With All

God seeks to bless us, to nurture us and to mature us into pure images of Himself.

Meditation Thought: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)

To “love your God” is in effect to love neighbor and self. God is neighbor and self, not limited to neighbor and self, but these are a part of God, for we are His, created by Him, for Him and in His image.

Merely because we do not perceive that all of us have a “connecting link” does not deny the existence of it. Wind cannot be seen. Emotion cannot be seen. Yet the effects of wind and emotion can be of great visibility and tremendous consequence.

We need to understand that this commandment of Jesus was not given merely because God was seeking glory and adulation, but because God seeks to bless us, to nurture us and to mature us into pure images of Himself.

The greater our understanding of who He is, and how intensely He desires us to understand so that we may share joy with Him in the fulfillment of our relationship as knowledgeable participants, the more assurance we have of a life both satisfying and yet dynamic.

Dawn: Moment by Moment

I desire that you see the pure, lovely, effective life ahead unmarred by the life that you lived up until this moment.

Meditation Thought: “ Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these [a new heaven and a new earth], be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation…” (2 Peter 3:14-15)

“I seek to lift from you the burden you have taken up which is not My choice for you to carry: the burden of fear of not thinking, saying and doing everything perfectly according to My will.

I do desire for you to do everything perfectly according to My will, for this behavior will bring you maximum joy and will be the most effective way to be My minister to the world.

But: you do not accomplish this most perfectly by being so uptight about it that you feel constrained. As in worldly matters, you perform best spiritually when you feel such rapport and love and confidence and enthusiasm that you are content and relaxed enough to move freely to express yourself naturally.

I wish for you to be your unique self – true to My Word and My principles, but trying any way which seems right to you to express them.

Jesus came to demonstrate My tolerance: tolerance to the point of forgiveness: forgiveness to the point of doing for you what you are unable to do for yourself: cleansing you completely of all sins, including the sin of not believing that you are actually forgiven to the extent that your sins never took place in My sight – and I desire that you also see by the insight which I reveal to you the pure, lovely, effective life ahead unmarred by the life that you lived up until this moment.

Yes, you will err – and when you do, take proper steps to once again find the proper Way. But do not walk the way in such fear of taking a wrong turn that you do not enjoy it and you go along at a snail’s pace. Use the methods Jesus used: constant prayer, constant ministry, constant forgiveness, constant appropriate, creative expressions of love.

How? Take time to pray, develop your mind, use your body, be preceptive and observing and appreciative. Consider each moment as a dawn: the dark cold night of ignorance, fear and rebellion is being removed by the Son breaking into the darkness.”

Rival the Light of the Sun, Moon and Stars

May the joy of this explode in love so great as to rival the light of the sun, the moon, the stars.

Meditation Thought: “the Father who dwells in me does his works.” (John 14:10)

… but He cannot do His works in violation of my free will. If I will my will to His will, He will transform my weaknesses into strengths.

I have the sun, the moon, the stars
All within my heart.
Light by day,
And light by night.
He who created them,
Created me.
He dwells in them
And dwells in me.
Would that I see Him everywhere!
His glory cannot be hidden
From a faithful, searching child.
Oh, Lord, I’m Yours,
And You are mine.
May the joy of this
Explode in love so great
As to rival the light
Of the sun, the moon, the stars.

Rejoice in Evaluation

He does not intend for us to dwell on how far we have to go to perfectly reflect His character, for that discourages us, but He intends for us to rejoice that we are moving in the direction of maturing into developing a character which reflects our inheritance accurately.

Meditation Thought: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:3-8)

To become partakers of the Divine Nature, these qualities are listed in 2 Peter 1:

  • faith
  • goodness (or virtue)
  • knowledge
  • self-control
  • perseverance
  • godliness
  • mutual affection (or brotherly kindness)
  • love

Though, particularly at times, these qualities may be difficult – they are not impossible. Not impossible because God makes them possible through:

  1. Creating us in His image – therefore it is in our nature to be imbued with these qualities
  2. When, in our eagerness to use our freedom, we misjudge our capacities, He rescues us and teaches us a more balanced, true perspective of both our inherent abilities and our constant dependence upon Him as “the Original” – only when we constantly “check in” to compare ourselves with His character can we have any conception of our progress in maturing.

He does not intend for us to dwell on how far we have to go to perfectly reflect His character, for that discourages us, but He intends for us to rejoice that we are moving in the direction of maturing into developing a character which reflects our inheritance accurately, with less adulteration from habits or mannerisms adopted from our flights into expressions of our rebellious freedom, and of adoption of characteristics found in places other than the Divine Creator’s Perfection: His Ideal, His Perfect Will.

Establish Successful Plans

Your plans move from contemplated to completed… You realize that nothing can stop you if you simply will not stop.

Meditation Thought: “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)

If you commit your work to the Lord – then you are doing His works, and they shall be done according to His plans revealed to you, and thus “your” plans are established – your plans move from contemplated to completed.

