Archive for September, 2008

Loving God
September 29, 2008

When we love and obey God, many blessings flow into our lives. But a true devotion to God does not love God simply for the gifts he gives. We love God just because he is God and deserves our worship.

This fundamental truth is expressed unambiguously in this anonymous poem, or hymn, from 17th Century Latin.

My Eternal King

My God, I love you
Not because I hope for Heaven thereby
Nor yet because those who love you not
Must die etrnally.
Jesus, you did for me upon the cross embrace
Nails and spear and manifold disgrace.
Why, then, why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
Should I not love you well?
Not for the hope of winning Heaven
Or of escaping hell,
Not with the hope of gaining anything,
Not seeking a reward;
But as you yourself have loved me,
O ever-living Lord!
Even so I love you, and will love,
And in your praise will sing,
Solely because you are my God
And my eternal King.

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True Consecration to God
September 22, 2008

A common human tendency is to ask, “What’s in it for me?” Unfortunately, this attitude can infect our religious devotion and cause us focus on what God can do for me instead of the essential question, “What can I do for God?”

Ignatius of Loyola (Spanish church reformer and mystic, founder of the Society of Jesus) wrote the following prayer, which can effectively serve as an antidote to self-proccupied religion:

Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve: to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not ask for any reward save that of knowing that we do your will. Amen

What kind of prayers are you praying?

God’s Presence
September 7, 2008

Pietism, a renewal movement among Protestants in the 17th and 18th centuries, had many aspects. One was a deepening of personal devotion to God, as expressed, for example, in the following hymn written by Gerhard Tersteegen, who lived from 1697-1769. This English translation is by John Wesley.

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Endless Enjoyment
September 1, 2008

From Eugene Peterson’s parapharase of the Bible come some well-turned phrases, such as what you find in Psalm 111:2.

God’s works are so great, worth
A lifetime of study – endless enjoyment!

That statement describes my experience precisely. I thoroughly enjoy the world of nature, science and space. These are God’s works, worth a lifetime of study.

Then there is the whole area of God’s relationship with mankind, the drama of God at work in seeking to redeem us after our first parents chose self-autonomy and left themselves and all of us cut off from intimacy with God -and especially the drama of what God did for us in Christ. These are Gods’ greatest works and are supremely worth a lifetime of study.

We will never undertand God and his ways fully, but we can know these things in a measure, and the result is endless enjoyment, not just of some philosophical or theological ideas, but of God himself.

What aspects of God’s works most captivate you?