RESPONDERS TO THE CREATOR
Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me. Psalm 119:175
Don’t you wish that you were good enough to love God on your own? I do. I often think about the fact that if God had not loved me first and demonstrated it through the death of His Son, I would never have had the kind of heart that would have initiated a relationship with Him. I was His enemy and the status would have remained unchanged if He hadn’t made the first move. “We love Him because He first loved us.” I Jn.4:19 Mankind is built to be a responder, not an initiator.
The fact that I can easily love people who love me is no achievement to be celebrated. There is a greater test. Once I am my Father’s child, do I become enough like him to love those who are also my enemies? Do I become an initiator instead of a responder? Am I willing to reach out and change the status quo even though I may be poorly received? Just as Jesus kept knocking on my door, amidst much resistance, He kept knocking and was not put off by my rejection. How much am I like that? Or, do I reach out once, experience a rebuff, then throw up my hands and say, “Who needs this!. Forget it!”
I was born to love God, to glorify God, but doing that would have been impossible without being loved first. One extravagant demonstration after another, by God, of undeserved favor builds the intensity of my response to Him. Daily, I am loved. Daily, in response, I praise.
When I widen the circle beyond my own relationship with God, I quickly become aware that God has shown this extravagant love to others around me and some still spit in His face. Every day, He shows them His grace. Every day, they reject Him. One day, their heart may break, the eyes of their heart will open to see His beautiful face, and their response will change. But until then, in this closing age of grace, He woos them. I am to be like Him. Though mankind rejects who reject them, my Father does not. So I must not. To whom can I initiate an act of love today for Jesus’ sake and not allow their response to take me off my axis? Will I have enough maturity to do it repeatedly, as God leads me, to show them a picture of how God loves? Perhaps my persistence will lead them to the arms of Jesus. Each of us needs a picture of Christ in human skin.
With Your Spirit inside of me, I have the strength to do what You did for me. Help me grow up! Amen