There was an episode of “Friends” where Joey tells Phoebe, there is no selfless good deed. Of course, Phoebe then goes on a mission to prove him wrong. She tries time after time to do good things for others. Naturally though, every time she did something good for someone else, she got blessed in return.
That show came to mind last night while we were having some prayer and praise time at church. Bryan just felt the Holy Spirit leading us to spend some time in worship. Of course all of us were ready and willing to praise our Heavenly Father, so we jumped right in. We prayed, sang, got on our knees, whatever the Spirit led for over an hour. When the time was up, Bryan got off of the floor and turned down the music, but none of us wanted to move. Why you ask? Because when our praise went up, God’s presence came down. His love was and is, overwhelming. There wasn’t a word spoken to each other for a bit. You just can’t put words to the goodness of God. It’s all encompassing and like no other blessing you’ve ever received. We were trying to bless Him and were in turn, blessed speechless.
While praising my Daddy, I told Him, “Father, I am coming to praise You, and yet You are pouring Your blessings out on me. I’m not even worthy Lord, to receive all that You have to give. I was one of those sinners for which Your Son had to die, and yet…. After all that, you still give more. Lord, I just don’t feel worthy enough for all this. It’s too much.”
Instantaneously, He told me, “I made you worthy. You are worthy because you are My child.” Then in my mind’s eye, I saw a beggar. This lady was filthy, hunched over and just all around miserable. She was someone who stank if you got too close. Every spot on her body looked to be covered in dirt that had built up day after day. She didn’t smile, there was nothing for which she should. She wouldn’t look up to meet anyone in the eye because she knew the condition that she was in. Even the background around her was dark. There was no light, no color, nothing to bring joy.
Suddenly, He entered. Even now as I type this, the tears are streaming down my face. I was that beggar. And just the site of such Love, even afar off, is more than I can bear. I drop to my knees as He makes His way to me. With each step closer that He takes, the room gets brighter and warmer, but still, I can’t look up. He is so beautiful. So perfect. So…..magnificent. He comes to my left side and drapes a long, purple robe on my back and tells me to stand up. “Lord I can’t. Do you see me? Do you see who I am?”
“Yes. I see My joint heir to the Kingdom of God, Our Father. I see My friend. Come.”
The next thing I know, I am in His mansion. That once rugged and dirty beggar is now spotless and looks like a royal princess, dressed in the finest clothes I’ve ever seen. I look around and everything there sparkles and shines with the glory of God AND it’s ALL been made accessible to me. He has given me a place to lay my head, food to nourish my body, beauty beyond comprehension in all that I see, things I didn’t even know I needed and things I’d never even thought to tell Him that I wanted and…. My robe, still perfectly draped across my shoulders. I stand in awe, motionless, speechless.
“That is My robe of Righteousness. I have put it on you. Do you doubt my authority?”
“Then don’t ever again doubt your worth. I gave this to you because I love you. I want you. You ARE a joint heir to our Father’s kingdom. Now go, what’s mine is yours. No one can take this away from you.”
I open my eyes and realize I’m still here, still surrounded by my church family. But suddenly my chest is so tight. I want to cry out. We have so very much to be thankful for, and yet, we leave it sitting there, never using it and never considering to thank God for it. We have it all at our fingertips. And I’m not just talking about stuff, but even just the love of God. He’s there, sitting next to us. All we have to do is turn to Him and tell Him what we need, what’s bothering us, etc. All we have to do is say, “God, I need you.” He is there. He Will hear. He Will answer. Always. Yet so often, we choose to suffer. Who am I to tell God that He’s not enough, that His Son dying for me isn’t enough? Lord, I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. Jesus, You are more than enough, all I’ll ever need. All I want.
Suddenly my praise and prayer turns to repentance for forgetting the robe that He placed upon my shoulders. He took the weight of the world off my shoulders and replaced it with His righteousness which covers my back, my past and gave me a future in Christ to look forward to, day after day with blessings immeasurable. I never have to look back again. His robe has covered all that. I am worthy. I am a joint heir. I am…. His Friend!
Now, we are right back to where we started. I asked for forgiveness. I know it’s mine, it’s woven into the robe He has given to me. So again, I begin to praise Him. I thank my Daddy. I thank my Lord and Savior. They lift me up. It’s inescapable. But then, who’d want to escape such love. I came to give my Daddy a hug and say thank you, and He lifted me right off my feet and encompassed me with His love and mercy.
With that I say, Run! Run to your Daddy. Hug Him and tell Him thank you. He will lift you up and hug you with a love that warms you from the inside out. Wrap your arms around His neck and never let go!
Psychologists say gratitude is the healthiest emotion you can have. The more you develop an attitude of appreciation for God, your family, and other people, the healthier you are. I truly believe the reason for this documented finding is because, when we stop to say thanks, it opens the door for God to pour out more blessings. He runs our cup over and keeps on pouring! It’s who He is. God IS Love. It exudes out of His very being. He is a Daddy longing to give to His child. He is a Daddy longing for you to let His love rain down on you. So put down that umbrella and soak it up! He Loves You, there is nothing you can do to change that!!! Praise God!!!!