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“We drag ourselves out of bed to go to work expecting to be rewarded by a pay-check. What makes us do these tiresome thankless task? Why does anyone get out of bed in the morning when it is so much more pleasant to lie drowsily under the warm covers? The force that gets me out of bed is hope. Today’s ‘me’ sacrifices for tomorrows. Mature human beings know how to do this almost as second nature. We didn’t get it from nature, though. Our parents and teachers drilled it into us just as we must drill it into our children” (Knowing the Face of God – Tim Stafford).
God wants us to be great and free in heaven and he will show us how to get there.
“God is the living God who has a plan for the world. I am convinced that our ways are guided in other words that we have to discern a call, an occasion” (Father Yves Conger, O. P.-Roman Catholic Theologian).
As part of the growth path, we will be discussing how each individual must take an active part in planning his/her own growth. But a even more important part of growth is how well you are able to follow that plan. Therefore we see that this growth plan must affect our “Heart.”
(Jeremiah 31: 31-34) are some of the greatest words in the book of Jeremiah and it points beyond Jeremiah’s own troubled time to the day when there would be a new covenant, one that God’s people would keep without a teacher to remind them; because it would be written on their hearts.
Christians must never lose all hope. Our belief in Jesus Christ gives us hope for the future.
For thousands of years, using his wit and charm, man had tried to be friends with God. And for thousands of years he had let God down more than he had lifted him up. He’s done the very thing he promised he’d never do. It was a fiasco. Even the holiest of the heroes sometimes forgot whose side they were on. Some of the scenarios in the Bible look more like the adventures of Sinbad the sailor than stories for vacation Bible school. Remember these characters?
Aaron. Right-hand man to Moses. Witness of the plagues. Member of the “Red Sea Riverbed Expedition.” Holy priest of God. But if he was so saintly, what is he doing leading the Israelites in fireside aerobics in front of the golden calf?
The sons of Jacob. The fathers of the tribes of Israel. Great-grandsons of Abraham. Yet, if they were so special, why were they gagging their younger brother and sending him to Egypt?
David. The man after God’s own heart. The King’s king. The giant slayer and songwriter. he’s also the guy whose glasses got steamy as a result of a bath on a roof. Unfortunately, the water wasn’t his, nor was the woman he was watching.
And Samson. Swooning on Delilah’s couch, drunk on the wine, perfume, and soft lights. He’s thinking, She’s putting on something more comfortable. She’s thinking, I know I put those shears in here somewhere.
Adam adorned in fig leaves and stains of forbidden fruit. Moses throwing both a staff and a temper tantrum. King Saul looking into a crystal bail for the will of God. Noah, drunk and naked in his own tent.
These are the chosen ones of God? This is the royal lineage of the King? These are the ones who were to carry out God’s mission?
It’s easy to see the absurdity.
Why didn’t he give up? Why didn’t he let the globe spin off its axis?
Even after generations of people had spit in his face, he still loved them. After a nation of chosen ones had stripped him naked and ripped his incarnated flesh, he still died for them. And even today, after billions have chosen to prostitute themselves before the pimps of power, fame, and wealth, he still waits for them.
It is inexplicable. It doesn’t have a drop of logic nor a thread of rationality.
And yet, it is that very irrationality that gives the gospel its greatest defense. For only God could love like that.
(From God Came Near by Max Lucado)