March 26, 2009

March 26

69:1-23(24-30)31-38, 73
Jer. 22:13-23
Rom. 8:12-27
John 6:41-51

Rom. 8:12-27
12So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—
13for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
18I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.
19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Paul reminds us that we are “children of God.” God loves us more deeply than even the most attentive mother or father and desires the very best for us in all aspects of our lives.

Consider what that means for your relationship with God. Even when we are naughty, acting like spoiled toddlers or teasing the cat, God loves us. Because God is a loving parent, we sometimes reap the results of our actions, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t loved, deeply and intimately.

Through Jesus, God is offering to be our ‘bosom friend’ as they used to say a century ago. That is someone who knows you so well that she/he understands your hopes and dreams and fears. A bosom friend or kindred spirit is like Diana Barry in Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. (That's Green Gables on Prince Edward Island, below) A kindred spirit is a friend who is as close to you as family, despite no blood relationship. Can you think of someone you know who is a kindred spirit?

The story of Anne could be a metaphor for our own adoption by God. You may recall, Anne is an orphan who is adopted by Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. At first they are appalled that a girl rather than boy arrives from the orphanage. Anne herself is self-critical of her red hair and freckles, but adapts to life with the Cuthberts who soon come to love her. Diana and Anne understand each other and support one another throughout their lives.

Isn’t that the heart of a true relationship—being present and supporting each other in good times and bad?

Jesus is offering to be a ‘kindred spirit’ with you and with me, and all we have to do is come to Him—to offer our life to God. Perhaps this prayer is one way we can do that:

I am Yours and born for You,
What do you want of me?
Majestic Sovereign, unending Wisdom,
Kindness pleasing to my soul
God sublime, one Being Good,

Yours, you made me,
Yours, you saved me,
Yours, you endured me,
Yours, you called me,
Yours, you awaited me,
Yours, I did not stray.
What do you want of me?
In your hand, I place my heart,
Body, life, and soul,
Deep feeling and affections mine,
Spouse—Redeemer sweet,
Myself offered now to you,
What do you want of me?

Give me, if You will, prayer;
Or let me know dryness,
An abundance of devotion
Or if not, then barrenness,
In you alone, Sovereign Majesty,
I find my peace,
What do you want of me?

Yours I am, for You I was born:
What do you want of me?

For your journal: Think about someone who is a kindred spirit. How is your relationship with them different from other friends?

Write a prayer asking Jesus to be your bosom friend.

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