In HOPE

 

 

  In HOPE 9.16

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David Timms  

 

 

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 Prayer for Today

Father, teach me to be still, to be silent, and to be present with You. Quicken me to the nearness of Your Spirit. Attune me more to Your closeness. Still the stirrings and scramblings within me that make me impatient. Draw me deeper into Your purpose -- Your Presence. Amen.

Scripture 

"Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:4-7)

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“... alive together with Christ ... raised up with Him ... seated with Him...." 
~ Ephesians 2:5-6

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Sitting with Him

Teresa sat on the front porch with her dad. He suffered from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) -- a debilitating and degenerative disease. He could not speak but they would sit there and rock on the swing together. And in the silence, he imparted warmth and love to her; apart from words and apart from actions -- just with his gentle, unassuming, reassuring presence.

How often does the Father desire just the same from us?

We have grown so accustomed to speech and action, to effort and achievement, to competition and accomplishment, to success and bravado, to earning and winning, that stillness has slipped from both our vocabulary and our experience.

The porch swing sits idle.

When the apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians he uses a little word that we tend to undervalue: with.

Paul describes the grace of God in powerful terms -- saving us and resurrecting us to new life. But that new life is a "with" life. We've been made alive together "with Christ" and raised "with Him" and seated "with Him" in the heavenlies.

We'd like to re-write it just a tad. We'd generally prefer to simply be made alive, raised, and seated. No "with."

But "with" is a gospel word. It signifies the very intention of the Cross. It expresses the eternal purpose of God. He does not redeem us to build an army of workers, but to draw us back into His Presence; the Presence from which Adam and Eve fled.

"With" seems to only have value when we are "working with," "competing with," or "speaking with," not just "being with." But perhaps if we understood the degenerative disease we all carry, called sin, we'd sit more humbly, more silently, and more appreciatively with the Father. 

Jesus cued us to this reality when He said, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20) Matthew closes his gospel with that all-important statement. Not "I toil with you always" or "I speak with you always" but "I am with you always."

Just being together.

Perhaps this week, you'll find refreshment and assurance just sitting down on the front porch swing for a while with Him. I know He'd enjoy it.

In HOPE –

David

 

 

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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2009) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/ .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.