So, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12: 1-2, The Message)
This month we are going through the sermon series The Walk: Five Essential Practices of the Christian life as outlined in the book with the same title by Adam Hamilton. These practices are good tools for developing ourselves as Christian Disciples and for our everyday lives. But the passage from Romans puts it succinctly. In your everyday life, be the best follower of Jesus you can be. Learn to be aware of God’s still small voice and be attentive and responsive to it. These are spiritual practices and will help bring us to maturity in Christ.
As I reflect on this passage, I ask myself, do I see every person as a child of God? There have been some people that I struggle to see God in them. I remind myself that everyone is a child of somebody. Even in our own children we hope that they will grow up into maturity and lead good productive lives. We have plans for them – that they are good people, loving spouses, and parents. We want to be proud of them, but it doesn’t always happen that way and that makes us sad and disappointed. However, we still hope for them, pray for them, and when possible, support them with the hope that something will change for them.
So it is with God. We are all children of God and God has placed tools – the Bible, the Church, friends/family and community, to help us grow. We don’t always make use of those tools. But the promise is that as we learn to listen to God’s voice and respond to it, you will be changed from the inside out. God will bring out the best in you. And that will make you a servant that God uses to help someone else. Then when we look at other people, we see them in a different light. We see them through God’s eyes, and we see that they, just like us, are in need of redemption. They are, just like us, truly children of God.
That is why there is the Church. It is in the community of believers that we connect with God, grow in discipleship, and serve others. And that takes me back to our sermon series. I hope you will have a chance to use some of the practices we have been talking about on Sunday mornings.
On a newsier front: We had our first Teen Supporting Teens meeting on October 12 and it was a success. Thank you for being a part of the ministry of Wesley UMC. Together we will change our community.
Grace and peace,