Thursday, March 11th, 2021
“Anyone who is not with me is against me; and anyone who does not gather in with me throws away.”
Greeting everyone, thank you for visiting today. The topic of today’s devotional is “spiritual life.” Spiritual life is a gift from the Holy Spirit, our guide to the Kingdom of God and God’s love. (1). In Colossians 3:1-2, Paul the Apostle wrote these words, “Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, you must look for the things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on things above, not on the things that are on the earth.”
“We must look for the things above,” now that sounds a lot like setting a goal and an objective to reach for. Following Jesus takes discipline, a spiritual life without discipline is impossible. Discipline is the other side of discipleship. (2).
Just about anything worthwhile takes discipline and hard work. Just the every day things one does requires some planning and practice. I set an alarm every night to wake me for my job, I plan my meals ahead of time which requires making a grocery list. Even to drive my car to work every day takes discipline to follow the laws mandated; speed, seatbelt, lane association with traffic. Just as important as all those things are, being disciplined in my spiritual life is even more vital. When I feel distanced from God, I feel uneasy. But staying in sync with God is sometimes hard, I fall away, not intentionally but nonetheless I falter. One day without praying or reading my Bible quickly becomes two, three and do on. Our humanness tries to convince us that God left us, must the Israelites did when the were wondering in the desert for so many years. No! God never leaves us, it is totally us, who stumble and fall. I don’t share this to make you feel negatively about yourself or even myself, it is simply the truth. Truth often hurts because deep down we know it to be true but we still avoid it like a plague or pandemic. The Good News of Jesus is we are always welcomed back home, clean slate, mistakes and sins forgiven. And the road to reconciliation with our God is listening for God’s voice. Praying is not a one way only communication, absolutely God is interested in hearing from us but equally, God wants to give us everything we need to live a life pleasing to him. We need only to listen. Without noticing, our ears and heart are cluttered with the chaotic noises of this world and we no longer recognize God’s voice. Finding time and space where we can shut out the noise of the world around us will provide fertile ground for the Holy Spirit to teach us and God can speak to us.
A spiritual discipline sets us free to pray or, to say it better, allows the Spirit of God to pray in us.(3). ~Peace to you my friends.
Both surd and its more common cousin absurd come from the Latin word surdus,meaning “unhearing, deaf, muffled, or dull.”
The word listen in Latin is audire. If we listen with full attention in which we are totally geared to listen, it’s called ob-audire, and that’s where the word obedience comes from. Jesus is the obedient one. That means he is total ear, totally open to the love of God. And if we are closed, and to the degree that we are closed, we are surdus. That is the Latin word for deaf. The more “deaf” we get, the more absurdus
Henri J. M. Nouwen, A Spirituality of Living: The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series
Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:
~ Buy Less – Day 20
When we can buy with a click of a button, it’s easy not to pause and think. Take a day to refrain from purchasing anything unless it’s truly needed.
grant that we may heed the call of your grace
and ready ourselves all the more fervently
to celebrate the mysteries of Easter,
as the feast of our redemption comes closer and closer.
~Charlotte, the Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing
(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 73, paragraph 1.
(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 73, paragraph 1.
(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 74, paragraph 2.
(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation
(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha
(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation