Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I love Heather.

And I wanted to expound a couple of reasons why this is the case. My hope here is to encourage everyone to seek to know God as deeply as possible before you have the opportunity to die, because he is the only truly enjoyable thing.

This relates to Heather, because my love for her is always contingent on my love for God. I should also define what I mean by love, so that there is no confusion. There are two basic ways I see our culture, and perhaps even our Evangelical culture, use the term 'love'. It is used to describe a degree of affection for something, or it is used to describe an attitude/characteristic of a person. God does both of these perfectly. John describes God as 'love' (1 John 4:8), which refers to his personal attribute, or character. God is also perfect in his affection toward man. This is to say that God has the correct degree of affection towards each person. What is it about mankind that is attractive to God? It is that very image of himself, which he created Adam and Eve in, and which every human has the form of. Unfortunately (and this will not be pursued very far in the discussion), every human being born is corrupt in that form. But let me clear some of this philosophizing up.

1. Love is a characteristic
2. Love is an affection

From my perspective, and my own experience, men and women on this earth form relationships with eachother based on these two reasons. It need not be both, but I believe one or the other is necessary. In a healthy relationship the characteristic of love in a person (and as mentioned before, true love always stems from a love for God) is the root of a Godly relationship. It is the essence. It is not based on anything about the other person. It does not deal with attraction, or the senses, or perceptions about the other person. It is simply that characteristic of love which is given to the human by God's spirit. This is that 'agapei love' which everyone has heard about and gets excited over. It is from this characteristic that a person declares, I will live my live sacrificially toward God, and toward this person. I will love them regardless of anything they do or say.
Love as an affection deals with desire, and delight. It is that love which notices the person and says, "I want to be with them!", "They are amazing, and marvelous, and wonderful...". This type of loving affection has its root in one of two places. Either it is planted in the godly, self-less characteristic of love in a person's life, or it is planted in the godless, selfish characterisitic of self-love in a person's life. There is no stand-alone affection. You can't desire something without there being a reason for desiring it. A healthy desiring affection toward another person does not put on 'pink shades', or disregard the sin in another person's life. Rather it chooses not to focus on them, but instead to focus on the good things in another. To marvel at their personality, and physical beauty, to cherish their conversation, and godly attitude. Because this type of love is rooted in a loving disposition, the issues of sin are dealt with based on that unconditional foundation. To top it off, one's affections steadily grow over time, if they are based on a characteristic of love.

As followers of Christ, and people who have been given a new heart (which is that characteristic of love) we not only have the ability to love those who are our 'enemies', but we also have the ability to have genuine affection for them. This is what heaps burning coals on their heads. Those who do not follow Christ do not have the ability to love unconditionally, only selfishly. They love because it benefits them. When they see someone genuinely desiring to spend time with people who hate them, it is mind boggling to them, and in many cases causes them to ask why, or proclaim us to be mad.

But now to the purpose. I love Heather. It is only by God's grace that I do so. I must remind myself more and more of that. It is his working in my heart not only so I have the capacity to do so, but so that my affection toward her grows. The Spirit of God is developing in me a continual desire and delight in my future wife, and he has established in both of us a fail-proof plan against all sin, temptation, and any marriage problems: Christ.

As we enjoy Jesus more and more, our capacity to enjoy eachother grows too. And for the world we present a picture of Christ's relationship with the church, one of supreme affection and character!!

May this be our prayer should God leave us on earth until our wedding day.

God bless,


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Read this...

The following are the headings of Piper's thoughts (and David Powlison's) concerning Cancer. Read the article here.

"You will waste your cancer if:

1. You do not believe it is designed for you by God.
2. You believe it is a curse and not a gift.
3. You seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.
4. You refuse to think about death.
5. You think that “beating” cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.
6. You spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God.
7. You let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest affection.
8. You grieve as those who have no hope.
9. You treat sin as casually as before.
10. You fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.

I have been pondering the glory of God recently. And how I don't think about it, or love it, or cherish it near enough. On the other side of the coin are the 'civilian affairs' talked about in 2Ti 2:4: "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

From my experience, it is an uncommon thing in this culture for people who name themselves "Christians" to be so ravished by the glory of God. Do I itch for any sort of chance to proclaim His name, to honour it, or to tell other people that they should be?

I want to work on internalizing the glory of God in my thoughts, not simply in the meaningless, purely intellectual way, but in a way which consistently stirs the heart to action. Someday perhaps I will have the faith to declare that a personal experience of Cancer, or some other difficult struggle, is a blessing from God because it allows me to tell about how great he is. I want that.