Tuesday, October 18, 2011

With What Awe

"The Bible is God's voice speaking to us, just as surely as if we could hear it with our ears. If we realized this, with what awe we would open God's Word and with what earnestness we would search it's precepts. The reading and contemplation of the scriptures would be regarded as an audience with the Infinite One."
~ My Life Today, pg. 283
"Do you desire to become a follower of Christ, yet know not how to begin? Are you in darkness and know not how to find the light? Follow the light that you have. Set your heart to obey what you do know of the word of God. His power, His very life, dwells in His word. As you receive the word in faith, it will give you power to obey. As you give heed to the light you have, greater light will come. You are building on God's word, and your character will be built after the similitude of the character of Christ."
~ Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, pg. 150

I've just finished listening to a sermon/presentation by Janet Page, on audioverse.org. She brought these quotes up during her talk, and they were just what I needed to hear--her whole presentation was what I needed to hear. They both spoke directly to some questions on my heart that I had been struggling with these past few weeks. Nothing was said that I haven't necessarily heard before, but this time I was listening, and through her talk God provided so many answers to my questions.
She was here at SAU when she presented her talk. It was in 2009. I was here at school, probably at another seminar. After hearing her talk just now, I was kicking myself for not having gone to hear her in person when I realized she had spoken here...but I have a feeling that I might not have been ready to listen back then.

It's funny--or sad, how truth can be all around us, how powerful speakers and servants of God can be speaking directly to some spiritual need/lack in our life, and it wont be until years later that we are able to appreciate God's heart reaching out to us through their words.
As God has been awakening my heart to Him, I'm beginning to realize how many opportunities for drawing closer to God and drawing others closer to Him, that I've allowed to slip through my fingers, and it's so saddening...but it's also encouraging, because I realize that although I've wasted so much time, God can and will "restore the years that the locust hath eaten".
My heart overflows with awe, with gratitude, to a God who so mercifully pursues us, waits for us, and awakens us to Him.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

As a Little Child

"To him who is content to receive without deserving, who feels that he can never recompense such love, who lays all doubt and unbelief aside, and comes as a little child to the feet of Jesus, all the treasures of eternal love are a free, everlasting gift." -8MR 186.1

This quote was on the EGW estate website early last week, and since I first read it, I've carried it with me in my binder, I've written it on my dry-erase board on the fridge, I've shown it to my family, and still, after several days, I can't seem to reach to the bottom of these beautiful words. Each time I stop and read them, it feels like I am reading it all for the first time.

I am daily being amazed by God, by how He can take a once distrustful and unbelieving child, and open them up to being "content to receive without deserving". This has been so hard for me. Earning everything I get, it's such an ingrained thing in me, God has had to really be persistent and patient. It's still not easy for me. But I am learning, and what a beautiful thing it has been to allow Him to give, and give, and give, and not try to "earn" His favor, His giving.
It's so new, being vulnerable and open to a generous God who gives, never expecting anything in return. To accept that I can't ever be enough, but that God is willing and eager to give and keep giving simply because He loves me! Even now, just writing it out, it overwhelms me; that God can love me like that, that He can care enough to want to bless me, and only expect me to be content and grateful for all that He gives of Himself. And to think that He loves everyone like that!
What a mystery.
I've realized that when I gratefully receive Christ's gifts of grace, forgiveness, without trying to earn them, I am able to much more freely give of myself to others, so much more forgiving, and so much less judgemental. Very little can rub you the wrong way, can irritate you, when you have uppermost in your mind the generousness of a God who loves one as undeserving as you.

I have wanted to share this for awhile, but just couldn't really seem to put any of it into words--but after reading this quote, I couldn't wait any longer. I still couldn't really find the words, but this quote did it for me. It sums up what God has taught me over the last year in just one short, beautiful sentence.
May Jesus continue to teach me what it means to sit at His feet as a little child, and may I let Him teach me.
Mark  9:24,11:24