The longings of my soul
An oblivion to all
The sobs of my heart
You’ve seen only in part
Will your heart bow
To the embers of my love?
My love for you can’t be contained
My brain needs to be trained
To stop this restlessness
Why do I Obsess?
I resent your busyness
unaffected is my fondness
Put an end to my restraints
Just listen to my complaints
I am bereft of slumber
With mild expressions of anger
Rend my heart to see
My desperate plea
Take me to a state of glee
To a world of dreams, I want to flee
Where you and I can talk for hours
Those moments will just be ours
When you satiate my thirst
And for a while, I’d be first
Your compliments, I treasure
Your presence gives me pleasure
you are my gift from heaven
In you, I find a safe haven
-A poem by Maria Joseph
Some people say the world is a big place full of endless opportunities and breathe-taking adventures, only waiting to be explored by hearts hungry for excitement. Some people say the world is a small place, held closely bound by unlikely events, making it almost uncertain for you to know who you may meet just at around the next corner, while some think the world is just a creation of our imaginations, and these imaginations are sometimes sweet escape routes from harsh realities. Well, I think I pretty much fall into this third category.
Call me naïve or inexperienced, I still want to believe that the best way to live the kind of life you want is by creating the kind of world you have always imagined. Everything is possible from the moment you believe with your heart that what you have imagined in your head can be achieved no matter the harsh situation before your very eyes. Yes, looks can be deceiving, but the conviction that rests firmly at the bottom of your heart will take you places way beyond your initial imagination. The question is, are you ready to be responsible?
Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
1 Corinthians 8:1b
The story is told of the time when a venerable Bible scholar met a young seminary student. When the old scholar asked the young student how his study of Scripture was progressing, the student replied, “Oh, I don’t spend any time studying. I trust that when I get in the pulpit God will fill my mouth with the words I should say.” The old scholar replied, “He will fill your mouth alright. He’ll fill it with the east wind!” Because of his lack of study, the young man didn’t catch the scholar’s point. In Scripture, the “east wind” referred to the furnace-like winds that blew in from the desert and withered all it touched (Genesis 41:6).
Perhaps the young student was trying to avoid the pride to which knowledge can lead. All knowledge? Of course not—Scripture presents gaining knowledge as a desirable goal (Proverbs 1:4; John 8:32). But knowledge, if displayed and used arrogantly, can certainly lead to pride. But on the heels of that warning, Paul provides an alternative: “love edifies”—edify meaning to build up, to strengthen. Pride destroys, love edifies.
Use your knowledge—whatever the subject or situation—as a means to love, encourage, and build up others.
Conceit is what makes a little squirt think he is a fountain of knowledge.
…and his spirit was hardened in pride.
The use of concrete goes back thousands of years. The Romans specialized in cement, which created an architectural revolution. The Colosseum was made of concrete, along with the dome of the Pantheon and the aqueducts that channeled water to the cities of the empire. After the fall of Rome, concrete was forgotten until modern times, but now it’s indispensible in architecture. Visitors still gaze in amazement at Hoover Dam, built from 1931 to 1936, one of the largest concrete structures in the world.
Pride is the concrete of the soul. It hardens us, turning a soft heart to stone. In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar became self-absorbed in accomplishment and power. His heart was lifted up, and his spirit “was hardened in pride.” The same thing can happen to Christians. The book of Hebrews warns us against the hardening of the heart (Hebrews 4:7).
Love is the salve of the soul. It softens us and makes us tender, and that’s the medicine of Him who knows how to take out our stony hearts and give us a new heart and a new spirit—the spirit of love.
If I had only one sermon to preach, it would be a sermon against Pride.
G. K. Chesterton
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:16
Ancient pagans spent much time trying to meet their gods’ demands and beg them for blessings. Sacrifices—even human sacrifices—were a central part of their efforts. Pagan peoples approached their gods the same way they approached other people because they created the gods (idols) in their own image. Because human beings can be unpredictable and vengeful, so the gods they created were the same. The character of the gods reflected the character of those who made them.
But the God of the Bible is different. He created mankind in His image, not vice versa. God’s character has been eternally the same, a character summed up in one word: Love. The Bible says “God is love,” and there is nothing that can separate us from His love as revealed through Christ. Everything God does is based on His character of perfect love. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s love or favor. We are loved because He created us in His image to be loved by Him.
Don’t doubt God’s love for you today. Wherever you are in life, know that you are loved by the God who is love.
God’s love is not drawn out by our lovableness, but wells up, like an artesian spring, from the depths of His nature.