As Kingfishers Catch FireDay 3 • 1 of 2
This is Day3 of a three part series for a devotional that I read. It was deep it was amazing. I do not remember where I got this whether it was online or via email I copied and pasted it because i wanted to re read it. Above is the details of the author so that they may get full credit for this.
I posted the other two parts of this devotional yesterday and the previous day. I will though add a prayer at the end of the devotional and word from this amazing series. Enjoy.
Love, Love, Love
If we’re honest, most of us consider Leviticus dry reading, the kind of reading to do if you’re having trouble falling asleep or you’re doing some kind of forced penance. But not so fast. There’s something going on in those pages, something stirring.
“No single word in Leviticus has been quoted more often or in so many different contexts than this imperative verb in Leviticus 19:18: love. The word is threaded all through the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures and embedded on nearly every page of the New Testament. Love as a verb is personal, relational, comprehensive. Love is the primary verb in our Scriptures as a whole and in our language still.”
The uber-popular phrase these days is “Love wins.” But the question must be posed, “What kind of love?” And that question must be asked because there is the love we have for our trucks and cars, the love we have for musicians and their ballads, the love for sports teams, movies, pets, tacos, and the list goes on, doesn’t it? So if love does indeed win, and let’s believe it does, then again, what kind?
A Levitical-kind-of-love, that’s what kind. The kind that is straightforward without pages and pages of qualifications and loopholes. The kind that is direct and to-the-point and unconcerned with what’s uber-popular or not these days. The kind that loves a neighbor like we love ourselves, period, end of discussion, whether we feel like it or not. That’s the kind of love that not only wins, but conquers all, forever and ever, amen.
And to think we thought Leviticus was boring.
Just do it. Love your neighbor as yourself.
After day 3 I found where I got this devotional from: Thanks for reading through Eugene’s YouVersion Reading Plan!
Leviticus 19:18 KJV
KJV Listener’s Bible
18Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
Father God thank you for loving us. I ask you for guidance in embracing the “A Levitical-kind-of-love”. To be able to fully love everyone and embrace that ability. I pray for you to open my heart to love with all my might, so that love wins, so that love may conquer. Amen.
As Kingfishers Catch FireDay 2 • 1 of 2
This is Day 2 of a three part series for a devotional that I read. It was deep it was amazing. I do not remember where I got this whether it was online or via email I copied and pasted it because i wanted to re read it. Above is the details of the author so that they may get full credit for this.
Yesterday, today and tomorrow I will post this 3 day devotional. I will though add a prayer at the end of the devotional and word from this amazing series. Enjoy.
We find ourselves living in a time when the common question is not “Who are your friends?” but “How many friends do you have?” The focus is on numbers, not names. This makes sense in our social media obsessed world twhere it is possible to have hundreds, even thousands of friends. Or at least that’s the word we use when describing these people although many we’ve never met in person and some we could possibly pass by in a crowd and not recognize. But they are our friends. Right?
Maybe we’ve gutted that potent word of its force, and now it is so
common as to mean everything, or, in other words, nothing. We’ve rendered it impotent. It is interesting that of all the words that could have been used to describe this man’s relationship with God, the one chosen was friend. And the man was a particular man with a name – Abraham.
“Being a friend is the opposite of being an enemy. That simple contrast stands out above all else in Abraham. Abraham was on such terms with his God that he responded without suspicion and without fear. Abraham somehow knew that God was on his side, that God was for him and with him, a friend…To be a friend of God does not mean everything is cozy between you and the Almighty.
To be a friend to someone does not mean you pamper or indulge him or her. Friendship also involves struggle and loss, tension and turbulence…A friend, if honest and true, will tell you things you don’t want to hear. A friend, if deeply serious about you, will do things that feel painful. Friends do that because they respect our dignity and honor our uniqueness.”
So instead of wasting time focusing on numbers, how about bringing to mind some names that fit the above description of a friend? Could one of those friends be God? What would it mean for you to call yourself a friend of God? What could it mean for you to live like that?
Friend is totally about a relationship, not a function.
James 2:23 KJV
23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Father God I thank you for being a friend to me. I thank you for allowing me to be your friend. Thank you the relationships I have built whom are all friends of yours. I want to build more relationships with like minded folks. I want to be surrounded by positive relationships that strengthen one another vs building one another down or using one another. I thank you for your love and your kindness. I thank you for allowing our relationship, our friendship dear lord to grow. I pray for you reading this looking for growth in your relationship with God, I pray for you to have faith and patience. Know I am a friend of God, he calls me friend, but you too are a friend of God, and he calls you friend too. Keep looking, keep searching, keep praying. The road is not easy, but he got this. Trust in him. Amen
AS KINGFISHERS CATCH FIRE by Eugene PetersonDay 1 •
This is a three part series for a devotional that I read. It was deep it was amazing. I do not remember where I got this whether it was online or via email I copied and pasted it because i wanted to re read it. Above is the details of the author so that they may get full credit for this.
Today, tomorrow and the following day I will post this 3 day devotional. I will though add a prayer at the end of the devotional and word from this amazing series. Enjoy.
