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?

Up, up and away!

Transforming the thinking, the attitudes and thus the actions of the world into kind, loving, unselfish, freely expressed.

Meditation Thought: “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment… For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” (James 2:13, 26)

When we, through heeding His wise Word, allow our mercy to triumph over judgment, and our faith to be demonstrated by our works, we are transforming the thinking, the attitudes and thus the actions of the world from selfish, cruel, law-bound into kind, loving, unselfish, freely expressed.

No longer bound by sin and shame,
But free:
Up, up and away!
To mountain tops
and cleansing streams.
Pure air, sunshine bright.
No longer oppressed by shadows dark
And fog of unbelief
Our hope, our joy,
Our strength of faith,
Raise our hands to His!
And once He sees us reaching up –
Pure ecstasy abounds
As His arms enfold
Us, drawing us close,
And the warmth of
His embrace –
The mutual love released,
These are the “keys to the kingdom”.
And the possession,
The use of them
Opens vistas glorious,
And possible to explore.
Halleluiah! The journey is so entrancing
That the replacement
Of judgment with mercy,
and the doing of works in faith
Simply fall into place –
Naturally, easily:
Feeling His embrace,
Knowing His love,
Trusting Him to
Move us surely
Across the years,
The obstacles,
To the glories
glimpsed and beckoning,
We are so caught up
In following Him,
Mercy and good works
Become our new nature.
Not through our effort,
But through His Grace.

Scales and Concerts

To find your joy in playing the scales as well as in playing the concert is the key to the kingdom.

Meditation Thought: “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)

“Step back and take a more comprehensive view of your life. You are too involved in the detail of current circumstances. Seek the pattern – the past, the present – and all that you see in the future as Christ-filled. Remember the love of your Creator, the power of your Creator, and the works of your Creator are not apart from you, but part of you. No thought, feeling nor task is unimportant to Me – nor to you, if you have the perspective which is in your best interest (and thus My best interest).

As the seconds make the moments, the moments make the hours – on into a lifetime – so each thought, feeling, act creates the whole of your life. The practice of patience, of gentleness, of humbleness, of sacrifice, of forgiveness, of cheer, may not be pleasant at all times. However, to practice these is it develop a pattern which pleases you, pleases Me, pleases all whose lives you affect. Practicing the scales may not be evidence of the beautiful concert which will develop from them – yet the concert will never be brought forth without the playing of those scales. Like it or not – it is a fact.

To find your joy in playing the scales as well as in playing the concert is the key to the kingdom. This moment is yours – and Mine. The glories of the heaven and the earth are here if only you will observe them. Playing the scales can be a concert for you and for Me if you will realize that it is our practicing anything together that is our fulfillment and our joy. This is the moment you have been waiting for, longing for, anticipating – and are enjoying to the fullest. When every “this” moment is treated in this manner, you have the kingdom within – and though you may hear “scales”, I hear a lovely concert as the joy of your understanding and your obedience is revealed to Me. It is only a brief time, then, until you, too, shall hear even the scales as if they are a concert. Believe – and act on your belief – that My words are your salvation and your fulfillment – your resurrection from a life of plodding scales into a life of inspiring concert. There is abundant evidence to bear Me out. Do not allow your “feelings” to rob you of your concert by distracting you from practicing your scales.”

Soothing Harmony

Leave your fears and your doubts behind.

Meditation Thought: “He went up into the hills to pray.” (Mark 6:46)

“Come to a quiet place where you can hear My voice more clearly. Seek My counsel, and I will guide you surely. Leave your fears and your doubts behind you, and bring your faith to Me. Trust Me, my beloved child. Put your trust in Me, and I will give you peace, joy and direction.

Seek My will in My Word,
Seek My will in service,
Seek My will in prayer.

Let Me blend all of the elements in your life into harmony and beauty of the Spirit-filled life. It is in prayer that the blending takes place: only through blending the elements to Me to blend can you achieve a harmonizing of them. Instead of their being a bombardment of your senses, they will soothe and please you and aid you. Do all as unto Me. This is the binding, all-pervasive base which will unite separate elements into a beautiful whole.”

