Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015 “God’s Pleasure And Will”

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Ephesians 1: 4-6)

Good Morning Dear Friends!

How do you imagine God? When I was a boy, I imagined this old long-bearded figure sitting on a great throne. As I recall, the throne resembled the chair on which the likeness of Abraham Lincoln sits in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. It was grand, surrounded by angels. He was clothed in white, and radiance surrounded him. Oh, and there was lots of music, of course! When I got a little older and heard about Jesus, it was he that I pictured, which I now believe to be a much more accurate imagining of the nature of God. I couldn’t much relate to that first picture of God in my head, but even as a boy, I could relate to my imaginings of Jesus. That’s what it’s about…relationship. That’s what it has always been about with God. Even before the creation of the world, the nature of God was defined in part by relationship…relationship has existed as long as God has existed, in other words…forever. Always there has existed the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When God created Adam and Eve, He created them in His image…male and female…and there was relationship between the man and the woman, and between the two of them and God. From the beginning, God’s desire was that we relate to Him. In fact, Paul’s letter to the Ephesians makes it clear that this was” in accordance with God’s pleasure and will. In other words, God took delight in us even before we were born…even before the creation of the world itself! There was never a time when you or I were not on God’s mind or in God’s heart. That’s virtually unfathomable for us, but such is the nature of God.

Knowing this, then, How do we nurture this relationship that God desires us to have with him?  We pray. Philip Yancey asks a simple question, then gives us a direct answer. It is a question many of us have asked. He asks, “Why Pray?” Then he answers the question in this way:

“Evidently, God likes to be asked. God certainly does not need our wisdom or our knowledge, nor even the information contained in our prayers (“your Father knows what you need before you ask him”). But by inviting us into the partnership of creation, God also invites us into relationship. God is love, said the apostle John. God does not merely have love or feel love. God is love and cannot not love. As such, God yearns for relationship with the creatures made in his image.”

I agree! It isn’t because God requires information from us. We are certainly not God’s teacher. He already knows what we need. He even knows what we are going to pray before we pray. So why pray? We do so, as Yancy suggests, because God encourages and “invites” us to do so. Why? Because He loves us! He has given us “life from His life.” We are fashioned by His hand to be His image-bearers.  John the apostle wrote, “God is love, and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16) Yes, as the pure embodiment of love itself, God yearns for relationship with us, made in His image. Connect with your Creator today. He wants to hear from you. He loves you. Let’s pray!

Most High God; As you yearn for relationship with us, so our  heart, mind, and soul yearn for relationship with You as well. We are incomplete without that relationship. Fill us to overflowing this day, Lord, with your loving presence, that we may know You more and hunger and thirst for that relationship in this, and each new day. In Jesus’ Holy Name we pray. Amen!

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