priorities

18 06 2010

While driving home from work today, I caught part of a sermon on the radio.  The preacher emphasized that we are all under the sovereign authority of the LORD God.  The preacher directed my attention to Exodus 34, where the LORD tells all the men of Israel to assemble before him three times each year, recognizing that real manhood is not the absence of authority, but the recognition of and submission to the sovereign rule of Jahweh, the God of the covenant.

I read Exodus 34 after dinner, after praying that the Lord would stir my heart with his grace and with the incredibly good news of what he has done for all peoples in Jesus Christ.  The priority in that chapter seems to be God, his merciful character, his glory, and his commandments.  Moses face and skin were shining so brightly from God’s presence that most of the time he wore a veil, except when he was telling the people what God had said.    God’s law points to the priority God should have in my life: absolute, first priority, and far too often God is not my priority.

However, the reflected glory faded and Moses would need to talk to God again for it to shine more brightly.  It isn’t until Jesus that we really glimpse the glory of God.  Moses’ face shone with reflected glory, but in Jesus we have the fullness of God, veiled in human flesh.  The Spirit of Christ opens our eyes to his glory, to his grace, to his purposes in our lives.  2 Cor. 3:16-18 tells us the Spirit shows us Jesus’ glory and transforms us to look more and more like him.  It is this glorious ministry of the Spirit–his work of making us more like Jesus–that gives us hope.  The Spirit of Christ turns me, re-aligns my heart, increases my longing to enjoy and embody Jesus, to give him first priority in all I do.

When I am a bit discouraged after an evening of getting voicemails when I’d hoped to schedule support-raising meeting with people, I should remember the mercy of God and not loose heart.

When I am unfaithful and waste time doing things other than support-raising when I’ve scheduled it (good things in their own right, but not as distractions or procrastinations), I need to turn from my priorities to the priorities the Spirit of Christ gives.  I should seek joy in the grace and glory of God and prioritize my life to point other people to Jesus, the source of solid joy and lasting treasure.

In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus.

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new beginnings… almost

5 12 2009

Today is the second Sunday of Advent, and I am filled with anticipation. Since the day after Thanksgiving, I’ve been encouraged and excited by the depth of beauty and truth in many of the traditional Christmas carols. I love the familiarity and sturdy reliability of these songs: they’re like old, loyal friends who are there for me year after year. I love the joy of hearing them sung each year as reminders of God’s mighty coming 2000 years ago in Jesus’ birth, as reminders that He will come again in real history, to do away with evil and make everything beautiful, and as reminders that He comes in the present to all who call on his name.

I am also filled with anticipation as I consider that two and a half weeks ago I was approved as a missionary to Kiev, Ukraine, with Mission to the World. In Kiev I will work with a team of people who are helping the Ukrainian presbyterian church establish vibrant, Christ-centered churches in Kiev and throughout Ukraine. My hope is that I can use my musical abilities, my technical skills, my love of human cultures, and my passion for seeing people transformed by the grace of Jesus to help build up God’s people in Kiev and reach out to folks who don’t yet know Jesus there.

Its been a while since I blogged here, and once I’ve checked and configured a few things to make sure this site will meet my blogging needs, I hope to begin blogging on a regular basis. Consider this your announcement of new beginnings for this blog… almost.