To Grow in Love for Christ, Thankfulness

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The Morning Skies

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And Evening Skies (with parallel clouds!) 

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Incredibly fascinated by the morning and evening skies today.

And of course, the anglish tree in the last picture, with its perpendicular branches.

I met this beautifully awkward little tree whilst trudging along Dun Cow Lane, the oldest road in Durham, on the way to a Cafe des Theologiennes event in the Cottage.

I left the seminar dwelling on the role of Biblical models in my life – that was the key discussion topic for the day. In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, it had always been a matter of disciples emulating a Rabbi. Ruth had talked about how much more evangelical sermons preached at the pulpit could draw on various other Biblical figures, aside from the ‘Big Five‘ – apparently, Abraham, Moses, David, Peter and Paul – with the inclusion of Biblical women as Junia (Romans), Tamar (Genesis 38), Abigail (1 Samuel 25), and Joanna (Luke).

Drawing it back to Christological terms though, and when I think to my own ‘role models’, I humbly find that I seek to emulate traits I see in older Christians which ultimately point towards Christlike traits. That is, Jesus should never be removed from the equation.

I think it is important to distinguish between secular research and so-called theological research. We can’t dissect nor think Biblical figures, without an analysis of Christ’s significance. Mention of the Sacred Author and His relevance too, would be key. I believe God uses various Biblical figures, shows us their imperfections (think Gideon) in order to show that it is in God alone that all power, might and glory rests and in Whom belong. God gets the credit, Christ gets the credit.

Strange dynamic, this. So as we aspire to be Christlike, with God’s help, we too, humbly realize that only Christ alone is the Perfect Obedience, the Perfect incarnation of Love – it is a standard, God’s standard, that we could never reach on our own.

That leaves the Christian only in thankfulness, gratefulness, for GRACE – God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

Our only response?

To grow in Love for Christ Jesus. Chosen One, Anointed King.

I end with my favourite verse of all time,

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

– 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 

Indeed for all the traits I’ve learnt, one most of which God has impressed upon us all, I think, is a heart of thankfulness.

The practice of thankfulness, makes it possible to then pray without ceasing, as the apostle Paul taught. Thankful prayers are a solid foundation upon which one can build all other prayers. A grateful attitude, makes it easier for us to communicate with God, I feel.

For when one’s mind is preoccupied with thanking God, surely there is no time for worrying (which adds no hour to our lives!) or complaining.

Let us draw near to Him with a grateful heart, and His presence, shall surely fill us with joy and peace 🙂

A great article on the Christian Pundit, on thankfulness.

Definitely one Christ-centred virtue to keep, daily.

Timely as it is, it is thanksgiving day tomorrow!

(& all other days of our lives!) 

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