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A Request and a Promise

if my people, who are called by my name, 
will humble themselves and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear
from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV
This morning you will find one of my favorite verses in the Old Testament. In response to Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple, we see a simple request and promise offered by God. Not that these words should be a surprise, but rather it is a helpful reminder that our actions towards God matter. He cares how those who bear His name live their lives.

What does this mean to me? When it comes to God, the one thing He expects from us is our devotion. It is a chance to declare who we are and to whom we belong. We show this most especially in how we live our lives. For example, on Sundays we gather in church to offer our gratitude to God. As a part of our worship, we are invited in our liturgy to kneel. Kneeling is an act of reverence. It is placing ourselves in humble servitude to our Maker. Kneeling to me has always been a sign of humility. It is a physical act in which I acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Personally it reminds me of how big God is and how small I am. It helps me put into perspective both His majesty and His might. It is a holy gesture of submission to the One who loves me without condition and is looking out for me. It gives me the confidence that I am not alone in life and I have someone greater than myself who is guiding me and protecting me. Kneeling is a way in which I can offer myself to God.

Humility is the posture through which we are ready to receive God’s instruction. Whether we are kneeling physically or in our heart, it is a chance to put God first in all that we do. It is our act of worship, and it gives us the confidence that when we seek Him with all our hearts and turn from our sin and pray, He is there. Fortunately for us, His promise is clear. God hears us, He heals us and He forgives us. For me, this is the exact assurance I need as I choose to live my life for Him.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
The Rev. Martin J. Bastian
Vice Rector
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