Faith or Fear

Rejoice that each opportunity for fear is also an opportunity to grow.

Meditation Thought: ““Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40)

“Look not to the storm. Look to Me. The storm will build your faith if you look to Me. The strengthened faith will then be an instrument of good available to Me. Seek My Word, and you find My will; in My will you know your faith, and in your faith shall I merit your trust.

Time after time shall we try together to harmonize our spirits: fret not that this is the pattern of life, but rejoice that each opportunity for fear is also an opportunity to grow in more harmony with My Spirit. The Word moved by My Spirit with your permission calms the storm and produces joy. Peace I give to you: peace in the midst of the storm, for I am a merciful God. I rejoice in your trust in Me and honor it. Believe My Word, and act upon My Word: so shall the storm be calmed, and so shall it serve its purpose.”

Surprising Delight

Let My love light up your eyes, lift up your heart, renew your mind, bring ecstasy to your spirit.

Meditation Thought: “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?”  (Mark 3:4)

“Be open to the prompting of the Spirit. You live in an age where you know the Spirit has come in power to do good, to save life. Obey My commandments but do not make your own ‘commandments’. Keeping the Sabbath holy is keeping within My will and you shall do this if you will saturate yourself in the Word and obey My Spirit as you perceive the prompting of what is best for you to do. If you act with a pure heart, you will not go astray, but will bring healing and life and renewal. Keep every day holy. The Sabbath is a rest from routine, but never is there to be a rest from holiness, from love, from doing good.

Immerse yourself in My beauty: spiritual, physical, in thought, in art forms, in loving kindness. I desire good and not harm for you. I love you, I love you, I love you. Sense the passion of My love, sense the depths of My love – I inflicted pain upon Myself that you might have joy. Do not throw away this precious gift! Rather, seek to learn of its great value, seek to know of all of its manifestations. Do you trust human love? How much more should you trust My love! Open your understanding to the enormity of it to the forgiving nature of it, to the power of it. Let My love light up your eyes, lift up your heart, renew your mind, bring ecstasy to your spirit.

Glow in the sure knowledge that each day brings a new expression of My love: trust that each event is for the purpose of expanding your knowledge of My love. The very trust is an aid to My purposes of the formation of each incident: if you trust Me, you seek the purpose of the movement, rather than idly or resentfully allowing it to wash over you, leaving My expression of love ragged and incomplete and confusing to you.

Seek for the treasure you know is there because I promise you all you desire as you trust Me and desire Me above all. As your will is conformed to mine as your expression of love in response to love, so this very sacrificial act is the key of releasing of My power of dynamic love in your life.

If you can trust your family to be motivated by love to work good for you, cannot you trust Me even more? Recall your annoyance that Karen was away from home night after night and you felt rather rejected – only to learn of her spending those nights writing out invitations for your surprise anniversary party.

What you perceived as a rejection of your love was in reality a beautiful expression of response to your love. Only when you have come to the place where it is time for Truth to be revealed can you judge rightly. But until that time arrives, be happy, be content, be peaceful in the knowledge of the character of your Beloved, trusting that what you perceive as neglect or rejection is in reality the future joy I have planned for you. The very fact that you do not know the details is desirable, for the surprising aspect of the deed done is part of the delight.”

Lit Up Open Doors

The gloom of the world shall give way to the joy of the Kingdom.

Meditation Thought: “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” (Daniel 2:47) and “But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29)

“I am… the light of the world. Open the doors that have been shut to My light: By your words and actions given in an attitude of loving service, encourage everyone whom you meet to open the door of their heart to My healing, revealing Light. The gloom of the world shall give way to the joy of the Kingdom. Light, light, light the Way, the Truth, the Life: Reveal the reality of the Personality by helping the dark places to be lit by the Word, so that the Spirit is perceived and received in the heart.”