Sunday, October 19, 2014

“Our deeds will not cause God to love us more; our sins will not cause God to love us less.”

“Trusting God's grace means trusting God's love for us rather than our love for God. […] Therefore our prayers should consist mainly of rousing our awareness of God's love for us rather than trying to rouse God's awareness of our love for him, like the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:26-29).”― Peter Kreeft – Philosophy Professor at Boston College

Scripture Text: (IS 45:1, 4-6)
Thus says the LORD to his anointed, Cyrus,
whose right hand I grasp,
subduing nations before him,
and making kings run in his service,
opening doors before him
and leaving the gates unbarred:
For the sake of Jacob, my servant,
of Israel, my chosen one,
I have called you by your name,
giving you a title, though you knew me not.
I am the LORD and there is no other,
there is no God besides me.
It is I who arm you, though you know me not,
so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun
people may know that there is none besides me.
I am the LORD, there is no other.

Growing up is never easy. For us boys, it was always a contest for recognition and acceptance. You were either well known or you were not. You were nameless until someone important called you by name. Anyway, that's the way it seemed back then.

Once, the P.E. teacher gathered the grade school classes together for a baseball game. The two biggest 8th graders were chosen to choose teammates. The biggest boys were the first ones taken, of course. Then, there were a handful of us left to be chosen, the ones who were practically invisible and nameless. I was among that group. Finally, I got a "hey you" and put in right field. And all during the game, I kept praying, "don't hit it my way, don't hit it my way."

Ninth inning, one out, and we were winning by one run, two men on, first and second base. Plenty of balls hit to center and left field, and only a couple of grounders to right. Then it happened. A line drive came my way. Instinct took over. I caught it on the run, and threw to first base and caught the runner on his way to second. Double play, inning over, game over and suddenly, everyone knew my name!

God knows us by name. And God calls us by name.

When you become aware that God knows you personally and calls you by name, not only will you begin to feel differently, you will also begin to act differently. You will begin to feel important, valued. You will begin to get the sense that you are worthwhile. Having a sense of self-worth, a sense of dignity, you will begin to act as if life is truly meaningful, that your life counts. Why because you are a child of God. The world gives you value by what you can do, but God gives value for what you are - A very big difference. Once you realize that, the tug of war is over! You have true and lasting peace and you do not compare yourself to others. What your neighbor has or can do is of no concern to you.

You then know who you really are!

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