Sunday, January 11, 2009

stir my affections

  "Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my joy and my delight." Psalm 43:4

Closed country. Open food court. At lunch today, I saw at two different tables, Chinese men sitting across from another guy, Bible open, teaching and sharing. If memory serves me well, we were just in the basement of an always crowded food court, where, from the overflow of love in their hearts, these guys were sharing the Story. I sat down next to one of them. Immediately, he says to me: 

" Hi, are you a believer? " 
" I am, I definitely am" 
" Me too, nice to meet you."

Several weeks ago I was reading the thoughts of another pastor, whose simple question has been resonating in my heart for a few weeks. What is it in life, that causes my heart to burn for Jesus? Great question. So I have been thinking about that for a while, and today while attending an English-speaking Chinese church in Beijing, I had some answers. 

What stirs my affections for God ? 
1. Seeing my children, really looking in their eyes, understanding them, and hearing the obvious work of God's grace in their lives.
2. The consistent witness of my beautiful wife, who never fails to encourage me and share with me, all that God is doing in her heart. 
3. Hearing a sense of wisdom and depth of understanding when I hear my mom pray; cherishing the times my dad has prayed over me before events, speaking engagements, or just at home.
4. Viewing earth at 38,000 feet.
5. Hearing the name of Jesus praised by the voice of people totally different than me, from other countries,   cultures, and languages. 
6. Praying with people who are desperate for the reality of hope in Christ.
7. The blessing of jet-lag waking me up early to be with Him (like now) + coffee + the Bible. 
8. Walking the streets of huge cities where I am deeply burdened by how many people do not know Jesus.
9.  Meaningful conversations that relate to matters of eternal value. 
10. Leadership obscurity. (more on this later)

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