Oh boy, I got off on a tangent but I'll keep going. All God wants is us. Just us. Not us and some great performance or some great holy life. I think when we focus on being holy we get weird. When we focus on how we appear in public or to others we lose our authentic selves. There's nothing wrong with reading about holiness or whatever trait you want to emulate, but I think if we just focus on Jesus and loving Him and others they will all come out. It's God's will you and I produce spiritual fruit. If we just keep loving God and others with that Agape Love of God's, that fruit will be produced (okay, just to remind you -- the spiritual fruit is explained in Galatians 5:22-23 -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Oh man, I can't stop there. The Message shares the spiritual fruit in a really cool way. Let me quote it here: "But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard -- things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in commitments, not needing to force our way in life able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.")
Back to why I started this: here is the passage from Eugene H. Peterson's Message Devotional Bible I want to share with you. It is in reference to Paul's conversion and how God choosing him right in the middle of Paul's persecution of Believers:
"Look around you -- look at the person you think is least likely to be your ally as you seek to serve God. Look at that person from whom you, with good reason, expect the worst. Now listen to what God may be saying about that person: 'I have picked him (or her) as my personal representative.' How does this change your view of that person? Your words to him or to her? Your actions toward him or toward her?"
What do you think? What if we all contemplated on this thought and on those questions and let God work through us in word, action, thought and prayer toward the "least likely?"
If we all did that, we might see some amazing stuff happen! Try it. I will.