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The more we have encountered God’s grace and generosity for ourselves, the more we will be able to live graciously and give generously.
“During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us’. After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them”. (Acts 16:9-10)
“The control that fear exerts on our lives may be subtle. We may not believe consciously that everyone around us is our enemy, but we behave as if it were true. When this is our day-to-day reality, we may one day realize that we have become strangers in our own land: fearful, isolated, and powerless…
… Instead of self-confidence and freedom, we experience anxiety and paralysis. Instead of having hope and joy, we feel an inner emptiness and sadness. Instead of living in the house of love, where God dwells, we are living in the house of fear”. (Henri Nouwen)
“But instead of feeling safe and secure behind [our] armed walls [we find ourselves] trapped in the prison [we have] built with [our] own fear”. (Henri Nouwen)
1) Cry out to the real God for a real salvation. “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God”. (Psalm 84:2)
2) Make peace with your past.“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter rootgrows up to cause trouble and defile many”. (Hebrews 12:15)
“When our gratitude for the past is only partial, our hope for a new future can never be full. As long as we remain resentful about things that we wish had not happened, about relationships that we wish had turned out differently, about mistakes we wish we had not made, part of our heart remains isolated, unable to bear fruit in the new life ahead of us…
…To reclaim our history in its totality means that we no longer relate to our past as years in which only good times can be remembered and bad times need to be forgotten, but as opportunities for an ongoing conversion of heart. In a converted heart all of our past can be gathered up in gratitude, be remembered with joy, and become the source of energy that moves us toward the future”. (Henri Nouwen)
3) Rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit.“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”. (John 14:26)
4) Ask God to show you the greatness of His love toward you. “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’”. (Galatians 4:6).
5) Remember who owns you.“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body”. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
6) Ask God to develop in you the heart of a worshipper. “God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich”. (2 Cor. 8:9)