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The kingdom is like a mighty river, flowing over time. The river is a story – the story of God’s kingdom. It is the Kingdom River.

Like most mighty rivers, the Kingdom River has a deep channel; a channel that cuts through time, on the river’s way through eternity. The Kingdom River makes its own path. It determines, by its power, where it will flow.

In the channel of the Kingdom River, the current flows deep and with great power. It draws all of humanity to itself. But, the channel of the Kingdom River is a dangerous place. All who are swept up in it eventually drown.

The Kingdom River, as it is with most mighty rivers, also has its shallows and quiet pools; places where young and old first enter – where they find peace and comfort. In this part of the river, the waters rarely come up to your knees; and the strong current is rarely felt. Still, many are satisfied to stay there.

Regrettably, they are not aware of the dangers that are lurking nearby.

Removed from, but within view of the Kingdom River, is a broad road. Many are traveling down the broad road. Many – perhaps most – of those traveling on the broad road are irritated by the site of the river. They want nothing to do with it. They consider the people gathered at the river to be foolish and weak.

Many others, on the broad road, are comforted in knowing that the river is close. When they pause to look and consider the road, they feel drawn to come near. But that would require them to leave the broad road, and they are not ready for that. Perhaps some other day. In the end, they never make it to the river’s edge.

This is a sad tragedy, but not so much as that which unknowingly threatens the shallow and quiet pool dwellers.

Read the rest of this entry »

“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. Mark 12:30

Would you agree with me that we should love the LORD more? Of course you would (who wouldn’t?). There is a desire in the heart of every child of God to love Him more, each and every day.

I regularly ask the LORD to give me grace to love Him more. Recently, He helped me express this desire in a [more specific prayer] (based on Mark 12:30).

In response to my prayer, He has begun to encourage/challenge me in each area: heart, soul, mind and strength. I offer the following spiritual exercise in the hope that it will help you in your own pursuit to love Him with your all.

I am confident that this simple exercise will profit you much in your following after Jesus Christ. Mediate on the passages; and prayerfully consider the questions. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.

God bless you in it.

Loving the LORD with all your heart: It is with the heart that man believes (Romans 10:10). You have been given a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26); capable of loving Him more. Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Question: Is there a word you have from God that you have not acted upon?

Loving the LORD with all your soul: Our soul includes our will (inc., desires and perceived rights) and our emotions (feeling, affections and aversions). God is working in you to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). “Soul” sometimes appears as “life”; as in Luke 17:33: He who seeks to save His life (i.e., soul), will lose it. Jesus said, “Take My yoke…and you will find rest for your soul” (Matthew 11:29). Mary’s heart magnified the LORD (Luke 1:46). Question: Are there desires and rights that you have yet to surrender?

Loving with all your mind: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). If then, you were raised with Christ… set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2). Questions: Is there an earthly thing that you have set your mind on, that needs to be replaced in your attention by a heavenly thing?

Loving with all your strength: Present your bodies a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). Christ desires to be magnified in your body – by life or by death (Philippians 1:20). Your body is a member of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 6:15,19). Question: Have you presented your body to magnify Christ, as you carry Him and the Holy Spirit with you into the world?

God has been speaking to me in each of these areas. I hope to share some of these at a later date. He has expressed His pleasure each time I have responded humbly and obediently to His instruction.

I pray the same for you. Read the rest of this entry »

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