God's generous expansive heart - Jesus Army Life, Day 590

those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint
Isaiah 40

In community life can seem very tough at times. It's easy to forget the amazing generosity of God. But in community you don't sign up for an easy life, you pledge yourself to live with other people, for better and worse. If you become tired of all the meetings then you have to question what community is about for you because when we are in community that's what we do, we meet people, all the time.

photo by artandscience of flickr.comBut I was feeling tired, emotionally worn out. I was getting repeatedly annoyed with God for nothing working out right and desperate for some reprieve; when in bursts my friend and tells me he's had a dream: a dream that remembers God's generosity, that things can be bigger and better, more successful than they already are, because we have a generous God!

It's my hope that news like that doesn't just make my day or week, but makes my life! The tough times will always be there, but that's not the point with God. His heart is more expansive, more roomy than you could ever know... (see Ephesians 3:15-21)

One last thing... God gives every Christian an inspiration of faith and hope when they first meet him. Some aspect of faith so big, so true, that all their vision is expressed in that virtue. For me it was his love, for others it is his power. What was it for you? Return to that principle and live in its reality as much as you can because God gave it to you as a key for you to express his spiritual life as richly as you possibly can!

photo by artandscience of flickr.com


Enter the supernatural - Jesus Army Life, Day 580

Why do people in church seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute? … Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us to where we can never return.
—Annie Dillard

Indeed, with trembling and fear we press in towards a god who will change us forever. So let us quickly press in.


Choice - Jesus Army Life, Day 574

Community life leaves you with a stark choice: give your all for the greater good or hide away.

'Hiding' can take various forms. You can sink into problems, you can create little indulgences, you can pretend to be spiritual or you can become stubborn having come this far but no further. None of these compare to laying down your life.

Jesus spoke of laying down his life for his friends (John 15). Who are his friends? Those who love him and obey him. Friendship with God is more than just dutiful service, it is complete intimacy and obedience.

To sacrifice everything you are is to break into real friendship, not only, I believe, with Jesus, but with others who truly want to follow him too. We are called to love one another the same way Jesus loved - by laying down our lives - that is the nature of community.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Hebrews 12:4

We too easily forget that experiencing hardship is all part of becoming God's son.