Daily Riches: Practicing the Presence … Vertical and Horizontal (J. I. Packer, Pete Scazzero, Jean Vanier)

“We only honor God as we honor his image in the other person by practical love to that person, whoever he or she may be: rich or poor, strong or weak, red or yellow, black or white, conventional or wild, respectable or rough, significant or unimportant in the community. To put it the other way round, honoring and loving God means refusing one’s natural inclination to withhold love and honor from people whom one finds awkward, repellent, and inconvenient.” J. I. Packer

“As emotionally mature Christian adults, we recognize that loving well is the essence of true spirituality. This requires that we experience connection with God, with ourselves, and with other people. God invites us to practice his presence in our daily lives. At the same time, he invites us to ‘practice the presence of people,’ within an awareness of his presence, in our daily relationships. Sadly, the two are rarely brought together. Jesus’ profound, contemplative prayer life with his Father resulted in a contemplative presence with people. Love is ‘to reveal the beauty of another person to themselves,’ wrote Jean Vanier. Jesus did that with each person he met. We see this in his interaction with the woman suffering from a twelve-year bleeding problem (Mark 5). This ability to really listen and pay attention to people was at the very heart of Jesus’ mission, and it could not help but move him to compassion. In the same way, out of our contemplative time with God, we too are invited to be prayerfully present to people, revealing their beauty to them.” Pete Scazzero

“… the one who does not love his brother
whom he has seen,
cannot love God
whom he has not seen.”
1 John 4:20

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you find that you are naturally included “to withhold love and honor from people whom you find awkward, repellent, and inconvenient?” Yeah, me too.
  • Loving well requires being “present” to God and people, yet “sadly, the two are rarely brought together.” Do you work at both?
  • Do you see loving well in this way as the “essence of true spirituality?” Have you perhaps put something else first?

Abba, most of all, let me love.

For More: Christianity the True Humanism by J. I. Packer

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Faith (Nadia Bolz Weber, Romero, Tillich, Stott, Packer, Edman, Bounds, LLoyd-Jones, Yancey, Cook, Brueggemann, Merton, Willard) *

“Catholic theologian James Allison [talked] about how we think faith is about striving – keeping parameters, calling people out for not having it right, spiritual practices, doctrinal purity… whatever – but that really faith is about relaxing. Specifically, relaxing in the way we do when we are with a friend who we know for certain is fond of us. We don’t have to strive around them and we somehow still become our best self – funny, spontaneous, free. Allison suggests that faith is trusting so much that God is fond of us that we just …relax”. Nadia Bolz Weber

“Faith consists in accepting God without asking him to account for things according to our standard. Faith consists in reacting before God as Mary did: I don’t understand it, Lord, but let it be done in me according to your word.”  Oscar Romero

“Faith is the courage …to accept that God loves me as I am and not as I should be, because I’m never going to be as I should be.”  Paul Tillich

J. I. Packer – “self-abandoning trust in the person and work of Jesus”
Raymond Edman – “trusting in the dark what God told you in the light”
Martin Lloyd-Jones – “the refusal to panic”
Philip Yancey – “trusting in advance, what will only make sense in reverse”
Bob Cook –  “expecting God to act like God”
Thomas Merton – “convinced of the reliability of God”
Dallas Willard –  “confidence grounded in reality”
Walter Brueggemann – “openness to wonder and awe in glad praise”
Oswald Chambers – “unutterable trust…which never dreams that He will not stand by us”
Martin Luther – “permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see”
John Stott – “a trust which reckons thoughtfully and confidently upon the trustworthiness of God”

“Though He slay me,
yet will I trust Him.”
Job 13:15a

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Can you relax with God like you do with your best friend?  Does he love you “as you are and not as you should be?”
  • Are you “seized by” things unseen? trusting what will often only make sense later? refusing to ask God “to give an account?”
  • Can you “abandon” yourself to God like Martin Luther, Oscar Romero and Job did? If not, why not?

Abba, I will trust in you. Only you have the words of life.


_________________________________________________

These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

 

Daily Riches: More Important Than Our Love for God (James I. Packer) *

“What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it – the fact that he knows me. …There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way that I am so often disillusioned about myself…. There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow-men do not see (and am I glad!), and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough). There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His son to die for me in order to realise this purpose.”  J. I. Packer

 “… you have come to know God, or rather, to be known by God.”  Galatians 4:9

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • What feeling arise when you consider that God’s love for you is “utterly realistic” and without illusion?  that He “wants you as His friend?”
  • If God’s knowledge of you is “based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about you”, then what can you do to ruin God’s love for you?
  • What “matters supremely” is not, in the final analysis, that you know God, that you cling to him, or that you love him. These things matter – a lot – but what “matters supremely” is that God knows you, that God clings to you, and that God loves you. Take a moment to let that sink in.

Abba, thank you for loving me when I was cold to you, for seeking after and finding me when I was hiding, and for protecting and treasuring me as your child in spite of twisted things about me that my fellow-men do not see, and the corruption you see in me which is more even than that which I see in myself.

__________

For More: Knowing God by J. I. Packer

_________________________________________________

These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

 

 

Daily Riches: Spiritual Formation Every Moment, Every Day (J. I. Packer) *

“Cross-bearing is the long lesson of our mortal life. It is a part of God’s salvation, called sanctification. It is a lesson set before us every moment of every day. It concerns this strange and daunting business of how strain and pain–passion, in the sense of conscious suffering voluntarily accepted–may be transmuted into glory. If life were an art lesson, we could describe it as a process of finding how to turn this mud into that porcelain, this discord into that sonata, this ugly stone block into that statue, this tangle of threads into that tapestry. In fact, however, the stakes are higher than in any art lesson. It is in the school of sainthood that we find ourselves enrolled and the artifact that is being made is ourselves.” J. I. Packer

“Surely it was for my benefit
  that I suffered such anguish.”
  Isaiah 38:17
(King Hezekiah, after recovering from a near fatal illness)

From the Head to the Heart

  • What could you do on a daily basis to be more aware of God’s work in you, “transmuting” you, in “every moment of every day?”
  • What kinds of things keep you from this awareness?
  • Packer reminds us that this is “the long lesson of our mortal life.” Can you be patient with yourself and God during this long, gradual process of “strain and pain” and “anguish?”

