

You know it’s a problem when you start rationalising it. —@greigski

Relationships

If God takes someone out of your life he did it for a reason, stop looking back trying to put them back in it. —@Godstagram

God loves us too much to allow us to stay tied to anyone or anything that does not bring out the best in us. —@Godstagram

If you place your heart in God’s hand, He will place your heart in the hands of a worthy person. —@Godstagram

Don’t let one bad apple ruin the fruit of your relationship. —@NightlyNoodle

Fruity v2

The fruits of the Spirit all go together.

You can’t have kindness without self-control.

You can’t be at peace without being patient.

You can’t be faithful without love.

There’s no joy apart from goodness.

Gentleness begets self-control.

I’ve been under the impression that goodness, kindness and gentleness spring up apart from the self-control, inner sense of peace, love and patience required to nurture them.

If it’s true that the Spirit produces these fruits in us…

Then it’s also true that we need to harvest them.

And that begins with a choice.

~ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV ~

A vow of non-violence

And we thought John was weird.

I came across this while reading up about St Francis of Assisi. Usually when we think about vows we think silence, monks, stone buildings (or at least I do). But we don’t need to be cloistered to take a vow. Vows like the one below are probably more valuable out in daily life, anyway. It’s a vow of non-violence. And before you get an image of Gandhi in your head and think, Gee, no thanks, read through it. It will make you rethink your definition of violence.

Recognising the violence in my own heart, yet trusting in the goodness and mercy of God, I vow for one year to practice the non-violence of Jesus who taught us in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God… You have learned how it was said, You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way you will be daughters and sons of your Creator in heaven.’

Before God the Creator and the Sanctifying Spirit, I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus:

  • by striving for peace within myself and seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life;
  • by accepting suffering rather than inflicting it;
  • by refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence;
  • by persevering in non-violence of tongue and heart;
  • by living conscientiously and simply so that I do not deprive others of the means to live;
  • by actively resisting evil and working non-violently to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and from the face of the earth.

God, I trust in your sustaining love and believe that just as you give me the grace and desire to offer this, so you will also bestow abundant grace to fulfill it.

(The above vow was provided by Pax Christi USA.)

The book I read recommends you take the vow for a specific period of time, like a year. But maybe that seems, well, hard. I know the “persevering in non-violence of heart and tongue” gave me pause. So why not try it out for the rest of this week? As we head to Easter, we’re confronted with the violent humiliation Christ suffered…and how His sacrifice changed everything. Maybe this week sacrificing that witty but hurtful retort, or that trolling comment on a blog, or the impatience in a supermarket line or traffic jam, could make a difference.

Now you're thinking about it.