Pledges and Wages--In ancient Israel it was considered a form of oppression either to withhold wages that were due or to cause a man to suffer because of his temporary need for assistance involving a pledge.
On Borrowing and Lending--Commentators differ as to whether what is meant by “interest” here is any interest at all or the exorbitant rates of usury.
Justice in the Small Stuff--We are responsible for goods held in trust for or borrowed from our neighbors, should they be stolen or should anything untoward happen to them while in our possession.
The Letter and Spirit of Law--God’s people ought to be able to disagree without rancor or violence.
Jesus insisted that, for reason to do its proper work, it must be submissive to revelation.
Make sure that you love - really love - only what you should.
I always have mixed feelings about the arrival of another New Year.
Columba was, like Abraham, a true friend of God.
In the fervent, resounding chanting of hymns by thousands of angels flourishing in their holy dances, and by the four beasts full of eyes, and by the twenty-four blessed elders casting their crowns beneath the feet of the Lamb of God, the Trinity receives threefold praise eternally.
- Columba, Altus Prosator (Irish, 6th century)
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb..."
- Revelation 5.11, 12
We were made for praise. It is our highest calling to praise our God, not just with our voices, but with all we are and do, every day and moment of our lives. If heaven is our destination, and heaven resounds continuously with praise to the Triune God, then this is what we were made for, and what should focus our thoughts, words, and deeds every day of our lives.
To some this may sound a bit, well, boring. What, nothing to do but praise? Such is the witness of those who do not truly know how to praise the Lord, and who have not experienced the complete sense of fulfillment and rapture that fills the soul and energizes the body when one is emptying himself in praise before the Lord.
God is deserving of all praise, all the time, world without end. The angels and departed saints, and the creation all around us, never tire of praising the Lord. Nor do they ever exhaust the breadth and depth of the praise which are His due. When we join our voices with theirs, we fill a chair in an elect chorus which has the great calling to praise God continuously, and the great privilege of knowing that He is pleased with the songs of praise we bring.
Praise is our calling; praise fulfills us - praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Oh that we might focus our hearts and minds on Jesus exalted and reigning at the Father's right hand, and in the strength of His indwelling Spirit, soar in praise, praise emanating from our souls as the highest value and greatest joy of our lives!
When we praise the Lord like this, we discover our true reason for being, and know the fullness of joy and peace for which we have been redeemed.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
Creation longs to praise the Lord, too, and it is part of our calling to see to it that the redeeming work of Christ reaches to all His creation. Check out today's ReVision.
Why not start your new year with a fresh look at the life of faith? What does it mean to practice the Kingship of Jesus, and how can you begin to have more of that perspective on your own walk with the Lord? A Fellowship of Ailbe mentoring relationship could help you discover a fuller experience of knowing and serving the Lord.
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.
It's easy to miss the fact that God's love extends to the whole of His creation, and not just to human beings.
The experience of knowing the Lord is not exhausted by our reasoning powers.
"God to whom I pray for help in every trouble, in every way of which my lips are capable: deeper than seas, greater than reckoning, Three, One, more wondrous than can be told."
- Broccan the Crooked, Hymn to Saint Brigid (Irish, 7th century)
...and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
- Ephesians 3.20
In a very real sense, our relationship with God through Jesus Christ goes beyond what can be explained or accounted for by logic and words. It must be experienced to be truly known. If all we can do is rehearse the rationale for believing, or the means whereby we have come to faith in Christ, we are missing a significant - perhaps the most significant - part of what it means to know the Lord.
The Scriptures at times use language like this in Ephesians 3: "the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge..." In Philippians 4.6, 7 Paul talked about the "peace of God, which surpasses all understanding..." The psalmist insisted that God's thoughts are so many and so vast that they are beyond numbering (Ps. 139.17, 18).
Knowing the Lord is not without logic and words; but our relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ is not bound by them, either. Nor is the experience of knowing the Lord exhausted by our reasoning powers. There is something deeper, something mysterious and inexplicable about knowing the Lord, partaking in His glory, glimpsing His majesty, and knowing His presence with us in the midst of our daily lives.
We can "know" things with our hearts that our minds cannot translate into meaningful phrases. And we can know them certainly, truly, and so compellingly that no amount of argument, threat, or trial can bring us to deny what our hearts know to be true with a knowledge that goes beyond reasoning.
It was this kind of relationship - deeply heart-felt, rooted in faith, not contrary to reason, but not exhausted by it - that filled so many of the great Celtic saints with vision and courage to seek and serve the Lord. Nor is it easy to explain how one attains to this degree of relationship with Jesus - only seek Him, press on toward Him, pray to Him in every way your lips are capable, and wait upon Him in His Word and in the moments and activities of your everyday life, the eye of your heart straining to see beyond the veil to unseen glorious mysteries of faith.
Suddenly He will be there, and you will know Him. You will know beyond understanding, beyond reason, beyond logic. But you will know Jesus and you will be fairly crushed with joy under the weight of His glory.
And this is how He transforms you into His image so that you become increasingly like Him, more wondrous than can be told.
If this is not your experience of Jesus, know that it can be. And plead with Him daily to make it so.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
Well, whatsay? Shall we rename the country? Today's ReVision thinks so.
Here's something to ponder: There are more precepts, statutes, and rules attached to the eighth commandment (no stealing) than all the others. In the Gates begins a closer look at this commandment this week.
Start the New Year by refocusing on the Christian walk and what it requires. You and your Bible study group or Sunday school class would benefit greatly by working together through one of our new Paruchia Studies in the Christian life. Check them out today at our online bookstore.