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Posts Tagged ‘Book of Genesis’


Hearts

Image by eirikso via Flickr

Love, it’s a funny thing. It can mean many different things to many different people. We’re given ideas about love from a multitude of different places that tell us how we express love, receive love and allow love to come into our lives.

Then we’re told how we can express love better, as if most of us don’t already know that we’re not so good at that already. Not many of us will go as far as to say we’re good at this thing called love. In my estimation those that do, either are not facing reality or have bumps along the way of their love pathways that they are guarding as closely as Fort Knox.

The funny thing is that even though we know we’re not very good at it, as is evidenced by so many books, shows and other help’s that are out there, we don’t really take the necessary steps to actually learn from the One – namely Christ – who knows all about love and how it works.

Why?

In our world of ‘me first’, the love that Christ introduces us to just doesn’t seem very personally fulfilling.

Again why?

Because sacrifice of our own self just doesn’t do anything for any of us on a personal level. And, it’s been that way since the beginning of man. Although we would all like to think that we’ve come from some sort of Golden Age when things were better back when and our culture has become something other than what it was with our “me first” mentality, the reality is that mankind has always been about “me first”. It just looks a little different in this day and age.

If we go back to Genesis and look at Abraham, a friend of God, letting his nephew choose his portion of land first, which turned out to be the best, most fertile land, some of us naturally think Abraham got the short end of the stick because he gave up his right to choose first and get the best land. Why would he do such a thing? Precisely because he was a friend of God.

David’s another one. He’s called a man after God’s own heart. Impetuous, emotional, seeming to break all of God’s law at one time or another. But, he didn’t take the kingship from Saul when he could have. David sacrificed his own life for years, living in caves with criminals, because one thing he wouldn’t do was take what the Lord hadn’t allowed him to have yet. So he showed love for Saul by waiting and in the process he sacrificed a portion of his life because he was a man after God’s own heart.

There are others in scripture and in the world around us who do the very same thing, but many times we don’t see them because what they do is so foreign to us. And this is pretty much because what God has done is so foreign to us too. We have hard time getting on-board with a God who says love is sacrifice, because we don’t see what’s in it for us.

We like a kind, gentle and loving God as long as that love is based on how we define love which generally has it’s foundation in “what does it do for me?” instead of His kind of love that says, “So what about me? What can I do for someone else?” Bottom line, is that His kind of love is a little hard for us to focus on because it’s so foreign to us. Until He allows us to focus on it it just looks fuzzy and unreal.

And with love, like pretty much everything else with the Lord, is not about how we define it, but about how He defines it and not only defines it but does it. Because He doesn’t just tell us what to do and expect us to do it, He shows us what to do then just asks us to follow Him on the path He’s already cleared for us.

“On this account the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have authority to lay it down and I have authority to take it again. I have received this commandment of my Father.”

John 10:17-18

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The first chapter of B'reshit, or Genesis, wri...

Image via Wikipedia

A couple of years ago I was in Bible study that posed an interesting question.

At some point during the study, we went back into Genesis and looked at the 12 sons of Israel, who was at one point Jacob before God gave him a new name. Be that as it may, the question actually had to do with the sons and their temperaments and asked us if we were to belong to any tribe of the 12, which tribe would it be and why.

Every once in a while I think about that question and, depending on what we answer, what it reveals about each one of us.

Then, and now, I would want to be in the tribe of Benjamin because he was the one who  stayed with his father, and, not only that, he was the beloved youngest son. I like the fact that he didn’t go with the others to Egypt because his father wanted to keep him at his side. I also like the fact that it doesn’t seem like Benjamin argued which leads me to believe he was perfectly content to stay behind with Israel.

Each of the brothers was known for something and was blessed in a certain way pertaining to their future when Israel was about to die. Each of them had certain attributes that would serve the nation of Israel as a whole.

In thinking about the 12 sons and what they brought to the nation, it’s worth thinking about in the larger picture of the body of believers and what each one of us contributes to the whole that allows it to function effectively. What our traits are, our preferences and how God has put them into us to fulfill a certain role in His Kingdom.

Not one of us has the same role, not one of us has the same gifts (even though they may be similar), not one of us has the same relationship with the Lord even though all of us are called to follow Him and stay as close to Him as we can because that’s the only way we can fulfill the role He has for us.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;”

Jeremiah 1:5a

 

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