Tag Results For :: "epistles"




Real Wealth, Rich Simplicity

August 21st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be good to your servant, God;
    be as good as your Word.
Train me in good common sense;
    I’m thoroughly committed to living your way.
Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place,
    but now I’m in step with your Word.
You are good, and the source of good;
    train me in your goodness.
The godless spread lies about me,
    but I focus my attention on what you are saying;
They’re bland as a bucket of lard,
    while I dance to the tune of your revelation.
My troubles turned out all for the best—
    they forced me to learn from your textbook.
Truth from your mouth means more to me
    than striking it rich in a gold mine.
— Psalm 119:65-72, The Message
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A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. — 1 Timothy 6:7a, The Message

What current activity or opportunity might be distracting you from enjoying this kind of simplicity in your life? When you see unmet needs for leadership and/or service around you—in your job or community, at home, school, or church, among your friends, family, and co-workers—do you want to respond and try to meet the need according to a list of “shoulds” instead of focusing on what God has specifically called you to do?

What goes? What stays? What needs adding?

Our natural inclination when we’re under pressure is to turn away from God’s peace. Notice the symptoms: Anxiety, upset, worry, irritability, comparisons, anger, and resentment. “Lord, don’t you care?” Choosing to wait upon the Lord and trust Him with our concerns isn’t easy or automatic. We can choose to turn toward Life as we seek Christ’s help and direction, wherever we find ourselves.

What comes to mind as you ask God for discernment about distractions in your life today?



Woven Into Love

May 11th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery.

—Colossians 2:2, MSG

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Seeing this stack of expertly made blankets at a farmer’s market in New Mexico invites closer inspection. You can’t help noticing the vivid variety of patterns, textures, and colors on display.

Many of us have heard the comparison made between a person’s life and a hand-woven tapestry. When thinking about this on a larger scale—viewing our lives not only from a solitary standpoint but from the perspective that God is weaving us together into his love—what else do we see?

Lord, let my first thought each morning direct my heart to Your love. As I focus on You, help me to see my life and the coming day as an integral part of Your unfolding design, in which every moment becomes an opportunity for me to receive and respond to your love—in Christ, I pray.  

 

Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.

— Corrie ten Boom



Before My Eyes

May 1st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

— 2 Peter 1:5-11, MSG

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Yesterday, an old thought once again became knew:

In Christ, I am forgiven.

Not just in part, not only a little bit, not 2/3 or even 98%.

In Christ, I am forgiven.

Completely, for everything.



Doubt It Not!

April 6th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Look at the cross; behold His precious Gift transfixed to it, and that by His own hand, and for your sins. Then look at your present circumstances, survey your needs, your trials, your chastisements, your bereavements, your heart-sickening, heartbreaking tribulations, and know that God still is love. If He had love strong enough, deep enough, to give you Jesus—to tear Him, as it were, from His bosom, and to transfix Him on yonder accursed tree for your iniquities—has He not love enough to bow His ear to your cry, and His heart to your sorrow? Will He not rescue you from this difficulty, deliver you out of this trouble, shield you in this temptation, supply this need, and support, succour, and comfort you in this grief? Oh yes, He will! Doubt it not! The cross of Calvary is a standing pledge—standing until sin and guilt, need and woe, shall be known no more—that God, who ‘spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, will with Him also freely give us all things’ necessary to our good, and promotive of His glory.” — Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)

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We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.

– Hebrews 6:13-20, MSG

 

Holding on to hope with both hands today is possible. The opportunity to see, trust, and believe is here, right now.

Lord, help me today to keep looking for you in every moment, each conflict, all my activities, beyond the noise, above the silence. Thank you for meeting me in the midst of my life as it actually is.