Abba, help me to be mindful each day of the ways you’re working to change me through my circumstances – especially when it comes to “conscious suffering voluntarily accepted.” Help me in this school of sainthood.

__________

For More: Christianity: The True Humanism by J. I Packer and Thomas Howard

_________________________________________________

These Daily Riches are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you with something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others as we learn together to find our satisfaction in our unfailingly loving God. (Psalm 90:14) . I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest! – Bill

Daily Riches: Faith (Nadia Bolz Weber, Romero, Tillich, Stott, Packer, Edman, Bounds, LLoyd-Jones, Yancey, Cook, Brueggemann, Merton, Willard)

“Catholic theologian James Allison [talked] about how we think faith is about striving – keeping parameters, calling people out for not having it right, spiritual practices, doctrinal purity… whatever – but that really faith is about relaxing. Specifically, relaxing in the way we do when we are with a friend who we know for certain is fond of us. We don’t have to strive around them and we somehow still become our best self – funny, spontaneous, free. Allison suggests that faith is trusting so much that God is fond of us that we just …relax”. Nadia Bolz Weber

“Faith consists in accepting God without asking him to account for things according to our standard. Faith consists in reacting before God as Mary did: I don’t understand it, Lord, but let if be done in me according to your word.”  Oscar Romero

“Faith is the courage …to accept that God loves me as I am and not as I should be, because I’m never going to be as I should be.”  Paul Tillich

J. I. Packer – “self-abandoning trust in the person and work of Jesus”
Raymond Edman – “trusting in the dark what God told you in the light”
Martin Lloyd-Jones – “the refusal to panic”
Philip Yancey – “trusting in advance, what will only make sense in reverse”
Bob Cook –  “expecting God to act like God.”
Thomas Merton – “convinced of the reliability of God.”
Dallas Willard –  “confidence grounded in reality.”
Walter Brueggemann – “openness to wonder and awe in glad praise.”
Oswald Chambers – “unutterable trust…which never dreams that He will not stand by us”
Martin Luther – “permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see”
John Stott – “a trust which reckons thoughtfully and confidently upon the trustworthiness of God.”

“Though He slay me,
yet will I trust Him.”
Job 13:15a

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Can you relax with God like you do with your best friend?  Does he love you “as you are and not as you should be?”
  • Are you “seized by” things unseen? trusting what will often only make sense later? refusing to ask God “to give an account?”
  • Can you “abandon” yourself to God like Martin Luther, Oscar Romero and Job did? If not, why not?

Abba, I will trust in you. Only you have the words of life.


_________________________________________________

Thanks for reading!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

 

Daily Riches: More Important Than Our Love for God (James I. Packer)

“What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it – the fact that he knows me. …There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way that I am so often disillusioned about myself…. There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow-men do not see (and am I glad!), and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough). There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His son to die for me in order to realise this purpose.”  J. I. Packer

 “… you have come to know God, or rather, to be known by God.”  Galatians 4:9

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • What feeling arise when you consider that God’s love for you is “utterly realistic” and without illusion?  that He “wants you as His friend?”
  • If God’s knowledge of you is “based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about you”, then what can you do to ruin God’s love for you?
  • What “matters supremely” is not, in the final analysis, that you know God, that you cling to him, or that you love him. These things matter – a lot – but what “matters supremely” is that God knows you, that God clings to you, and that God loves you. Take a moment to let that sink in.

Abba, thank you for loving me when I was cold to you, for seeking after and finding me when I was hiding, and for protecting and treasuring me as your child in spite of twisted things about me that my fellow-men do not see, and the corruption you see in me which is more even than that which I see in myself.

__________

For More: Knowing God by J. I. Packer

_________________________________________________

These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

 

 

Daily Riches: The School of Spiritual Formation (J. I. Packer)

“Cross-bearing is the long lesson of our mortal life. It is a part of God’s salvation, called sanctification. It is a lesson set before us every moment of every day. It concerns this strange and daunting business of how strain and pain–passion, in the sense of conscious suffering voluntarily accepted–may be transmuted into glory. If life were an art lesson, we could describe it as a process of finding how to turn this mud into that porcelain, this discord into that sonata, this ugly stone block into that statue, this tangle of threads into that tapestry. In fact, however, the stakes are higher than in any art lesson. It is in the school of sainthood that we find ourselves enrolled and the artifact that is being made is ourselves.” J. I. Packer

“Surely it was for my benefit
  that I suffered such anguish.”
  Isaiah 38:17
(King Hezekiah, after recovering from a near fatal illness)

From the Head to the Heart

  • What could you do on a daily basis to be more aware of God’s work in you, “transmuting” you, in “every moment of every day?”
  • What kinds of things keep you from this awareness?
  • Packer reminds us that this is “the long lesson of our mortal life.” Can you be patient with yourself and God during this long, gradual process of “strain and pain” and “anguish?”

Abba, help me to be mindful each day of the ways you’re working to change me through my circumstances – especially when it comes to “conscious suffering voluntarily accepted.” Help me in this school of sainthood.

__________

For More: Christianity: The True Humanism by J. I Packer and Thomas Howard

_________________________________________________

The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)