Today I just have been receiving all kinds of good stuff from God and I am going to attempt to share it.
The first thing that comes to mind is Luke chapter 7. This chapter contains so much but I want to focus on the dinner at a Pharisee's house. Imagine being there you are getting ready to enjoy dinner when in comes the town prostitute. If I was the Pharisee I would be appalled and embarrassed. What does she do? She begins to cry and wet Jesus' feet. She pours on him expensive perfume. Then she does something I did not get until someone explained it to me, she lets down her and begins to dry his feet. Why is that so shocking. A woman was only suppose to take down her hair in the presence of her husband. This was just not done. So, Jesus looks at his host and tells a story about two men that owed money one owed a lot the other just a small amount. Then he asked which was more grateful? It is obvious the one that owed the most. Then he explains in great detail how his host slighted him but this woman did so much more. Then he gets it, at least I hope he does. If he didn't I did. Sometimes I do not want to accept that I have been forgiven much. Like his host I am not as grateful because I feel like my sin is just not that bad, but it is I have been forgiven much. I just don't act like it. My pride and arrogance get in the way. I think to myself I am here at Celebrate Recovery to help others. While that is true it is not the only reason I am there. I need help in walking my journey of recovery. When I lose that God always finds a way to gently remind me and if that doesn't work then he just pushes a little harder until I get it again. Sometimes he has to hit me with something pretty big. Like this story.
If that is not enough for you last night I was reading Max Lucado's book "Just Like Jesus". In the chapter I read he talked about worship. I love the way he writes he makes things so easy to understand but that means I get it. So, if I get it what do I do with it. Sometimes I am just like the man in James who looks in the mirror and walks away and forgets how he looks and just does not do anything to change. This time I hope I do not forget. He talked about preparing for worship. How do we prepare our hearts for worship? He mentioned praying and reading the Bible before we worship. I do that on Sunday but sometimes it is just to do it I am not really doing it to prepare my heart to worship. If I go to worship with a heart that is not prepared I walk away and miss the point. The point being to be awed by God and his presence. So, this Friday and Sunday before I go into his presence I want to take some time to prepare. I want to be awed at his glory, his holiness, his presence and leave ready to tell anyone how great he is and what he has done for me.
The last thing today (thanks for hanging in there) is the story of Hannah in I Samuel. What faith! Here is a woman tormented by the other wife because she does not have children. It so bad that she cannot eat when they go up to the worship at the temple. What does she do? She goes into the sanctuary and pours out her heart to God. She is doing so in such a manner that Eli, the priest, thinks she is drunk. She inspires me because she holds nothing back. She does not care what others think and she believes that God will answer her prayer. Of course he does and she has Samuel, who she has promised to God. Here is even more faith. When he is weaned she takes him to the temple and gives him to Eli to be dedicated to God. How many women do you know that have been barren, have a baby and then when it is weaned gives it to God and leaves it in the care of the preacher? That is incredible faith and it inspires me. After she gives this one away she has three more sons and two daughters. When we are faithful, God is faithful. Do I ever promise God something only to try to change it when the time comes for me to give what ever it was I promised? Unfortunately I know that answer, yes I do. There are times I make promises only to try my best to get out of doing whatever it was I promised or I just forget about the promise, conveniently.
Well, there you have it a week's worth of thoughts. Thanks for hanging with me. Come see me Friday and we can talk some more about this or anything else. You know where I will be, yep, Celebrate Recovery. See you soon.