Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father continue to have grace on us, as we so easily and so often forget that our lives belong to Him. Father, my life is not my own. I know that in my head, but my heart longs to be in control. Please help me. Please help me to see how to change from selfish living, to living in a way that pleases you, Father. In the name of Jesus and by the power of He who lives within me, the Holy Spirit, make clear to me your daily purposes for me. Make clear your will. And help me do it. Amen.
Your Morning Song: "Build My Life" by Pat Barrett (ft. Cory Asbury)
Your Morning Scripture: Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called
according to his purpose.
One of the mistakes we often make when reading the Bible, is where we place the emphasis. What word of a sentence do we focus on? What do we think that it is all about? Of we place too much emphasis on the wrong word or phrase, it can lead to a deep misunderstanding of scripture.
Where would you place the emphasis in the verse above?
Our broken flesh will emphasize the first half of this verse, and seek to functionally ignore the second half. Is that so bad, though? Don't all things work together for good for those who love God?
Yes. And yet...
Without the second half of the verse, or perhaps if we only skim it, how does the verse change? The focus turns to our knowing, our loving, and a more general, yet more personally focused sense of our "good."
Now it's all about me. I know. I love. God gives me what I think is good on my terms, in my timing.
If this is our relationship with God, what do we do when we suffer? What do we do when life is unfair? Or hard? Or heartbreaking? What do we do with pain and suffering of any kind? What happens when our self-centered faith leads us to a place of spiritual barrenness? It surely will. The Spirit will be with us, but not to grow fruit. Rather, to convict us. And I hope that we listen.
Because we are called, invited, by God, into this relationship. We do not belong to ourselves. God did not save us for us. He saved us for Himself. He called us, and when we answer His saving call, we change purposes. From ours to His.
We belong to God. He does not, in the same way, belong to us.
And so our lives, our marriages, our children, our friends, and family, and coworkers, and stuff, and dreams and goals. They all now belong to Him.
I am so good at saying amen on a Sunday morning.
And so bad at saying amen with the rest of my life.
He waits. He waits to forgive us when we repent. He delights in answering repentance with forgiveness. He longs to do it. And to call us deeper, closer to Him, and His purpose for our lives.