Archive for July, 2012

A pastor friend of mine recently read my book, and was concerned that I had placed God’s Word in a secondary role to the various disciplines described in the book as it relates to spiritual growth. I explained to him that I did not think that I had placed those disciplines above the Word. I stated in the book that the standard of truth for all of life is the Bible, and that no discipline or anything else that conflicts with the Bible is to be accepted. Hearing, reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on the Word are vital for our healthy spiritual growth.

However, I pointed out to him that what the book does stress is that just knowing the Word is not enough. Much like the Law of Israel, the Bible is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The Bible points us to God. The Bible reveals God and is a medium by which we communicate with each other. The Bible also paints a picture of what life is like in the kingdom of God.

Yet, knowing the Bible does not give us the power to live the Bible. We must learn how to walk in the Spirit throughout the day to do that, and practice appropriate disciplines to enable this to happen. So, I do stress that the Bible is vital for transformation, as long as we rely on the Spirit to help us understand it and give us the power to live it. “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3).

Read Full Post »

When God Closes a Door

I have been dealing with closed doors this summer. I don’t like closed doors, even if God is the one who closes them. For example, it appears that God is leading us to another church after 31 years. This has caused me considerable grief, hurt, and sadness. I love the people at our church and I hate change.

Yet, it seems God is clearly leading Adele and I to leave. He has other works for us to do in other places. At first, I did not fully feel the pain of this closed door because I was so busy. However, a week ago, a ministry I had been heavily involved in ended, and I had time to face the painful emotions deep within. I then developed neck pain, which served as another diversion like busyness did from facing the painful feelings within.

However, in the last few days, I have decided to ignore the neck pain (which I understand to be harmless based on my past history), and focus on the grief I am feeling in the caldron of my soul. Grieving about a closed door is a process and I must be patient, for it does take time. Closed doors often feel to me like rejection, low worth, and not being loved.

However, facing the grief and processing it leads to my acceptance of the closed door. This helps me to develop a positive attitude towards life and not a bitter one. By faith now, but often by sight later, I can thank and praise God for his goodness and grace in closing this door.

Read Full Post »

God’s Love for Us

Imagine living in the presence of someone who is very strong, and who is head-over-heels in love with us. Imagine someone whose smile slowly melts away our fears and tensions, for “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). Imagine someone who is always there for us, but gives us space when we need it. Imagine someone who will never reject us no matter how weak and unbelieving we are, for God says to us, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Imagine someone who enjoys being with us and delights in who we really are.

Such is the love that God has for us, his children. There are no strings attached to his love. He gives us his love as a gift. It is too good to be true, yet it is true. We can do nothing to cause God to stop loving us, and we can do nothing to cause him to love us more. His love is already as high as the heavens are above the earth (Psalm 103:11).

Read Full Post »