Making Straight The Way
If I give away all my possessions, and hand over my body… but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:3 Julian of Norwich wrote:
Some of us believe that God is all powerful and may do everything; and that he is all wise and can do everything ; but as for believing that he is all love and will do everything, there we hold back. In my view nothing hinders God’s lovers more than the failure to understand this… The love that God most high has for our soul is so great that it surpasses understanding. No created being can comprehend how much, and how sweetly, and how tenderly our maker loves us.
Both the misguided way and the well-meaning path can be redirected and made straighter by Love.
For your arrows have already pierced me, and your hand presses hard upon me. Psalm 38:2 Particularly, in transgressions, we open our mouths and become our own worst critic. We wonder how we could have done something so foolish, selfish, and mean. We belabor the act for days and try to justify our actions knowing full well there is no justification. We despise the fact that even if for a brief moment, we became something that in the past we judged we now stand in judgment. We project that everyone now looks upon us with disdain. We pull our selves back and everyone including God seems so far away. Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. Don’t listen to the haters among us or the ones in our own mind, those who mock or scorn, who themselves are just as guilty for we all stand in judgment. Our first step is to open our mouths to confess, knowing that God will hear the sorrow that is true repentance and forgive us. We must open our mouths only to praise and bless God who continually shows us grace and mercy and accept His forgiveness and continue to follow the path you know to be right.
You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Luke 19:11-27 I’ve always found the parable of the ten pounds a bit odd. The nobleman that no one likes is actually quite generous with his money and his trust in ten of his slaves, with the expectation that they will do right by the gift. One of them however is simply afraid and chooses to do nothing. He ultimately ends up paying a heavy price for what he believes to know about the nobleman based on what the other citizens of the country have said against the nobleman. So many times I have hindered myself with fear because of what I thought I knew based on what someone else believed. Many people speak against God when in fact he has been quite generous with the gift of his son Jesus Christ, redemption, salvation, forgiveness, everlasting love and the Gospel. These are the things we ultimately have to remember when other people are in our ear telling us what is contrary to the truth. Regardless of what other people may say, God has given each of us a gift that we can use for his glory. Even in fear he encourages us to be faithful; to love not hate, wish well and not begrudge, build up and not tear down.
No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or diviners can show to the king the mystery that the king is asking, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, Daniel 2:17-30 Nebuchadnezzar sought answers to his disturbing dream from the world. But the world only knows what it sees, what it hears and what it touches which is why the people he sought provided him no revelation and no peace. Sometimes we seek love in the world that ultimately provide no revelation and no peace. Only the one true Love, that can not be found in the things of the world, provides both the revelation and the peace. Daniel did not try like the others to come up with the revelation on his own. Instead he sought the one true everlasting Love deep from within the faith in his relationship with God. This is the kind of relationship we are encouraged to seek that we too may find revelation and we too will find peace.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live for ever. 1 John 2:12-17