This week let’s consider five different words used to describe the Lord’s people in the Scriptures. These words look at our responsibilities from different viewpoints — and by studying each of them, we can have a more balanced understanding of life in Christ.
Few of us will ever have the opportunity to lay down our lives for God in a public martyrdom. But what God wants from each of us is the willingness to do all that we do — both the “big” things and the “little” ones — as if we were doing them for Him personally.
As we learn to pray, we must learn to want the higher things that relate to God’s rule and His righteousness, and we must learn to want them for higher reasons than those that usually motivate us. We must seek, above all, the things that redound to His glory.
God is willing (and eager) to lift us to planes higher than we can yet imagine. Our need is for a bigger desire, a greater sense of what can happen if we’re willing to submit to God as He removes from our hearts the things that hold us back.
As Christians, the new delight we can have in God is the real thing. It’s what we were made for. It’s all we’ve ever dreamed of and then some. And the main thing about it is that it centers on God Himself. He, in the end, is all we really desire.
In any contest between the head and the heart, the heart will almost always win. Our loves are powerful things; they direct our actions almost irresistibly. So we must constantly work on our desires and diminish those loves that lead us away from God.
As Harold Nicolson said, “We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals, but others, by their acts.” How much better it would be if, when we are forming judgments of our friends and loved ones, we took their ideals and their aspirations into account.
Most of us have been too careless in accumulating our ideas. It would do us good to take more responsibility for our thinking and to be more selective in acquiring the ideas that will shape us and bear fruit as the garden of our life grows to maturity.
I had my first radiation treatment this morning. These will run through the end of March, for a total of 45 treatments. I am optimistic as to the outcome. If the Lord’s purposes are accomplished, that will be a good result, whatever the specifics may be for me personally.
The “Daily Family Bible Studies” were begun many years ago, and various congregations that I have worked with have gotten bits and pieces, but now the whole project is complete, and I am excited about the number of people who will be able to use it for many years to come.