Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Jesus is Willing, Are You?

Scripture Texts: Matthew 8:1-17; Psalm 77

Can you imagine asking Jesus to do something, and adding the phrase if you are willing? Most of us do not have to imagine, at some point in our journey with Christ we have wondered or asked if God is willing to do what we would like. For the man in Matthew 8, he asks if Jesus is willing, and finds himself healed.

Never was the question whether Jesus was able, it was a question of willingness. From time to time we get those two things confused. We wonder if Jesus is willing to do something in our lives when we really are wondering if Jesus is able to do something in our lives. Too often we seek after Jesus hoping he will be able to accomplish what it is we want.

Jesus is able to do all things, exceedingly, abundantly more than we can imagine. There are things Jesus is not willing to do in our lives. Not because we are unloved by Jesus, rather it is because of the great love Jesus has for us that there is a limit in the willingness. What we are asking for might not be the best for us or our relationship with Jesus.

There is another possibility in the willingness question. Perhaps we ask willingness of Jesus when we are really wondering if we want something to really happen. It might be fitting for Jesus to declare he is willing and ask if we are willing. The greatest limit to what Jesus can do in our lives is not the ability or willingness of Jesus, it is our willingness.

Since before the day of our wedding, our desire has been to have God use our marriage for great things. In fact we asked God to use our marriage, if willing, to help others experience the blessing of marriage, and ultimately to experience love and grace in Jesus Christ by becoming a follower of Jesus. While we have asked it, the question has never been the willingness of God, it has been our willingness.

Are we willing to live our lives in such a way that God can fully use our marriage? There are lots of understandings about what marriage is in this day and age. This is not about gender, and same gender marriage, it is about the ideals people have of marriage and what a good marriage is. It has become commonplace to settle for something less than the fullness of God because we are not willing to live in such a way that God can fully use.

Many marriages settle for good enough, when God is willing, able and hoping that we will strive for fullness. That we will be willing to live following after Jesus with our whole hearts, that our marriages will be different than the ideals of society, that we will cultivate a marriage that will do whatever it takes, to be used by God, for the Kingdom of love and grace to be experienced here and now.

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