Christ-like Characteristics

Meditation Thought: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Have you seen any better description of the characteristics of Jesus Christ?

Have you seen any better list of what you would like both to receive and to give?

Ponder this thought.

Hope in the Lord

“Hope in the Lord.” Hope is an attribute that keeps us going when we don’t want to go.

Meditation Thought: “… those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will run and not be weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“Hope in the Lord.” Hope is an attribute that keeps us going when we don’t want to go.

It is easy to go when we are strong and eager to go. We can manage that. But when we are weak and when we would rather not go, we linger – or even rebel. God knows our weakness and weariness – and He knows that He can relieve our reluctance – perhaps even distress – if we trust Him and appeal to Him.

Come My Beloved

“Come my beloved. Walk with Me, talk with me, and we shall do good in a hurting world.”

Meditation Thought: “Therefore, since we have been justified with faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Romans 5:1

By faith I am standing in grace. It does not matter that I do not feel at peace and comfortable and happy at this moment. It does matter that God is with me; God is in me, and God is guiding me.

Moreover, He is guiding circumstances concerning me. How do I know? Because He told me so – He said so through prophets, through the faithful who have followed Him, and through the Word and through circumstances.

I am not in the situation I prefer – but I am in the loving guiding ship of my Creator, my Guide and my Protector. I trust you, Lord, whoever or whatever You are. I may falter – often – but You know how to guide me to places you want me to be, to think and say and do what is pleasing you – and therefore is pleasing to me and to others involved with me.

“Come my beloved. Walk with Me, talk with me, and we shall do good in a hurting world.”

(Context: Mom wrote this a few months after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis and just days after going through both a round of memory testing and finishing radiation for breast cancer.)

Transforming Power

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:8)
“Sow love wherever you find ground to sow it, cultivate it even if the ground is not perfect for growing. Just as you can grow plants by using the physical parts – the earth and seed, so you can ‘sow’ love and joy and peace and reap of harvest of more love and joy and peace. This is My will for you. This is My will for the world.”

Meditation Thought: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:8)

“Love, love, love – concentrate on the meaning of the word, and how to express that word as transformed into action, and thus results.

It is loving, transforming power that brings peace, joy, love, contentment and satisfaction. All people desire these, but many seek them by the wrong methods. Through the ages I have sought to reveal the truth about Myself, and many have perceived much of the truth. Those who know must share that knowledge as much as they are able – they are My family who realizes I am their creator – that the world was not created by ‘nothing’.

What you have learned through your science classes, through your Bible study, through your experiences and your belief that there is much more to creation than can be perceived through physical proofs is the Way the Truth and the Life that I desire for My beloved.

Sow love wherever you find ground to sow it, cultivate it even if the ground is not perfect for growing. Just as you can grow plants by using the physical parts – the earth and seed, so you can ‘sow’ love and joy and peace and reap of harvest of more love and joy and peace. This is My will for you. This is My will for the world.”

My Creator, Sustainer and Helper

Meditation Thought: “Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer, and gathers food at its harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)

“Do not fear – I will help you. I will help others through you. I have prepared ahead of you. I can use every event and circumstance for good – providing you heed my instructions. Be alert. Be at peace. These events and circumstances are not antagonists but co-joiners to accomplishing good works.”

Mom went on to share throughout the day in various written prayers. These were written in May of 2002 – shortly after the Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

“All right, Lord, my intentions are good. But – good intentions do not accomplish the deed. Please give me the will and the strength to accomplish the works which you desire of me.”

“Dear Lord, my Creator and Sustainer and helper: Thank you! I am more convinced than ever that you are with me, helping and encouraging me – and through the trial my family and I are enduring that You are working good – for us and probably for other people too.

I almost see myself from outside myself and wonder how I can feel so calm – really almost excited too – when I have such an upsetting diagnosis. Somehow You have entered into my mind – even my emotions – that you have assigned me a quest to help people to either avoid the disease or cope with it. I have a big imagination, but it couldn’t conjure up the thoughts – and particularly the emotional feeling – that is taking place. I don’t know what the future holds, but Lord I pray that I can always hold on to your reality in my life as much as I am at this moment.

