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Enjoying God’s Offering

February 24, 2013

2nd Sunday in Lent- ReminiscereImage

 

“Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”

This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”

But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

“Who are you?” they asked.

“Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”

They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up[a] the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” Even as he spoke, many believed in him”.

John 8:21-30

 

 

 

This Sunday, we will look at the words of Jesus where he explicitly states that He is truly God made man. The religious Jews and many others could not understand Jesus’ words, for he spoke as God and not as man. And they would only realize this after his death and resurrection.

Long ago in Persia, there ruled a wise and good king. He loved his people and he wanted to know how they lived. He wanted to know about their hardships. Often he dressed in the clothes of a working man or a beggar, and went to the homes of the poor. No one whom he visited thought that he was their ruler. One time he visited a very poor man who lived in a cellar. He ate the coarse food the poor man ate. He spoke cheerful, kind words to him. Then he left. Later, he visited the poor man again and disclosed his identity by saying, “I am your king!” The king thought the man would surely ask for some gift or favor, but he didn’t. Instead he said, “You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the coarse food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart! To others you have given your rich gifts. To me you have given yourself!”

God is willing to make almost any accommodation to have fellowship with us, even becoming human.

It is a difficult concept to understand, “God become man.” It is difficult to understand that God became man and wanted to come to earth to bring us a message of salvation; to say that he is our savior who wants to save us. There are many people who find this hard to understand, even Christians. What do you mean a savior? A savior came to save me, from what? Why would God want to save us? Or rather, if we start from the beginning, why would God want to judge those on the earth? There are things that I really cannot understand. These things are studied in theology. Theology is the study and reflection of God. It’s good to know and study God. It’s good to know theology. But you have to understand something very important, you can know a lot about theology and come to understand many concepts about God, but maybe you cannot truly know God.

Theology, in any case, makes more sense for our life of faith when we know God first, when we are living out a relationship with God.

Surely, you use electricity in your home. And surely you have many appliances and tools in your home that run on electricity. Have you ever thought about how electricity works? Could you explain in detail what electricity is? Maybe, but probably not. The most important thing for you is that every morning when you wake up you can make hot coffee or you can do housework, or you can read with the light of a bulb, or you can use the computer or any other equipment or, in short, you can enjoy living with electricity. Very few think about the origin of electricity. The most important thing is to make use of electricity and with it.

If you allow me this example, it is the same with God. God wants you to enjoy this life and you can live beyond this earthly life with His blessing and care. Many people, however, are not living a life with God and enjoying all the ‘comforts’ that God gives to those who choose to believe and trust in him. It is as if people would spend their lives saying, “I do not think there is electricity,” or “I’d like to investigate further the nature of this energy,” or “Maybe one day I’ll try and I’ll buy an appliance and I’ll plug it in and see what happens” or, finally, “Electricity is a tall tale!”

It really would be very sad to witness such people. What would we say? ‘Poor people, they should be pitied’. When you start believing in God without questioning, when you start to put your life in God’s hands, you begin to experience God in a wonderful and miraculous way, as it was with electricity in his early days of its discovery. Only God is not just a form of energy. God exists as the most wonderful and miraculous being of the universe. He is the Lord of all forms of energy, more than you can ever know. And one of the most powerful energies that characterizes Him the most is the energy of his love, of his Holy Spirit.

God became man. I can come to understand this. But I find it very difficult to come to understand why we have to be saved or why God would send a judgment to the world. Since I cannot understand these things, I have decided to put off struggling to understand them and to instead begin to make use of the salvation that God offers me and to enjoy all the blessings that God has in store for me and wants me to start living.

The message for this Sunday is simple. It’s almost as simple as flicking the light switch when you get up in the morning. With your finger you turn on the light and a new day begins. When a person begins to trust God, releases every drag and sin from their life, accepts God’s forgiveness and begins to put their entire life in God’s hands and begins to believe and trust in God, then their life clicks and God’s energy becomes a reality in the life of that person.

There are many people who know the Bible down pat, or have even studied theology, but they haven’t yet given their lives to God. They still don’t believe. And to continue with the example, they don’t believe that electricity exists, or it can run countless appliances in our service. You don’t spend your life wondering who invented electricity or who conducted it or how electricity works in appliances. You just make use of it and enjoy it. In the same way, Christians decided to trust that God has a different life available for all who trust in Him while not understanding it yet. It is not about wanting to explain God. We are not at a point where we can understand God’s mysteries. It’s nice to have an intelligent and inquisitive spirit if it helps me to trust in God more and to live according to God’s wishes. But we must be wary, it can become something that can keep me away from God and that’s not a good thing.

A good question this morning is: Did you already make use of the blessings God has for your life? Did you begin to feel the presence of God at work in your life? Can you feel God at work, taking action in your life, through the ‘power’ of his miracles and divine blessings? Or are you instead living a life of negativity, shadows, sorrow, bitterness, shortage, hardship, depression and disease? God is a God of power, is a God of joy, no matter how old you are. God is a God of hope, God is a God of positivity, God is a God of happiness, God is a God of abundance, God is a God of light and God is a God of goodness. Are you living with this God in your lives? If not, you have to click the switch of God so that he can change your life right now. That switch is our faith and trust in him, given with humility, repentance and our commitment.

Let us pray:

God of miracles. God made man, you came into the world with a purpose: to give us salvation. And thereby you offered us a life on this earth and in heaven that is lightened with the joy of your Holy Spirit. I want to live the life you offer me; let me trust you before analyzing. Let me fall into your arms without hesitation. I ask this in the name of your Son Jesus. Amen

 

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