Posts Tagged ‘Ambrosiaster’
“Listen carefully to me. Procure books [of the Bible] that will be medicines for the soul… Don’t simply dive into them… swim in them. Keep them constantly in your mind.” John Chrysostom
“When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories, but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and lot in which our stories find themselves.” Eugene Peterson
“The hope of their faith lies in heavenly reward. When they truly know what the fruit of believing is, they will become more eager in acts of worship.” Ambrosiaster; Epistle to the Ephesians 1.18.1
“End time influences present, ordinary time, not by diminishing or denigrating it but by charging it, filling it with purpose and significance. The end time is not a future we wait for but the gift of the fullness of time that we receive in adoration and obedience as it flows into the present.” Eugene Peterson as quoted by Bobby Gross; Living the Christian Year
“How Then Shall We Live…?”
This morning’s devotional time very quickly settled into a theme. One of the first things that I encountered was listening to the song on the newest Glory Revealed II CD, “Since the World Began.” In this song there is a line (lyric) that asks “How then shall we be saved?” It continues with an exclamation that He (God) is the Father-Potter and we are the clay-children formed in His hands… This brought to my memory passages of Scripture from Romans 8:8-25 and 2 Peter 3:10-14 (excerpts follow):
8 Those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. 12 …Dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the sinful nature, you will live. (Excerpted from Romans 8:8-25)
“…What holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. While you are waiting, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in His sight.” (Excerpted from 2 Peter 3:10-14)
From all of this, I was prompted to ask the question; “How then shall we live?” As children of the Living God, how do we represent the grace that has covered us? Our lives should be mirror-like expressions of His holiness and love. Ours should not be a life that is caught up in the tyranny of the world’s noise. Too many of our Christian brethren are not exhibiting the Christ-in-you lives that have been promised by our Savior, Jesus. We make excuses for our lack of evidence of “Christ-in-us” manifest in our lives, but the truth of Scripture tells us that the lack of evidence means that Christ is not in us at all and we are not His. This should strike fear in us and lead us to repentance…now. We call ourselves the church, but are we? We have been called out, but have we responded to the call? Hear the words of Isaiah:
“You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways. But you have been very angry with us, for we are not godly.” (Isaiah 64:5)
How then shall we live? Hear the words of Ambrosiaster:
“Set free by the grace of God from fear, we have received the Spirit of sonship so that, considering what we are and what we have become by the grace of God, we might govern our life with great care lest the name of God the Father be disgraced by us and we incur all the things we escaped from… For if our behavior does not correspond to our voice when we cry, ‘Abba!’ ‘Father!’ We insult God by calling Him Father. Indeed, God in His goodness has indulged us with what is beyond our natural capacity.”
How then shall we be saved? By Christ. How then shall we live? Like Christ.
“Beloved, let us arm ourselves with all our might, let us prepare ourselves for the struggle by innocence of heart, integrity of faith, dedication to virtue.” (Cyprian)
By His mighty arm and for His mighty name, may it be so to the glory of His Kingdom. [Amen]
40 Days Living the Jesus Creed [From Day 20]
Wake-Up – Wake-Up – Wake-Up
Christ is the Most Important Thing
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33)
A Canticle and Prayer:
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left… Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. [Amen] -And Jesus spoke to them saying; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength…and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Canticle of St. Patrick -Scripture from Gospel of Mark 12:28-31)
“Busyness scatters our inner life…”
I am convinced that distractions are one of the most insidious tools used by the enemy of our soul to destroy us. Why would I say this? I’m thinking of the parable of the boiled frog. They say that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will leap out right away to escape the danger. But, if you put a frog in a kettle that is filled with water that is cool and pleasant, and then you gradually heat the kettle until it starts boiling, the frog will not become aware of the threat until it is too late. The frog’s survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes. I checked a few sources for the veracity of this parable and there seems to be differing opinions on whether it is entirely accurate; however, I think in either event, it serves to make a point that is used to illustrate how people might get themselves into terrible trouble. This parable is often used to illustrate how humans have to be careful to watch slowly changing trends in the environment, not just the sudden changes. It’s a warning to keep us paying attention not just to obvious threats but to more slowly developing ones. Wake-Up.
Life’s distractions kill us just like the frog…one increase in “temperature” at a time. The “heat” of urgency is turned up past the point of being managed reasonably in the majority of our lives. Stress and anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent diseases in modern history (especially in North America), and yet Jesus tells us unequivocally, “Do not worry” (Matthew 6:34). We are told to put Him (Jesus) at the center of our lives, but the cost (to most of us) is simply too high to do this. We are terrified at the thought of relinquishing control of our lives to an “unseen” God. Read the rest of this entry »
There is a hidden world…we have been invited into.
40 Days Living the Jesus Creed [Days 8-9]
Several readings have been coming together for me that are really honing in on a single idea. Everything seems to be orbiting the Presence of the Indwelling God. I suppose to get the full picture you’d need to go back through the last several blog posts covering the past couple weeks or so…might even need to go back as far as the beginning of the year. As near as I can tell, the leading of God in my “inner life” continues to push me in the same direction; that is…making more of Him and experiencing His guiding presence every second of my life. Sounds odd; I know…but I also know it is real.
My Praying the Jesus Creed the last couple days has been:
Almighty and everlasting god, By whom that begins to be which was not and that which lay hidden is made visible, cleanse away the folly of our heart and purify us from our secret vices, that we may be able to serve and to love you, O Lord, with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength. Help us, O Lord, to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. May we do this through Jesus Christ our Lord the Giver of the Indwelling and Guiding Spirit of God. Amen.