Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year folks... I realise I'm a little late, but I've been away from my keyboard celebrating and procrastinating in equal measures.

I was thinking yesterday about a friend who I gave a scripture to, towards the end of last year. They had been convicted about something in their life that God was calling them away from and hadn't been taking it seriously (I myself had a similar experience just prior to that, which is why I felt burdened to share the scripture).

The passage was from Haggai. God sends his prophet to the people of Jerusalem and urges them to rebuild the temple; however, he also warns them to "give careful thought" about doing it. You see, this wasn't the first time the people had begun to rebuild the temple; they had attempted it previously but had abandoned their efforts at the first sign of adversity and had divided up the resources they were going to use for God's house and decorated their own homes instead.

The reason I've felt compelled to write about it now, is that recently I've felt that I've been placed in a couple of situations where I know exactly how God was feeling there... and it's not comfortable at all.
Of course, my thoughts and personal feelings pale in significance compared to God's. We really do take God for granted. We receive in good faith all the things he gives us by his grace... and we think very little about the cost - both costs. What I mean by that, is that we glaze over what God did for us in the past to bring us into a relationship with him; all too easily. At the same time, we show very little regard for what he might be calling us to do in response to the fact that he blesses us so abundantly. We are so one sided and we don't think for a moment about how our attitude affects God's heart.
I'm starting to understand that this is what lies at the core of what the Bible calls being lukewarm:

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."
Revelation 3:15-20

You know... God is SO gracious and he gives us so many more chances than we deserve... and I'm not just talking about the unsaved, I'm completely including Christians in that. We are reluctant labourers. We think only of ourselves. We are wretched. God's love is too often unrequited and we really do need to change our hearts with regard to that.

Maybe at New Year, you made a resolution... or somewhere deep in your heart you know he is challenging you with regard to something. I urge you not to ignore it or treat it casually, instead take it seriously and don't be half hearted about it... it's not fair to treat people that way and it is certainly not right to treat God in that manner, when he has given us infinitely more than any human.

I feel like Jude, I wanted to write something light about this being the start of a new year full of hope,potential and how wonderful God is. Make no mistake God is wonderful... this is a new year... but I felt God was asking me to write this more somber message in conjunction with the way I have been feeling.

I do pray you have a blessed year... in addition to the blessings God has already richly lavished upon us all.
Happy 2008!

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