...Four to Go
“bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NKJV)
Most people would probably say the three most powerful words in the English language are “I Love You” but maybe just maybe the most powerful words are actually four. The four most life changing words any of us can speak just might be, “I Believe In You”. If you read your Bible long enough you come to understand that there is something very special, something sacred that exists in a relationship between God the Father and His children. His children being those who have come to know Him as their personal Savior and Lord when they received the forgiveness that He offers us in Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son and who are adopted into the family of God.
Sometimes I sit and try to imagine the conversation the angels might have had with Jesus after He ascended back into heaven after His death on the Cross and resurrection. Jesus plan following His death and resurrection was to empower men and women to carry out His mission and to advance His kingdom to the ends of the earth until He returns in glory. It was a plan with global proportions and ramifications and based on human history and the past performance of mortal men the angels had good reason to be questioning the wisdom of such a plan. To be honest there are times I question God’s plan in my own life.
To think Jesus has left us, you and me to carry out His plans and purposes on earth while He prays for us from heaven. Why would God entrust such an endeavor to people who are prone to fail when the stakes are not only high but are eternal? What did God know that we don’t know? Obviously it’s the power of faith. Jesus believes in me and you! The belief that God places in us is what empowers us to succeed. One of my favorite pastors is known for saying, “The hardest thing to do in life is to sin against love.” It’s so true. When you know someone loves you and believes in you the hardest thing in the world to do is to deliberately sin against them. It’s why believing in other people is so very empowering and why we don’t want to let down those who believe in us.
You might be thinking today, why would God believe in me? A story of Michelangelo comes to mind. Michelangelo the great painter and sculptor, one day went to a rock quarry and selected the least desirable, most ugly and warped slab of marble that he could find. Those who were looking on asked why he would choose such a marred piece of marble out of all the sections available. Michelangelo responded, “There is an angel inside, and I want to let him out!” And guess what? As Michelangelo proceeded to work on that slab with a mallet, hammer, and chisel in hand, by the sweat of his brow as he toiled for long hours, he ultimately brought it about. “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it.”
Often times we only see the worst in people and not the good. We too soon forget that without faith it is impossible to please God. All you have to do to prove that is to turn on the television set these days and watch the news to see what the lack of faith and belief and love has on a society. Many people, some of the most intellectual minds this world knows are blinded by intellectualism, predisposition and prejudice, cloaked in what is summed up in what is called progressive thinking. Jesus on the other hand is motivated by God’s agape love, not some feeling of love, generally speaking, but divine love that sees the whole picture, the good, the bad and the ugly and remains unwavering knowing the transforming power God’s agape love has on the recipient.
Read the Gospels and consider the men Jesus chose to be with Him, to be His disciples. Outcast, downcast, men of little esteem. Common men, fishermen of average talent at best, long looked over by the elite of His day. Jesus called four fisherman, two with anger issues and two who were not even that good at catching fish. Jesus saw something in them that no one else saw and He drew it out with an invitation, “Follow Me and I will make you become…” In short Jesus invitation included a statement that would be proven over and over again with each failure, “I believe in you.” Had Jesus not believed in His followers He never would have chosen them to begin with. That’s an important point to reiterate, God chose you because He believes in you and His plan includes you! God doesn’t need us, after all He is immutable. God wants us! Thats even better. I think most of would prefer to be wanted over being needed. Need often stems from requirement where choice always from desire. I appreciate the quote that says, “Every woman has the desire to be irresistibly desired.” I get it. We cant forget this, we must not forget this regarding our own lives or the lives of others who are seeking to follow Jesus. Jesus chose Peter, Andrew, James and John because He believed in them. Jesus chose you, loved one, because, Jesus believes in you!
Sometimes we look at people and see only the worst. We look at them with a log in our eye as we look for the speck in their’s. Yet Jesus isn’t blind and when He looks at people He sees not only the bad but also the good, and He seeks to bring out the best in us. God’s focus isn’t in who you once were but in who you can be and will become in Him. Jesus isn’t looking back at your past but forward to what you will one day be when His work is completed in you. God is a Creator, a craftsman, a carpenter who is only focused on fashioning us into what He has determined us to be.
Yes, loved one, there are three words that are powerful and we each need and long to hear them daily, the words “I love you.” Yet don’t forget, the old saying that goes, one for to money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go! It’s four words that will change the world, hearing the voice of the one who like Jesus stands at the door and says to us as we go, “I believe in you!”
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
I LOVE YOU!
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