It has been amazing how many times I can read God’s word over and over again and still see something new that grows me closer to God and to others.
I am truly thankful for God giving us more and more insight into his truth! Many times when we see something new in a passage we have read dozens of times it is not life altering but just one step closer to who God intends us to be. At least that is how it is for me. Recently in my life I was considering how it is that we honor God.
What is it that we offer Him? What is it that makes us so loved by God?! It staggers the mind? How do we become acceptable to God? I mean I know that theologically the answer is pretty simple. We can’t! On our own we can never become acceptable to God. It is all his doing, his work, his love, his sacrifice and his grace (Eph 2:8-10).
As I say to my son so that he can understand not only God’s love but hopefully how I hope I will love him. God will never love us more and he will never love us less. Let’s face it; I think it is natural, at least for me to want to get on God’s “good” side even though I don’t think that “theologically” it is necessary. I suppose I wanted to know that even though life has been difficult and stressful that I have God’s favor and blessing. I wanted to know that I was pleasing God by serving him. As I was contemplating this I found this encouragement and I hope that it helps you as well.
4 Some of you say that you follow me, and others claim to follow Apollos. Isn’t that how ordinary people behave? 5 Apollos and I are merely servants who helped you to have faith. It was the Lord who made it all happen. 6 I planted the seeds, Apollos watered them, but God made them sprout and grow. 7 What matters isn’t those who planted or watered, but God who made the plants grow. 8 The one who plants is just as important as the one who waters. And each one will be paid for what they do. 9 Apollos and I work together for God, and you are God’s garden and God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:4-9 (CEV)
Whenever I have read these passages it has always been evident that neither Paul (the author) who planted the seeds, or Apollos who followed up and watered them were able to take credit for anything due to the fact that they say that it is God who makes the seeds grow.
What I have never really considered is how fully the process is completed by God. God does not need us, he simply uses us. Paul plants the seed. Only God can produce seed. Apollos waters the seed. Only God can produce water. And Only God makes a seed grow a miracle whether we are talking about a real seed or a metaphorical seed or the human spirit. However the process begins even further back. Where did Paul plant the seed? In the soil! Good soil has nutrients that will help the soil grow. It is the starting point. Without good soil, the seed will not survive! From start to finish, it is God! He is there at the beginning and he is there for the completion. God has been there before I knew him, cared for him or accepted him and he will be there each and every day.
So what? So it reminds me that I don’t have to earn God’s love, favor, merit, blessings, or get on his “good side”. However it is a privilege to serve him when times are really great so I can thank him and when things are not,… I can lean on him for support. I hope you will do so as well. I am grateful that God is patient with us, knowing that we are not yet who we will be (Phil 1:6). Whatever God is going to do in and with my life I want to be part of because if he starts something, he finishes it!