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Category Archives: Reflecting Christ Series
Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing more courageous, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth, for love is of God and can rest only in God, who is above all created things.
Do not despise the words God places upon our hearts, but search them diligently to discover our iniquities – those great things which we have done and not done, displeasing God.
The words of Jesus surpass all the learning of the philosophers and the wise of this world. Therefore, how can his words be measured by the understanding of humanity? They are not meant to be brought forth for worthless praise and approval, but to be listened to in silence and received with all humility and great affection.
Prophets can speak God’s words but they cannot give us the Spirit that God gives us. Their words may be eloquent, but if God’s Word is not in their words, hearts will not receive what the ears hear. They may even teach God’s Word effectively, but we alone open our hearts to hear the message that God has intended for us to hear. They proclaim the mysteries, but God reveals the meaning of the mysteries.
If we carry the cross begrudgingly we will add a new burden for ourselves and increase our load; though unwilling, we must still carry it. If we cast away one cross we will without doubt find another one, and that one may be even heavier. Do we think we can escape what no other mortal has ever avoided? There are no saints who have walked without crosses and tribulations.
Assuredly, through the message of the Cross, if we have died with him, we will also live with him. Death will no longer hold us captive in fear, and if we will share his suffering we will also share his glory.
The Son of God has many who love his heavenly kingdom, but few who bear the burden of his cross. He has many who desire comfort, but few who desire tribulation. He finds many companions seeking to sit at his table, but few who fast often.
We are taught by the grace of God, but we learn by the withdrawing of the gift of grace. Its withdrawal is God’s way of reminding us that we should not attribute any good to ourselves. Grace is his abundant but unmerited gift.
Temptation is but a sign that proceeds a time of comfort yet to come. For this reason, heavenly comfort is promised to those who are proved by temptations.
Comfort is a need we have. We are always searching for something or someone to comfort us. It is extremely challenging to us to forsake ourselves – our need is for comfort. In that search we need to learn to part with even a near and dear friend to claim the love of God.
Sharing intimately with the way, truth and life of Jesus requires careful thought and wisdom to maintain the conversation. The qualities one must seek to reflect his dominance in our life are: humility, peace, sincerity, and patience. If we identify with these qualities then Jesus will remain with us and share himself through us.
Consider the joy we felt when we first heard the words of Jesus calling for us to come and follow him. It is truly a happy, memorable moment whenever the words of Jesus call us from tears to spiritual joy!
How happy are those who realize what it is to love the ways, truth, and life of Jesus, and turn away from their ways, truths and lives for his sake. To realize such a blessing means that without reservation or doubt we love God first and foremost above all our other loves, because the Father seeks our love and are most worthy of all our love above all other things, thoughts, desires and people.
People evaluate what a person does; God evaluates why a person does what a person does.
It is not wrong and even mandatory that we consider our spiritual selves before we concern ourselves with our relationship with others in our life.
We should always strive to keep ourselves at peace inwardly, as well as outwardly with all others, even those who struggle to find peace within their selves or allow others to be in peace. Our hope for genuine peace lies within us. We have the choice and the ability to maintain peace and bring peace to others.
We should also be aware that a person dominated by their own powerful emotions will turn good into evil, and will easily believe and follow the ways of evil. However, a person who discovers the good of peace within them turns all things to good.
When we humble ourselves as the result of our short falls, then we more able to satisfy the rebuke from others and their anger is quickly subdued.
If we were to look into the “mirror of our soul” what would we see? Would it reveal what we thought we would see? Would we find Christ revealed in us, or merely our own reflection?
Remember, Christ also was in this world, just like us. He was despised and forsaken by his acquaintances and friends. He was falsely accused by those who could have been with him by his side to testify on his behalf. If Christ was willing to suffer humiliation and be despised, how do we dare to complain about how anyone is acting against us?
…Sometimes our efforts to forsake things of this world cause us to weep and mourn, because our commitment to pleasing God requires more than a confession – it requires a legitimate life change that begins deep within us.
When we come to the point of life when we do not seek comfort from anyone or anything else that is of this world, then we will begin to enjoy God for who he is more perfectly. We will then truly know how to be content with whatever circumstances befalls us in this life, and not rejoice in great matters or be sorrowful in small matters, but completely and confidently surrender ourselves to God – who will be to us our all in all.
If only we continue to be faithful and zealous in doing good, God will be faithful and liberal in rewarding us, because his grace is abundant and free to all who seek him with all their heart.
In life, God wants to teach us: our labor is profitable, our tears acceptable, our groans are heard and our grief is satisfying and purifying.
Oh, the stupidity and hardness of a person’s heart who thinks upon this present life and does not care about the life that lies ahead. Wisdom declares that we should arrange ourselves and all our thoughts and actions as if tomorrow is not guaranteed to arrive. When we think and live with a right mindset, we realize it is better to avoid wrong choices in this life than try to outlive death.