Thursday, November 7, 2013

I used to teach kids that "get" was a weak verb. It's not.

So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to Him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship. Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to Him and what is perfect. Romans 12:1-2

This is the good news that we are to preach to the ends of the earth: we are free from the body of sin through of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus because of God’s great mercy. We are to live in the truth as He is in the truth, and not be conformed by the thinking of the world, but rather live and act by what is true, what is pleasing to Him and Him alone.

And what is pleasing is an attitude of gratitude. Nicole told me this morning about Rachel’s Challenge’s I Get to Do This attitude. I get to get on a redeye express to Philadelphia and rent a car and find my hotel and get all nice to speak to children at eight o’clock in the morning. I get to go speak to a community meeting in a church basement tonight after a hurried dinner at Sweet Tomatoes after four back-to-back presentations K-12 all day long. I get to get up and do it all over again. And it makes all the difference, this I Get to Do This attitude.

I get to be a part of the journey of a skinny hunched over Chinese kid who is so very happy to be on the junior varsity basketball team and when he called at 7:39 to ask to be picked up from the other side of town I reminded him that he had bus money and I was going to pick him up on this side of town and then he texted me at 9:00 and said the bus hadn’t come yet and I got to drive across town and pick him up and I wasn’t crabby at him or anyone in particular but at the world in general especially the person in front of me who turned right from the driving lane and not the turning lane and then he wasn’t there but I found him wandering down the street. Cold and tired and hungry. And happy about basketball. I get it. And I hope I get it all day long. And tomorrow. Step by step.

Every step held up to the thought–is this good and pleasing to Him? Is this perfect? This is true worship–acknowledging Him in all that I do and think, and yes even feel. Feelings are controlled by thoughts. Let my thoughts be His thoughts. And I know His thoughts are thoughts of mercy on all.

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.
-Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)

Pleasing and acceptable acts of worship.

Jerry Peyton from SlavesNoMore reminded us in chapel yesterday of this truth, as he read from Amos five:
I hate, I despise your feasts,
    and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies
 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
    to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
But let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

May this righteousness fill cup after cup of cold water for these little ones today.