How miserable is our state! The things we ought to have loved are so remote and undiscovered and unknown by us, that while we are men and situated in this prison of the body, the things that are truly good and eternal are utterly incapable of being seen or heard or thought by us. What then are we to do? Let us love and seek them...
- Columbanus, Sermon III (Irish, 7th century)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
- Philippians 4.9
As you will recall, we are ramping-up for a Campaign for Christian Literacy to challenge our fellow believers to more diligence in reading and studying eternal truths. It will be difficult for us to fulfill the requirement of Paul's exhortation if we have but little acquaintance with such lofty thoughts and ideals.
But we will not be inclined to take up the work of study - to seek these true and beautiful ideas - unless we first love them, as Columbanus knew. What do we now love? That is simple enough to determine. How do you spend your time? Watching television? Working? Playing sports? Listening to pop music? How you spend your time is the surest indicator of what you love. If you love the Lord, for example, a significant portion of your time each day will be devoted to seeking and knowing Him.
If we do not love those "things we ought to have loved" it's no wonder they seem so "remote and undiscovered and unknown by us." Loving other things more, we give our time and strength to them, rather than to learning the pure and lovely and true and excellent things of God in all the disciplines and fields of study where He is making Himself known.
Columbanus, could he have seen our miserable state - trapped as we are in the mundane prisons of our too-worldly flesh - would have made a simple prescription: change what you love, then pursue what you have begun to love. Love the world less and the Lord more, and we will spend more time seeking the things of the Lord.
That's good advice for any follower of our glorious and reigning King.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
We should be encouraged to learn that, as in many other areas of life and learning, the discipline of neuroscience is catching up to the Bible. Check out today's ReVision.
New blogs by Jess Slusher and myself will challenge you with the greatness of God and the necessary conditions for being transformed.
We still have some spaces available for men seeking a mentor. Check out the opportunities, then get in touch if you have any questions.
Our book store can provide you with some excellent Christmas gifts, such as John Nunnikhoven's one-year reader, Voices Together. Here is a year's worth of praying the psalms that any of your Christian friends will bless you for bestowing.