Elizabeth Mitchell has a way with words: God has a way with her heart.
In her most recent post, she beautifully describes our inner struggles and the process of inviting God's truth and peace into those vulnerable places. It's well written and worth your time.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
If you've ever planted a garden, you know the joy of watching the flower turn to fruit. You powder your plant with insect killer and pull the inevitable weeds. When you enjoy and share your fresh zucchini or beans, you experience the satisfaction that only a gardener knows.
As fruit bearers because of Christ's life in us, we can also bring our Gardener much pleasure (John 15). Productivity reflects well on God's care and nourishment. His sap in us is life giving. Christ in me (Colossians 1:27). Christ interested in me. Christ intent on revealing His ways so I can obey and benefit.
As I act on what He reveals, I can be confident of remaining in His love and producing fruit of His planting. I will develop a heightened sense of His life in my mind, body and spirit, and the mature fruit I bear will speak well of the Gardener, my Creator.
Inevitably, God shares His fruit through me with others. They too can discover the love I have found in Christ.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Today, I invite you to slowly read these verses. Then listen for God's revelations as you meditate.
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.... 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other (John 15:8-11,16-17).
I encourage you to jot down what you discern.
As you bear the fruit of Christ-in-you, may you realize the joy you bring your heavenly Gardener.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4, NIV '84).
How do I delight in the Lord? What helps me be intentional about it?
What do I discover about God's character as I do so?
This is a 'when-then' verse. When I make the Lord my joy--enjoy conversation with Him, notice and appreciate His gifts, count on His help--then He fulfills my longings.
This verse runs like a deep river. The light sparkling on the surface invites us to experience its depth. We may swim well, but it is wise to put on the safety jacket of the Holy Spirit's guidance as we jump in. Strength, wisdom and joy of being a part of something stronger than ourselves will bring delight.
We can't experience the strength and exhilaration of the river until we are willing to immerse our weakness in its strength. Regular immersion in God's river will strengthen our muscles, defog our minds, and fill us with joy ... scare us too sometimes. We don't get past debris by passively floating. We must actively read the water, think carefully, and exercise faith. Whether or not our adrenaline runs high, our Creator uses all opportunities for us to experience Him.
Often, after an arduous stint, the bend reveals new delights.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
After meditating on Psalm 37 and especially verse 4, how would you answer the questions above?
What aspect of delighting in the Lord has brought you joy?
Saturday, January 19, 2013
So, I'm asking my Lord Jesus to help me clarify my goals--including the goal of this blog.
Sure, I want to blog to God's glory (Colossians 3:17). But I have to discern a narrower focus. So I am currently praying for clarity and confirmation.
As God's friends, He trusts us to bring His presence to others using the gifts and opportunities He gives. To participate fully, we get to co-operate in goal setting and execution.
When it's hard to find time or be disciplined, we may have to clarify or refocus on our goal. We can ask help from friends and the best Friend of all. Our Jesus kept His eye on the joy of finishing His God-given task (Hebrews 12:1-3).
To help me in this process, would you let me know:
- What topics interest you?
- What challenges you face?
- What would make this better?
I will treasure your answers. And your prayers. Thank you.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2, NIV '84).
How does riveting your eyes on Jesus Christ help your motivation? What did He do regarding His mission that you might imitate?