Shaken But Not Moved
Shaken But Not Moved
We haven’t had a break. We’ve gone from pandemic to protests. Most of us haven’t been able to gather in person for church services for several months. Children are out of school. Adults are out of jobs. Life as we knew it half a year ago is totally different now. We may be certain – we are shaken but not moved. God is moving with grace, love, and power. You and I can make a daily choice – to keep a laser focus on God’s constant presence, power, and purpose, not on what is going on around us. We can rest in the stability of an almighty God who holds the future.
God never changes. God is immutable, which means He does not grow old, turn away a listening ear from us, or reverse any decision about His love for us. He is always the same, constant, reliable. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.”
God does not fail. Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and of good courage, fear not, for the Lord thy God … will not fail nor forsake you” (KJV). Faith is the opposite of fear. Through a relationship with God, we can on a daily basis, select to trust and step forward into an uncharted future.
God is faithful. He will complete what He has started. Think about what He has taught you during the pandemic. I’ve prayed I would be changed by the time of “sheltering in place.” I didn’t want to waste the time, and learned a lot about deepening my relationship with Him. Philippians 1:4-6 says, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
God’s Word does not fail. Joshua 23:14, “…Not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed….” There are over 8,000 promises in the Bible. Which promise have you claimed for yourself today? For your family? For your workplace? For your community? For your church? For our nation?
God’s love does not fail. 1 Corinthians 13:8 & 13, “Love never fails, but prophesies, tongues, knowledge will pass away. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.” What does love look like? Love is a verb, an action word, as we work it out, we can affirm their value and worth. Above all, we can remember the price that Jesus Christ paid on the cross for the sins of the world. In the midst of showing love to our brothers and sisters in Christ, I am reminded of this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.”Every man must be respected because God loves him. The worth of an individual does not lie in the measure of his intellect, his racial origin, or his social position. Human worth lies in relatedness to God. An individual has value because he has value to God. Whenever this is recognized, “whiteness” and “blackness” pass away as determinants in a relationship, and “son” and “brother” are substituted.”
God’s compassion does not fail. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “It is because of the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness.” What does compassion look like? Each day, we can choose to show ourselves compassion as we remind ourselves of God’s immutability and faithfulness. But wait, there’s more.
God desires for us to show compassion to others. This happens as we make it a point to pray with other believers, in one accord. Obedience to God’s will through prayer and loving through action are an act of laying down our lives for our cities, our nation, and our world. We can continue to pray for unity. We can covenant with Him to see Christ’s prayer in John 17 answered.
John 17:20-23 reminds us, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one-- I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Christ’s prayer may be answered as the body of Christ is delivered from divisions and racism. We can set aside our differences to value, honor, and love others the way God does. Francis Frangipane said, “The covenant we embrace is nothing more than the expansion of Christ’s nature. We follow Jesus into the same life that He exemplified in dying for the sins of the world.” God is unwilling that anyone should perish.
Jesus’ final words…a dying man’s last request. John 17:24-26, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
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