There is nothing that we entrust to God that we will not receive back a hundred-fold.
This is a valuable lesson that I was reminded of as I went through my bible study and book review sessions last month
According to Mark 10:29-30, we are guaranteed blessings in this world if we choose to follow Christ, including persecution and eternal life.
We are getting all of it!!
The title of this post was influenced by the illustration that every state of water, whether solid, liquid or gas, has its purpose and is used for something. Everything in its unique form has its place, even us as humans, as different as we are, in our unique families, countries, and culture- have been created for a purpose and that is to express the mind and heart of God.
This is also clearly pointed out in Billy Humphrey’s book, ‘To know Him’.I think everyone should read this book, it’s really lovely. I have also referred to some of the writings of this book in my posts SET and THE WATCHER.
In the book ‘To know Him’ I discovered a new perspective in seeing God in different institutions of life. These different institutions for me express different ‘states’ that we can find ourselves in. while the worlds accolades for achievement in these ‘states’ are based on human standards, God’s idea can be completely different. Let’s take a look at some ‘states’ that resonated with me.
During my bible study with my partner, we looked at the crucifixion of Jesus and how he died for us. At the head of the cross was bolted the plank that read ‘King of the Jews’.
According to the disciples and followers of Christ, this was a man that they looked up to, saw as a king, a deliverer, a leader. Jesus was all these things, but they expected more. They expected to see a physical manifestation of the powerful king they wanted. To them, he dies before reaching his full potential but to God, it was finished.
This glorious sacrifice of God giving us his son has placed us in a place of royalty. We know who we are. The difference between people’s expectations of us and our state does not influence our status in God. Instead, the more we seek God, the more we are transformed.
Knowing God is what makes a great life- not an easy life, but a full life, an abundant life
– Billy Humphrey pg.207
What does it mean to really follow Jesus?
To follow Jesus is to follow God because as Jesus said when we see him, we see the Father (John 14:9-10).
It means giving up everything we value most and letting God express himself to us. Jesus mentions it in this way that we must forsake father, mother, children, wives, husbands, properties- everything- and follow him!!!
But how easy is this commitment?
“life is all about knowing Him. Through parenting we find a Father, through marriage we discover the Bridegroom, through our jobs, we meet the servant, and through money, we’re introduced to the Steward “
-Billy Humphrey (pg.207)
God wants us to first learn of him and develop a solid relationship before we can find expression through him in all other areas of our lives.
We need to find love-respect-obedience-submission-understanding-agreement with God before we can fully give ourselves to our spouses.
During my book review, my friend made a valid point on how many people carry scars and unhealed wounds into relationships. I have also had a few of such escapades before and it only leaves you dissatisfied, constantly trying to please and meet another human beings’ expectations and also expecting so much from someone who is in the same state as you.
Learning God’s expectations for the marital union helps you to see him and pushes you to seek out his purpose for yourself and your spouse, not merely the fantasy of together-forever.
As an only child, the only siblings I have are my very close friends and family members. What you learn is that relationships are so different. While one family is as thick as skin others are not. Sometimes when I go on and on about how nice it will be to have an older sister, some of my friends scorn.
The point is that how we treat our siblings should not differ from how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ. When God sees a family, what is His intent?
When it comes to possessions and positions, I learned to look at God’s mission for me in representing him rather than the titles. Being a very competitive person, God has shown me that some things are not important. Having a certain status can puff me up and make me proud if I do not understand why God placed me there in the first place. Which comes down to God’s intent versus my own intent and of course God intent wins.
In persecution and in temptation God expresses himself. A biblical example is the persecution of the Jews which caused them to be scattered around. God used this trying time to ensure that the message of his love and sacrifice was made known to many (Acts 8:4).
Jesus said we should let go of everything and we will gain much more including persecution. Which means that with every blessing, God will also have built in us the wisdom, character, and attitude to handle it. A bin and a lightbulb, both attract insects but they are so different in their contents and outlook. An insect cannot rest on a lightbulb because it is hot. The function of the bulb is so different from a bin. God’s mission for us is to bear his image. There are times that we will attract enemies who disguise as friends but because of who we are in God, they cannot lurk around for long.
There are so many institutions in life that we can learn from and the most important lesson is the expression of God in the state that we are in.
Whether married or single. Only child or belonging to a family of ten. Employee or employer, minister or usher. God is more concerned about our relationship with him than our achievements.