23 July 2013

Like to a shell dishabited . . .

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:15-17, 19, 21

It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.  For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.  Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters.  Fear God, and respect the king. For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment.  For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

Observation:

God wants our lives to be filled with His love; with His purpose and joy. If we're fighting, or pursuing our own agenda (even if we think it's closely aligned with "right", "truth", or even His will!), there's not room for Him.

If thou couldst empty all thyself of self,
Like to a shell dishabited,
Then might He find thee on the Ocean shelf,
And say: " This is not dead,"
And fill thee with Himself instead.

But thou art all replete with very thou,
And hast such shrewd activity,
That, when He comes, He says : " This is enow
Unto itself—’Twere better let it be:
It is so small and full, there is no room for Me."

(Indwelling, by Thomas Edward Browne.)

Application:

(God seriously KNOWS when I need to read certain passages, and I think he organized the Life Journal just for me. lol Anyone else have the same feeling? ;o)

We are to love one another. Serve one another.  Be huge conduits so God's love can douse, drench, and heal those around us.  The scriptures call foolish those who fill their lives, their very selves, with the cares, pursuits, and pleasures of the world.  (Daughters of Zion, with their fancy clothes, coiffures and perfumes, anyone?)  If we are the temples of God, yet we are full of the world, how are we different from Hezekiah's son Manasseh, who not only built pagan altars in the Temple in Jerusalem, but even set up a graven image of Asherash there?

Prayer:

Lord and Father of Heaven and Earth, help me empty myself of self, so I might be a ready vessel for your habitation.  Fill me with your love and gently give me chances to show it. Let those who array themselves against me and mine see that love, and be left unable to deny its existence.  Show me how to engage in loving and honest ways with them, to show them I am not their enemy, but their sister in Christ.  Father, reclaim them from the influences that lead them into paths of sorrow, and fill their lives with light and love and joy.  Wash them clean in the blood of the Lamb of God; open to their view the glorious and oceanic Victory of Christ; remake them in Your image and place in them Your heart. Guide them to You, Lord.  And bring them joy.  In Jesus' name, amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!