The knowledge that you cannot fail – because God is the instigator and mover of your plans – gives you a confidence that assures your overcoming every obstacle. You realize that nothing can stop you if you simply will not stop.

You find many ways of overcoming obstacles because the power and wisdom of the Lord are able to deal with each situation in a way that overcomes the obstacle – you may be led around it, over it, under it, through it – or it may be removed from your path.

The key to success in the establishment of your plans is to believe that the obstacle will be overcome, that it is merely a temporary “roadblock”. Thus you persist in learning the secret of getting it out of your way, rather than stopping, giving up and remaining stuck at that point.

Supercharged Superhuman

Jesus – as man – could not say “yes” to agony. But Jesus – as man filled with God’s Spirit could sacrifice Himself for the love of the brethren – for the love of even His persecuting enemies.

Meditation Thought: “In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12)

The crisis – the battle – was coming shortly. Jesus had lived his life to this time as a commitment to the doing of the Father’s will. Perhaps many moments were not easy – but now the time was approaching, and Jesus could recognize it, when it was going to be a choice of “all or nothing”. Either He would go 100% with the Father’s will or, in the evidence of attitude and events taking place, retreat in fear for his life. There was only one way possible to overcome the fear of the Jesus who was totally human – and that was to, through communication with the Father, become convinced that the strength, power, courage and divinity of the Father would overcome all the world could do to harm him. Jesus – as man – could not say “yes” to agony. But Jesus – as man filled with God’s Spirit could sacrifice Himself for the love of the brethren – for the love of even His persecuting enemies.

And it is this way to which He says “follow me”. Why? Only by the recognition that we are something more than human prompts us to seek that “something”. And only the sure conviction that we are endowed with “superhuman” strength gives us courage to face the crises which will arise as we commit ourselves to living in the realm of the kingdom while still hampered by the inadequacies of the limitations of our humanness.

Only prayer can infuse us with enough divinity to “charge” us with power to behave as beings of a society other than the society that is visible and obvious to all.

As prayer gives us “a charge”, we are able to move effectively, not dependent upon human resources, but upon the Creator: the more completely we “know that we do not know” – the more surely the Father can guide us into doing His marvelous works. We learn in prayer who our Father is, and why we can trust Him with our very lives, with our desires yielded to Him that He may transform them into mutual desires.

We may not be eager to do what is required of us to fulfill the mutual desire, but when we, despite our misgivings or feelings, do what is necessary to fulfill the Father’s will as we perceive it after intense consultation with Him (prayer!) – then we become vindicated, not only in the Father’s viewpoint, but in the perception of all who know of us down through eternity.

Prayer: “Oh, Lord – I am so nothing compared to You, and yet – I am all to You because I am Yours. Help me to be teachable – to learn not only the significance of these facts, but how to live my life as a balance of them, pleasing to You. Amen.”

The Ways of Love

We have a choice as to how to conduct ourselves.

Meditation Thought: “Tend the flock of God that is in your charge. Not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over your charge but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:2)

We can think of Paul’s description in this passage as that of a parent, too, like a shepherd. If we find ourselves in a position of authority and responsibility, we have a choice as to how to conduct ourselves. We can choose to be self-seeking and self-indulgent – or we can be generous and self-sacrificing.

The miracle of the mystery revealed by Jesus is that the ultimate results as judged by eternity are not what we expect as we judge by finite time, by short-term cause and effect.

Just as we cannot make a true evaluation of the results of our training of a child by an action, or several actions, performed in the young stages, so we must have patience in waiting to truly evaluate the pros and cons of our choice of behavior as a leader.

There is evidence, however, that is available for us if we desire to learn what is most likely to bring us ultimate peace and joy – lasting peace and joy. Does it not make sense that God who is Creator, and who is Spirit, would guide by truth, and promote good for those whom He has created? He does not force by truth nor force good, however. He offers truth and offers good.

We must be interested enough in learning who we are and why we exist, however, to be able to find the truth and find good. Thus is our integrity respected by God – and his integrity respected by us.

Teach me the ways of love, O Lord,
And pass them on, will I,
To one – or two – or many more,
Whose lives entwine in mine.
With love the bond,
All are safe in Thee.

Creative Genius

It is for this reason that we must never allow the circumstances or appearances of the details to discourage us.

Meditation Thought: “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins… As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:8,10)

“God’s varied grace. How interesting God makes all of creation! He gives variety to all things, even in His grace; and His creative character has been implanted in us. If we seek to learn of our ways of expressing our creativity we can enrich not only our lives, but many others. The true genius of creativity is released when God’s Holy Spirit enables us to wholly express the Father’s genius passed along to us.

First we must recognize that there is genius passed to us by the Father, then we must release it in appropriate (in the Father’s viewpoint!) manners.

The opportunity for us to recognize is the Father’s provision – the recognizing itself is our contribution – our faith. The implementing of the creative act is a joint venture of the Father and the child: each contributes and the results are a beautiful blending of efforts. The key to the most perfect “masterpieces” of creative endeavor being produced is the proper balance of the Father and child contributions and cooperation and understanding.

