Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What letter are you writing?

The guys and I have been going through Feeding on the Word, and today we looked at this passage:
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

I don't remember the discussion questions exactly, but one asked what letter my life was writing this past week. Or what letter I hoped Christ was writing to the world with my life. Or what word I thought Jesus was writing into my heart by his Spirit -- something like that.

I hope my life will be a testimony to what Jesus can do for a man. "Look at this guy: He was impatient and self-centered when I found him. And look at him today! Look at how kind and generous he is." (Remember I said this is what I hope my life will be like; God is certainly not finished with me yet.) Actually I might have been answering a question the book didn't ask. Oh, well...

One of the guys said that the letter (or word, or message) God wrote on his heart was: "This is what's really important: relationship with God and my family" -- rather than career advancement, money, appearances. Another talked about a difficult situation, and how he's responding now, versus how he might have responded a few years ago. So God is writing a letter about patience and tolerance in his heart. Another sensed God's message to his heart was that of love.

Lunch with these brothers is one of the highlights of my week. I love to hear how God is speaking to them and working in their lives. I appreciate their faith in the Lord, their desire to know him better, their willingness to share their lives and to pray. I like the series of books we're using. too -- interesting material and good discussion questions.

But the best thing is just being in touch, sharing and praying together. Which reminds me of a verse: "How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in harmony!" (Psalm 133:1) I'm looking forward to next time -- when maybe the whole group can be there.

from August 2010

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