On the Monday Morning Insight blog, there are a few recent quotes from Rick Warren, one of which really caught my attention:
I read a post this morning from Charlie Pharis, which was about a post from Randy Bohlender (too much blogging, I know!) that got me thinking. It was about the idea that our faith shouldn’t make it harder for us to connect w/ people that we don’t agree with, but easier because our faith allows us to see them the way God sees them – as a child of His. I actually feel kind of stupid that I’ve never thought of it this way before now. I mean, how completely obvious that b/c of what I believe I should be able to connect with absolutely everyone – simply because I care for them and don’t judge them. It makes sense. The biggest relationship barriers all seem to stem from someone not accepting or forgiving someone else because they are not the ideal person according to whatever standard society is using at the time.
Here’s what Randy writes:
Despite the fact that I suspect I disagree with them on most issues of major importance in my life, I find Larry, Marian, Andie (and prior BM whizGirl, Jess the Nurse) to be more than interesting. They are wonderful. My religious beliefs serve as a bridge, not a wall. As I told Marian today “My faith enables me to see you as who you are – a child of God…a God who is intensely interested in you. My faith compells me to love you.”
There is so much to be learned from this statement. When we can start seeing our faith as a bridge that connects us to others instead of a wall that separates us from them, we can be free to share that connection with them in a way that draws them to Christ instead of pushing them away. We need to be focused on connecting with God’s people – not judging them and on loving them, not ignoring them!
I was reading an old post by Art Good who is the pastor of Fish Lake Assembly of God in LaPorte, Indiana. It was called The Ideal Pastor, and was talking about how society & the church generally have a very different idea of what would be the ideal pastor than God has. He talked about the story of when God chose David (through Samuel) out of all of Jesse’s sons as the one to lead Israel.
Through the prophet Samuel God said “the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).”
Though I’ve read this verse many times – I found deep encouragement in it today. God knows my heart – and it doesn’t matter if I fit the worship leader mold – it only matters what God sees.
There’s another scripture that Johnny has quoted often- “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.” – Acts 13:36.
To serve God’s purpose in my own generation is all that I can aspire to. I can rest assured that God’s will is perfect – and that as long as I remain in Him, it will be accomplished.
I have just started reading a book called “The Sacred Romance” by Brent Curtis and John Eldridge and had to share a piece of it with you:
“In the end, it doesn’t matter how well we have performed or what we have accomplished – a life without heart is not worth living. For out of this wellspring of our soul flowers all true caring and all meaningful work, all real worship and all sacrifice. Our faith, hope, and love issue from this fount, as well. Because it is in our heart that we first hear the voice of God and it is in the heart that we come to know him and learn to live in his love.”
It is often interesting to me, although not suprising, that when God is trying to tell me something He will continue to tell it to me in as many ways as possible until I get it. Well, God – message received. In the beginning of the book I am reading, the author mentions that all of us – no matter our relationship with Christ, are always wanting more. More love, more emotion, more meaning – More Heart. I can definitely relate to the desire for more out of life – as I’m sure you can. I have been overwhelmed with the feeling lately that there is so much more than I am getting. I seek God – but do I seek Him hard enough? I praise God – but do I praise him often enough? I worship God – but do I worship with ALL of my life, or simply with my song? I have to confess that everything I could ever give would never be enough. So, how do I get more? I’m not exactly sure. I suppose that just knowing that there is more will force me to seek harder and praise more often and try to learn how to worship with everything that is me. At least I hope that is the case.