A Life of Congruence
Basically the word means “in harmony” or that “the outside matches the inside.” A life of congruence is one lived where your words and actions truck with the things you believe in your head. This is not an easy way to live by any means. But the alternative is living a life that’s divided against itself; in other words, a lie. So the effort is worth it.
It is entirely possible that you cannot recall ever hearing the word congruence. But there was a phrase people used to use to describe the same thing: practice what you preach. Does that one ring a bell? People who don’t practice what they preach are called “hypocrites,” which is another way of saying a pretender or an actor (and not in a positive sense). Do your words and actions match up with the thoughts that roll around inside your head? Or do you find yourself playing a role, saying or doing things that run cross-grain to what you think you believe?
The preface to As Kingfishers Catch Fire, says: “The Christian life is the lifelong practice of attending to the details of congruence – congruence between ends and means, congruence between what we do and the way we do it, congruence between what is written in Scripture and our living out what is written, congruence between preaching and living, congruence between the sermon and what is lived in both preacher and congregation, the congruence of the Word made flesh in Jesus with what is lived in our flesh.”
The opposite of congruence is some variation on the theme of compartmentalization that probably looks like “I’ve got my Christian life over here, my social life over there, my family life off over there, and my work life is back there.” Yes, that’s a house divided against itself. A house that in time will not stand.No dissonance between word and spirit, no pretense.
Ephesians 4:14 KJV
KJV Listener’s Bible
we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Father God I thank you for another day. I would want nothing more than a life of congruence. To have a life filled in harmony with you. To have a life filled in harmony with my loved ones. To be able have a balance between my life as your child, my life with my families and every other aspect in it. Thank you for sending this powerful devotional series. Please bless the author, please bless any one reading who may be seeking peace and harmony. Amen.
2 Peter 1:5-9 ESV
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
When Peter wrote his letters to the followers of Christ he wanted to show them support, encouragement and provide direction. A mentor so to speak.
New follows of Christ need that kind of assistance to guide and reassure them so they do not get distracted. He states “make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”
This right here was Peterson way of showing exactly what you need to spiritually grow and supplement ones faith.
- Self control.
- Brotherly affection
- And love.
Here is a historical backdrop as to what was going on at the time and why Peter felt the need to provide the recipe to grow in faith.
The churches of Asia Minor were struggling with the persecution and suffering, this is s addressed in the letters in first Peter. The churches also had strife and dissension within each other and ranks. He wanted to steer the church away from false teachings. He wanted to show the importance in learning the word. He wanted to show them the importance in proper knowledge of God.
He emphasizes spiritual growth. Growth in ones faith, growth in ones understanding. Growth in knowledge.
Peter wants the church to have spiritual maturity through the Word of God, to avert from false teaching and a right response to heretics in light of Christ’s promised second coming.
He addresses his readers to encourage them so they can follow his lead with the recipe he provided. He encouraged the seeking and acquiring true knowledge of God. He encouraged diligently living our lives in faith. He encouraged living in peace and being as pure as possible so when we face jesus upon his return to be judged for our actions and deeds, we can be viewed spotless, clean, blameless and without sin.
Look we all go through difficult times. We also see that at the foundation of the church and the ministries of Jesus’ followers, they too had trials and tribulations. They too faced hardships and persecutions. Peter hands us the encouragement and the recipe needed to grow spiritually.
So let’s take a close look at the meaning to this recipe he provided:
- Virtue – Oxford dictionary defines this as – Behaviour showing high moral standards.
- Knowledge- Oxford dictionary defines this as – Facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.
‘a thirst for knowledge’. (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/knowledge)
- Self control. – Oxford dictionary defines this as – The ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations.
‘Lucy silently struggled for self-control’
- Steadfastness – Oxford dictionary defines this as – Resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.
- godliness – Oxford dictionary defines this as – The quality of being devoutly religious; piety.
‘a man of great godliness’
- Brotherly affection – (two parts)
- – Brotherly – Oxford dictionary defines this as -Characteristic of or appropriate for a brother or brothers; fraternal.
‘he and I had such a brotherly bond’
- Affections – Oxford dictionary defines this as -A gentle feeling of fondness or liking.
- – Brotherly – Oxford dictionary defines this as -Characteristic of or appropriate for a brother or brothers; fraternal.
- And love. – Oxford dictionary defines this as – A strong feeling of affection.
So now what? What do we do with this reciepe provided by Peter for spiritual growth?
You get a spoonful of Virtue, a cup of Knowledge, two cups of Self control, 2 tablespoons of Steadfastness, a liter of godliness, a quart of Brotherly affection and a gallon of love. **With all recipe you tweak the measurements to taste.
Mix these ingredients well.
Let it set.
Viola! You have begun taking those first few steps to grow spiritually with God.
Father God I thank you for instructing the writers of the Bible. Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth. You have left us with the Basic Instructions for us to utilize, live a hearty, whole and pure life to your stading, before we perish earth and join you. I thank you for allowing prophet to provide the buidling blocks of our spiritual walk with you. I thank you for this recipe, for allowing this to be a a guide as to what characteristics we need, how we should behave, how we should be with one another, how to grow, how to not loose sight of the truth, how to not be misguided nor misled. I thank you for the blueprints. The hardest job of any instructional manual is paying attention and following along. I ask for the strength needed, especially during trouble times so that I can grow closer to you. Amen.