No other outward thing out to be loved, according to the reckoning of truth, except eternity and the eternal will, which is inspired and quickened by the Eternal, Wonderful, Ineffable, Invisible, Incomprehensible, Who fills all things and passes beyond all things, Who is present and yet eludes our grasp...Thus it is perilous to dwell among deceptions and deceits, and not to see the truths you ought to love...
- Columbanus, Sermon III (Irish, 7th century)
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
- Colossians 3.2
Here's a New Year's challenge for you: Pay more attention, and be more careful about how you use the word, "love."
We are people who "love" everything. We love Christmas, love the home team, love nachos, love this or that rock group or film star, and, oh yes, we love our spouses and even God.
Columbanus says we should only love God, but he would include in that loving our neighbor as an expression of our love for God. However, he would have insisted on the first great commandment as the guiding one, and the second as consequential.
If we love God, we will love His truth, His Word, His presence and glory, His power at work within us to will and do of His good pleasure, His fruit and gifts borne in and exercised through us, and His righteousness, peace, and joy increasingly as the defining features of every aspect of our lives.
But the things we ought to love somehow don't get the attention they should. Meanwhile, the things we glibly say we "love" tend to attract most of our interest and affection - but to what end? They're gone with the moment, gone with the consuming, gone before we know it, and then we're off in quest of the next fleeting thing to "love."
Watch how you use that word in the year to come. Make sure that you love - really love - only what you should, and that you are grateful to the One you love for all the other good things in your life. Let the "outward things" of our lives not be objects to love, but cues to praise the One Who alone deserves the love of our entire hearts, minds, and strength.
Love God more in the coming year, and you'll appreciate everything better, and show the joy of that gratitude in all your words and deeds.
Have a blessed New Year!
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
Does this ministry serve a niche in your walk with the Lord? If so, we ask you to consider helping us at this end of the year by a gift to keep our work going forward. Use the donate button or send your contribution to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 100 Lamplighter Ct., Hamilton, VA 20158. Thanks so much for thinking of us.
More thoughts on the New Year and the moments God will give us in it in today's ReVision.