I was pondering over the first four verses in 1 John (1 John 1:1-4).
Jesus is what eternal life looks like (v. 2) as it is being lived. To bring others to the experience of Jesus is to complete the joy of faith (v. 4) and to taste eternal life now.
This kind of life is not jut a matter of duration, but a matter of quality and content. Life that goes on forever — is allowed to go on — has certain qualities like righteousness, compassion, justice and love. Lives of selfishness, malice, cruelty and hatred — that kind of life is not eternal but temporal, temporary. Moreover, it leads to eternal death.
We are different, she and I.
She finds delight in things that look nice or fine.
I shrug…but not where she can see me.
When she can see me, I smile and offer opinions, which are worthless.
She knows not to pay attention to my opinions.
They are sincere enough, but they are based on well-practiced confusion about how things look.
When we go shopping I am drawn to things that move or tick or hum,
Things that work, whether or not they are useful.
They are good if they have parts that fit together,
Forming a functional completeness.
[Reposted from www.danmayhew.net]
For thoughts on marriage, check out Marriage Rx: Prescription for a Radical Marriage.
Walking in the Spirit is not a new set of religious activities and experiences. It is learning to be led by the internal presence of the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. It is learning to walk in the rhythm of a ‘will’ that differs with your own, and deferring to Him as His will is discerned. It becomes a transition of leadership from the soul to the Spirit; having the life of the Lord Jesus reproduced in me and through me rather than walking according to the thoughts and inclinations of the flesh. The new life of the Spirit grows and becomes evident progressively within us; until the likeness of Christ is fully formed within.
Walking in the Spirit is to be constantly conducting ourselves in the sphere of the Spirit (as though you were continually in His imminent presence). That is, determine every thought, word, and deed by the leading of the Spirit through the Word, and think every thought, speak every word, and do every deed, in an attitude of entire dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s empowering energy.
” But I say, through the instrumentality of the Spirit habitually order your manner of life, and you will in no wise execute the passionate desire of the evil nature, for the evil nature constantly has a strong desire to suppress the Spirit, and the Spirit constantly has a strong desire to suppress the evil nature. And these are entrenched in an attitude of mutual opposition to one another so that you may not do the things you desire to do” (expanded version of New Testament- Kenneth Wuest).
From, The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis.
Screwtape, a chief tempter, imparts wisdom to his apprentice devil, Wormwood:
…[T]he prayers offered in a state of dryness are those which please Him best … Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.
From Chapter 8.
Today, I am a visitor in unfamiliar places. What is it that makes a “place?”
I sit in a coffee shop, a clothing store, and now on a bench in the mall. I am in a place not my own—a visitor. If I came here often it would be, in a way, my place. I would be a living thread woven into the garment called, “here.” I could put it on if I worked or walked here. It could be my place and I a part of it. But I am a stranger here, a vagrant, a loose end, not woven, not tied, so I watch and wait to move on, away from this place.
[Reposted from www.danmayhew.net]
We’re on day three of our trip to Israel. We’ve been working with two ministries who are forging a partnership to reach the diverse population of the young nation ( just short of 70 years) of Israel. Much of what we have done so far is learn about the unique challenges of sharing the gospel here. Two things are significant to me:
- There needs to be a healthy community of believers for new Christians to come to. One of the characteristics of Israel is division and disunity among people. This is also true among churches.
- Second, we need to explore ways to communicate the gospel apart from the historical distortions of it, such as the Crusades and Nazism. We need to help people discover, or better to rediscover, the joyful Jesus, the rabbi of the first century who declared liberty to the oppressed and healed the sick. (You may be interested in a post of a few years ago about this topic. Here is the link.)
Those are big picture issues that don’t have any easy resolutions. Other things that we have discussed are related to the way American churches might help churches in Israel better communicate the Gospel through ministry partnerships and collaborative efforts of different kinds.