And the greatest of these is love…

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Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1 NIV84)

If faith is looking forward to God’s future promises, love looks around to the current need. Love is not a feeling, but expresses action. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self‑seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV84)

My faith that God’s care for my life is often tested, the storm swells around us, and the waves grow larger and more intense, yet I press on, looking only toward Christ as savior, and my Father as daily provider.

But as I fix my eyes on Jesus, and the waves fade from view, something else takes shape. I am more reminded of the people around me, going about their lives in darkness. Living in Northern Virginia reminds me wealth or power often become idols. There aren’t as many visible physical needs in this area and I think that makes it so much harder to recognize the necessity of God’s mercy. But what takes it’s place is an attitude of self-sufficiency and focus on things like career, goals, money, etc. Those things become gods of our life. And the fruit of our worship is not love.

I pray daily that my focus will always first turn to God and honor him as king, and secondly toward my neighbors, expressing my love through my actions.

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Faith lessons from my daughter.

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Genevieve is mobile. She quickly moved from crawling to standing, and is now pushing her walker. But what’s really amazing is how she’s been playing with blocks. Her blocks sit in a tray and she uses her tiny fingers to pry them out one at a time. She pushes and pulls them until she can grab them. It’s amazing to watch her develop.

Today I started think what a lesson she is teaching. While her parents worry about all the cares of life, Genevieve only thinks about those blocks. Faith in God should be like that. God knows his plans, and he knows the future. All we need to be concerned about is looking forward, our eyes fixed on the goal, the call of Christ. I pray that you will grow in faith like a child.

No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer. 2 Timothy 2:4 NIV

And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3 NIV

A whisper that turned into a hurricane.

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I am so grateful lately for what God has done in our lives. I’m beginning to realize that faith is not mearly expecting God to do something, it’s waiting and allowing God to work in his will. I know that we must live day by day hour by hour in the will of God not expecting more than that. Planning for my future comfort often causes me to worry about the provision. And none of us know how much time we have left anyway.

I am grateful to God for his lessons in faith. May I learn more quickly in the future.

Grateful to, not just grateful for…

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Last year, I set myself to the task of writing everyday. I started with three things each day for which I was grateful. That lasted all of 15 days. I recently re-read what I had written and felt ashamed for letting it slip away. I purposed myself to begin again. So here we are.

I will begin with a lesson I’ve learned in the past few months. Gratefulness requires direction. It needs to point to someone else. I’m happy with the things I have, my family, money, and so on. But gratefulness requires humility. If I am the creator of my own fortune, or master of my own circumstances, to whom would I be grateful? So I will begin with this.

I am grateful for mercy. I am a sinner, deserving of nothing, yet, God loves me. I do not know why.

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
Psalm 103:9-10 (NIV)

To whom are you grateful?