Life has been interesting the last few weeks. I wish I could say it has been great, but that is not the best term.
The other Monday I got to sit with a friend and catch up a bit. As we talked he asked me to explain the Gospel. As I stumbled through an explanation he patiently listened.
After I had a chance to finish my long winded and unfocused description he asked a simple question.
"Have you ever noticed how the Gospel insults our pride as Americans but never our selfishness?"
I didn't quite follow at first. As I replayed the Gospel I just told and the one we so often hear I heard "you," "me," "us," etc. My entire description of the Gospel was about what God had done for me and had planned for me. The focus of the Gospel is God. His glory, his power, his love. The idea that Jesus came and died to be the way to reunite us with Himself is all about God, not about me. The focus is God's plan for the world not his plan for me. Or his promise to care for me.
This idea of me was all through my view of the Gospel.
A seed of an idea slowly grew in my mind. It came up in discussions with the men's group I attend and homegroup later that week. I heard it in music.
"I want my life to show, that I am thinking beyond myself." ~ A line from a song in new Newsboy's Album (Born Again)
THAT ENTIRE LINE IS ABOUT ME!!!! Almost every other word!
I have also been unable to remove my focus from John 15 as of late. The dozens of times I have read it in the past and last few weeks would lead me to think I had a good handle on it. Then I saw this...
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
~ John 15:7-8
Even when He grants us the desires of our hearts the focus is on His glory!
This understanding is something I am just starting to grapple with, but oddly it has been encouraging to me. God does care about my life and what I am feeling and doing. But more importantly He is worthy of praise. His plan is beyond my comprehension, beyond a need for me.
But He has invited us to be part of that. And promised to care for us.
My problems seem a bit insignificant now.