(09.07.21– Living Life –James 1:22)
My friend, may I ask you a question? How individual does God want us to be and will that individuality be something that God will use to his good purposes?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I'm M. Clifford Brunner.
Holly and I have been keen observers of our pack of dogs here at Beech Springs for years. We spend a lot of time just watching and taking in what our dogs do, how they react to one another, how one barks when another isn't the slight bit interested, or how one sleeps when another plays. Even though they are a pack and they observe the unwritten rules of how a pack should behave, who is dominant and who is not, and why you just shouldn't steal kibble from someone else's bowl, there is one very notable things about dogs that is inescapable as you observe the pack: each dog has a particular personality. Although a member of the pack, each dog is first a dog and then a canine. Whereas canine reflects pack, dog reflects the individual; whether that be our Frodo, Sammy or Annie. Their individual personalities determine how the pack is organized and, finally, how happy and durable the pack is going to be.
What about you and I? How individual does God want us to be and will that individuality be something that God will use to his good purposes?
Here's a thought from Harry Emerson Fosdick: If Jesus were to visit you today, what would he give you in the way of advice? If you were to ask: "How should I live my life?" What would he say? Writer Fosdick conjectures: "Be a person. Be a real person. Stand on your own two feet. Don't be pushed about by passing fads. Be guided by an inward light. Be true to an inward sense of loyalty to what is good and who is genuine. If life has become vulgar and the culture corrupt, profits and greed motivate business, if cruelty has stepped into place of kindness, if violence blocks the way of peace, don't say "yes, I can't do anything. Let it be?" Have a conscience of your own and, when others ask you what you think, don't be quiet and nod. Look into your heart and find the drumbeat of courage and the storehouse of righteousness. Follow that beat and reveal to others what you are made of. Be a man or a woman, not just a person." (Harry Emerson Fosdick)
It's been said that groups listen and look to others to do the doing, but individuals have no one to turn to but themselves. The Bible instructs us: "Do not merely listen to the Word . . . Do what it says" (James 1:22). Living life to its fullest potential is all about fulfilling God's purposes for you, as an individual, not just as a member of a church or civic group; memberships in these things is laudable, but the work gets done by individual hands not the will of a group alone. Men and woman belong to groups, but persons belong to God alone. The good of the whole, the human pack we all belong to, so to speak, depends on it.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding us daily that living life to its fullest potential is all about fulfilling Your purposes for us, individuals. You have also taught us that the work You have ordained to be done here on earth gets done by individual hands not the will of a group alone. People belong to groups, but persons belong to You alone. The good of the whole, the human pack we all belong to, so to speak, depends on it. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!