Thursday, August 1, 2013

Random Thoughts

Some thoughts culled from my random file. Some have occurred to me in moments of quiet reflection, some in discussion with others. For your edification, inspiration and/or amusement.
  • I give thanks for the waves the Father makes for me to ride, the wind of the Spirit to fill my sails, and the peace the Lord Jesus speaks over my life.
  • Prayer is not a business meeting, or placing an order with God’s customer service agent. It is part of a life-giving relationship with the one who made you.
  • “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us” (1 John 4:16). Yet, even if we have not believed it, God's love for us is greater than our unbelief ~ He loves us still. How great is our joy when we know and believe that love.
  • Important distinctions get lost when people react instead of respond. To react requires nothing more than emotion, but to respond requires careful thought.
  • There are two kinds of people I avoid: Those who want to be accountable to me ~ after all, who am I? And those who want me to be accountable to them ~ after all, who are they?
  • Accountability can quickly devolve into rules and regulations, no longer about relationship, but someone with a checklist by which to evaluate everyone around. When it is no longer about encouraging and building up the members but about controlling them, it becomes simply a means to power for the ego-driven.
  • The Epistles don’t negate the Gospels; the Gospels don’t negate the Epistles. If we ever think that one negates the other, it is only because we are reading one of them wrong.
  • When one’s interest in “social justice” becomes, as so often seems to be the case, a matter best left for the State to handle, then I think both “social justice” and the State have become forms of idolatry.
  • “Social justice” is not a matter only for individuals. There are many forms of interconnectedness, including family and local community, as well as the Church. To whatever extent the State may represent interconnectedness, I do not think it is the highest form or the most efficient or effective form.
  • One thing we have to ask is who gets to define “social justice,” and how and by whom it is to be implemented. The State? A political party or movement? A denominational structure? Individual conscience?
  • The Christian faith teaches us to give of ourselves for the sake of others; it does not teach us to take what belongs to someone else in order to give it to another. Christian charity gives and serves; it does not commandeer others for the sake of our own agenda, however good we may think our agenda is. When we take from others what they have not offered, that is called stealing, something about which God says, “Thou shalt not.”
  • The tithe Abraham offered Melchizedek was a voluntary one, and one God honored — Abraham received a blessing. I would not go so far as to call it a “norm,” but it is certainly a worthy example for Christian giving. I believe God still honors the tithe today, even as He did back then, quite apart from the Law.
  • Tithing is based on increase, what comes into your hand. If you have not experienced increase, there is nothing to tithe on. But it is still possible to give. There are a lot of ways we can give of ourselves for the sake of others. For example, through acts of service, through our prayers for others, through kind words to others. If our heart is to give and serve, God blesses.

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