Saturday, January 7, 2017

More Than Life Itself (Letters to My Father - December 11, 2016)

Dear Father,

Do I love You more than life itself? Enoch walked with You and You took him; he was no more.* Why? Why did You take him at that time? How did he please You except by faith?

Do You love me, Father? Will You take me? When is my appointed time? What is the work I must finish here on Earth?

[The "work I must finish" is not to be saved. For salvation is a gift from God, not of works.** Instead, this work is the joy for which I am created and have my being.***]

Paul was called to be an Apostle and preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.+ Peter to the Jews.++

I am not as clear about my calling except to abide in Christ+++ as Your adopted son, and that I love writing. Is it my calling to be an author for Christ, to a wide and diverse audience? Whether I know them or not? I love them.

Or is it to be a light, kind and gentle, to the select few You have brought into my life, whether they share my love for You or not? I love them, too.

Maybe it's to reach out to those who, like me, have been hurt by legalistic folks around them and/or betrayed by religious leaders posing as authorities in Christ, but really pushing their own agenda. I love these so. My heart aches for them, longs for them to know Your love that surpasses knowledge.*+*+

I recall having discussed these matters with my dear friend and brother in Christ, my Christian life coach, who helps me to get clear and stay focused. I should check my notes of our discussions for a reminder of a pleasant and profound surprise, my delight, that which is already in my heart, the love of Christ in me.

December 11, 2016
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Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:24)  By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5)

** For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

*** For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

+ To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:8-10)

++ On the contrary, when they saw that I [Paul] had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised [Gentiles], just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised [Jews].(for he [Christ] who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), (Galatians 2:7-8)

+++ Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4) As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. (John 15:9)

*+*+ For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
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No, I didn't skip Letter #6. It's in the post titled, Major Milestones Reporting for Duty, Sir!

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