The Necessity of Love

Love Heart in Sand
I’m not going to contribute to the fascinating discussion of the different Greek words for love in the New Testament. I’m just going to start this post right here and say –

Without love, there is no real life. Neither is it loving to end someone’s life.
Killing someone is not love, no matter what the euthanasia campaigners would have us believe. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Love is not taking someone else’s life –  it is giving them yours.

Even if you don’t give your life – if you don’t actually die for your friends, love is still about giving. It’s about forsaking yourself in the interests of others.

Jesus didn’t only love His friends – He loved His enemies. In fact, He even died for them, and  for you. Because you were an enemy of God. But He sent His own Son to reconcile us to Himself  – while we were still His enemies, Christ died for us. Now God even calls us His children!

How much does this say about your love? Is your every thought, word, deed and desire rooted and grounded in love? (Ephesians 3:17) Are you truly a loving person?

We are called to love. And now it’s time – for you. To love your God with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength. To love your neighbour as yourself.

Because God is Love.
And He’s commanded it.

With love,
Rhoda

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Purpose

Almost everyone has a purpose in life. Taoists say that their purpose in life is rejoining the One. Hedonists say that their purpose in life is to enjoy while they can.  Christians say that their purpose is to glorify God.

But often even we Christians seem to lose our purpose. We become listless. Our standard of work falls. We have fewer creative ideas. We can be careless of other people or their belongings. Sometimes we can lose respect for ourselves.

If we look at our human condition, that’s certainly easy to do. Our race has rebelled against God and the majority continues to defy Him. We are ruining our planet. Our personal lives are filled with suffering, mistakes and regret.

But we must look beyond ourselves. If we don’t stretch our gaze past the busyness and boredom of everyday life to above the heavens and see God, we are still lost.

Isaiah 51:6

Isaiah 51:6

I remember learning the Westminster Shorter Catechism when I was about 8 or 9. The first question and answer is this:

Q: What is the chief end of man?

A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.

At that stage, I really had no understanding of that at all. God hadn’t yet begun to teach me to look beyond my immediate surroundings and see Him. The phrase was for me arbitrary, having no meaning beyond that of the individual words.

That changed. God began to work in my heart, first showing me my sin, and then filling me with His Holy Spirit and showing me His glory, beyond the clouds.

So then, I was filled with a new desire to seek His ways, to serve Him in all my doings. Glorifying God became the new purpose of my life. And I was enjoying it. But I didn’t understand that.

It took a few months. Then one winter morning as I was swinging my way down the South Hill, it hit me. I was enjoying God! And I was just going to keep on doing that, forever! In the midst of my sorrows and triumphs, I am still enjoying Him.

But the story doesn’t end there. My life is still going on, and I still need to examine my heart to find purposes hidden there. All which are contrary to God’s will, I have to ask Him to cut away, and all which are in conformity to His Word, I rejoice in!handshake

There’s one more point which I’ve covered elsewhere on my blog, in the post God’s Commands and Our Promises. I continue to struggle with this one. Why did I get out of bed this morning? Because I was hungry? Because I needed to be at the library before 9 am? Or was it simply because God’s Word says in Proverbs 26:14 that

As a door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy man on his bed.

Beautiful poetry, of course. But what a strong message! The next time you turn off the alarm and roll back over, remember this!

So, on this earth and for all eternity, our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Have fun!

In Him,
Rhoda

Casting Our Cares on Him

file0001010718196One night I lay on my bed, with all the weight of this world‘s cares, frustrations, and worries lying heavily on my shoulders. As well as this life’s usual problems, I had a couple of larger issues to deal with.

But something changed-

I remembered “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”, a verse in 1 Peter 5. And instantly they were gone – cast upon my Saviour, with whom our yoke is easy, and our burden is light.

And then I thought-

What should I care about? I’ve already discovered that my desires should be for His second coming, and for His kingdom to be extended through all the earth. There needs to be something more, however. And while we should take every thought captive, some earthly things must be thought of while we are here on earth. We cannot live without thinking of that which we are doing. But the cares of our hearts should not overwhelm us, as in Mark 4:18-19. Ask yourself, would God care about this?

With our worries in the hands of our Saviour,

knowing that we belong to Him, and that He cares for us, we are free to serve Him!

What do You Desire?

bird.tree

Psalm 37 :4 reads:

“Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

Now we might think that this means if
we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us whatever we want! If we love Him, He will provide us with a new summer wardrobe. And if we Abide in Him, He will see that we work out some way to stop the freezer in the next room keeping us awake all night. But I discovered that that is not actually the case! This is what happened to me when I began to delight in the Lord by talking to Him much more often and hiding His Word in my heart:

My desires changed!

I began to wish for other things. I longed to know Him better, and to spend more time with
Him. I saw the ruin of the world around me, and groaned in waiting for His return.
Delighting in Him, I wanted only to know Him more! Instead of desiring material goods, I
desired spiritual wealth. And He is faithful in giving it to me. Every day, I grow in His grace.
Here is Psalm 37 verses 5 and 6:

“Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.”

The desire of my heart is His second coming. With Him in heaven, I will have all eternity to delight in Him!