As is natural, I know I don’t want to be a burden, and yet if it is necessary so that You can perform some action that is Your quest, then I’ll accept it. I’m not accepting it gladly, but as a little child obeys its parent, that is the intent of my heart. You have worked miracles for my good, and I know you can work a miracle for my good in this situation.

…I praise You and thank You for what You are doing for me and for others. I don’t know that Your will is for the situation, but I do know that it has been in some of the most painful experiences of my life that You have revealed Your love and Your power to me.

Therefore, my pledge to you this day is that I shall try to accept that ‘Thy will be done.’

… Please sustain me, Lord. I know how weak and cowardly I am, but I know too, that these qualities can be restructured and renewed with Your power to make me ‘a new creation’.”

She then shared a bit about this meditation process – as she was correcting an “error” in the personal prayer part (not shared here) where she said a family member had called her ‘yesterday’ and it had actually been several days before. She writes:

“Although I honestly believe that the thoughts in meditation time are prompted by God, for they flow so easily, and so often later prove valid, still I am involved in the process and am prone to error. I don’t know the ‘ins and outs’ of these sessions, but I do know that just trying to communicate in this manner with God has enriched my life and helped other people.”

A Humble Posture

Meditation Thought: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble… humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.” (James 4:6 & 10)

Do not be a rebellious child, opposing the will of your Father, who has your best interest at heart, and who has infinitely greater wisdom and knowledge than do you.

Do you understand that for you to be proud is for you to rebel against your Father, and to distort the personality that is to be true to His image?

When you approach life – spirit life or physical life – with an attitude of humility – which is an attitude of being open to learn, of accepting the rights of others as equal to your own – and then choose to give them more rights than your own out of love, because you are the child of Love and you have come to know that if you give in love, you receive in love plus interest.

At first it appears a sacrifice to be humble – that you are giving up position, or are putting yourself down, not giving credit for your assets.

But these are not the attributes of true humility: true humility is the recognition of the fact that you are the child, and the Father is the Father, that He loves His other children as He loves you, and He desires good for all of you. He desires you love each other as He loves you, and He desires that you seek to encourage and uplift each other as He does His transforming works, bringing all to maturity under His teaching.

It is right to be proud of being the child of God; that is having true position. But humility is expressed when you recognize that this position is not of your own doing, but an act of loving grace from your Father.

To seek to be the very best you can be, as a unique child of the most powerful Force in the universe is to realize that, though the Father grants you many privileges, they are gifts to you, and not the results of your won creating, your own power.

So long as you seek to receive the gifts your Father delights in giving you in an attitude of gratitude and an eagerness to use the gifts as He intends them to be used for good, then you remain in an humble posture, and a flexible posture in which the Father is able to teach you and guide you effectively.

If you begin to delude yourself that the privileges are yours because you are so great within yourself that they are your “due” – and you take them for granted, and give no thanks for them – then you have become proud, and your Father needs to withhold the privileges in order for you to once again come into the proper attitude which is pleasing to Him and which is for your own good.

A Joyful Harvest Indeed!

Meditation Thought: “No human being can tame the tongue.” (James 3:8)

The tongue is tamed only by the Spirit – and an untamed tongue causes all kinds of mischief, even disasters.

The tongue is so powerful because it is the expression of the innermost thoughts. Our reactions to each other’s influence are more often a result of the working of the tongue than anything else. Thus the tongue holds the power to encourage, to commend, to give delight, to cause joy and laughter – or to condemn others to discouragement, guilt, resentment, bitterness.

Without the indwelling Spirit in control of our tongue, it can run on rampages, destroying everything in its path.

But the Spirit-controlled tongue produces the fruits of the Spirit – a joyful harvest indeed!