Monday, August 21, 2006

Preparing for Mondays

Lately, I've found myself struggling to enter the week with a joyful heart. I sit somewhere in the middle between burdened by discouragement and genuine gladness of heart - essentially uninspired, lethargic and not particularly amazed at God's grace.

It's not a particularly good attitude to carry forward into the week. So by God's help, I'm hoping for change this week and taking a cue from how 19th century pastor, George Mueller prepared for Mondays (actually, it's how he prepared for every day) -

"According to my judgement the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you, the Lord's work may even have urgent claims upon your attention, but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself! Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life. "

Think you have responsibilities? George Mueller was a man of immense responsibility, overseeing care for more than 2000 orphans - all this accomplished without government assistance, personal wealth or corporate sponsorships. Despite his many noble responsibilities, he placed as his highest priority to have his heart happy in God, each and every day.

How did he go about pursuing and practicing this? He offers an important hint by the following quote:

"But in what way shall we attain to this settled happiness of soul? How shall we learn to enjoy God? How to obtain such an all-sufficient soul-satisfying portion in him as shall enable us to let go the things of this world as vain and worthless in comparison? I answer, This happiness is to be obtained through the study of the Holy Scriptures. God has therein revealed Himself unto us in the face of Jesus Christ."


I'm applying this by looking to God to reveal himself through his word. In particular, I'm looking for the portrait of Jesus Christ in the passages I read, reminding myself of his work of sacrifice on the cross, meditating on his love. I'm doing so with confidence that my lethargic heart is no match for God's inspired words to me. Here's what God graciously turned up for me in Psalms 130:3-4

If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.

Buried in the Book of Psalms, is this wonderful gospel picture, speaking of God's holiness, our depravity and his provision of forgiveness. I'm meditating on those verses together with 2 Cor 5:21.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Today, I'm focusing on that bit of good news till I get happy in God.

10 comments:

The Hedonese said...

Hi Andre! Thanks for leaving the comments at my blog, and from what I see here - we do share a LOT in common! hehehe...

I'm workin' in KL but now, on a stint in Minneapolis till end of August. So i visited some churches around twin cities like Bethlehem Baptist, solomons porch, woodland hills etc.

Hey how do i contact you via email?
Cud u send me a note at hedonese at yahoo dot com?

Look forward to network with ya!

The Hedonese said...

btw is there a Sovereign Grace church in Twin cities?

andre said...

I think there's a Sovereign Grace Church in St Paul (Is that one of the "twins" in Twin Cities?) and also in Bloomington.

tricia said...

I appreciated your post. Thanks for sharing it with me. I hope your attempt is successful. I will make a more valiant effort myself. So much of life is lived in the daily "stuff" we all do and if we could maintain that attitude I am sure it would be sweeter and more purposeful.

andre said...

Tricia

You are right that much of life is lived in daily stuff. I think if we learn from George Mueller and practice being joyful in God, it'll make all the difference for us. Thanks for taking the time to comment and please stop by again.

Grace to you.

Mark Goodyear said...

Andre, Mueller's story is encouraging in some ways. But it also creates problems for me.

I can look at Mueller's life and say, "Oh, man, of course he was serving God. He helped thousands of children. His work was really a mission."

But what about people who have less acceptably "Christian" jobs? Can an editor serve God in his work as Mueller did? Can a factory worker? Can a rich and successful businessman? I believe they can, of course, but I'm always left wondering, what exactly would it look like?

As for meditation verses, I love Romans 12:1-2 in The Message:

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out.

andre said...

Mark,

You make a very thoughtful comment and thanks for sharing Rom 12:1-2.

I like how you reference the solution of your dilemma back to scripture. But I have a followup question - why do you think a businessman or factory worker have a hard time finding a biblical purpose in his vocation?

The Hedonese said...

Bro, I have a feeling that you may like to know of this marketplace ministry's vision statement :)

http://theagora.blogspot.com

andre said...

Thanks for the reference to the Agora blog.

Mark Goodyear said...

Andre, it took me a bit, but I posted a response to your comment on my blog. Keep up the good work here!