Based on Biblical teaching, my mother used to say, “We should all teach the same thing.” In I Peter 3:15 (NIV) the scripture teaches us, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” It seems eerily uncanny how often it is that I find ministers from the pulpit teaching thoughts I have recently had and shared with loved ones! How can these men be secretly invading my thoughts?
Our son and his family visited with us the weekend of the 4th of July and that Sunday morning as we gathered around the breakfast table prior to going to church services, I made the comment that I wished more people could learn to see God as “Daddy”, not Santa Claus, but Daddy. From comments I have heard there are too many people who feel God is so unreachable or high and mighty that they give up before trying. I explained that I know not everyone has had a good earthly daddy with which to compare but I have a deep desire that everyone could better understand God with the Daddy concept. The conversation ended and we went on our way, gathered for Bible Study followed by worship service. I shouldn’t have been surprised and perhaps I wasn’t but the morning’s message had a lot to do with understanding God as Daddy… just what I had been trying to get across…only my words saying the same things were not so well stated!
In the minutes between Bible Study and the worship hour yesterday, I spent some time visiting two precious sisters discussing our recent family prayers concerns. In the course of conversation I spoke of my coming to grips with the realization that it would be easy for me to cross over that line to hate some people and in that realization, I knew I needed to learn to love as God does. I said, “Pray for me.” (Maybe “hate” is too strong a word because I cannot say I have ever wished for anyone to perish in Hell.) What they didn’t know was that for a few weeks I had been praying that I learn to love more as God loves, knowing that I need to see all people more as God does. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) tells us, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” and that includes persons I perceive as enemies as well as those who in my mind are trying to do what is best. So, after my explaining my need for learning to love as God does, what was the lesson that was preached from the pulpit? It was based on I Samuel 16:7: “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’” I sat through that lesson with full understanding of what was being taught and was able to walk away knowing that while I still needed to grow, I would always be ready to teach the same thing! And there is nothing secret in any of it. It’s all found in God’s Word.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 8-17-09
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