As the Father Loved Me

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. (John 15:9 ESV)

Your mission, your calling, does not disqualify you from the love of Christ, not matter how rocky or rough. The low estate you find yourself in does not break the great pact of His faithful love for you. Your level is suffering is not inversely proportionate to the level of His love for you. Christ’s love is just as passionate and eternal as the Father’s love is for Him.

Love, like joy, is not circumstantial. It finds not its source in current conditions or lack of emotional turmoil. The joy of the Lord is your strength; a joy that is not sourced in the temporal but finds it’s rich flow and lavished abundance in the eternal- in the Eternal One. And so is the love of Christ towards you who have received Him.

This great love has been shared between the Father and the Son for all eternity, and when Jesus says He loves us as the Father loves Him, He is speaking not of a fair weather frien…
Who’s In Charge?

And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church (Ephesians 1:22 ESV)

He is the head over every power and authority. (Colossians 2:10 NIV)

Not everyone is a good person. Not everyone is looking out for your best interests. In fact, there are those around us with malicious intentions and who may even act to bring harm. It’s the world we live in today. It’s been this way since the beginning actually.

In a garden we read of an evil creature who had mal-intent towards the perfect and good Creator and sought to brought harm to Him by harming those the Creator cared about. This event has found its way into our classic stories of revenge - harm me and I’ll harm what you care about. And this evil creature (Satan, the devil) continues his work through people. Cain kills Abel, Jacob’s sons exact revenge on men who harmed their sister, religious leaders conspire to kill the Son of God, and there are many other such stories of revenge and harm.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NASB)

God’s grace is truly amazing. When I think back to His mercy and the patience He has shown me even when I should have known better, my heart is fills with joy and praise. The word in Greek for rejoice is χαίρω (chairo) and comes from the same root as the words in Greek for grace and joy. Not surprising. God’s grace gives us a license to be joyful, outside of ourselves, in spite of our failings; we can, as Paul commands, rejoice. You have permission.

We might even say, delight in God’s grace! Rest in it. Lean on it. I’ll say it again, delight in God’s grace. Augustine did. Over sixteen hundred years ago he wrote his “Confessions”, an uber-honest and transparent narrative on God’s amazing work in his wandering life. Raised by and prayed for a Christian mother, Augustine went his own way into the world of education and philosophy. This world was not all it promised to be, and eventually he would leave the …
Think On These

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

This morning the Lord awakened me to three things to think on that align with Paul’s “finally brethren” exhortation in his letter to the Philippians. In the past I’ve tried to find things that are true, and noble, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable to think on but have honestly come up with little to nothing. My mind struggles to find such things in our world today. But this morning, I’m grateful to God for giving me three things that are lovely and right, pure and true, and noble and admirable.

The morning birdsongs
The sound of the birds singing in the morning together and individually is lovely to listen to. Each bird with its own call, giving turns to one another and then in excited ensemble singing together are like a …
Words of Faith
When my children were younger and wanted me to give them something to eat, they would say, “Dad, I’m hungry.” And I, as a Dad true to my good sense of humor would respond, “Hi hungry, I’m Dad.” That “dad joke” slays me still and I continue to use it whenever opportunity presents itself.

I love the faith of children; call it child-like. If a child has a belly ache, they tell mom or dad, “I have a belly ache.” If a child is hungry, their request is spoken until it is heard. If a child has a question, they ask, usually with follow on questions. They are, in their complete honesty and unconcern for social propriety, living examples to us of what Jesus meant when He said,

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14 NIV)
And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)
When a child…
Good for Evil

Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has returned me evil for good. May God punish David, and ever so severely, if I let one of Nabal’s men survive until morning.” (1 Samuel 25:21,22)

How many of us have seen our heart set out on a campaign to set right the wrong-doing of those who have mistreated us? We've served, we've given, we've acted with integrity and treated kindly. We've laid down our lives. And yet, in return for our acts of kindness, we've received hurt. Let justice reign! Let it reign through me! David may have felt the same way.

After offering protection to a group of shepherds tending their flocks in an area where David and his army were temporarily staying, David sent for refreshments to the man (Nabal) who the shepherds worked for. "Please give whatever you can afford to your servants and to your son David." T…
In The Yet To Come

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.(Psalm 42:5 NIV)

        Waiting is hard, contrary to our pleasure and to our comfort. I used to tell my daughters, it's good for young ladies to learn to wait. Not a popular message. There is an attitude that exists today catering to our desire for immediacy. It reveals itself in many aspects of our lives. I've always been amazed (maybe that's not the right word) as a software developer at the prevailing concern of users to minimize mouse clicks to get to the content that interests them more quickly. I've had to re-architect systems to eliminate a single mouse click from the user's path to information. Ok, enough complaining on my part.

        To the contrary, God is not interested in us having a quick and efficient journey. He's not running a business, He's not placed us in a corporation. We are in His kingdom,…