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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

First Love (Restored)

In the letter to the church of Ephesus the Risen Lord walking among the lamp-stands urged the members of the church to restore the love they had at first saying, "You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first."

First impression:

This call to restore the first love comes with the sense of condemnation and despair, and overwhelming.  Think about the statement saying: how far you have fallen! Yea. That is me! 

The way to restore

Yet, as always, Jesus never asks us to do what we are supposed to do without first helping us to know how to do what to do. And the way to do what we are called to do is found in the word "do": "Do the things you did at first." 

1. Do
2. The things you did
3. At first

* Doing is the key to loving.

This is true with challenges like bodybuilding, singing, or dancing. By the time I reached sixties I neglected exercising. By that time I was overweight, and my body started showing signs of malfunctioning, such as stomach ulcer, sleep apnea getting worse. Since I hated exercising my friend had to virtually drag to a gym and get myself enrolled as a member of his family friends. Then as I started exercise, going through the so called 'light weight training', gradually I ended up liking, and eventually not only liking but loving. 

* The things you did

Doing has to do with the word of God. And I am reminded that Jesus is the Word Incarnate. Doing is eating, as Jesus said, "This is my blood. Drink it." Or "I am the Bread of Life. Break it and eat together." It is practically read the Scriptures meditate and memorize the Word, like reciting and memorizing Revelation 2:4-5. 

* At first

I remember the first time they started serving electricity. I think it was early 1960's when I was attending a grade school in a country village. For the first time the light bulb was there and lit up, making the small room bright. It looked like a miracle. The bright electrical light that lit up the dark room hit me with excitement, fascination, the sense of great happiness, with many wows! And "everyone" loved it. 
But overtime I started taking the electrical light for granted. 

I also recall the joy and excitement with which I started studying, literally consuming, the word of God from the book of Genesis like "In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.... God saw all he made and it was VERY GOOD!" 

Examples

In the east coast there is the Appalachian Trail. In the west coast there is the more famous John Muir Trail. 

By the time John Muir reached 12 he memorized the entire New Testament Scriptures. During the latter part of his life he memorized about 50% of the Old Testament Scriptures. How could one memorize so much? But he did, perhaps by starting out one verse after another, like one line each day. 

Effect

It has been said, "Practice breeds perfection". 

A friend of mine sent me a video clip of a dance program. There in young ladies, an old citizen, and small little girls do the joyful dance. The move seems simple but when I tried to do the dance it looked impossible to reach their level. But I guess the same might have been the case with the doers. Yet I gather they reached the level of doing the dance gracefully in harmony rhythmically, enjoying.




Love of the Lord can also be fully restored just as at first, through daily doing, eating it and drinking it every day just like my grandson Joel craving milk. Then life will become full as is said, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" or as has been declared by John, "The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us (and now is risen being with us.)"






Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Word Became Flesh

John Muir (click here for his wiki infor) at the age of 12  memorized the new testament Scriptures, and according to Wikipedia towards the latter part of his life memorized (almost) half of the old testament Scriptures.

He was a man of great strength (bodily) and vigor. In his backpack he kept only dry pieces of bread, a tin cup and tea. Eating meagerly he traversed miles after miles, mostly on foot, ranging from the most southern part of the Pacific Coast of the U.S. all the way to Alaska. A week ago after visiting a family in Seattle (Seattle UBF), I and Rebekah had time to visit Mt. Rainier. There at one of the top areas called Paradise trails started. I did the Skyline trail. At the trail head on the stairway was written a line John Muir wrote in his journals.

John Muir endeavored to preserve beauties of nature. He developed the John Muir Trail. It is owing to him that we came to see beautiful parks preserved like Yosemite.

It is said Muir tried to copy the lifestyle of John the Baptist who on seeing Jesus coming to him, "Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

There  is the disciple of Jesus named "John" who later came to be known as the Apostle John the author of John's gospel.

The Apostle John wrote in his gospel on Jesus saying, "The Word Became Flesh." Jesus is the word who came in flesh. He not only memorized the Word but also lived the Word. And John says He IS the WORD. And no matter what other say, we say, It is Jesus the Word who made beautiful trails like that of the Skyline Trail on Mt. Rainier.