A New Name

So a vital relationship with Christ can transform anyone

Meditation Thought: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,  so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)

In these few words, Paul describes the interchange and the reliability upon one another that constitute the relationship of God with His faithful people.

God does call upon us to do His work – and when we respond by faith, resolve and our efforts, He releases His power to aid us. What is difficult is the initiating of our own movement once we recognize we should make it.

Prayer is a great help in this, as is the trust that God will work good for us when we serve Him faithfully. Despite the troubles that have come to Christians, and do come to Christians, the joy of the Lord penetrates and uplifts – and is encouragement to the participants and to those who observe.

Paul also makes a point that as we glorify Christ, He glorifies us: that must be the key factor that gives strength and courage beyond the ordinary. I hadn’t thought about my being glorified in Christ – but to know of the changes that took place in the people who knew Christ, and believed Him, and the ones who have come to know Him through faith after His death and resurrection, does verify this statement. To know Christ and to follow Him is to change the personality – to enhance the God-reflective qualities of each facet, and to eliminate, or at least subdue the qualities that are selfish, unloving, uncaring, and cruel.

Several men were so changed that even the names were changed: Simon became Peter and Saul became Paul. Certainly if one met Simon when he was denying Christ, and fearful for his life, it would be difficult to recognize him as Peter the Rock, the brave, enthusiastic supporter of Christ after Christ’s death. And to know Saul the determined persecutor of those who followed Christ’s teachings, would make it difficult to reconcile Paul, – who went through all kinds of trials to preach Christ as Savior and to teach His Way, with the former Saul.

So a vital relationship with Christ can transform anyone: this is Christ “glorifying” us. We are made more recognizable as God’s children – and more important to others, we are ministers of Christ – healers, helpers, encouragers, strengtheners. We do not do these works for our own glory. Yet the power is a satisfaction to us as we perceive the good changes taking place. And we do experience joy as the love of Christ penetrates our hearts; it is in this way that He glorifies us. As we serve Him, He serves us, Christ ministers to the world – through us. And Christ ministers to us through the world (by the power of the Holy Spirit working in circumstances), as well as through others in whom His love and power flow – and overflow.

To realize this fact is to serve as the basis for a Simon becoming a Peter and a Saul becoming a Paul: to the glory of Jesus, to the glory of Peter and Paul and to the betterment of the world.

Create Ultimate Good

The process continues to this day: wherever Jesus finds a yielded heart, an open mind, willing hands and an unselfish attitude He is able to create ultimate good.

Meditation Thought: “And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

Jesus prepared for every minute of the day’s activities by: 1) seeking God’s wisdom and knowledge and will 2) committing himself to doing God’s works 3) expressing His love to the Father and being reassured of the Father’s love for Him. 4) receiving energy by attaching His spirit to the power of the Holy Spirit.

No wonder Jesus performed miracles! He was filled with all He needed to meet every contingency, and to make every circumstance be a process which created ultimate good. He understood the nature of His Father; He sought to be living as a copy of that nature, and he devoted every part of Himself to enabling all whom He met to also be conformed to that nature.

The process continues to this day: wherever Jesus finds a yielded heart, an open mind, willing hands and an unselfish attitude He is able to create ultimate good.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I desire to be the person You need: today, tomorrow – and every day of my life. Please help me to change my impulses from selfish to transforming love: to develop insight so great as to automatically think the generous thought, say the kind word, do the loving action – and recognize all the while that this moment is precious and unique, never will it be repeated. Therefore I need to be as pleased with it as possible. The only way to ensure that it is truly pleasing – and will result somewhere in time in another pleasing moment – is to, as had You, have prepared myself for this moment by having spent time in prayer.

Help me, through the Spirit You so lovingly express in me to pray and to live being conformed to the Father’s nature. In your precious Name I pray. Amen,

A Tide, River, Iceberg and Prism

In our lives we cannot continually give treasures of ourselves without returning for periods of renewal to receive these treasures in order that we might share them.

Back in 1974, when Mom first started her journals, she had several ‘images’ in her prayer and meditation time that helped her see some of the ways God works in our lives:

Like a Tide: In our lives we cannot continually give treasures of ourselves without returning for periods of renewal to receive these treasures in order that we might share them. (Just as the tide goes out and collects shells, etc., then brings them to the shore.)

Like a River: Our lives alternate periods of a flurry of activity and periods of involvement in harassing situations, and if we will just flow along, accepting that as time moves on, we will come to a wide, shallow, peaceful place in the river of our lives, it all has perspective.

Like an Iceberg: The part of us that others see is only the part above the water. Underneath is what is supporting that above – and the stronger the underneath part, the more steady will be the top as it is buffeted by the wind (circumstances of our lives). The  lower part is strengthened through faith and obedience to God.

Like a Prism: As a prism focuses a beam of light into separate colors, so God sends His power through His believers (who act as the focusing prism) – using their prayers for others to send the solution for the particular need. In this concept it would seem logical that the more people praying for an individual the more ‘rays’ would be concentrated on the one in need, perhaps explaining the effectiveness of group prayer.