6 Jan 2015

Newness: when we re-new our thoughts and keep them fresh

Did you know thinking can get old? 
That it can play like an old vinyl stuck on a groove where you find yourself return to the same spinning cycles of longing or loss?

a berlinderhand - an old hand cranked gramophone

Studies have shown that we are creatures not only of habit; but of comfort, including a comfortable way for our neurons to fire. It's like the train set that goes round and round the one track. Our thinking can get routine - and - dull.

But you protest: I am not the creative sort! I am sorry your protest isn't sound. My first answer, regarding being creative is here {go on, be creative!}

More than that, I am not talking about creative flashes in our brain circuitry here.

Christ tore the veil that eternally separates God from man and came onto earth, died, resurrected, defying the enemy of life, and leaves us the Holy Spirit to put in motion a renewal process that will lead towards the climatic day when we have new bodies; and heaven and earth gets a makeover! This process has begun. This process is God's agenda. It is His will. God the Creator is re-creating, and we made in His image have been invited to play a part. God is making all things new!

Just one very real problem: we lose sight of this agenda, this will of God marching forward.

St Paul calls us to recapture it through a change of our mind:
"Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. " ~ Romans 12v2, AmpBible
We have to watch it when our minds go soft and starts to get into familiar grooves. I dare say that as we grow older, this tendency can increase. (so perhaps thank our kids for challenging our thoughts and pushing us to stay relevant and fresh).

Take the word 'love' -- way overused, not enough understood, sought and lived.

What does love mean?

Today in 1 John 4v7 -

  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
There is plenty to store away, think about, and decide upon here. 

Accordingly, love is ~
 to value, esteem, feel or manifest generous concern for, be faithful towards; to delight in, to set store upon. {Mounce Interlinear}

Quite immediately it becomes clear to me who and what I do love, and do not love! Coffee, cat, causes, comfort, virtual connection (the new 5 Cs) or Christ, community, commitment?

John calls us to value, esteem, be faithful, show generous concern, take delight in and set store upon our spiritual family and to extend that outward. He goes on to give us a very basic reason for this: it is God's nature to love and if we truly have new life in us and a living relationship of coming to know God more, then love becomes a natural outcome, product, fruit.

Do we have a choice to love or not? Yes. Just that to choose not to love - anyone - is to choke the Life out of ourselves. And egad, we are such with-holders and hoarders aren't we?

cold wars
cold shoulders
and maybe even, cold food

Where do we go to get warmed up? To thaw out our hearts so we can share our shoulder?

Everyone needs, wants and seeks love.

The next verse in 1 John reveals the answer. It's again so overused, we lose sight of its simply sublime power. God Is Love. This means No God, no love.

Again you protest, and I join you here. There are many loving and lovey-dovey things happening apart from God.

But God is Love is understood by us in what God did: love us, the un-loveables. We are not compatible with God folks. Our ways are hell-bent and resistant, or outright rebellious. Yes, God loves us; but it's not because we are.so.cute!

God who is love sought us and first loved us; and those who respond, He puts His life in us so we feel a 'compulsion to love' - this lovely phrase from St Paul who in 2 Corinthians 5 was talking about how he's committed to what he does and is motivated by love to do it even though he's too weird for some and they call him 'intense', 'not quite proper', 'out of his mind'!

I suppose heaven on earth, eternity in time, new in old will always feel in the least, awkward.

A new species of Homo Spaiens, clumsy, requiring constant re-tooling, at times brave and expansive, other times, bewildered and huddling now move on planet earth. And they need to be reminded often that they aren't like the rest they live among. They are to bring in a new order, a new way; and they will succeed if they re-new their minds, often.


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