A Driving Passion – A Meditation on John 7:16-18

A Driving Passion – A Meditation on John 7:16-18

Jesus is the man I was meant to be, and am not yet; but by God’s grace, I can be…

So, how can we become what we are meant to be but are not yet?

We must lean into it and ask God’’s help… We must begin consciously seeking God’’s glory and doing his will in every situation and not give up until it is the very thing we most want to do in life. We will fail, but we must repent, be forgiven, and try again in the firm assurance that, by God’’s unfailing grace, we shall become who we were always intended to be: – those who from the heart say, “”My food is to do the will of him who sent me and accomplish His work”.”

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Worship and Service – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Worship and Service – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

This is what is at stake for Jesus in the wilderness, and indeed for all of us in our lives. Worship is not fundamentally about the postures we strike, the songs we sing, or the words we pronounce (though all of these are vitally important to worship); it is about answering with the whole of our lives the question, “Whom do you serve?”; and our answer to that question will ultimately be evident in the way we treat others, the way we treat our bodies, the way we perform our duties and responsibilities, indeed in every detail great and small that makes up our lives, for in the words of Ravi Zacharias, “Worship is coextensive with all of life”.

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“That He Might Lead You To God…” – Meditation of the Studies in 1Peter

“That He Might Lead You To God…” – Meditation of the Studies in 1Peter

Clearly this is what is asked of us in baptism, a wholehearted “Yes” to the question, “Will you live for him who died for you?” It is a pledge we can renew each time we enter church, dip our fingers in the baptismal waters, and make the sign of the Cross. It is a pledge we can renew every morning as we rise from bed and every night when we retire. Isn’t today is the perfect time to make the intentional renewal of your commitment to follow and obey Jesus, the renewal of your baptismal pledge, a regular practice of your daily life? Be assured that as you draw close to Him, He will draw close to you.

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Unwavering Trust – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Unwavering Trust – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

One of the most fundamental steps of living into our sonship and daughtership in Christ is to demonstrate the same unwavering trust we see in Jesus in the wilderness by, likewise, determining not to fulfill our own desires (however right or needful) in our own way or in our own time (however easily we might be able to do so), but rather to surrender our lives to his Kingdom, trusting in his provision and timing, and above all His unfailing love.

For He that promised is faithful (Heb 10:23).

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The Shepherd and Guardian of Our Souls – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

The Shepherd and Guardian of Our Souls – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Jesus is the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls. In him, in his living presence with us even now, all the affirmations of Psalm 23 become incarnate and are fulfilled. The Lord Jesus is our Shepherd and we shall not want. Jesus makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside still waters. Jesus restores our soul. Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Jesus is with us, comforting us with his rod and staff. And, because of him, we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. This is no wishful thinking; it is the experience and sure hope of untold multitudes of those who, over the last two thousand years, have heard and recognized the Shepherd’s voice and followed Him.

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Wounded for Our Transgressions – Meditation for Good Friday

Wounded for Our Transgressions – Meditation for Good Friday

To Jesus’ disciples, the crucifixion must have seemed at first like a pointless tragedy or, as Benedict XVI has said, “an inexplicable fact that placed his entire message and his whole meaning in question” (Jesus of Nazareth, Part II, p.202) It must have seemed an ignominious and utter failure. From the event itself, what else could they think? Yet, in a few short days everything changed and that which must have seemed devoid of meaning became the most significant event in the history of the world.

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Sons and Daughters of God – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Sons and Daughters of God – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

There is a sense in which we are all sons and daughters of God, for we are not only made by him, but also made in his image and likeness. This is suggested by Luke’s genealogy and it is good and right to affirm this. However because we are made in God’s image and likeness, we are also made for a deeper, richer sonship (and daughter-ship!) that cannot be a simple fact of nature, nor can it be obtained by our own efforts. It must be obtained through the unmerited gift of grace, by uniting ourselves to Christ and being baptized in to his uncompromising obedience to God manifested in his life, death and resurrection.

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Servants of God – Eighth Meditation in the Studies of 1 Peter

In particular, I think we must realize the contrast between what God through Peter calls us to and the behavior we too often fall into as Christians in a newly hostile or indifferent environment. Our response all too often vacillates between belligerence and withdrawal, between anger and despair, between our own forms of attack–scorn and defamation–and playing the role of the victim. Of course, all of this comes from fear, but that is no excuse. God’s people must behave as God’s people even, or especially, in the moment of greatest challenge.

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Repentance and Transformation – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Repentance and Transformation – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

“When men’s thoughts cease to resemble God’s thoughts, their conduct ceases to be godly. This, in a nutshell, is the importance of the New Testament doctrine of repentance: it is a calling of men’s minds to be patterned after God’s, in order that their conduct may be in keeping with his will and that they may participate in his reign.”

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Something Beautiful for God – Seventh Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Something Beautiful for God – Seventh Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

The beauty of heroic Christian virtue, humility, and sacrificial love stands out and attracts amidst the banal ugliness of much of this fallen world and it points to the one who is its source, who, in Jesus, is beauty incarnate. I love this way of thinking about what it really means to “maintain good conduct among the gentiles.” It is a much higher calling than we suspect. It is the calling so eloquently and simply captured by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta both in her life and in her exhortation to us: “Make your life Something Beautiful For God.” May this always be our high aspiration.

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