The only way for the balance to be achieved is by constant consideration and our recognition that the Father’s expertise is the more desirable way always. We can have our own ideas considered – but always they should be approved by the Father before we translate them into action.

Only when the “masterpiece” is finished an viewed from a perspective away from the close detail of the actual working can we know the total effect, and the relative value to other considerations in life.

It is for this reason that we must never allow the circumstances or appearances of the details to discourage us: Our Father has promised to work good (bring to completion a masterpiece) in every situation concerning His children, when the listen to Him.

To the extent that we believe Him, trust Him, listen to Him and obey Him – to that degree do we reflect to the world the quality of the expressions of creation produced by our lives. We may range in expression from mediocre to the most beautiful inspiring masterpiece. The choice is ours.

If we desire to create inspiring masterpieces we can do it only by diligent effort based on informed decisions and practical skills. The only way to achieve these is to seek the Way, know the Truth and live the Life. It is possible because God made it perfectly clear in the demonstration of Jesus.

The possibility only becomes fulfilled in reality when we believe to the point of attempting to emulate that demonstration in thought, in attitude, in word and in deed: thus are masterpieces produced. Thus are masterpieces multiplied as one inspires the creative spark to be expressed in a person who views it.

Our “masterpieces” may not be recognized as such by the world, or by us, at the time of completion. But the Father recognizes them as such, and it is the nuance of His opinion which gives us peace and joy and hope.

Forego the Junk Food

Let not your whim of the moment
Rob you of the glory of the future.

Meditation Thought: “So get rid of your feelings of hatred. Don’t just pretend to be good! Be done with dishonesty and jealousy and talking about others behind their backs. Now that you realize how kind the Lord has been to you, put away all evil, deception, envy, and fraud. Long to grow up into the fullness of your salvation; cry for this as a baby cries for its milk.” (1 Peter 2:1-3)

If you are to have the capacity to hold the nutritious spiritual milk, you must not fill up on the “junk food” of dishonesty, jealousy, gossip, deception, envy and fraud. You can discipline yourself to forego the junk food by concentrating on something better. Focus your mind and your energies on something more grand that your selfish indulgences!

The Way is easy – once you commit yourself totally to it – because then you are not ‘double-minded’. Decisions are easier, the Lord’s strength supplants your strength, the Lord’s wisdom envelops your wisdom – The Lord’s love enhances and expands your love.

Do not focus upon results of either your efforts or circumstances. You are to be true to the immediate task of seeking the Father’s will in every decision and action, performing His will as perfectly as you can, and trusting that the results will therefore conform to His will, no matter how they appear to you. This attitude is the procurer of peace and contentment in all circumstances!

Remember that your Creator is not a boss with a bullwhip, but a loving Father holding you in his arms, ready to help you when you have difficulty in fitting the pieces of the puzzle of life together into a meaningful pattern. It is the joy of accomplishment, the confidence of doing the task together, and the love experienced in the proximity to each other that transforms your nature, that renews your mind, that is evidence of the ingestion of spiritual milk instead of junk food.

Let not your whim of the moment
Rob you of the glory of the future.
Keep the joy of the race well-run
At the forefront of your mind,
Envision the reaching of the goal
Feel in your imagination the emotion of pride –
Yes, pride felt by the Father and by you
When you accomplish the completion of the race
Winning the goal of performing His will.

An Effective Workout

…the life which is meaningful, purposeful and full of joy.

Meditation Thought: “since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;” (1 Peter 1:23)

The living word of God: to live is to grow, to change, to produce. The word of God, as it grows in you changes you and produces the fruits of the Spirit. This is to be “born anew” – into the life which is meaningful, purposeful and full of joy – not due to any person, circumstance or event – but due to the obsession with the Creator of the universe: who He is, who you are as a part of Him, and He of you – who and what is all of creation, particularly as it relates to you – the pursuit of a concept of life that is beyond physical, beyond finite.

If you are focused on long-term ideals and goals, you react entirely differently to daily events than when you are at the total mercy of these events. Do not be at the mercy of events, but of God. God’s mercy overtakes all other mercy – when you are willing to receive it.

How can you be willing to receive it? When you recognize that it is your only hope! When you know that you cannot manage yourself, nor your affairs with any degree of success apart from God’s mercy and grace and power and love!

Would you truly be effective? Then do it through the living and abiding word of God. A “living” word is a word which prompts a response, an action! An “abiding word” is a word which is in residence!

God’s word residing in your mind is then communicated to your spirit, which then touches your emotions, and your emotions set into action your body. And the motion of your body pumps the “living water”, the cleansing, purifying, life-sustaining water, and the cleansing, purifying, life-sustaining blood of the sacrificed Lamb into the parched and starving world!

Do you not realize that to be a primer of the pump, through your faith, and an enthusiastic pumper of good works, pouring out life-sustaining, life-glorifying nourishment is the most exciting, exhilarating, healthy exercise you could have?