He is there all the time!

I’ve been in an extended meditation since yesterday afternoon.  It’s now Monday morning and God is doing some really cool things in my heart.

Romans 5:5 says that “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  I looked at the Greek verbs in this text and had some helpful insight.  The verb translated “has been poured out” is perfect tense.  The verb translated, “was given to us”, is aorist tense.

Here’s the application: When someone turns to Christ and believes the gospel, he/she receives the gift of the Holy Spirit at that point.  It’s a once for all event.  The Holy Spirit comes in to stay.  Aorist tense means a completed action (in the past).  It’s a done deal.

But there is a tangible and ongoing experience of the pouring out within our hearts of God’s love that first occurred at a point in the past, but with results that continue into the present.  This is the meaning of the perfect tense in the Greek.  Wow.  Do you get that?

The tangible, dynamic, experiential love of God is meant to be experienced by us every day of our existence!  It is God’s will that we never sense a separation from His love!  (Remember that Paul said something about nothing separating us from this love?!!!) 

If this is true (and it is), then why do so many Christians plod through life with little sense of God’s nearness and great affection for us?  Well, it’s not because He is not with us and not because He does not love us!  Perhaps it’s because we are not listening.  We are not yielding.  We are distracted and conflicted.  Of course, sin hinders our experience of God’s love as well.  But I don’t think our biggest problem is usually willful sin.  I think it’s more often than not an insensitivity based upon distractions, many of which are things not evil in themselves.

Earlier this morning I got an email from a ministry web source site.  I am posting the short article/illustration from PreachingToday.com below.  It blew me away.  How timely.  And the video that is linked at the bottom tells it all.  You’ve got to take the two minutes and see this.  Hint: our hearts are just like that room in the subway in DC.  Allow God to speak to you.  And leave me a comment about what He said – if you have time and feel so led.  Blessings.

Stop and Listen to the Music

Joshua Bell emerged from the Metro and positioned himself against a wall beside a trash basket. By most measures, he was nondescript–a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money and began to play.

For the next 45 minutes, in the D.C. Metro on January 12, 2007, Bell played Mozart and Schubert as over 1,000 people streamed by, most hardly taking notice. If they would have, they might have recognized the young man for the world-renowned violinist he is. They also may have noted the violin he played–a rare Stradivari worth over $3 million. It was all part of a project arranged by The Washington Post–“an experiment in context, perception, and priorities–as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste. In a banal setting, at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?”

Just three days earlier, Joshua Bell sold out Boston Symphony Hall, with ordinary seats going for $100. In the subway, Bell garnered about $32 from the 27 people who stopped long enough to give a donation.

(To see the UTube video click here)

One thought on “He is there all the time!

  1. Interesting story; reminds me of Thomas Merton’s statement that the goal of spirituality is to develop an “acute awareness” of God’s presence in the world.As to Paul, would we be correct then in reading this clause as “the love of God is being continually poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit that was once and for all given to us”? I wonder why translators feel the need to leave these nuances of the text alone. I understand it reads somewhat awkwardly in the English and diminishes the text’s literary (i.e., aesthetic) value, but one would wonder if this isn’t some way to keep the “experts” of the original languages in a small, elite group, while they wow the masses and gain their trust because of their study. (I’m emphatically am not saying that you’re doing that, but you’ve surely seen that in action. I’m saying if we take up the practice ourselves, we add to the problem.)The real way to read the Bible, after all, is to read it book by book, not verse by verse. The verse-centered discourse of reading the Bible is what remains responsible for the format of the versions of the Authorized (King James) Version and the New King James Version, where every verse is separated by a verse number and indentation (as though each new verse were a paragraph in its own right).The Spirit of God may be able to meet us on a verse-by-verse basis, but he didn’t move the authors to write in this way. What if the body of Christ expanded its discursive and rhetorical awareness and read (and commented on) the Bible more from the perspective of the whole book or, at the very least, from a pericope? What then would that do to our collective love and our reading of the Bible?Just some thoughts.Shalom.

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