Friday, April 18, 2014

SERMON: Have you met God on His terms?

By DAVID BILDERBACK, Special to The Ottawa Herald | 3/22/2013

In our Bible study class at church, we have been studying “The Irresistible Invitation: Responding to the Extravagant Heart of God,” by Maxie Dunnam.

Dunnam’s study is about drawing people into a richer, deeper relationship with God. One of the topics he discusses involves the experience of a monk, Brother Lawrence, who lived in the 17th century. Brother Lawrence was so moved by his encounter with God that even the simple task of cooking for the monastery resulted in him experiencing the presence of God.

In our Bible study class at church, we have been studying “The Irresistible Invitation: Responding to the Extravagant Heart of God,” by Maxie Dunnam.

Dunnam’s study is about drawing people into a richer, deeper relationship with God. One of the topics he discusses involves the experience of a monk, Brother Lawrence, who lived in the 17th century. Brother Lawrence was so moved by his encounter with God that even the simple task of cooking for the monastery resulted in him experiencing the presence of God.

“It’s too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that, if we’ve had a life-changing encounter with God, our circumstances will also change dramatically when in fact our circumstances don’t change — we do,” Dunnam writes.

When we meet God on his terms, we do change. We begin to see ourselves as God sees us. I think we need to reflect on that. What does God want to see when he looks at us?

I believe he wants to see a repentant person — one who has changed from the old self. You might say, “Well, I’m a good person.” That is goodness in the eyes of the world.

In Romans 3:23, Paul says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God requires more than human goodness. John the Baptist said, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”

God wants to see a person who is committed to serving him — committed in terms of our giving, our church attendance, our prayers and service. That means what it says. If we are committed to something, then we will make sacrifices of our own time and resources to see a successful outcome.

The word sacrifice implies a giving up of something in hopes of achieving a better end. Jesus did just that when he died for you and for me.

When God looks at us to see if we are changed people, will he see repentance and commitment? If not, maybe you’ve never met God on his terms.

 

David Bilderback is a Greeley resident.

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