Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spring is coming!

My daphne is in bloom by my front door. The smell is just delicious as I walk out the door. I must get some sprigs in the house for the marvelous aroma it gives.
Spring is a time of new beginnings. In nature the buds are awakening. My Rhodies will soon be bursting with color. They are laden with buds.

My roses have looked like sticks all winter, but by June they will be in full bloom until Thanksgiving. Did you know that Portland, Oregon is known as the "City of Roses"?
In thinking about Spring, I feel challenged to have some new beginnings in my Christian walk with the Lord.

Recently in my Bible study, I have been studying the character traits of a Christian. Today I have been reflecting on one of them--brotherly kindness

1 Peter 1:22-23 22 Since you have, in obedience to the truth, purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

I’m thinking the key word in that passage is “fervently”. As I examine my heart, I see I fall short in fervor. My next door neighbors are Christians, but they are careless people in the way they keep up their yard, obey the city ordinances, and in general present quite a messy sight to the neighborhood. I find anger stirring within every time I drive up to my home and there sits his work truck hanging over the sidewalk, a garbage trailer sitting in the driveway, a broken sink, the garbage cans at the curb two days after garbage day--you get the picture.I keep silent because they are a brother and sister in Christ.....but every day I wrestle with talking to them about it.

Do I fervently love them from my heart? I really like them and adores their little girl, but I know I don’t like how they operate. It is a dilemma that I won’t solve in the near futures. In the meantime, I am asking for wisdom from God, in dealing with this situation and acceptance if that is what I am supposed to do.

As we have gone through these character traits from
2 Peter 1, I wish I could say that I have “arrived” in practicing all of them daily. I cannot say that--in fact the more I examine my heart, the more I see in my life that needs work.

I rejoice that our God loves us with all of our failures, warts and bumps and He doesn’t tire of bestowing His love upon us as it is ours because of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we know Him, we are perfect in God’s eyes because He sees us through Him!!

Oh by the way--those character traits Peter talks about are:

Faith,--it is the “title deed”
Moral excellence
--goodness or virtue

Knowledge--comes from an intimate relationship with Christ
--one of the fruits of the Spirit--Gal 5:22-23

--don’t give up
Godliness--practice it moment by moment
Brotherly kindness--treat everyone as a brother
Love--is a verb--do for others--I Cor. 13

I again remind myself Spring is a time of new bginnings.
Have a wonderful day as you anticipate the arrival of Spring with me.

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