Archive for July 4th, 2007

Will I Praise You?

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Please read Micah 7:8 (NRSV) (The Message) out loud if possible.

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? What jumps out at me? At the end of the reading, try to summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (Tom Chittenden):

Relationship is based on a mutual covenant — an agreement between two hearts to exchange life.

I was in need of God, so God stepped in with life — exchanging mine for His. My God was “in need” of a broken vessel to pour Himself through, and by grace, God allowed me to be such a vessel. God gave me life, and now I am honored to give it back.

Because my mind had been bombarded with so many lies concerning my identity for so many years, the enemy of God often reminds me of all that I was, and he tries to convince me that, inherently, nothing has changed. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth! From time to time, I stumble in my thoughts: “Maybe I am kidding myself. Maybe I am a pervert, maybe I am less than a man.” But the beauty of a relationship from God’s perspective, I believe, is that it is based on the truth of a mutual covenant. I do not plan to fall, but if I do, God will still love me — and God will be there to set my feet back on the path.

When running a race, runners do not go back to the starting line if they fall. They get right back up, set their eye on the goal, and run toward it as if their lives depended on it. This is a simple picture of repentance. I realize my dependence on the Lord. I fall. I see my need for a Savior. I turn and run to God. That kind of relationship — that kind of love — fills me with gratitude as I realize that, except for that grace and love, I would surely be defeated.

When failure comes or the enemy assails, we have a choice to make. Will we allow that failure to define who we are, or will we lay claim to who Jesus has defined us to be? We have been given the joy of walking in relationship with the God of the universe! That truth alone ought to cause us to praise God each and every day. How can we not?

Thought for the day: As you prepare for sleep tonight, ask God to remind you of all the reasons you have to offer up praise — then praise God as you lie down. See if you don’t wake up with peace on your mind!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to start, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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