Last week I was visiting with someone I hadn’t seen in a long while, and in the process of our catching up we found that we were sharing what I call “God moments.” Each of us sharing stories in which the orchestrating hand of God was evident. Acknowledging God’s sovereignty unites us, and It’s a way of reminding ourselves that we are part of a much bigger plan, a much bigger family, than we know. The weaving of God’s tapestry of lives is fascinating to behold, and I find it awe inspiring to consider how He knits people and communities together. Truly, we are living stones being fitted together, with Christ being the cornerstone.
In 1 Peter 2, we see the people of God described as living stones, a spiritual house, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation. God’s people who have received mercy and are now called to walk in submission to His authority, honoring others and accepting God’s sovereign hand in placing those in office who may or may not know Him. How we relate to others is what sets us apart as His people. Jesus said, “They will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.” (John 13:35)
As a child of God, I really only have one important job: to love the person in front of me. As God in His sovereignty brings people across my path, I am called to love them. They may not all be brought into His Kingdom in a time and fashion that I can see, but my obedience is to Him and Him alone. And obedience has its own reward. Cheerful obedience is pleasing to the Father, as it is born out of love for Him who adopted us into His family. When we understand the nature of His heart and the power of His love (as much as He has revealed to us), we are not stingy with it. Rather, we become fountains of living water.
It has been a while since I’ve given you a journaling assignment, and I think this is a good time for one. As you embark on this new week, read I Peter 2 and prayerfully consider the people God seems to have “fitted” to you. Are there any relationships (whether co-workers, neighbors, family members, or church community) in which you can acknowledge the sovereign hand of God? Are there ways you can lean in and love more earnestly?
Heavenly Father, we ask that you pour your love into our hearts. Show us the places where we have resisted your love and forgive us for being self-preserving. We embrace your mercy and acknowledge our poor spiritual condition. Thank you for loving us so deeply and so profoundly that you sent Jesus to redeem us and make us your own. How great is your love! Give us clean hearts and renew a right spirit within us. We understand that cheerful obedience is the right response to you, our Father. You are entirely trustworthy, and we gladly submit our whole heart to you. Help us to love well. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Until next week, beloved, love the one in front of you.