The Chalice of Love and Goodness

What is it that you and I love most in life? Where our heart is, there shall our treasure be discovered and found. There shall the very declaration of where we put our focus, form our thoughts and thus become the words that we find ourselves speaking.

This is what we end up manifesting in life, do we not? What are we giving our passion to? What fuels your passion in this very moment and hour? Are you in fact even passionate about anything in particular? Are there times and perhaps it is now where you may be feeling a sense of being dead to life or maybe your life is lacking a vibrancy that was once present or one that you know has or longs to come forth with at least a greater sense of fullness?

“I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. (Revelation 3:1-3 ESV)

I reference this in kindness as a way of remembering. Perhaps we go about to take back territory in our spiritual life to then only release it once again unawares. Don’t go back to sleep my friend; be aware of the tactics of the adversary of your soul who seeks to kill, steal and destroy. One must remain vigilant and cannot afford to become careless. As I stated yesterday in this blog; passion and practice calls us consistent attention.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever”. (1 John 2:15 ESV)

Is the Father’s love prevailing in your heart and life right now? It is ever present and never wavers or fails but are you embracing it?

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. Are you intentionally keeping yourself in the love of God?

With the love of God, comes the bringing forth of the fruit thereof which is the “charis” or grace of the goodness of God. This comes into play in the bearing of His presence or His glory. Are we truly possessing our vessel in the holy presence of God? “Charis” defined is, grace that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness, grace of speech, goodwill, loving-kindness, favor of the merciful kindness by which God brings the attributes of the person of Jesus though into our expression thereof of the goodness of God. I don’t know about you but I so long to exude such from my being and for this to be shed abroad into the hearts of those whose my life touches. One who truly and openly displays and lavishes upon others the fruits of the Spirit. This display of love is truly infectious is it not? It takes considerable resistance to overcome and push away it’s presence.

A favorite musical composition I am deeply touched by is “Ubi Caritas” (“Where Charity Is”) which has evolved into many iterations and compositions. It’s message is as follows; where charis and love are, God is there. A bonding exists between the love of God and “charis”. It is the glue by which all consists in God’s creative plan. I’d like us to get this picture into our hearts.

The love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice in Him and be glad.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love as one.

Where charis and love are, God is there.
At the same time, therefore, are we gathered into one:
Lest we be divided in mind, let us beware.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease.
And in the midst of us may there live Jesus; His heart, life and breath.

Where charis and love are, God is there.
At the same time we see that with the saints also,
His face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good, unto the
World without end. May it be so!

In Jesus we are “the salt” of the earth. Has the saltiness lost it’s savor? This is a question that we might ourselves right now. May our passion and practice bring forth from within our being an expression of the very best that we can be in and through Jesus.

“An invitation to Participation and Practice”

Something is stirring in the spiritual atmosphere around me. I particularily noticed it beginning yesterday. As I went to the grocery store yesterday I could sense each person around me in a new way. God is moving in something new and fresh that I sense none of us have ever seen. It is like a holy moment or pause where it seems like time is standing still so we may be particularily aware. The next move of God always begins deep with us. Are we paying attention? Please do not dismiss these summer months as just another season to enjoy; I am sensing that this time holds special significance in God’s plan unfolding now in the earth.

I am pondering this morning some surreal truth in this picture. I found myself saying that “every” moment is “a holy moment” truly. Yes, the holiness of God’s presence can seem to have a pronounced effect at given times and seasons however is that not due to our perception and level of awareness varying? He is unchangeable; yesterday, today and forever.

“But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15,16)
“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” (Psalm 24:3,4)

So what is my conclusion in this matter? Why not make the following a guide for a prayer of our heart to always carry before us; “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:10-12) As long as we are willing we have His promise to uphold us. It goes back to our level of passion doesn’t it? What do I love the most in life? Then I must give that my all and best in participation and practice.
Will you join me in believing God for the very best in us to be brought forward and to manifest where we live?

The Passion of Pursuit

When I go after anything in life that compels or draws me to that which I love so very much that I can’t seemingly experience truly fulfillment without, then I have a tendency to get very overzealous and can sometimes go overboard and be relentless in my chasing after it. I can drive myself to exhaustion and depletion in the process. To some that can come across as being too intense in my expression and such intensity can make them feel uneasy at times. Is that a virtue or a vice? Well it depends on how you may choose to look at it.

I guess I am wired to passionately pursue on purpose with what moves me. If it doesn’t move me it is because it has not “caught” my attention. It must catch my attention in order to capture my heart. If my heart is not in it then you won’t find me there most likely, at least not for long. So why do I seem to be wired as such? I sense it because I cannot sit still with what moves me to chase after what stirs inside of me, to merge with the essence and nitty-gritty of who I am. I have to merge and become one with what is likened to the nature of what is most alive within me.

It becomes almost like an obsession with me at times. However what ends up stopping me in life in most cases? It is in being patient with the process in which all of this involves. I may want what I want and want it now and when doors do not seem to open fast enough, I can become given to formulate and begin to “work” self generated agendas to “make it happen” rather than patiently pursuing the process. May I propose an example from the Word of God?

In 2 Kings 9 we find the account of the anointing of Jehu as king over Israel. You might want to go and read that. Here was a man on a mission where nothing would stop him. “And the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously.”(2 Kings 9:20) We see pictured the idea of driving, transferred from driving horses harnessed to a chariot, to driving a motor vehicle. How is your driving in life? Are you driven? By what? Jehu was a famously fierce soldier whose chariot-driving followed his temperament. What constitutes one’s temperament?

What drives you in life? Are you passionate or merely passive? Where does passion begin and where does it end and how does this participate with the process of discovering true and lasting fulfillment?

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
(Hebrews 10:22 ESV)

What catches your attention in life? What thus captures your heart and consumes your energy? Or do you just seem to want to be passive and take life as it comes at or to you, you know; easy come and easy go? Easy with little go, tends to equate to little or no flow. Life is meant to be in reciprocal motion, is it not? Give and take; a harmonic balance. Then you must “go” for and “with’ that which you seek to know or experience and make your own in life.

You have truth within, that which God has spoken into existence. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3) Be set apart through truth for his Word is truth. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Draw near to what catches, captures and compels you to move toward making it part of who you are. Align all within the context of God’s Word; written and spoken into you. Fully assure yourself in believing God, taking him at his word concerning what He says of you and of who you are. Strengthen and encourage yourself in the Lord. Ask him the questions that you need to ask; ones in which their answer will require you to take action; to take a step. Don’t wait for God or someone to do it “for you”, because God is waiting for “you” to respond to Him posed in what surrounds you and makes up what is your’s to occupy. At the Cross, Jesus sacrificed his all, his life to provide everything for you now at every level. Have you received his ultimate gift? Occupy that which He has deposited within you and thus is being reflected around you.

Draw near, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith. What are you waiting for? Passionately pursue on purpose, that which is ready to propel you to “participate” in life. I invite you now to put it fully into practice.