Wow, looking back it has been quite awhile since I have been inspired to write. Life had gotten busy and there seemed to be no topic God was calling me to write about. I kept hearing the word patience as I awaited God’s timing to call me back into writing. Well the time has come to begin again.
It is very interesting to me how God seems to call me into to things with a single word. That word this week has been Invitation. As I continued to meditate upon that word, trying to discern what God was trying to invite me in to, my thoughts crisscrossed and bounced all over the place.
Was God inviting me to do something? What was He inviting me to participate in?
As I continued to meditate, I began to focus on God’s invitation to follow Jesus. When God beckoned me to follow Him, it was a subtle series of events that opened my eyes and heart to Him. I knew of God, but did not know Him personally. It did not happen overnight, but took some time as my heart was softened and opened to His call.
When a friend invited my family to church, it was there that I discovered Jesus. I learned He desires a personal relationship with each one of us, but my sin caused a separation between us. He offers forgiveness and mercy and the cross on which He died enables us to be reconciled to God for those sins, past, present and future. That day changed my life.
As I have continued to follow Jesus over the years, He has changed me from the inside out. He has continued to stretch and grow me, transforming me into the woman He created me to be. So again, what was God inviting me to do now? How does this relate to my life today?
As I further meditated, He opened my eyes to forgiveness and mercy. He was asking me to reframe my thinking on others “behavior” in a new light. To not let “worldly” judgements taint my view of the people God created.
There are still times I see behaviors in those I serve that cause me to doubt they need the services we are providing or I see their “greed” instead of their need. At times I still fall prey to judging their actions instead of looking past the behavior to see the child of God in front of me. God reminded me that day of my sinful behaviors, when I lived as the world lived, choosing to follow the ways of the world, living in patterns that did not bring life. And even today, how I still fall prey to sinful patterns and need His forgiveness. How many times have I made poor choices and God still loves me?
God is inviting me to offer mercy and forgiveness to those who do not know Him as I do. He showed me in His word that I was to “encourage the disheartened, help the weak, and be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14b)
Those I serve in His name are His children. The walking wounded of the world. Enslaved by their circumstances, often feeling hopeless and without dignity, unable to find a way out, they do not know Jesus and the hope He offers. They are living in the pattern of the world that offers little hope of stepping out of their circumstances. Their behavior is often a reflection of their hopelessness.
We serve, so that Jesus is made known. We are an invitation for others to see Jesus. We serve because Jesus first loved us. We serve to bring Hope.
What a joy it is to have God invite me to reframe my thoughts and to see His children with new eyes. To be the invitation for others to see Jesus when I serve.
Today I was challenged to “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Won’t you take up the challenge with me and serve with a new found passion, being an imitator of God, showing His love so that Jesus is made known.