Friday, January 13, 2006

WordPoints - January 13, 2006

The Burning "Yes"

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

Seeking God, we gladly relinquish the things that interfere with what we most greatly long for: life with God. Giving up the lesser in order to gain the greater does hurt sometimes. There's no question that self-discipline can be quite uncomfortable, even painful. It does no good to deny the pain. But this pain we gladly accept if our hearts truly burn with the passion of what matters more to us than everything else.

The "thou shalt nots" that confront us are not simply the arbitrary rules of a God who wishes to keep His creatures as unhappy as possible. There's no inherent virtue in abstinence, and God does not expect us to give up things just for the sake of giving them up. Instead, there's always some gift that God wants to place in our hands, a gift we'll have no room to hold until we put down the load of lesser packages we are presently holding. In the end, we'll see that God asked us to give up only those things that interfered with the exchange of real love.

No one knows more than the victorious athlete how valuable it is to give up the lesser for the greater. Gold medals aren't won by self-indulgence. They're won by years of focused training, the choice having been made to forgo other things that might have been enjoyed in order to single-mindedly pursue a dream. While the athlete trains, he may wistfully watch while others entertain themselves living for the moment, but he is wisely living for a goal.

In the Scriptures, we are taught that hope has a "purifying" effect. "Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:3). To the extent that our spiritual hope matters as much as we say it does, we'll purge our lives of anything inconsistent with that hope, eager to abstain from things that even distract us from God. If we've paid the price to know what matters most, and if we've realized that the only thing worth having is God Himself, then our daily choices will be much easier. The joy of the Lord will be our strength.

We find ourselves able to say "No!" to some things
because there is a bigger "Yes!" burning deep within us.
Stephen R. Covey

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Copyright © 2006 by Gary Henry - Visit the WordPoints web site: www.wordpoints.com

6 comments:

Badoozie said...

these are really good. are you copying them from that website, or are you making them up? i didn't click on it, because if i do, then there will go another hour of my time.

yikes.

and yes, i have that "bringing up boys" book, i am a major Dr. James Dobson fan, i got into a huge fight with a social work lobbyist this year in class, in front of everyone because he slammed on Dr dobson, and told me that "myself, and those like me are brainwashed by men like dobson". well, i didn't take too kindly to that there comment. a little "discussion ensued. wherein this man became red about the face, and we had to end class. he emailed with me for a while, and then gave up. i don't change my beliefs in the face of some smarty pants politician. and Dr Dobson has some great parenting books out there, i think i have all of them.

that's my soapbox for the day. don't get me started, wait i already got started, all on my own. sorry

Anne said...

I take it this person was not a spiritual person.

I received these via e-mail and then I post them.

Badoozie said...

he claimed to be spiritual, in fact he gave me a book about how to be a christian and still be a politician. he claims to attend church regularly, and actually be in leadership there. i don't remember where. he hates james dobson, and i'm not exagerating. it has something to do with the same sex marriage deal. i think.....

if i click on that link, can i sign up for those emails? or should i just visit your blog, and read them here, and then we can discuss them?

Anne said...

You can click on the link but his site isn't back up and running yet. But I'm sure if you e-mail him he will add you to the WordPoint list. I'm still going to post them and we can still discuss them. I have the book also - Diligently Seeking God. He's working on another book as well. He's a great guy and his devotionals are spectacular in my opinion.

As for that guy, when you stand firm on scripture all people are arguing with is God's Word. I can't imagine people NOT liking Dobson.

Aunt Jo said...

Great post AnnieBannieBoBannie! One of our former pastors always taught us that when we give something up God always has a replacement that is so much better. I totally agree.

The world tries to distract us and sometimes it is difficult to stay focused. The light of the soul is the eyes and if they eyes are focused our body is pure. If our eye is full of evil our body is evil. (my paraphrase of a devotional verse I read this week) It makes sense that what we let in fills our body, so fill it with Godly things and Godly things will come out. My deep thought for the day.....

Fred said...

Nice discussion. I'm a little lost, so I'll stay out of this one.