“Consumed with longing”
That’s such rich language. Can you think of any way to improve upon it to make it more deep-reaching?
The psalms can be like that.
My soul is consumed with longing
for your [God’s] laws at all times.
When I read a verse like that, I tend to have one of two reactions. Either it rings true and my heart says, “yes! Amen!” Or else I gloss over it. I barely notice the heartfelt vocabulary or I might even think it cheesy and self-righteous.
As I type these words, I’ve recently finished reading another chapter of By Their Blood by James C. and Marti Hefley. This tome contains hundreds of accounts of martyrs throughout the twentieth century.
(I intend to write more about this book when I review it properly, Lord willing before the end of April.)
I began the 600+ page journey with a false assumption. I was caught by surprise to learn that the authors told the stories of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox martyrs in the same way as they wrote about Evangelical Believers of the Gospel.
There is a story ever new,
I’ll tell it o’er and o’er,
How Jesus gave His life for me;
I want to love Him more.
-F.L. Snyder, There is a Story Ever New
Yesterday was Good Friday. Tomorrow will be Easter Sunday.
We are celebrating the sacrifice of Jesus – something that, if you’ve grown up in the Church, you will have heard of many times. I’m praying that the Lord will give me – and you, dear reader – grace to rejoice in the wonder of the Salvation Story with fresh awe.
After two weeks of silence, I’m back.
I never know if I should apologize or not. On the one hand, it seems appropriate since I haven’t been true to my regular writing habits but on the other hand, I don’t like to assume that people miss it when I skip a week of blogging.
In any case, I console myself with the truth that the Lord is always faithful and dependence placed on Him is never dependence misplaced.
Two weeks ago, I shared some thoughts on the fear of the Lord. I had to smile when I read Emily’s poetry about another kind of fear – the type which is driven out by the truth and knowledge of God. It’s not that I’m trying to agree with everyone to win their favor; I just genuinely affirm her message while maintaining the stance I took a couple of weeks ago. So I thought I’d share a bit more of my thought process and invite you to share yours.
As a pre-teen and young teen, I frowned upon the idea of sharing the gospel with fear as a driving motivator for conversion. I heard of instances in which people had been driven to pray the sinner’s prayer by their fear of hell. That approach to sharing the gospel sat wrong with me, and I judged the people who used any such method of sharing the Good News.
A few years later, I find myself considering again the relationship between fear and the gospel. Where once I was quick to judge, I now wonder what truth there is to it.
The fear of the Lord is a good thing. In this post, I shared my heart on that, including some scriptures that speak on the matter.
Can we pause to consider the meaning of “unreached”?
When it comes to the global population, we can look at people in terms of two categories: those reached with the gospel, and those not.
Let’s just face the fact that there are people around the world who have never even heard of Jesus. We’re not talking about people who have heard of Him and rejected Him, but about people who have zero access to a Bible or to a born-again believer who might tell them about Him.
You guys, there are some seriously delightful bloggers out there who – by God’s amazing grace – want to be used by Him to fulfill His purposes. I wish I knew how to show my support for more of them.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
I don’t always know how to express my appreciation for such bloggers, but this particular time it seems obvious. I’ve been contemplating the gospel and blogging some of my thoughts. And recently I just happened to read two very relevant posts by two different bloggers. Except, I get the feeling more and more that with God there are no coincidences or ‘just so happenings’.
If you’re a writer of any sort, you probably know the feeling; you can think of multiple ways to start, but you must choose only one. Well, here I go…
I recently read Jessica’s story. Except, right near the beginning she confessed that it isn’t her story; it’s God’s. I couldn’t agree more. A “testimony” is defined as evidence or proof of something, and in this case that “something” is God’s work. Thus, my testimony begins way back before I can remember and, in fact, before I or the world were around.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
I’ve been thinking…
I believe we’re meant to live passionately.
There’s a sure difference in my life between when I’m focused on my teaching job, which I’m not passionate about, and when I’m focused on my writing projects, which I am passionate about. Perhaps our passions are a means through which God communicates His will for us. Some people may be called to lay down their passions to pursue Him for a season (or for life) but perhaps God more commonly calls people to pursue Him through their passions.
Is He Himself meant to be our only passion?