HomeWord - Aug. 15, 2006
Where Are You?
This devotional was written by Mike DeVries
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20
A few weeks ago, I was watching CNN. It was World Refugee Day, a day set aside to bring to attention the needs of the millions of refugees around the world. I sat glued to the images that I was seeing – millions of faces, thousands dying every day from malnutrition and a lack of basic medical attention – things we take for granted every day. While the images bombarded my living room, there was this question that kept running through my mind: “God, if you’re a God of love, then where are You in all this? Have You forgotten your children?”
Seems like a fair question if you think about it. If God is truly sovereign and in control, as Christians have believed down through the centuries, then we are left to wrestle with these kinds of questions, aren’t we? Either God is not completely in control, or He has somehow chosen to allow the atrocities that we see in this world to exist. In the midst of these questions, and the images that morning, I had to ask, “God, where are You?”
I think it’s easy to think that God has somehow evacuated this world when you see the shape it’s in. Death. Disease. Cancer. Divorce. Pain. Hurt. Loss. Brokenness. Despair. Poverty. AIDS. “God, where are You in all this?”
Yet the story of the Scriptures is about a God who is present and active in human history. God is not essentially somewhere else, but is immanently present in this world. We see this in Jesus, do we not? The incarnation of God in Jesus sent a clear message, “I care. I have heard your cry, and I’m here to do something about it.”
As I was sitting on my couch watching those images and asking those questions, a thought came. Perhaps I was asking the wrong question. Rather than asking where God was in all this, the better question may be posed by God, “My people, where are you in the midst of all this?”
Paul taught this concept in 2 Corinthians 5:20. Take another look at today’s verse. We, the Church, are to be the physical representatives of God on earth. If the world wants to know what God is like, the first place it should look is the Church. We are to embody the message and spirit of Jesus. As His representatives, God is making His dream for this world through us, not apart from us. I guess you could say that the Church is not only supposed to proclaim the message, we are to live the message.
Perhaps the next time we approach a situation in life and ask, “God, where are You in all this,” if we are quiet enough to hear the voice of God, His reply might be, “I’m right here in the middle of it, where are you?”
So may we be the kinds of people who embody the message of God for this world, and may we be the kinds of people who run to be where God is in this world.
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1. Take a few moments to consider what it might look like for the Church to be the embodiment of God on earth.
2. How should this change the way we live? How might this change the way you live?
Exodus 19:3-6; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 2:9-10
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