Saturday, April 27, 2013

Words: A Piece of Advice

Many of these books have things in common.
I decided to bring in a more personal set of symbols to illustrate something. For example, why is there a picture of books here in this post? What do you think is the whole idea or theme that I am getting at here?

As a matter of fact, there is one thing in particular that they all have in common: words. I find that we use words so often in our daily lives that we have forgotten the power that words hold, written or spoken. All of this is what seems to be coming up to me from James, Chapter 3.

In his letter to Jewish Christians who were scattered all over the earth, he talks about the tongue, and the sinful dangers it holds, its corruptive nature. I find that this portion serves as a warning and a guide for us. For one thing, he expresses the dark nature of the tongue by comparing how we cannot tame it like we can other animals (see verse below).

"All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:7-8 NIV)"

I think what James is getting at here is that we should be more wary as to how we use our words and how they will affect the people around us. But we do not have to do it alone. God is always with us and will give us the heavenly wisdom (this wisdom is described in James 3: 17-18). As long as we have faith in Jesus, we will be able to do amazing things, even with our words. Here's a music video to a song by Hawk Nelson, called "Words" (pretty ironic, I must say). Perhaps it might help you understand a little bit about what I am saying, and how I feel that God has given me this passion for language and words.

Peace be with you and may God bless you in your future.


Friday, April 19, 2013

The Neighbourly, Spiritual Lifestyle

I find that some of the later chapters in More Ready Than You Realize have a focus on acceptance, exhortation and being neighbourly. I was discussing this with a friend earlier who agreed with this; it seems that God wants us to be showing love and acceptance to everyone, regardless of their status, appearance and behaviours. It isn't because God told us through the Bible that we should do it, but rather, it is because he loves everyone so much to die for them all that as his followers, we should also show this kind of love to everyone among us and beyond (after all, we're now able to love since God gave us his love).

Another big thing that I find is coming up a lot is this whole concept of prayer. It isn't just arising from this book in particular for me, but I am also reminded of passages from the Gospels, especially in Luke, where he writes that Jesus had disciplined himself spiritually through prayer. At one point, He was encouraging his disciples to pray during the night so that they would not fall into temptation. Prayer is very important in the life of a Christian. It allows us to personally connect with God without having to go to a priest (the "middle man" of the old covenant). Since we are living in the new covenant through Jesus, we are able to intercede, that is, come to God on our own behalf or on the behalf of others. It is through prayer and faith that we are able to do God's will for our lives, and help other individuals discover this truth for themselves.

I think that we need to be practicing prayer more, and that we should be more neighbourly with each other; what I mean is, we need to be practicing God's love for the nations. We should be going out into our communities and live our lives the way that Jesus would have lived them, encouraging each other as we move along. However, since God has given us free will, it is ultimately our choice as to whether or not we take on this neighbourly, spiritual lifestyle, a lifestyle that can be achieved through help and commitment to the Spirit.

I believe that we are still learning more about how this kind of lifestyle works in Mount Christian Fellowship at the Mount campus. We're all practicing to love and care for one another, praying and worshipping together, and going out to have spiritual conversations with other friends on campus. It's just so wonderful how God could use us in the university community, which extends itself to all of HRM. I'm really excited for the kinds of beautiful things that we'll get to do in the future.

Until next time,


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Love Has Come for Me (and Everyone Else)

I was checking around through my Facebook news feeds when I stumbled upon a video of Colton Dixon performing live on American Idol. The song he performed was an original called, "Love Has Come for Me," which talks about yielding our lives to Christ. I find this to be a remarkable song, and it has encouraged me to continue in my growing journey with God, despite all of the struggles that I am facing and what is yet to come.

The song reminds me of a few verses in the Bible. 2 Corinthians 5:17, which talks about how we are now a new creation through Christ, rings throughout the song as a major theme. Another theme-ringing verse is found in the book of Romans:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV)

As you can see, love, sacrifice and new beginnings are the main themes of the song. I love how it expresses how little we understand of God and our current situation, but since God had first loved us, we are now able to truly love others and life, and more importantly, God himself. Here is the official lyric video for the song. I hope that it rejuvenates and encourages you as it has for me.