Steve Macchia Blog

Attend Intend

This past weekend we were thrilled with the positive response to our inaugural “Soul Care for Leaders” event at LTi Houston (TX). David and Cindy Wu, Matt Scott, and the team at Access Church, were used of the Lord in powerful ways and we give God all the glory, honor and praise.

At this seminar we released and commissioned my new IVP/Formatio book, Crafting A Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way. There was great interest in the subject of a personal rule of life and that made my heart glad. How I pray this interactive workbook will be an encouragement to all who read and process the material in the days ahead. The longing and prayer of my heart is that each reader will discover afresh the unique God-given call on their life.

As believers, it’s vital that we attend to the intimate “tap, tap, tap” on the shoulder of our hearts – the ongoing and loving initiatives of our heavenly Father toward us as his children. His consistent invitation is to draw near, come close, and follow him. The extravagance of his love is overwhelming to consider and life-transforming to receive. May your heart remain open and receptive to the many gracious gifts that come moment by moment from his generous hand.

Attending to God’s initiatives is the starting place of crafting your personal rule of life. From that posture of attentiveness, we are invited to respond to the daily question, “What is the Lord inviting me to consider as I…(fill in the blank regarding decisions, relationships, and responsibilities you face today)?” Answering that question and intentionally pursuing faithfulness to the Lord’s call on our life is what sets us apart as children of the Most High God.

When God taps on the shoulder of your heart today and offers you life in all its fulness (the good and the bad, the easy and the hard), let me encourage you to receive it well. Allow God to reform your relationships, renew your commitments, and reorder your loves. As you do so, the person you’ll become will unfold like a freshly formed flower blossoming forth with the fragrance of heaven and bless all who cross your path here on earth.

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand ,” Psalm 16:11.

Tap, Tap, Tap

God cannot love except abundantly.
God does not love except extravagantly.
God will not love except it be gracefully, mercifully, forgivingly, righteously, unconditionally.
There is no end to God’s love. Thus, it is true – God is love.
From the porch of heaven your God has His eyes fixed on you. No matter how long you have strayed from home, He’s watching out for your return. So prodigal is His love for you, dear friend. His love initiates toward you 24/7 – and his tap, tap, tap on the shoulder of your heart will never end.
Sit prayerfully with that reality of the gospel we profess and your life will never be the same ever again.
His initiating love toward you is all because he wants your heart back in the fullness of His embrace. Every ounce of your being held closely to Himself, each fiber of your being under the shadow of His protective wings.
There – in His presence – and only there will you and I find fullness of life.
From that posture of worship and intimate love we spread our wings and fly toward others as an expression of our love for God and our obedience to the call of God on our lives. This is the context out of which we understand what a Personal Rule of Life looks like…a life well-ordered (and continuously re-ordered) around the love of God – initiated toward us by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and therefore fulfilled through us as we intentionally live among all others for His glory, honor and joy.
Come and receive from the Lord the Divine Invitation to intimate love – and then go forth to fulfill His Divine Intentionality through you as a child of God toward all who cross your path each new day.
This is the heart and soul of a Personal Rule of Life – may it be so for you and for me!
“How great is the love the Father has LAVISHED on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)

You Have A Dream

Today is MLK Day 2012, the day we recall the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King was an iconic figure who advanced justice and equality using nonviolent means, always keeping in front of him the vision of a color blind society. In commemoration of his life, I listened to the “I Have A Dream” speech he gave on the Washington Mall in DC, at the base of the Lincoln Memorial, on August 28, 1963. His famous speech is an inspiration to all leaders, especially those with a well articulated call, passion and mission. King’s dream lives on today, marked in great part by his clarion call, “Let freedom ring!”

Your Personal Rule of Life is very simply the articulation of the dream God planted deeply in YOUR heart. The dream you’ve been invited to fulfill for God’s glory. It’s there. You have one. Mining for it is a process of discovery that will lead you to the true you. Once found and embraced, you too can experience unspeakable joy as you live intimately and intentionally with and for the Lord.

A Personal Rule of Life is defined by yours truly as “a holistic description of the Spirit-empowered rhythms and relationships that create, redeem, sustain and transform the life God invites you to humbly fulfill for Christ’s glory.” Over the coming weeks and months I will unpack this definition one topic at a time. My goal is to help you discover your dream and live it with vigor, joy and ever deepening faithfulness.
But for today, may these select words from King’s “I Have A Dream” speech swell within you and bring to life your own dream for a future blessed by Almighty God…”We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice…Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children…I have a dream that one day…Let freedom ring…and when we allow freedom to ring…we will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Beautiful for God

Consider for a moment something beautiful that you admire…a piece of artwork or architecture, a glorious sunrise or sunset, a newborn baby, a snow capped mountain, a trickling brook, a well articulated poem, a compassionate word or action, a gifted athlete, or even a splendidly adorned table.

What do they all have in common?

Each has been crafted carefully, prepared and ordered lovingly. Each brush stroke fitly placed, every angle thoughtfully configured, all aspects designed by their creator and intentionally focused to bring joy to their world.

Those who purposely embrace their call to holiness and faithfulness are beautiful reflections of the God who created them for His glory, praise and joy. But, as John Stott once wrote, “Holiness is not a condition into which we drift” (God’s New Society, IVP/1979,p 193).

Therefore a holy life is not something that comes naturally to any of us. A holy and devout life is one that we choose. As a result we become children of God who respond to God’s loving initiatives by our daily intentionality toward faithfulness – and in so doing fulfill our “Rule of Life.”

Your holy life…becoming someone beautiful for God…is not a life we drift toward, but instead a life we choose in and by His mercy. Lean in to God’s loving embrace and wisely order (and then continuously re-order) your heart according to His wisdom, grace, forgiveness and truth. God delights to show you his pathway toward a beautiful, holy life.

“Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way.” (Psalm 16:11 from The Message)