Love

Greg Boyd recently wrote about love. Here it is in part. See the rest at his blog.

“This is how we know what love is,” John says, “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another” (1 John 3:16). This is the kind of love that defines God’s eternal nature, and this is the kind of love we are empowered to express to all others when we become his children.

In fact, manifesting Calvary-like love is the defining mark of a child of God, which is why Jesus taught us to love even our enemies “that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Our Father loves indiscriminately – like the rain falls and the sun shines – and we make it clear that we are “born from above” when we manifest this love (Matt 5:44-45).

Along the same lines, manifesting indiscriminating love is the most basic distinguishing mark of the kingdom of God. We enthrone Christ as King of our life when we agree with him that each and every person was worth him dying for and that each and every person therefore has unsurpassable worth, totally apart from any assessment of their moral character. This is precisely why a kingdom person must follow Jesus example to the point where they are willing to be killed at the hands of threatening enemies rather than judging them to be unworthy of life by killing them in self-defense.

This radical Calvary-like love seems foolish, if not immoral, to the world, which shouldn’t surprise us since this is how the message of the cross strikes the world (I Cor 1:18, 24). And yet, manifesting this kind of love is the sina qua non of the kingdom. According to Paul, it is impossible for any activity, however impressive, to have any kingdom value if it lacks this kind of love. You can speak in tongues, give prophecies, have incredible insights into God’s greatest mysteries, possess all knowledge, manifest miracle-working power, and even appear to make great sacrifices for others, but if these things are not motivated by Calvary-like love, Paul says they are altogether worthless. The only thing that matters, Paul adds, is “faith expressing itself through love” (I Cor 13:1-3).

Read it all at Greg Boyd’s blog.

A Better Way to Read the Bible

Today I completed a weeks-long project of developing a two-year schedule for reading through the Bible chronologically. The prophets are read within their proper contexts in the historical books and the epistles come up at the right times during the reading of the Book of Acts.

Each day in the two-year cycle has a couple of pages of reading. In addition, following long tradition, there are a couple of pages of Psalms so that the Psalms are read again and again about every two months.

Let me know if you like it. I do.

Better Bible Reading Schedule

Chronic Temptation

“I know all about the despair of overcoming chronic temptation. It is not serious, provided self-offended petulance, annoyance at breaking records, impatience, etc., don’t get the upper hand. No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: it is the very sign of His presence.” — from a 1942 letter of C.S. Lewis