Posts Tagged ‘relationship with God’

Matthew 6:33–First things first

September 27, 2014

Matthew-6-33

The primary relationship in life is one’s relationship with God. Matthew 6:33, the Verse of the Day for September 27, 2014, reminds us of this truth:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”

We also recognize “The first and great commandment: To love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”

I see a similarity between the building of relationships, beginning with God, and the building of individual or separate fires in our lives. I became glaringly aware of this reality during graduate school while working on my doctorate, and I made this comment in an article entitled “‘My Soul Looks Back and Wonders. . .’ Reflections on My Journey”:

Getting a Ph.D. was important, unquestionably, but for me it was not the most important aspect of my life. My relationship with God is foremost in my life, and I attempt to always maintain that priority. My relationship with my wife and children, and others, at times, took precedence over my graduate studies. I learned how to keep many fires going at once–cooking at four different fires–moving from pot to pot–as a student–as a teacher–as a husband/father (home fires need special attention)–and as an employee. So often I felt like a Boy Scout, a builder and sustainer of fires.

A number of years prior to enrolling in graduate school, I participated in an outdoor wilderness experience at the Total Fitness Institute in California where I actually built a fire, the inspiration for this work:

Once I Built a Fire

For our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:29

 

Scout’s honor—Once I built a fire from scratch:

Gathered dried grass, spindly twigs, kindling and

A love letter, then proceeded as planned.

The careless wind brought me to my last match.

I held my breath and prayed this time it would catch,

Then knelt, exhaled, coaxing with bellows mild

As baby’s breath to inspire my ailing child.

Throughout the night I lie awake and watch.

Indeed, I did my duty to protect,

To build and gather even more to give

To nourish this infant and not neglect,

For no fire has power within itself to live.

Though ablaze, fire demands not less but more.

Once from scratch I built a fire—Scout’s honor.

How do you build and sustain an intimate, personal relationship with God? How do you also build close relationships at home, at school, at work or in some other social setting? Building relationships and then nurturing them so that they flourish and grow require being consistent and persistent in our efforts. The challenge is not only to build a fire but to keep the fire burning, recognizing that “home fires,” in particular, demand time, energy and consistency in order to obtain the desired results.

Inspired by Matthew 6:33, “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God” is offered as a scripture memory hymn:

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Another reminder: Love one another

February 19, 2014

1-john-4-111 John 4:11-12

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

In thinking about the Verse of the Day for February 19, 2014, we come to realize that our relationship with one another should be a reflection of our relationship with God. We also come to recognize that God loved us so much, and He expressed or demonstrated His love in the gift of His son for us. Since He loved us so much that He gave, we should love one another and express that love toward one another. The passage from 1 John brought to mind this poem:

This Debt of Love

Owe no one anything except to love one another,

for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8 [NKJV]

 

What can you give when all you have is not enough

And when you have exhausted all your resources

And you still come up short as you assess the worth

Of the precious love so freely given to you?

When the last dram of oil from your vial has been poured

As a sacrifice and you have no more to give

But still feel this unction to offer all the more,

What more can you say beyond a feeble thank you

When words cannot convey all you desire to say.

Though you try to show Him as you follow His ways,

You still stumble from time to time and miss the mark,

But He looks beyond your faults and sees your intent.

As you live your life to serve, you will come to see

This debt of love so great that no one can repay.

Kathy Trocolli and friends offer another musical reminder to “Love One Another”: