Archive for October, 2013
“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders” (Psalm 9:1)
Our awareness of God’s life-sustaining provision is most telling when a spirit of thanksgiving is the prevailing attitude of the heart. It is a perspective on life that sees the hand of God in all things great and small. While he does the tending we must do the telling.
“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb” (John 20:1).
Mary’s abiding faith got her up early Sunday morning and to the tomb of her Lord. Whether she was anticipating something special is uncertain but her actions offered what would become the centerpiece of Christian history and practice–going the first thing Sunday morning to discover the resurrected Christ. Every Sunday is historic and by our faithful attendance assures the future propagation of the church.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
Not only are you the object of God’s love, but you were created to be loved by him. He has crowned us and made us heirs. Because we most often see ourselves in the reflection of our failures and shortcomings, we are constrained in considering ourselves as objects of Divine favor. We must learn to refocus on what we know about Him instead of being held hostage by what we know about ourselves. How well we know Him is revealed in the love we offer to others.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19, 20, 21).
The fact is, we are going to treasure something. This “something” is going to motivate and drive us each day. This “want” is going to be the “why” behind everything we do. Our walk with Christ is a lifelong pursuit of learning to want like God for it will be our practice in eternity.
“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5).
It’s only as we pursue the transcendent desires of our soul that we can possibly discover a joy that transcends the offerings of this world. In other words, it’s when we no longer want what this world tells us to want that the discovery of higher things can begin. Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus raises our field of vision to see beyond an earthly level.
“and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
Curiosity in a subjective kind of spirituality is wide and far. In contrast, interest is narrow and limited in an objective faith grounded in the person of Jesus Christ and guided by the word of God. Spirituality is the selfish pursuit of our own desires. Faith is the pursuit of what God wants for us and his design for how this is accomplished.
“So from that day on they planned together to kill Him” (John 11:53).
Whether it’s the Jewish people, Judas, the religious leaders, or Pilate the temptation is to blame and accuse others for the death of Jesus. Another approach is to focus not on what man has done but the possibilities of what God is doing. It is this perspective that should shape our view of life and the “black Friday” experiences that inevitably come our way.