Archive for March 29th, 2008

Is That the Real You?

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Joel 2:12-13 (ESV–text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts (David Zier):

When Jesus calls us to be his disciples, He wants us to be authentic. When we let Jesus into our heart and soul, and we allow the presence of God into various aspects of our lives, shouldn’t we:

  • Lift our prayers and praises to God,
  • Repent of our sins and shortcomings, and
  • Authentically communicate to God routinely?

Yeah, yeah, I have heard some people say, “God already knows what is in my heart and what my sins are, so why should I spend so much time repeating them to a God who is all knowing?”

We don’t do this because God doesn’t already know — we do this for ourselves. When we go to God authentically, and we allow ourselves to talk deeply to God and truly let God know how we feel — pouring out our hearts, our tears, and giving everything to God and truly asking for forgiveness — this is a way for God’s Grace to be revealed in us so that we can live in that grace. This also allows us to invite God into parts of our lives that we may be trying to hide. It allows us to recognize that God can work in all places of our lives.

No matter how I want to dress myself up and no matter how I want to appear to God, I can’t hide who I really am. I have to reveal the true “me” to God. This will allow me to be a better disciple in Jesus Christ! God’s presence and blessing is conveyed to me when I have a heart that truly reaches out, a heart that asks God for forgiveness, and a heart that prayerfully asks God in.

The prophet is telling us that repentance and reaching out to God is not an outward change of one’s actions and words, but it is primarily an inward change of one’s heart. Are we more concerned about the exterior, appearances, a moment of drama, or something staged to make us look good? Or are we more concerned about a true authentic relationship with Christ, which produces the fruits of discipleship? Rend your heart, not your garments.

Thought for the day: Let’s commit to being authentic, and live in God’s true Grace!

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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