Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stare at God

Typically in these Faith@Home moments I share ideas, tips or resources for living out faith at home. But today I want to do something a little different….

Some from the Faithful Families small group recently started a book study called “You and Me Forever, Marriage in Light of Eternity” by Frances and Lisa Chan. I'd like to share a few thoughts from that book with you today.

We’ve quickly realized this book is different. Rather than starting off with brass tacks information about how to communicate with your spouse, or recommending more date nights, they plunge into deep waters about prioritizing our eternal relationship with the Creator of all things above our earthly relationships, even our marriages. Frances writes, “when two people are right with Him, they will be right with each other. As a pastor for over 20 years, I have come to the conclusion that most marriage problems are not really marriage problems. They are God problems”. I think this extends to all relationships, doesn’t it?

Our lack of intimacy with God causes a void that we try to fill with the frailest of substitutes. Like wealth or pleasure. Like fame or respect. Like people. Like marriage. Think of all the awards, promotions, accolades, and accomplishments you would love to receive in your lifetime. Could anything be better than one day hearing our master say, as written Matthew 25:23 “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little. I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” That day is coming. Do we ever envision what it will be like to hear those words?

One of the solutions the Chan’s propose to changing our perspective and taking the focus off ourselves is to stare at God. I realize this is not a new concept for most of us. However, we can ALL use the reminder. When we actually stop and take time to look at Him, worship and meditate on what we know of Him, everything else fades into its proper place, including our attitudes, priorities and relationships with others. Through prayer, reading the Bible, and taking time out to just pause and ponder who we’re really talking to, we develop a healthy fear of Him and a perspective that is focused more on eternity than our temporary circumstances. Frances says, “people accuse me of going overboard in preparing for my first ten million years in eternity. In my opinion, people go overboard in worrying about their last ten years on earth.”

I don’t know where you are in your relationships today, whether things are going smoothly or you’re struggling... We all need moments in the day to stop and “stare at God” to make sure we’re not spending our time staring at lesser things. Namely, ourselves.

Chapters 4-5 of Revelation give us a picture of what worship in Heaven looks like, surrounding the throne of God. Pondering that seems a good place to start. I encourage you to go read those verses this afternoon to either learn or refresh your memory. Seeds Family Worship is a group that takes scripture and makes it singable for all ages. I’m going to play for you their take on Revelation 7:10&12, words of praise spoken in Heaven. As we listen, let’s look at an amazing photograph of nebulae taken by the Hubble telescope. I think this photo might give us the tiniest peek of the rainbow surrounding God’s throne. As you look and listen, take a moment to gaze at God and ponder his magnificence. Also, I hope that this week as you’re tempted to think about yourself and short term circumstances- and certainly we all will be- that this will be a reminder to stop and “stare at God.”

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