Sunday, December 28, 2008

Contemplating Stuff

I have been doing a lot of thinking...and a lot of praying. I am starting to realize some things, or perhaps God has been attempting to reveal some things to me and I just stopped to listen. We have been house sitting and dog sitting for my mom and step dad for nearly a week now. It seemed like such a blessing at first. A shower, a washer and dryer to use any time I wish, an indoor toilet, a kitchen, and hot water - even a driveway made of concrete instead of mud. I can even park just twenty or so feet from the door instead of nearly a half mile away. Does life get any more blessed? Seriously, we have no idea how many daily blessings we take for granted until we do try to live without them. I appreciate so many things more deeply these days.

But here is the thing. I am ready to give them up. I want to be back at my home - the land God has given to me! I miss it. I admit I don't miss the mud, and a few of the other things. I am ready to live with a few more modern conveniences. But if I had to choose, I would choose to stay in the camper at the land over comfort away from the land. Does that sound crazy?

You would have to stand there in my place and feel the peace that overtakes me. It is impossible to explain. God is standing there with me assuring me that all of this falls into HIS plan. He is assuring me that everything, even the trials, are for my good. He excites me with the plan he is slowly unfolding before my eyes. I feel him working personally, hands on, in my life. That is incredible! How could I walk away from that? How could I choose something as small as comfort over the enormous peace of knowing I'm in God's will?

I have given much thought to the community God is slowly working on forming. What is it's purpose? What is it's path? I know that God is using us to form a community that's primary focus is to promote fellowship and sharing. I know that he wants us to be able to meet the needs of our neighbors and people throughout the community. I know he wants us to feed the hungry, and that through sharing our resources and living more simply, we should be able to accomplish so much more for others with the resources with which he has blessed us.

But why? What is the purpose behind all of this? What does he actually hope to accomplish through us? I believe he has begun to tell me. It is SO simple. I really can't believe I have been struggling so hard with gaining understanding.

He wants us to teach people about Jesus. That is all we are supposed to do. We are supposed to go out and create disciples. But you reach different people through different avenues. Some people learn by reading. They will best learn about Christ through reading scripture. Others learn by hearing. They will come to know Christ through being told about him, through a preacher or a friend. Other people learn by seeing. Those are the people God wants us to reach. We will teach people about Jesus by living like him.

Jesus listened. Jesus shared. Jesus gave. Jesus forgave. Jesus fed. Jesus healed. Jesus taught. Jesus loved. Jesus participated. Jesus lived in the world, but not of the world. That is all he is asking of us.

So when we choose to live in community with one another...when we choose to share in each others victories and burdens...when we choose to teach, to listen, and to share...when we choose to give, and feed, and forgive...when we choose to heal, and love...we choose to live like Jesus. We teach people about who Jesus was. People will see Jesus in us. I can't think of a better purpose for our lives. Can you?

Exodus 9:16 But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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