Monday, June 18, 2012

handcrafted with purpose

For the last couple of weeks, we've been talking about how mankind's rebellion caused brokenness in the world.  Essentially, it harmed all the relationships of mankind--between mankind and God, mankind and the earth, individual relationships, and our relationship with and understanding of ourselves.  But we've also been talking about how God has plans to redeem and restore all those relationships, and even now is working toward that and inviting all his people to help him in that.

But what would it really look like for us to get involved?  What would it mean for us to truly become ministers of the reconciliation and restoration that God wants to bring?

That's the question I've been asking myself since I first started to follow Jesus.  And what it looks like for me these past few years has been following Jesus into the prisons and into serving the poorest criminals so that they have exceptional legal representation.  It means that I ask God every day to give me his eyes to see my clients as the precious human beings they are, so that I can treat them with the dignity, kindness, and grace that God gives me.  It means that instead of working with money as a primary motive, I pray about the cases I'm to take and I'm able to give time and services away to those who can't pay.  And it means that I use my choices to live simply and with these strange values as an opportunity to share with other lawyers how the great story of God has motivated me to live in this way.  And I've gotten to watch as God has softened and then transformed many people who did not know him when I met them.

As one who is made in the image of God and who has chosen to follow Jesus, I get to prayerfully approach each day.  I get to invite God to come with me where I go and work through me to bring justice and peace to the world around me.  And I get to see glimpses of how God is doing that in the lives of my friends and those around me.

For example, when I pray for justice and I see that something is not right, and I go out there and fight for the right thing to be done, I have great satisfaction in knowing that justice prevailed and some small wrong was made right in that moment.  When I see someone soften to the point that she is finally able to follow Jesus, I find such joy and inspiration that I know I am right where I'm called to be, doing exactly what I'm called to do.  And it's been to my great delight to know that God equipped and prepared me to do and to be exactly what I am right now.

In Ephesians 2:10, Paul said that "we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  The word workmanship here makes me think of a finely carved piece of furniture or a masterpiece that someone spent hours crafting until it was just right for what it was supposed to accomplish.

So what part has God invited you to play in his great plan to rescue and redeem the world?  What broken relationships do you see in the world, and how can you, out of exactly the person God has created you to be, contribute to bringing restoration and reconciliation?

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