What Christians (Should) Want

We want to be happy, we want others to be happy, we want to see some of this joy of life which children have, we want to see people intoxicated with God, or just filled with the good steady joy of knowing that Christ is king and that we are his flock and that he has prepared for us a kingdom, and that God loves us as a father loves his children, as a bridegroom loves his bride, and that eye hath not seen nor ear heard what God hath prepared for us!

Dorothy Day, The Reckless Way of Love, pg. 96

You Hold My Right Hand

When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.

Source: Psalm 73.21-28 | ESV.org

A Prayer for Faith and Help

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.  – John 17.24

Lord our God, we thank you that you have revealed your glory in your Son Jesus Christ. We thank you that today we can still see and feel the glorious grace which streams out from Jesus Christ in his victory over the world, the powerful help which benefits all those who find faith. Grant that a further glory may be revealed, faith dwelling in the hearts of all people, faith that can conquer all the need and suffering on earth, faith that is the power to look to you, to become inwardly quiet in you, and to hope in you at all times. Then your help will come quickly, more quickly than we can imagine. It will come on us unawares, for the Savior has said, “See, I shall come quickly.” We want to hope and believe and trust till the end. Amen.

– Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

 

Meditation on the Bus

Rainy and cold.  Thinking gloomily of the sins and shortcomings of others, it suddenly came to me to remember my own offenses, just as heinous as those of others.  If I concern myself with my own sins and lament them, if I remember my own failures and lapses, I will not be resentful of others.  This was most cheering and lifted the load of gloom from my mind.  It makes one unhappy to judge people and happy to love them.

Dorothy Day, The Reckless Way of Love, pg. 78

Made in the Image of God for His Good Pleasure

Birds are wonderfully blessed with beaks, elephants with trunks, trees with bark, and cats with nocturnal vision–in all these ways God filled nature with glory; but on nothing else in his wolrd did he invest his image.  Only human beings can fully know his love by intimate fellowship with him.

So what does that mean, really?  That we have opportunity to know God like no other memb er of his created world means at least this:” that our warmes and most intimate walks with him are not accomplished for our benefit, but for his.  We don’t practice religion–don’t pray and sing and study Scripture–for our benefit.  Our righteousness is not our own.  He made us in his image, not so that we could enjoy him–although we can; we carry his likeness so he can enjoy us.  God gives us his love because we are his, not because of what we are on our own.  He wills our lives of praise.  He wants to know us, in the deepest and richest sense of the word, because we are like him.

Everything we do out of faith, everything we know of God, begins in the fact that we are his kin.

Abraham Kuyper, Tr. James C. Schapp, Near Unto God, pg 39

On Fatherhood

Once we become fathers, we remain fathers until we die. A true father must be a leader – a captain who guides his family’s ship through perilous waters to safe shores, a general who rallies his troops to take on the daily battles.

On the other hand, a father should also model love and compassion. Jesus was not afraid to compare himself to a hen gathering her chicks. He also wept. These qualities belong to true manhood, and a true father will seek to embody them.

-Johann Christoph Arnold

A Prayer for the Will

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”  Mark 1.15

Lord our God, we come into your presence and bow down before you, the Almighty. We come before you and repent, believing in you and in your will to save us. Your will to save goes out over the whole world, over the whole godless world, that all may repent and be redeemed. Grant us the thoughts of your heart so that we may begin to understand your will. We dedicate ourselves to you, the holy, just, righteous, and merciful God. Grant that we may be your children, led and guided by you every day. Turn our hearts to you so that you can make us more and more as you want us to be. Turn our hearts to you until your goal of atonement and redemption is reached through the quiet working of your almighty power. Amen.

-Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christoph_Blumhardt)