Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It must be more than words

(photo credit: discarded image.com)

"All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world." (1 John 4:15-17, New Living Translation)

"God is love; His mercy brightens
All the path in which we rove;
Bliss He wakes and woe He lightens; 
God is wisdom, God is love"

Most mornings, as part of my devotional time, I read a hymn story. This hymn, "God is Love; His Mercy Brightens," was written by John Bowring around 1822. Sir John was a controversial political figure, serving two terms in Parliament and finally being appointed governor of Hong Kong in 1854. It is claimed by some that his appointment to Hong Kong was to escape scandal at home in England.

Sir John claimed that he could speak 100 languages and read 100 more. Those claims, as well, have been disputed, though some people estimate that, upon his death, he could speak 8 languages fluently, read and write another 7 and could understand a further 25. Not too shabby.

He was heavy handed in his governing and is known as one of the fathers of "gunboat diplomacy." Variously described as being "full of conceit," and "a supreme charlatan and worse: a cheat, a liar, and, at least once, a swindler," one wonders how the same person who wrote "God is wisdom, God is love" could have gotten so far off track 30 years later. Maybe he forgot. 

Or maybe he was just a good writer.

That's what hit me this morning. And this became my prayer: Lord, never let me write what I am not living out to the best of my ability and, by Your grace, beyond my ability.

Question: In what area of your life do you pray most for consistency?

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