Thursday, 12 February 2015

Loved for Who I Am

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down;
 you are familiar with all my ways. Psalm 139:1-3

Loved for Who I Am
            God is big enough to love us individually, call us individually work with us individually and walk with us through life individually, in spite of who we are. Paul tells a young church we need to boast about what Christ Jesus has done for each one of us because God loves each one of us as individuals. What is most important is Jesus not the human effort or background of who we are. It’s not about us- it is about Jesus and how Jesus can lead us to the transforming power of God.
            Maybe your temptations have been in drinking too much, doing drugs or breaking marriage vows with another person. In these you would not boast but God does love you and help you to stop with the temptations and aid you in finding better relationships than harming yourself or others closest to you. For the most important relationship is you and God and how God can change your life.
            Zacchaeus was a short man who was a tax collector who cheated many out of their wages. When Jesus met Zacchaeus and told the crowd that salvation had come to him. The crowd did not receive this news easily. But because Jesus stood with that man and told them what his intentions were to repay what he had cheated and more, they listened. For before Jesus could state this he went to Zacchaeus’ house, and connected with him and built up a trusting relationship. Jesus was available to those who needed him so desperately- not to totally solve the problems but to be open, compassionate, ready to talk, ready to teach, ready to help as needed and able. This is what loving others in the name of Christ means.
            One of the primary roles we have as Christians is to be in fellowship with God and his Son, Jesus. Because we are unique individuals, we must remain true to ourselves as people- not being cookie clutter Christians expected to put on heirs or play a special role. A healthy church is made up of people with a full range of emotions, intellect, free will and the ability to function independently. God has crated each person individually in his own image. He has given us many unique gifts that he wants us to develop in service to him. But  in order to do this effectively we need to build the relationship we each have with Jesus and learn to care about the other person who shares our faith and worship of God.
Jesus calls us to be in relationship with him. How are you building up your relationship with Jesus? Do you pray, read about Jesus’ life and teachings in the Bible do you discuss or listen to teachings about Jesus? Are you in a community of faith that focuses on your relationship with Jesus or something else? Pray for all of these for this is why Jesus calls you to him.

Wonderful God, you made us unique unto ourselves yet in your image. Help us to be and become the people you want us to be. Not clones of each other, but unique individuals who are in relationship with you and Jesus. Show us how to love others because of the love you have for us. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

This reflection is based upon ideas of by Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton More Jesus Less Religion: Moving from Rules to Relationship. Colorado Springs, Co: Waterbrook Press,2000.     Chapter 2

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