A 14 Day Meditation on the Love of God
God created you to be you, because God likes you.
Everything Leads to God
Loving God, who gave us the gift of your presence and forgiveness through the sacrifice of your Son, grant us eyes to experience your divine love in Jesus. Name, amen.
Scripture Reading–Genesis 1:26-31
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
God created people specially in many ways. We are the only creatures on earth who possess imagination, self-awareness, a moral compass, a complex language, reasoning abilities, or the capacity to appreciate beauty.
God made us with these special abilities so could be companions to Him. We were created to appreciate His presence. Prayer and worship are not created for us, but rather we were created for prayer and worship.
But worship is not always what we think it is. We think of prayer and worship as formal moments in our lives, such as going to church or private devotions. These are certainly important, but they are only a small part of what worship means. Most worship is not formal, limited to particular places or times, nor does it always involve direct communication with God. Most worship is informal, enjoying what God made as we spend time with the One who made it. We do not have to be talking to God about it all the time but simply recognizing His presence in all things. Informal, not formal worship builds in us a greater appreciation of His love.
When a couple is courting, they go on a date, which in our country may mean dinner and a movie. But the restaurant the visit or the movie they see is not really important. Being together is important. If the two love each other, the dinner and movie are just excuses to be together, enjoying the same things. Living with Jesus is a date with God. We walk through the world together, enjoying the good things of life, but mostly enjoying Him as we see His Presence in everything.
All the joys and pleasures of life are informal praises to God. By experiencing joy in creation, we are showing appreciation to the one who made it all.
Our creativity is informal praise to God. We are like a child who has just been given a new set of blocks, and God, the benevolent Parent who gave them, watches us with joy to see what we will make of them. He doesn’t want to tell us what to do with life, he anticipates with joy seeing what we will make of life, using our own unique creativity.
Our thirst for knowledge is also informal praise to God. He is like a teacher who takes pleasure in his students having an “Aha!” moment. Our desire to know how the universe works is informal praise to the one who made it.
When we take times to know ourselves and be ourselves, we are also informally praising God. God made us in his own image, and when we are living out the aspect that are most truly ourselves, we are putting into flesh the image of the One who made us. By enjoying who we are, we are engaging in informal worship.
Formal prayer and public worship are important to be sure, but it is the informal worship of daily life that is the most important. It is being who God made us to be.
Richard Wumbrand (1909-2001) was a Romanian Christian pastor of Jewish descent. He was imprisoned and tortured by the Communist regime for fourteen years because he stated that Christianity and Communism were incompatible. He was released after a ten thousand dollar ransom was paid. After his release he fled to the United States. For the rest of his life, he bore the scars of torture and imprisonment on hi his body. He did not return to his homeland until the Communist regime was toppled, twenty-five years later.
Wumbrand wrote eighteen books, including Tortured for Christ. He was the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs–a radio program aimed at encouraging the underground churches in Communist countries. He continued to work, encouraging persecuted churches until his death at age 91.
Here are some quotes from Wumbrand:
“The human heart by nature seeks after God. There is a spiritual vacuum in every man until it is filled by Christ.”
“It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their terms. It was a deal; we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy.”
“The Bible is a wonderful book. It is the truth about the Truth. It is not the Truth. A sermon taken from the Bible can be a wonderful thing to hear. It is the truth about the truth about the truth. But it is not the truth. There have been many books written about the things contained in the Bible. I have written some myself. They can be quite wonderful to read. They are the truth about the truth about truth about the Truth. But they are NOT the Truth. Only Jesus Christ is the Truth. Sometimes the Truth can be drowned in a multitude of words.”
“Martin Luther, when he walked in the woods, used to raise his hat to the birds and say, ‘Good morning, theologians—you wake and sing, but I, old fool, know less than you and worry over everything, instead of simply trusting in the heavenly Father’s care.”
“A flower, if you bruise it under your feet, rewards you by giving you its perfume.”
Take a walk in your yard, or go out an look at a rose bush or any flowering plant. Notice how some of the buds are just about to bloom while others are dying. What you are seeing is the nature of Life–it begins, it blossoms, and it dies. In Christ, we are not like this. Our bodies follow the same pattern as all life, but our spirits continue after death. David wrote that in God our soul does not see corruption. You are unique among all living creature on earth, that God preserves your souls forever in His house. “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” You are an ever-blooming plant fit for God’s eternal garden.
Closing Worship Songs
Go into your week
knowing you are
as a disciple of Jesus
to share God’s love
with everyone you meet daily.