Kiffblog

February 18, 2016

Enjoy

Filed under: Uncategorized — andykiff @ 9:40 pm

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

The more I think on this verse, the more I want the first part rather than the second.  I want to truly take delight in You, and everything else that comes is just a by-product.  The Westminster Shorter Catechism opens with this answer to the question of life’s purpose: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever”.  I’m too often bogged down in duty, obedience, guilt and repentance to lift up my head and simply enjoy.  Enjoy You.  I’m not even sure what that means in full but I think it comes from knowing You more, spending time with You, having an increasing awareness of You in every part of my life.

Lord, I want to enjoy You.  I’m grateful for everything You’ve given to me and will continue to be so, but let me enjoy just You.

February 16, 2016

Isolated

Filed under: Uncategorized — andykiff @ 7:49 pm

Mark 1:35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.

I’ve been reminded again this week of the need for time alone with You.  It’s clearly something I need to keep hearing until I really get down to doing it.  I don’t know why I think I can get through the day without stopping to talk to You properly, when Jesus made a point of doing it.  It wasn’t convenient for him – he had to wake up early enough that it was still dark.  I just checked and that meant that even in the darkness of winter, due to the location of Jerusalem, that wouldn’t have been any later than 06:40.  He also had to get up and walk to somewhere isolated, where he could be truly alone.  Sometimes I read that he had to go up a mountain to find that solitude.  Short version: this took effort.

For something requiring that much effort, where other people probably thought “how does he do that?”, it has to be:

  • Regular – the most arduous task becomes less so through repetition.  When it gets embedded into the daily routine it becomes less of a big deal.
  • Worth it – there have to be benefits that can be felt.  Effort with no reward leads to discouragement and failure.

I can easily draw a parallel to running, probably because that’s something I do before daybreak.  It was hard at first, it took a change in my daily habits, and I had to press through when it seemed like I wasn’t making progress at first.  Now it’s just part of every day and I’ve seen the improvements keep coming.

Lord, remind me of these principles when I want to give up.  Give me the steadfastness to stick with it and grow closer and closer to You.

February 10, 2016

Practical

Filed under: Uncategorized — andykiff @ 7:46 pm

Exodus 31:3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts.

It’s amazing how practical the Spirit is.  In 1 Corinthians I read how the gifts of the Spirit are given for the common good.  It can be tempting to go chasing experiences and personal fulfilment through the Spirit when I should be looking outwards.  The gifts of the Spirit, whatever form they take, are always practical.  They are to be used to help others.  They’re not always a spectacular miracle, more often they’re the abilities and skills that I’ve been given.

Whatever I’m ‘naturally’ good at, it’s not because of anything I’ve done (although I can work to improve it).  If I’m gifted at anything, it’s just that – a gift.  I’m supernaturally good at it through the Spirit.  It’s my responsibility to see my gifts, develop them and use them for the benefit of others to Your glory.

Lord thank You for every gift that You’ve given to me through Your Spirit.  Give me an awareness and a willingness to put them to Your use.

February 3, 2016

Simple

Filed under: Uncategorized — andykiff @ 7:58 pm

Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

So that’s it?  Just two things to do in life, and everything else is covered?  If it’s so simple, why don’t I just do it?

The problem is that simple doesn’t equal easy.  The only parts of these commandments that I struggle with is every part.  It’s easier to focus on following a long list of small and specific rules that are man-made (or most often self-made).  These two commandments are terrifying in their scope because everything else really does follow from them.  If I love You with everything then all my thoughts and actions are affected.  And I can’t keep it to myself, I have to change how I act towards other people too.

Lord I know how simple following You should be and how complicated I make it.  If I have one prayer today, it is, “help me to love You and love people”.

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