Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 1, 2018
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best. Philippians 1:9-10
At a mountain retreat in Colorado, I recently had the privilege of sitting with Ed for an hour to hear his heart and wisdom. A monk and a priest for 44 years, my new friend gave me fresh truth to ponder and pray about for many days to come. I asked Ed, “How can I grow my capacity to receive God’s love and to extend His love to others?”After a momentary gaze above (as if soliciting heaven’s help), he answered, “Sustained sensitivity, Boyd. This means to grow in your awareness you are in the presence of God and God is in your presence.” He went on, “My favorite book of the Bible is 2 Corinthians because Paul describes us as earthen vessels: fragile, vulnerable, weak, easily broken. Nearing the end of his ministry Paul confesses his weakness, but at this point of vulnerability is where God’s grace and power rests” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Counter culture indeed! When we confess our utter weakness outside of the love of Christ, we are positioned to grow our love for Christ and others. God’s grace meets us at the intersection of our broken, earthen selves to empower us to love and to be loved. If anyone was capable of falling back on their resume and experience to live out the Christian life it was Paul, yet he admits in his golden years his greatest need was for the Lord. The more we mature in our faith journey—the more we realize we need the Spirit’s comfort, the Son’s forgiveness and the Father’s love.
“And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]” (Colossians 2:10, AMPC).
How is your love tank? Full, edging on a quarter tank, or running on fumes? A soul who is out of gas is flirting with a breakdown; you may coast for a while, but eventually you will stop. Pull into your heavenly Father’s service station of love and invite Him to fill up your tank of trust and love. When you come apart with Christ, He keeps you from coming apart in your loneliness and feeling unloved. Perhaps you are a great giver, but you are unable to receive well. Don’t allow pride or false humility to deprive another from wanting to bless you with their loving provision.
Thankfully, your heavenly Father is generous in His grace, especially when you wander around in weakness, where fear and anxiety knock at the door of your heart and mind. You can invite your nemesis in but do not entertain them; escort them out the back door of your thoughts. A bad idea is not a sin, but a bad idea that is embraced and obsessed over is birthed into bad behavior. In Christ, take captive vain imaginations, release them to roam outside your life, and remember the great love the Lord has for you. Divine love is perfect love that expunges fear from your soul.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
Lord, I lean into You for love and grace. Fill me up so I can lift up others with Your love, in Jesus’ name, amen.
What activity do I need to stop doing, so I can receive soul care from my Savior Jesus?
Divine love is perfect love that expunges fear from your soul. #WisdomHunters #capacitytolove
5 minutes – Cory Asbury:
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