Saturday, November 9, 2013

What does God want from me?

   I have asked for salvation and been granted a new life in God. Now what does He want?

   God desires to be an active part of our life. Through Jesus we obtain our salvation, but that is just the beginning. The parable of the marriage feast speaks to me as to what role we should give God in our life. It can be found in Matthew 22:1-14.

1.And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

This tells us how to get to eternity with God. Accepting Christ in our life is the way to get the invitation to Heaven, but we must be ready when He calls. The people in the parable that were called were not ready when time had come. They were to busy doing their own thing and were not willing to stop and heed the call. As a result, they missed the feast and were destroyed.

The blessing was passed to others and one of them was not willing to fully take of the blessing. He chose not to wear the offered wedding garb, which to me is like saying I am a a follower of God, but then living a hedonistic life. For not having the appropriate dress when called he was bound and cast away.

God desires to be active in our life. In order for Him to be active in our lives we must make time and allow Him to be so. The first thing we need for this is faith. Faith is more than just saying "I believe God loves me." it is giving up control and letting God provide for us. We have to stop worrying about money, food, clothes, electronics, etc and focus on Him. I know it is easier to tell someone to stop worrying than it is to actually do it. This is where faith comes in, and Romans 10:17 tells us how to get the level of faith needed to accomplish this.

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Hearing God, and to hear God's plan we have to know the word. The word of God is the Bible and if we give God time and study the Bible we will build a solid foundation. Regular study will strengthen that foundation and our faith will build from it and grow. Once the faith is there we find it easier and easier to give our burdens to Him.

Another thing we need is love. Love for God, love for others, and love for ourselves.
Matthew 22.37 tells us how we should love God.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This means God wants our total devotion. He wants ALL of our mind , soul, and heart. That means being a good Christian by words alone or a few actions here and there will not work. We must be completely for God and live according to His guidelines all the time.

The Godly love must also be freely given to those around us. Look at Matthew 19:19, Romans 13:10, and Matthew 5:44

Matthew 19:19  Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Romans 13:10  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Matthew 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

These scriptures tell us to love our neighbors and our enemies. We are not to wish them ill will or hostility, but should love them as we love ourselves. We should pray happiness and joy instead of misfortune and sadness for them or anyone.

A brief reflection on what love is. I Corinthians tells us exactly what love is and how we should embody it.
I Corinthians 13:4-7

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love is embracing the good things of life and letting go of the bad. It is not about you or I but about doing what is right and treating others right. Love is realizing what you have and giving God the bad where He can turn it into the good. Verse 7 is my favorite because it, to me, sums up our duty for any person that God has blessed us with in our lives. To always protect and keep that relationship special, always trust that God's blessings will be there, always hope for the good and persevere through the not so good because God can and will help us overcome all.