Be Still Know
Romans 5:8 NLT
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
One of my favourite verses speaks of how God took the initiative in reaching out to us even when we, his creatures, were still more consumed with sin than searching out salvation. In short, God’s rescue mission was not launched in response to humanity’s overwhelming request for help. The principle is clear. Where God is concerned, taking the initiative is encouraged and applauded. I find this acutely challenging, since a lot of my upbringing was to do with taking care of myself and keeping my nose out of other people’s business. However, my work with Young Oxfam as a teenager and then the excitement of discovering a personal relationship with Jesus for myself led me into a voyage of self-discovery as my horizons broadened. This culminated with God convincing me that we are to recognise just how interdependent God has made us. We are to be our brother, and our sister’s, keeper. Not as some form of moral guide or patronising guardian, but rather to work together for the well-being of one another and the whole of God’s creation.
It appears to me as though the whole of life in the Western world drives towards accepting a society of isolation. This is accompanied by the relentless thrust towards privatisation, which technology promotes. Just the other day as Jayne and I chatted in a coffee shop, next to us a mum and dad chatted together as their 10-year-old occupied himself with a game on his iPhone.
As we lose meaningful touch with each other in our contemporary society, and make a virtue of independence, we do an injustice to the gospel that invites us to love God and give ourselves away. We are for each other’s enjoyment, not just each other’s use! Jesus took the initiative and came looking for us and reminded us that his gospel is validated by the measure of love we show to each other. This is the new commandment Jesus taught.
QUESTION: How willing and able are you to extend the hand of friendship to the unknown stranger who lives within your neighbourhood?
PRAYER: Lord, help me do two things today. Love you with all that I am, and love my neighbour as myself.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright C 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc, Wheaton, Illinois 60189 USA. All rights reserved.