Thursday, October 26, 2006

My Friend's Assurance

A decade ago I heard a preacher talk about one of his “life verses.” It became apparent that these were certain verses of scripture which he felt spoke to him on a particularly deep level and helped orient him to live faithfully and purposefully as a Christian and a church leader. I had been memorizing scriptures for years and thought that was a pretty neat idea, so I picked four scriptures to serve as my “life verses” too. I don’t know what kind of impact this has had on me; I frequently recite them when I am praying but other than that it’s hard to know. Still, it’s kind of nice, like having four close friends nearby at all times.

I was thinking of one of these friends recently. His name is 2 Samuel 12:7 and his message is “You are the man!”

Just kidding.

His name is Hebrews 11:6 and his message is “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach God must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who seek him.” This verse lives in the great “faith chapter” of Hebrews and refers specifically to Enoch, but of course its truth extends to all of us. The reason it means so much to me is because it speaks to my desire to “approach” God and continually “seek” Him in my life. And it helps, it really does, to believe that God “rewards” those who seek him. Do you believe that?

It is not just coincidental that West Houston’s slogan and implicit mission statement is “Seeking God, Sharing Jesus.” That is not original with me; it comes from the WHCC Youth ministry’s four S’s, which I think are superb: Seeking God, Showing Love, Sharing Jesus, Serving Personally (indeed, that might have been our slogan but it wouldn’t fit on a sign!). But the “seeking and sharing” resonated with me. And here is the thing. Throughout Scripture we see that God wants people to approach him, to seek him. God doesn’t generally force himself on people. Certainly he manifests himself to people in signs, wonders and angels, and most notably in the incarnation of Jesus. But even Jesus asks “Who do you say that I am?” and “Follow me.” Bottom line: We will usually have “as much of God” as we desire.

And so I want to seek God in my life, to know him more deeply and give more of myself to him, because I believe he rewards that, and I don’t believe it’s crass or self-centered to admit that’s my motive. My motive is more joy, more meaning, more purpose, more experience of the transcendent and beautiful and holy in this life, which I believe comes through knowing and serving God. I’ve got one life to live. That’s my life plan.

This weekend we are challenging WHCC’s men to “take the next step” in their life with God and to consider “the next step” for West Houston in our life with God. At some level, both will involve asking if we are willing to seek God and if we believe that he rewards those who seek Him.

My friend has a way of keeping that challenging assurance in front of us.


Post a Comment

<< Home