Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Devotional 050410

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I hope this devotional sharing comes at your “prayer” break! You need to pause for prayer from time to time, a time to connect with your loving God who breathes you with His own presence. He intends to impact your neighbors/coworkers through you. Drink from His love so that you can share His love with others. A starving and thirty person does not want to share, because he or she is so wrapped up with his or her own needs. On a contrary, a person who has abundant supply of love will not hesitate to share it with others. Bless your coworkers by doing a prayer walk, and give them a silent but joyful presence of God through you while you are taking your coffee/prayer break.

I like Eugene Peterson’s devotional here, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest” (Matthew 11:28-29 The Message). The suggestion to do something is nearly always inappropriate, for persons who come for spiritual direction are troubled over some disorder or dissatisfaction in being, not doing. They need a friend who will pay attention to who they are, not a project manager who will order additional busywork. Precipitate actions are usually avoidances. They distract for the time being and provide temporary (and welcome) relief. The attraction for “giving a physic and letting blood” is nearly irresistible in a highly ambiguous situation. The sense of definition provided by clear-out action provides tremendous satisfaction. But there is no growth in the spirit, no development into maturity.

Pastors are particularly endangered in this area because of the compulsive activism, both cultural and ecclesiastical, in which we are immersed simply by being alive at this time in history. It takes cautious and persistent watching to avoid falling into the activist trap.

It is God with whom we have to do. People go for long stretches of time without being aware of that, thinking it is money, or sex, or work, or children, or parents, or a political cause, or an athletic competition, or learning with which they must deal. Any one or a combination of these subjects can absorb them and a for a time give them the meaning and purpose that human beings seem to require. But then there is a slow stretch of boredom. Or a disaster. Or a sudden collapse of meaning. They want more. They want God. When person searches for meaning and direction, asking questions and testing out statements, we must not be diverted into anything other or lesser. Meditate on what Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt 6:33).

You don’t need to prove yourself to be capable, smart, useful and worthy for God’s love. He loves you unconditionally. Jesus came to make you the target of His love. He loves us more than we can imagine. It is busyness that put us in doubt of his love because we have no time to rest and enjoy His love. Our culture convinces us to search for more and more “stuff” to fill our empty soul. But at the end of the day, we know it does not work. We find meaning and fulfillment by returning to Him who calls us “His beloved children.” We find the assurance of His worth within us that make us whole. You are holy because you are made whole in Christ.

Love you because of our being in Him,

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