Today's memory verse:
"While they were conversing and discussing, Jesus himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him." -- Luke 24:15-16
We all have our own ideas of what God is and how Jesus fits into the picture. Some don't believe in Jesus at all, some believe in the idea of Jesus but have no idea how to make that mean anything, some know the power of a personal relationship with Jesus, and still some others are searching for ANYTHING to believe in. It all depends on your perspective and your experiences...and your heart. If you haven't experienced God, or found how fulfilling a personal relationship with Jesus can be, how can you?
God wants our praise. He wants us to look to Him and acknowledge Him and what His power has done in the world. Have you ever seen a brilliant sunrise...or the spectacular colors of a fall landscape...or wondered about the mystery of a double rainbow???? Don't you think that could be God trying to get your attention for just a moment so you will acknowledge his wondrous creation? God wants us to focus on Him! Not because he is an ego-maniac kind of god, but because He KNOWS what blessings will come to us when we focus more of our attention to Him instead of on ourselves!
In "Working the Angles," Eugene Peterson writes the following about churches: "The biblical fact is there are no successful churches. There are instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. In these communities are sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given a designated responsibility in the community. The pastor's responsibility is to keep the community attentive to God."
I love the phrase "attentive to God." If we are wanting more meaning in our lives, or wanting to reinvent our lives, we need to be attentive to God. By focusing on God, who He is, what He he is doing, we can acquire a new set of eyes that will recognize Him and what He is doing in us and in the world around us. That is the beginning of developing a heart of praise!
God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit don't always appear in our lives in ways we'd expect. Take some time to do the following...this will help you focus on God and how He has been in your life. Think of a time when you honestly felt God in your life. Maybe you were at church...maybe it was the birth of your child...maybe you were out in nature...or in your car. Picture yourself in that moment again. Think about what was going on inside of you at that moment. What were you feeling and thinking? How would you describe God at that moment? You might be disenchanted with God at this moment in your life, but chances are, at some point in your life, you have felt God in some shape or form. Just think, remember and focus on THAT moment.
This is a baby step...a chance for you to just take a glimpse at who God MIGHT be. If you write God off in your life, you will never know the feeling of peace, and hope that He wants to give you! Just like the men walking to Emmaus in today's memory verse, many times God is right beside you, but your focus is not on Him so your don't recognize Him!