Sunday, August 26, 2007

Get, therefore, skill

"As in searching into any experiments in nature, there is an infinite pleasure that accompanies such a study to them that are addicted thereunto; so to him that hath pleasure in the works of God, and is addicted to spy out his kindness in them, there is nothing so pleasant as the discovery of new circumstances of mercy that render his work "glorious and honorable."

Get, therefore, skill in his dealings with thee, and study thy friends carriage to thee. It is the end why he raised thee up, and admitted thee into friendship with him, to show his art of love and friendship to thee; to show, in a word, how well he could love thee."

Thomas Goodwin

I had to read that a number of times to squeeze out the nectar; here's my take on it. His purpose in calling and saving us is that we may understand this God of love and his many ways of caring and loving us. Goodwin's encouragement for me is to look closely at each person and circumstance of life to see God's hand in it. If we look only to His word for inspiration, and don't look with eyes of faith at all that surrounds us, we will miss and take for granted many things. And, I think, in addition, attribute much of God's blessings to happenstance. When we are around strong Christians, we see how God has taught them many ways to show tenderness and understanding, we feel awed by their sensitivity and their loving ways of acting out these deep truths of God.

I'll get personal now; I was at a gathering after the Memorial for Carissa's father. There was a man there who was a Christian, he was much about sharing Jesus, he was bold and unashamed of the gospel. He was on a mission to pray with every unbeliever there. When he had success, he would come and share the victory. At first my wife was impressed with his open conversation to all. I was also impressed, but not with him, but with my wife. As this man was off and about sharing the gospel, Sue was living it. She had volunteered to do the video, also the program for the service. She attended the video at the service, she talked with the bereaved wife, invited her to our house and made future plans to visit. Made herself friendly to other family members she was introduced to. Played catch with the children, all of which were orphaned. So, now who shared the gospel? Who glorified the Lord? It is an easy question for me.

Goodwin exhorts us to study God's friendship to us; so we may learn how to love, not just speak.


Anonymous said...

I like Sue's style too. A good lady. ~Matt

Donna said...

Great message.