Considerations on Praying FOR an Enemy

Perhaps last week’s blog, HOW Are You Praying FOR Your Enemies? (April 14, 2020), would have been better called WHY We Should Pray FOR Our Enemies.  So today I will address some practical considerations for HOW to Pray FOR Your Enemies.

First, keep foremost in mind that Father wants our hearts to begin to align with His despite what you read in the Psalms.  Remember, the Psalms are hymns of praise and prayers offered by fallible humans to their Creator.  This is not to suggest there are errors in the Bible, but just as we do not take theological lessons from the historical books unless they are clearly elucidated elsewhere, we should be careful in drawing lessons from the Psalms when we are reading the pleas of hearts in distress.  When did you hear a “worship song” based on Psalm 109:1-15?

Remember that we were once enemies of the cross, even if you accepted Jesus when you were three or four years old.  Until you surrendered control of your life to Him, YOU were in charge of your life, and God help the one who interfered with YOUR plans!  Many of us remained capricious followers of Jesus even after great spiritual experiences in our youth, unstable and fickle.  While in a fit of pique we may agree with the Psalmist when he cries for Father to make our enemy’s children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit” (Psalm 109:10), it is not Father’s heart to punish children for the sins of their dads (Ezekiel 18:19-20).

Second, however, prayer FOR an enemy does not mean asking Father to make his plans succeed!  When someone intends evil it is our responsibility, as much as we are able, to resist such intentions.  But we are not to hate the person who needs salvation.

When Jesus confronted Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians and criticized them or humiliated them with His superior reasoning, it still came from a heart that was looking for what was best for them, as well as to prevent them from influencing the masses of people from following them.  But when it came to one-on-one His heart went out to those who loved money (or anything else) more than Him or His righteousness (Mark 10:17-22).  Like Father, he wanted His enemies to be saved (2 Peter 3:9).  That is how you and I got into the Kingdom!  Dare we deny someone else entry because we have made it!?

Third, we must be clear in our opposition to that which is opposed to godliness, but we must do so as gently as Jesus, who would not quarrel nor break someone who was bruised by life, nor snuff out one who had even a spark of hope in him (Isaiah 42:2-3; Matthew 12:19-20).  “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness” (2 Timothy 2:24).

The difficulty in “loving the sinner but hating the sin” is more easily understood if we realize how often we do this for ourselves.  (See   for more detail on this.)  When we do something foolish or unrighteous, we make every kind of excuse possible until we finally fall at Jesus’ feet and ask for His mercy.  This is because I sometimes do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15).  And my love for myself compels me to hate what I do, more so as I get to know Jesus better.

So when Jesus calls us to love our enemies as ourselves and pray for them, this is what He has in mind.  We are to approach our prayers FOR our enemies recognizing that they were deceived and that continuation on the path they are on will lead to their eternal separation from the Lord of life; isolation where there is weeping, cruel loneliness that never ends, filled with longings that will never be satisfied, and outer darkness that lets in absolutely no light (Matthew 8:11-12).  As you align your heart with His, you will find yourself looking into that abyss and thinking, “I would not wish that for my worst enemy!”

Now you are ready to reach out in love, even to your enemies.  So ask Father to reveal Himself to your enemy.  Ask Him to let them see clearly the results of the choices they are making.  Ask Him to guide others or circumstances around them so they will experience what they need, and not suffer the anger we feel at them.  Ask Him how you might be able to shed light into their darkness (and not heat 😤!).  And prepare to keep on loving them even if they refuse your heart to help.

  • So pray FOR the President that he will recognize his shortcomings and humbly ask for guidance when he needs it.
  • So pray FOR Nancy Pelosi that she will come to understand how her disrespect only reflects her immaturity and inability.
  • So pray FOR that Muslim neighbor with a burka and FOR her husband that they might come to knowledge of the Truth.
  • So pray FOR the pro-abortionist who screams how lucky she is to have had an abortion so that she can now afford a fancy car and easy lifestyle.
  • So pray FOR the neighbor who seems to enjoy harassing you.
  • So pray FOR that ex-spouse that they will experience forgiveness and so forgive you.
  • So pray FOR your son or daughter who has turned his/her back on the faith they were taught.

Some you may see transformed as you live out Christ’s life before them.  Some you may be able to speak with, and influence, even in a small way, to consider their course.  Some you will have to simply leave in Father’s hands, fearing for their end that they may not turn in time.  But pray FOR them, that they will.  That is HOW we should pray FOR our enemies.

The Second Week of Sex

Last week I discussed some of what makes a marriage a marriage as opposed to a business relationship.  The truth is that the love and respect a husband and wife provide each other shows up in all aspects of their life, not just sex.  However, sex is the distinctive that makes the marriage relationship most different from all others.  It is an intertwining of pleasures that is forbidden outside the marriage because that would cause hurt, confusion, distrust and possibly disease.

2018-10-21 Second Week of SexIn Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ book, Love and Respect, he presents the idea that just as a woman is wired to give and understand love, a man is wired to give and understand respect.  He notes wisely that “the journey to a godly, satisfying marriage is never over.”  This is an ongoing relationship that must be tended much as one would tend a garden.  You cannot pull out weeds and plant seeds once and leave the garden alone for years and expect good crops every fall.  In the same way, a couple cannot say their vows, experience a good relationship at the start of their marriage, and expect it will always continue that way if they never give it attention.

Using the premise of Ephesians 5:33, “each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband,” he notes that most of us readily agree to the idea that love should be unconditional.  He then says respect should also be unconditional!  Most of us, even men, react against this idea, because we have been trained culturally to think that respect must be earned.  However, that is not necessarily the case.  In the military a person is “respected” because of the number of bars on his/her uniform.  He or she may be a jerk of a person, but we treat them respectfully because of the official position.

Before anyone gets too excited or angry that he is advocating a military style marriage, please rest assured that he balances this with the husband’s responsibility to love his wife.  What Eggerichs finds interesting is that husbands are never told to respect their wives just as wives are never told to love their husbands.  He figures it is because of the way God created each of us, male and female, and wired us to see the world differently.  The “blue hearing aid and blue sunglasses” a husband wears mean that he hears and sees things differently than his wife who wears a “pink hearing aid and sunglasses,” and vice versa.  I will not give a complete book report here, but encourage you, if you find this intriguing, to get a copy of his book and consider what you find in it to be true (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

After dealing with the basic attitudes toward marriage and the need to come back again and again to weed-pulling, seeding, pruning and all the other regular features of gardening, let’s address the sexual union of a husband and wife.  I encourage you to get a copy of The Gift of Sex by Clifford and Joyce Penner to explore their thoughts.  Remember, neither Adam or Eve, nor your husband or wife, came up with the concept of sex.  It was the Creator’s idea and He planned it to be a source of unity, procreation, safety, and pleasure.  “Our maleness and femaleness, our sexuality is not something added on or part of our sinful natures; it is part of the original perfect creation of mankind. The Bible portrays sex as a symbol of the relationship between God and His people.”

This text builds on Eggerichs’ foundation that marriage should effect a mutuality of personalities, not a place for “standing up for my rights.”  The commitment of a godly husband is to be to his wife like Jesus is to the Church; ready and willing to die for her.  Not just in a crisis moment of an assault, but in everyday decisions of how to treat her when you are sitting down to supper, opening the mail, cleaning the house.  It is not an easy thing to die to oneself as Jesus did on the cross, but that is what a husband is called to do; to put aside his wishes and meet his wife’s deepest needs.

In the same way, a wife is not to assert nor usurp authority and hen-peck a husband.  She is to submit to his authority as the Church should do to Christ.  And again, not just in a crisis, but in everyday things like going fishing, helping with the lawn care or walking the dog.  As noted, it is not an easy thing to die to oneself, but that is what a godly wife is called to do; to put aside her wishes and meet her husband’s deepest needs.

Then comes the conundrum! “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” (1 Corinthians 7:4)  One wonders if Paul was just setting us up for an argument!  Who is in charge!?  What does a husband do whose wife does not want to have sex?  What does a wife do whose husband wants to have sex all the time?

Paul lays down some guidelines in 1 Corinthians 7, but very little specifics.  That is because every couple is different.  For some, the “limited time” of 1 Corinthians 7:5 may be a couple days or even hours.  For others it may be months or even years.  However, a couple should “come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”  And it should be recognized that such abstinence within a marriage should come from “mutual agreement.”  The gist here is that there is communication in a marriage about sex.  For many, this is as foreign as speaking Latin!

Just as Adam and Eve were “naked and unashamed,” a husband and wife must learn to communicate without shame.  We are supposed to be getting ready for a new Paradise in which there is no shame, and marriage provides one of the best testing grounds to see how well we are preparing. (Not the only one, for sure, as Paul addresses those who are not married as being no less prepared for holiness.)  But for those who are married, consider reading The Gift of Sex by Penner and Penner, and again, see what you find in there to be true (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Next week, we will discuss a distinctly “guy phenomenon” (mostly) of the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil.

 

Love Me. That’s an Order!

Love Me Thats An OrderLove me. That’s an Order!  Imagine the reaction most dates would have to this!  “YOU are ORDERing me to LOVE you!?”  Probably may want to wait a few days to ask for a second date? emo laugh

Yet that is exactly what our God says to us in Deuteronomy 6:4-5:Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one. Love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”  Pretty sure of Himself, don’t you think?  Well, actually yes.  And it is that surety on which all our faith relies.

The only way a man (or woman) could tell another person, “You have to love me with all your heart,” is if he knew he was the very best that she could find.  But no man knows this for certain.  There could be someone out there living in Timbuktu who would be a better match, a better spouse, a better lover, friend, confidante, and soul mate than him.  Thus, it would be very foolhardy for any guy to give this kind of command to a woman (and vice versa).

So human love is usually based on mutual conditions.  An attraction is felt, usually to physical appearance, financial security, emotional support or some other benefit that the lover can receive, and the decision is made to love the one who is attractive in one way or another.  The whole concept of love to most Americans is a shallow attraction to benefits the lover can receive by loving his/her partner.

God’s love is far better than this.  He did not demand that we clean up our acts, get our lives in order, straighten out our finances, or even make our beds, before loving us unconditionally.  He loves when there is nothing we can do, add to or give in return.  We are totally and completely the beneficiaries of a love that is “greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell.”  He loves us so much that if there was anyone or anything better for us than Himself, He would not hesitate to send us to that one for love.  He would command, “Yahweh is one; love that other One with all your heart and with all your soul . . .”

There’s the catch.  There is simply no one better for us than The God Who Is There and He knows this.  In fact there is nothing He does not know. (See June 17, 2018.)  So when He commands us to love Him, it is not a selfish demand such as a man saying this to a woman would be making.  Even His command to love Him is based on His desire for what is good for us, and He knows He is simply the best there is.

Love Me Thats An Order 2We do not need to be afraid of His love.  This may seem redundant, but really it is not.  Though perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), too many have heard promises of love only to be disappointed when the lover failed or cheated or deceived.  When someone hears that God loves her, her heart may go back to previous promises of love, and say, “Not again.  He said he loved me and look what happened.”  Broken promises cover our lives like peanut shells on the floor of a Logan’s Steakhouse.

When we hear that God loves us, our natural suspicion is that there must be a catch.  Yeah, He “loves us” but only if we do nice things; only if we don’t cuss or lust or get mad.  “You don’t know me like I do, and if you did, YOU would not love me, so why would a God who you say DOES know everything about me?  EVERYTHING?  He even knows what I THINK!?  How could He love ME!?”

God Loves You This MuchVery simply because that is what He does.  He loves.  So much so that John said, “God IS love!” (1 John 4:8)  It is part of His very character and nature to look for who and what He can shower with love, and when He runs out of angels to love, He creates humans so that His love can have another outlet.  That is why you were born, so that He could love you.  That is why you are reading this blog, so that you can discover more of His love.  If you will risk letting Him love you and love Him in return, you will find that everything that has happened in your life will bear the marks of His love.  Even the terrible things that made you wonder at the time if there even was a God.  He will redeem, that is “repurchase,” those events and show that He was loving you even then.

But if you will not risk letting Him love you like that, you take the greater risk of not being loved at all, and of not loving at all.  C.S.Lewis, in The Four Loves, summed it up like this:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Allow the Holy Spirit to open your heart to a love that is almost unbelievable.  In fact, it would be unbelievable if not for the evidence of Jesus.  He loves as no other and look what happened to Him!  But loving us was worth it, because YOU are worth it.  So love Him in return.  That’s an order.

What in the World is God? Part 5 – Holiness and Love

“Humans explaining the nature of God is like an ant trying to explain who dropped the sugar.” Trish O’Connor

Doodle GodWhen Isaiah saw the angels around the throne of God (Isaiah 6:3), they were not crying, “Love, love, love.”  Yet when John identifies God in his first letter, he says nothing about God being holy.  Some have misconstrued this dichotomy to suggest that the God of the Old Testament was a meany who wanted to kill anyone who got out of line, and the God of the New Testament is a nice guy who just wants everyone to go to Heaven.

But God is a Unity.  The Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4 is clear:Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”  The New Testament reaffirms this Unity both in the author of Hebrews description of Jesus, “the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) and by His half-brother, James, describing God:the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17).

Do a simple word search on love or forgiveness in the Old Testament and you will find many references to God’s great love, for example Numbers 14:18-19: ” ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love.”  Then John, one of Jesus’ closest friends and disciples said, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).  Yet when you get to John the Beloved’s apocalyptic Revelation, the angels are still there, crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 4:8).

How many people would want to see a merciless murderer like Adolph Hitler or Charles Manson getting a welcome and a mansion in Heaven along side of Mother Theresa or Billy Graham?  Something inside us cries out for justice, the human expression of God’s holiness.  Rarely do you find an opponent to the death penalty among a victim’s surviving family.  However, what kind of loving God would we serve if He meted out justice even to the penitent?  Again, our human instinct for mercy, one of our expressions of God’s love, is repelled by punishment of one who is truly sorry for his actions that have caused others pain.

Moses declaration in Numbers sums it up very well: “steadfast love, forgiving . . . but by no means clear[ing] the guilty.”  Humans cannot seem to have it both ways.  We must either be loving and forgiving, or we demand holiness and justice.  Fortunately, we are not God.  As the Creator of all, holiness and justice line up with the way the universe is supposed to be.  And as the Creator of all life, His holiness is reflected in His love, which is able to forgive when things do not line up as they are supposed to be.

That forgiveness is not unconditional, however.  It is based on sincere repentance that results in a changed life, realigning itself with the holiness of God.  But even our efforts at repentance often fall short of what we are supposed to be (Romans 3:23), yet God is merciful as long as the direction of our life is towards Him and not continuing or indulging in our sin (1 John 1:5-10).

If you wish to understand the holiness and love of God, you have no further to look than the Cross on which Jesus died.  His death was not some kind of victory by the devil, as though that liar was owed any debt, and won his dues by killing Jesus.  Rather Jesus’ death was to pay for the offense against God’s holiness.  It was The God Who Is There who was separated from us by our sin, and His holiness demanded justice, but His love allowed Him to take the punishment we . . . I . . . deserved.  So before one gets the notion that God is somehow a softy on sin in the New Testament, look at what He did to His own Son! (Isaiah 63:14)

The reason for the confusion over some of God’s actions in the Old Testament is the result of cultural and societal differences in modern times from the practices in ancient times, including not understanding God’s purposes for His revelation of Himself through a chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:7-10).  The most important issue in understanding the God of the Bible is to come to Him in faith (see April 19, 2015 and July 17, 2016), trusting that He is both holy and loving, and searching the Scriptures to understand why He acted as He did in circumstances far removed from our modern “sensibilities.”

Holiness is not natural to man, nor is loving in God’s sense of it.  Holiness can only be imputed to humans when we are touched by the divine Presence and experience His holiness being lived through us.  In the same way, loving with God’s love is not possible for us alone, but only as we come into communion with Him, so that He can love others through us.  At best we will botch both up at times, but as we continue to walk with Him and allow the Holy Spirit to change us, we will begin to experience how to love as He loves, and to be holy as He is holy.

Next week, , we will look at why he interacts with US!  We are made in His “image.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHeEytocJVY

 

Marked by LOVE (Part 1)

AmmeIn the next few weeks, I will expand on each of the Marks of a Man or Woman of God, but today let’s consider the third Mark: Love.

As noted in the blog, A Marked Man or Woman of God, “The LOVE referred to here is not a mushy feeling or sentimental emotion.”  Agape (uh-gop-ae) love is the unconditional type of love Father has for us, repeatedly demonstrated and declared throughout His word.  And it is the type of love He calls us to, first for Himself.

Now consider if any man walked up to a woman and said, “I command you to love me with all your heart, soul, strength and mind.”   You would consider this guy the ultimate jerk!  A cad!!  A narcissistic idiot!!!  Who is he to command such dedicated love?

Yet this is exactly what Father does in Deuteronomy 6:4-6. “The LORD (I AM) our God, the LORD (I AM) is one. Love the LORD (I AM) your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.”  Jesus repeated and reaffirmed this command in Luke 10:27.  So here is the Heavenly Father commanding us to love him with a complete trusting obedience and subservience that we would find abhorrent if a human even came close to commanding this.  Is He just in this?  Isn’t He being selfish??

Well, here’s the answer!  Love is seeking for the good of the one who is loved, right?  Love is “to look for the best for another without regard for the cost to oneself.”  So Father looked around the universe that He had created, and tried to find someone better for us than Himself.  In Isaiah 44 He says, “Who then is like Me? . . . Is there any God besides Me?  No, there is no other Rock. I know not one!”  He goes on to say, “This is what the ‘I AM’ says, your Redeemer who formed you in the womb. I am the ‘I AM,’ the maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by Myself, . . . who foils the signs of false prophets, and makes fools of diviners, . . .”  So after searching His creation for anything or anyone that would be better for us than Himself, He concluded that there simply was no one to be found who could be as good and loving and holy for us as He is!

Stony and JudyIn 1970 Tony Romeo released a single sung by The Partridge Family that caught this idea of a lover who knew he was best for his beloved because of the sincerity of his love:
Believe me you really don’t have to worry.
I only want to make you happy,
And if you say, Hey, go away, I will,
But I think better still I better stay around and love you.
Do you think I have a case? Let me ask you to your face,
Do you think you love me? I think I love you.

 

Humanly, we must be very careful asserting this type of love for another, because we are fallible and flawed, distorted by sin, like David Cassidy, “You can’t believe everything I say,” and sometimes we are even unable to discern our own hearts.  But in the Father, this is most certainly true: He loves us, and because He is best for us, He can command us to love Him in return, because He first loved us and loves up perfectly. (I John 4:19)

And this love of His was with a great cost to Himself.  He could have looked across the ages when He created Adam and Eve, and seeing the rebellion of His creatures, simply eliminated this creation and started over and over until He found one that did not hurt Him.  But that would have been less love, and more manipulation!  And out of character for who He is.

C.S.Lewis understood this when he wrote in “The Four Loves”: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

For Father to have selectively created us would have denied that portion of His character that makes us “in His image” (Genesis 1:27) that is free will.  And because He is love (I John 4:16) He chose to create us and become vulnerable to His creatures.  Because He (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) does not change and is perfectly consistent within Himself, He created us with free will that allows us to not love Him.

So how do we demonstrate love for Him?  Let’s see about that next week, February 8, 2015 , when we consider the second great command and consider some of its implications, as we continue to look at the Marked by LOVE.Dorjo and Tuya 3

A Marked Man (or Woman); an Introduction

A “marked man” used to refer to one who had done something for which he was going to suffer. And our usage of the term may turn out to be the same at times. But I wish to consider what constitutes the “Marks of a Man (or Woman) of God.”

These marks are not what many outside of faith would expect.
They do not include any of the following:
Regular Church Attender
Nice to NeighborsIMG_0327
Gives Lots of Money to Charity
Never Cusses
Lives a Moral Life
Goes to a Religious School
Observant of Religious Holidays

Please understand, none of these are opposed to the Marks of a man of God, but they do not mark a man as one who belongs to God. Anyone may do these things listed and not have anything to do with God.

There are three distinctions, or Marks, that will mark a Man of God, and I will address each of these in more detail in blogs that will follow. But for simplicity, let’s consider first what the three distinctions are in general.

These are presented in journalistic style of the most important idea first, and developing it later, in case someone is inclined just to read the first paragraphs for a quick summary . . . in which case, I may have lost you already!! 😉

The first Mark of a Man (or Woman) of God is LOVE.
The second Mark is Reading and Studying the Bible.
The third Mark is Prayer.

Wow! That is a lot to digest, even if you just stop reading there, if you are thoughtful about these things. But allow me to clarify each of these a little, with more thorough treatment to follow in subsequent blogs.

The LOVE referred to here is not a mushy feeling or sentimental emotion. It is the fluid water of life that can take any shape depending on its surrounding, yet is so strong that not even rocks can resist its persistence. It is more powerful than hate (which is not its opposite), it is consuming of the one who loves, yet fulfilling and completing. Its simplest definition is “to look for the best for another without regard for the cost to oneself.” It is the stuff that made Father create us; it is the stuff that makes Him still reveal Himself to us; it is the stuff that took Jesus to His cross; it is the stuff that will remain when faith is no longer needed because we will see Him face-to-face, and hope will be unnecessary, because all will have been fulfilled and completed. But more on these in another blog.

Reading and Studying the Bible is not like studying Holy Writing of other faiths. The written Word of God has been provided for us over a passage of 15 centuries by 40 different authors, but in an area spanning less than 10,000 miles2 (26,000 km2) of territory. But the constancy of its themes, the consistency of its revelations, and the thoroughness of its addressing the human condition make it a full and complete guide for faith and life, making any other unnecessary, and extremely weak by comparison. It has never been disproven on any point of history or science, although it is not intended to be a complete history nor a scientific text. It has been the most challenged book of history with detractors trying to discredit it since Jeremiah’s scroll was burned by King Jehoikim (Jer. 36), yet it has stood up to every challenge when all the information was gathered. A good resource for questions about the Bible and its authenticity is found at http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-God-Word.html. In the meantime, Wikipedia and many other online resources follow the old tripes of trying to discredit the Bible. Read carefully, all the time, even this blog!

Many other books may have some value in providing historical context or showing what men teach each other when they lack the Light in God’s Word, but only the Bible has stood the test of time and proven to be true in every word in every way at every level. Its effect on individual lives, its transformative power in societies, and its prophetic accuracy all attest to its distinction over all other claims of Holy Writing. Truth is self-evident to the seeker of Truth, and it rings with a crystal pitch like pinging a goblet of fine glass. The Bible has that ring. The lover of Truth will discover it to be all he needs for a rule of faith and practice.

Finally, Prayer is more than the recitation of words into the air. It is a two-way communication with Father, our Creator. He is so vastly higher and Other than we are, as Trish O’Connor says, “Humans explaining the nature of God is like an ant trying to explain who dropped the sugar.”  This is true when humans begin with their own perceptions, but He is willing to explain to us what we are able to understand. In this case, we are not merely ants annoying a picnicker. He loves each and every one of us “ants” and places the sugar for us, and shows us what He is like; He even became an “ant” like us, so that He could more completely explain the rest of His creation, and so that we could communicate better with Him.

So these three mark a man or woman of God: Love, Bible Reading and Study, and Prayer. Have you heard from Him lately? He is there and He is not silent! Are you listening? Next blog, next week, January 18, 2015.