Friday, July 20, 2007

God's Initiative

"… for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (Philippians 2:13)

The key to faithful living is not doing great things for God, but letting God do great things through us. God is the one who knows what is needed and how we can best meet that need. We can do nothing of value without the power of God working through us.

When we turn our will over to God, God places in us the desire to do what is best, what is right. With our hearts and minds focused on God, God works through our lives to accomplish his will.

Henry Blackaby puts it this way -

"When you are God-centered, even the desires to do the things that please God come from God’s initiative in your life."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Perfect Peace

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever. (Isaiah 26:3,4a)

Once, while serving on the Board of a Christian camp, I learned that we some organization had offered us a "peace pole" that had written on it "Peace on Earth" in many different languages. I recommended that we not accept it. If we wanted to put up a symbol of peace, we ought to put up a cross - because peace can only be found in Christ.

There is so much in the world that disturbs and disrupts peace. True peace can only be found when we walk with the Lord. Thomas Merton once wrote -

"We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Faithful Education

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair-every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. (Proverbs 2:9-10)

Wisdom is a gift from God, given to those who devote themselves to Him. A faith-full education is not so much about information as it is about formation. We are formed in the ways of God, the truth that sets us free to do what is right, just, and fair. God's education teaches us not just how to do things, but how to do them in the best way.

As we grow in our relationship with Christ, we come to desire learning more about God and
God's ways.

John Ruskin wrote this about education --

"The true end of education is not only to make the young learned, but to make them love learning. Not only to make them industrious, but to make them love industry. Not only to make them virtuous, but to make them love virtue... Not only to make them just, but to make them hunger and thirst after justice."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Being Content

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:7-8)

The world teaches us to long for the things we don’t have and can’t get. It takes great wisdom and faithful discipline to step away from this craving and be happy with who we are and what we’ve been given.

The Greek philosopher Epictitus expresses it this way --

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ordered Chaos

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

The world can be a troubling and chaotic place. Often, we internalize this chaos and become very anxious and unsettled. In the midst of the chaos, Christ promises us peace - a peace that passes all human understanding. In the midst of the chaos, we can see God’s hand at work.

Professor Elizabeth Achtemeier writes -

"God preserves His order despite our chaos."

God’s order helps us deal with the chaos within and around us. When we receive the peace of Christ, we can move forward in faith - even in the midst of a chaotic world.