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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
June 5, 2004

     By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us - set us right with him, make us fit for him - we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand - out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
     There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary - we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Romans 5:1-5 (Message*)

We need to understand that God has opened His door to us, and this opening is irrespective of our history, our attitudes, our behavior or our station in life. God is open to us as we are right now. God earnestly desires for us to be united with Him and to live up to our full potential. We simply have to accept what God has to offer to us.

If we truly accept God and allow Him to live in our lives, we will indeed find ourselves "in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory." This is such a wonderful place to be that our hearts will cry out in praise for what God has done for us.

Having allowed God to live in our lives will not keep us from troubles. However, it will allow us to continue to praise God in our troubles, and allow patience and virture to be built up within us. If we continue to live in Him, His Spirit will pour out blessings into our lives more than we could ever imagine.

I do not believe Paul is just theologizing here. He is sharing his experience of God's work in his life. Our response needs to be more from the heart than the head. We need to believe God's promises, open ourselves fully to God, and experience what Paul writes about for ourselves. If we do, we will not be disappointed.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2004 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 12-Jun-2004 22:37:26 EDT