Choosing to love people will rarely be easy – one way or another it will always cost us something… but God’s agenda for us is to love… it will define us as disciples… so fundamental and yet how quick I am to forget… :(
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
G. K. Chesterton
“Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all.”
“You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.”
Some lyrics from a track called “Phobic”. The song it communicates God’s grace and gentleness in such a special way – its really beautiful.
I watched you sit alone
I watched you cry your eyes out
Now tell me what you’ve done
Is it so bad that
I would shut you out
And leave you here alone
Yes, I saw what you did
I was right there with you
I won’t let you sink
No, I forgive you
Grace needs a little more freedom
Love needs room to breathe
I have watched you grow
And I’ve stood in your shadow
I’ve never walked away
I hung the stars and
I hold your heart
So, don’t ever be afraid
Yes, I know when you breathe
And I feel when you need
I won’t let you sink
No, I forgive you
You can be healed
You can be free
You can know peace
Never be afraid again
I stumbled across this mosaic generator a few days ago. You upload an image and it’l build a mosaic representation of it using images available on flickr… quite cool…
Matt 4:19 “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”
Now it came to pass that a group existed that called themselves fishermen and there were many fish in the waters about them. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes and the fish were hungry. Week after week and month after month and year after year the group that called themselves “fishermen” met in meetings and talked about those called to fish, the abundance of fish, and how we might go abount fishing. Year after year they carefully defined what fishing meant, defending fishing as an occupation, and declared that fishing be the primary talk of fisherman. These fisherman built large beautiful buildings for local fishing headquarters and their plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and that everyone should fish. However, the one thing they did not do, they did not fish!
In addition to meeting regularly these men determined to send out fishermen to places where there were many fish. This sending committee was headed by those who had great vision and had courage to speak about fishing and to promote the idea of fishing in far away streams and lakes, held meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, and to decide what new streams should be thought about. But the one thing the staff and the committee members did not do, they did not fish!
Large, elaborate training centers were built whose original and primary purpose was to teach fisherman how to fish. Over the years, courses were offered on the needs of the fish, the nature of the fish, how to find fish, and the psychological effects of fishing. Those who taught had doctorates in ‘Fisheology’! But the teachers did not fish! They only taught about fishing.
Further, the fishermen built large printing houses to publish fishing guides. Presses were kept busy day and night to produce material solely devoted to fishing methods. A speaker’s bureau was also organized to schedule special speakers on fishing. After one stirring meeting entitled ‘The Necessity Of Fishing’, two young men left the meeting and actually went fishing and one of them actually caught two fish! He was honored for his great catch and was scheduled to appear at all the big meetings to tell how he did it. So he quit fishing in order to have time to tell his experiences to the other fishermen!
Now it is true that many fisherman sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and had to put up with the smell of dead fish. Some had to endure the ridicule of some who made fun of these fishermen’s because they claimed to be fisherman but they did not fish.
And they wondered about those who thought it was of little use to attend meetings and talk about fishing. I mean, after all, were they not following the Master who said, “Come and I will make you fishers of men”? Imagine their chagrin when someone actually suggested that they were not really ‘fishermen’. Yet it did make sense. Can we rightfully call a person a fisherman if year after year he never catches a fish?
Took this last Sunday night. The utility bills testify to rising fuel prices, and sure we’ve opted for a jumper approach but the flats not been that cold. I think the fact that its Dave’s hat might have something to do with it…
It keeps happening, I find myself thinking about prayer, then without realising I find myself “practicing” and then it’ll hit me that at no point was I consciously directing any of it towards God!! Doh :S Maybe i’m a bit crazy, however whilst looking up meditation, it did make me question whether I need be so hard on myself…
Source: Wikipedia – Christian_meditation#Theology_of_Christian_meditation
Could what i’m experiencing be considered a vague form of rehearsal and hence at a stretch an aspect of meditation…?
This is what the LORD says:
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the LORD.
How ace is that. God wants us to know and understand him. He wants us to be proud of our relationship with Him and basically wants us to big him up! Its fair enough like, God is good and is worthy of all the credit that we can possibly direct his way!
Do we feel confident enough to boast that we know God? Do we want to boast about His character?
The fact is God is delighted when we do. :)
John Piper puts forward the analogy of our faith as being a furnace which is fueled by grace. The shovel which supplies fuel to fire, ie grace to faith is prayer. As i’ve thought about it over the last few months i’ve become more and more convinced that the analogy holds. Prayer is wonderful, critical for our faith and enables us to live life to the full. Without it we’re spiritually missing out not to mention the joy to be experienced as one knowingly spends time with God.
I’ve often wondered why it is that the devil seems so determined to stop us praying when it can seem to provide such little benefit to us anyway? I mean realistically I can get by ok without it right? What does he know that I don’t…? I can but conclude that he knows the power of prayer far more potently than I do… If he can stop me praying he succeeds in breaking down the moment by moment communication within the most important relationship i’ll ever have, that with God himself. The sad thing is that I can so often offer no shred of resistance.
I recently had a great bible study with some guys. At the end there was a real desire to take God seriously again. It was glorious to see, because at the heart of it was a renewed passion for God. I couldn’t help but think though that surely to be sustainable, there has to be more behind this good intention that just simply a person’s will to do it. I mean consider the low success rate of new years resolutions.
I remember that part in Nehemiah where he reminds the people of the “Joy of the Lord” being their strength, and I believe its the same for us. Its this joy which sustains these good intentions, our prayer life, provides moments of peace during times of stress. Its this joy which provides the motivation as we look to reach out to our friends and gives us a reason to smile! We deserved to die and now we have eternal life!
The following from a book i’m reading at the moment outlines the human desire for relationship as follows:
We want to be with people we know well and who enjoy being with us. We long for close, fully satisfying relationships.
How can joy pour forth from our relationship with God if we don’t invest in it? God desires so much for a relationship with us, and yet all too often we can offer up some token gesture lip-service we deem required to keep things ticking over, without our hearts being in it. Life-bringing, sustaining joy flows from an intimate relationship with our God which we maintain and build upon through prayer.
It doesn’t need to be a drag, its a relationship with a living God! Keep the faith, pray joy pray joy pray! Awesome.