Friday, May 4, 2007

A Joyful Spirit

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the
(Proverbs 15:30)

As I think of the Christians that have had a great impact on my life and faith, the one common thread that ties them together is this – joy. Joy expressed through smiles and laughter – never at anyone’s expense, but out of a sheer love of God and God’s Creation.

While we certainly will have down days, it is important for us as followers of Christ to share the good news of his love with a joyful Spirit.
St. Francis warns us –

“It is not fitting, when one is in God's service, to have a gloomy face or a chilling look.” (St. Francis of Assisi)

Feel the joy of your salvation and share your joy with others.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Have Mercy

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that
fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; to such as keep his
covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
(Psalm 103:17-18)

We sometimes think of the God portrayed in the Old Testament as full of vengeance and wrath. It’s true God punished those who were bent on self-destruction and destroying others. It’s true that God is angry when we fail to live up to standards that would give us a more abundant life. It’s true God occasionally turned His back to get His children to seek Him in the midst of their suffering.

But above, our God (the God of all Scripture) is full of mercy. If we are to follow God in the Spirit of Christ, we are to likewise show mercy.

St. John Chrysostom put it this way -

”Showing mercy is one way we imitate God and disappoint the devil.”

Walk in the Way of the Lord. Have mercy.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Character of Prayer

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. (Romans 8:26)

There have been many times in my prayer life when I have been unable to express myself in clear thoughts or words. I have been so troubled by something. My mind has become so overwhelmed by worldly things. Other times, I am so full of joy all I can do is smile or burst into song. It is at these times, that I most appreciate the promise of God’s Word, that the Holy Spirit prays through me. Abraham Kuyper writes –

"The form of prayer does not affect its character. It may be a mere groaning in thought, or a sigh in which the oppressed soul finds relief; it may consist of a single cry, a flow of words, or an elaborate invocation of the Eternal. It may even turn into speaking or singing. But so long as the soul, in the consciousness that God lives and hears its cry, addresses itself directly to Him as though it stood in His immediate presence, the character of prayer remains intact."