Wednesday, January 14, 2009

40 Days of cHesed—Day 8

WEEK 2 – Worship: You Were Planned For God’s Pleasure

Day 8 Planned for God’s Pleasure

When you plan out a masterpiece—whether it’s a work of art or a dinner or a vacation—you usually are doing it because it makes you happy. It gives you pleasure. You like planning it and you like doing the work, because you want to get the pleasure of experiencing the result.

The only thing that compelled God to create was the desire to create. We can understand that, since we are created in his image. We create because we are creative.

Just as we don’t plan to have a disaster, God didn’t either. He knew that free will and choice would make his creation more challenging—but God is always up for a challenge!

And so God planned all of creation and they worked together to make it—with the best brought forth last: man. All the other parts of creation were things other than God, but man was made in God’s image. They would be able to walk together in the cool of the garden. They could do things together. Nothing is more pleasant than that!

One of the amazing things about God’s plan for man is that we may have the blessing of children. This is one of the ways we get closest to understanding God and his plan in creation. When we decide to have children, we understand that there will be many things that we can’t control (remember Day 2?), but we plan for the best possible outcome—a healthy baby.

When that baby arrives, the pleasure is just impossible to describe. That baby is our glory. We dress him or her up to show off to everyone. We listen for them to say: “What a beautiful baby!” “He looks just like his Daddy,” or “She has her Mommy’s eyes.” We can just sit and watch them all day long when they’re darling babies.

When they get to be toddlers, it gets a little more challenging—we have to deal with their ability to talk and walk. They seemed so much sweeter when they couldn’t talk back or get into things…. But then they learn to say precious things, like “I love you!” and they run to you and fly into your arms and give you a big bear hug.

And on and on it goes—they go to school and then off to college and careers and possibly get married and have children and slowly become real adults who begin to have a deeper appreciation for you because they have their own children and home and life.

While there are challenges in each stage of their growth, there can be tremendous pleasure, too. And when they make good choices, you are so proud. And when someone says, “They’re really a chip off the old block!” it makes you even more proud. And when they say how proud they are to be known as your child, well, you just choke back the tears.

And that’s worship in a nutshell.

God planned us so he could love us. That gives God pleasure. God also planned to be loved by us. And when we love him with everything that he created us to be, well, he just chokes back the tears.

And that means that we’re going to do everything we can to help you express your love for God in every way you can.

Today’s Look at 1 John

Remember to read through the entire passage without stopping. We want you to feel the flow of John’s thoughts so that you’ll have a better understanding of John’s words.

Read 1 John 2:12-17. While you’re reading, watch for John’s many reminders of who we are as God’s children. Do you see yourself?

Getting In Shape

This second week we want you to build your strength by adding this exercise to last week’s: How would your life change if God were a welcome participant in each conversation and activity?

Have you ever been with someone when they come across a friend? What happened? Perhaps the person you were with didn’t introduce you, or they picked up a previous conversation in which you weren’t included. Did you feel as if you were suddenly invisible? Ouch! Worse yet, did they say things that embarrassed you or perhaps betray another’s confidence? What did you do?

Once you’ve gotten accustomed to realizing God spends each day with you, work hard not to say or do things that would make him sad or uncomfortable. Thoughtlessness of this kind really puts a wrinkle in intimate communication! It will bring a tear to God’s eye—but not the kind we want!

Are you panting a little? Yes, this is a little bit harder. It takes a little more concentration. The coach shouts: “Breathe, breathe!” And if you will inhale God into everything you do, you will begin to feel more confident about what you exhale being pleasing to God. Remember:

  • Invite God to spend the day with you.

  • Invite God to join each of your conversations and activities.

Here we go!

No comments: