I’m Still Here

I heard from a friend yesterday who told me he missed my blog and wondered if I had stopped writing it. I assured him I had not stopped permanently, but that since returning from the Philippines I have been overwhelmed with things that interfered with my writing time in the mornings. I also assured him that I was not falling away from the daily discipline of my devotional life.

I want to assure all of you of the same things. Between meetings with people and trips to see family, I have not been available to write. Next week will be no better as I already have every morning booked up. You see, even though writing is important to me, and ministers to many people, it’s the personal one-on-one contact with people that is most important. That is always God’s priority for me. Because of my extended time away in Davao City there has been a lot of personal ministry to accomplish. After Thanksgiving I intend to block out the early mornings again for writing these Connecting Points.

For today, consider this activity of God in my heart – Without exception,  Love always dictates conduct.

My heart has been torn apart by that truth. What I choose to do is always a result of what or whom I have chosen to love. If you spend any time at all considering the reality of that in your own life, you will be broken as I have been with the truth that we love self much more than we would ever admit publicly. And yet the public already knows because they see the choices we make that serve self. They see the contradictions between our statement of faith and our code of conduct. We have a serious love issue.

Jesus told us quite plainly that love always dictates conduct. When asked about the greatest commandment, He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. And the second is like it – Love you neighbor as yourself.”

The impetus behind obedience to every law of God is love for God. Nothing less. Nothing more. It sounds easy, but it’s not. Love for self constantly conflicts with love for God. Serving self severely stifles the sacrifice of self. Decisions are made every day, over and over, based on the single criteria of personal benefit – the love of self. Love always determines conduct.

For the last several weeks I have woken each day to that truth. As a result, I don’t like what I see in me much of the time. God is changing my heart. I am renewing my love for my wonderful Savior. It has been the one overwhelming blessing of my study of Isaiah 53 for the past 6 weeks. My deepest desire is to love Jesus more, and that is only possible if I first understand how much He loves me. This is what I know about His love:

He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed…because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

May every word of my mouth and every meditation of my heart be pleasing to the One I love, and let that One be Jesus.

Pastor John


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