Sunday, Nov 11, 2018. Is life with God different from a life without God? Of course it is. You might compare it with life as a single and life as a partner. That is much different as well. Of course it will change you and your life when you life with someone, and if you have kids as well you take care of. And God is not just some partner, he is THE partner, he is source and goal, creator, lover, companion.
Will of God …
Life is not without suffering. We all know that. Life is threatened, it is in danger, since there are many things in this world which are difficult for us. The following text from the first letter of the apostle Peter talks about these difficulties, but also about the life with God, what it means, what it changes. Let us read a little bit:
1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (from 1 Peter 4, 1ff)
There is a lot in this text, as always when you open the bible. First: Jesus himself, the son of God, God himself who became human, suffered when he lived. This suffering of God is one of the most important things we hear about in the Old and New Testament. God himself came into our world, into our society. He himself knows how it is here, in the middle of our business, our families, our struggle and our joy!
Life in Full …
Second, God wants us to come into his community. His community is different from the life we know usually. It is a community of trust, a community of faith, a community of love. It is not the love we know when humans follow their desires. It is a different type of love. It is often called “agape”, the Greek word. It is a love which gives, which provides, which has complete focus on the other person. It is not egoistic love, not a love which wants to govern or determine!
Third, we are called to service. We are all gifted. We are all equipped with abilities given by God and his spirit, which enable us to serve in a unique way. We all can do things the others cannot do as well, since God wants us to work together and serve one another. It is deep joy to serve. It is deep joy to be of importance since God himself has given us something which we are to contribute. We are called to do this! Yes, we are.
God is to be glorified. This is repeated in the biblical books many times. Why? Since he is the creator - he is the source. He is fantastic. He is pure. He is powerful. He is loving. He is full of empathy. He is forgiving. He is dying. He is living. He is creative. He is an artist. He is a scientist. He is a maker. He is a carer. He is a mother. He is a father. He is our template. He is the center of life. and its goal. He is to be praised, not since this would be an empty command, but since he is so breathtaking and fantastic, that there is nothing more to say than: wow, look at the Lord! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts