Beckoned by the King (excerpt from the Preface)

The Psalmist asks in Psalm 119:9 “how shall I cleanse my way?” and his answer to himself, and to us is to take heed and keep watch on ourselves according to God’s Word and by conforming our lives to his Word.  We present ourselves to him repeatedly, sacrificing those things of the flesh that we have held dear to our hearts and have them burned out of us as we renew our minds. Our walk with him is to the extent that we hear his Voice burning in our hearts as we live each day knowing he is with us.   It means we take stock of ourselves, of our thought lives, our actions, our words and even our beliefs.  Are our beliefs lining up with the Word of God and are we speaking right things only, things in agreement with God’s Word?

Are we living with a hand outstretched to the poor and needy, are we considering others above and before ourselves and are we willing to take the second mile attitude?

Do we willingly turn our cheek when we are hurt and injured by someone, making ourselves available and vulnerable to them?  Are we really willing and ready to bless those who would persecute us?   Are we so full of the love of God that when someone wants to sue us and take our undershirt, or that which is close to our heart that we are able to give our covering, our coat as well?

Do we live holding loosely to the things, the possessions that we have so that we are able to give freely knowing we have received freely?

Just look at the kindness and wisdom of God!  When we are forced to walk one mile we have that time span to change our minds and bless the other in our second mile.  We can bless them and speak into their life and we can show them a heart generous with love.  We can show them unashamedly that we are children of our Father of Love and our presence with them brings blessing to their life.  We carry the glory of God within us and we bring a physical tangible blessing into the lives of other.  We can take; adopt as our own the second mile attitude because we know the treasury of the King is available to us. We can live and love generously and we have as a continual example the King of Heaven and Earth, for who has better portrayed for us in all of life’s history a more perfect example of second mile living?

The King’s heart was broken in the Garden when Adam and Eve disobeyed. He had given them everything, they lived his dream, they shared their heart freely, and the communion they walked in was rich and unbroken – until that fatal day.

The King’s heart was broken and yet he turned the other cheek.  In the turning of his cheek, the King looked not at man’s sin but at redemption’s promise.  He turned his cheek and how many times has the evil in man injured his heart, how many times would humanity’s coldness to his love be as a slap in his face?

The King, in love of his creation turned his cheek and held nothing back.  Nothing could stop his flow of generous love and he gave a costly and generous gift to us.  He gave his very best for us when he gave us Jesus – God with us.  Yet we turned our backs to him too.  We spat upon him, slapped him in the face, injured him inhumanely and yet he opened not his mouth in defense; he turned not only his cheek but gave his entire body for our redemption.  Jesus – Lord – gave all that he had, freely, generously.  Graciously he has shown us the attitude we are to adopt as our own as we walk the second mile.

The Holy Spirit given to us is a Comforter, a Helper, a revealer of insights into God’s Holy Word and he is in us.  The deep life of God is within us to create new life in us and those deep waters of God want to wash away our sinfulness and yet how often we resist his love and say “this far and no more shall you come?”

He bears with us; our stubbornness has not yet yielded to his gentleness.  The Holy Spirit is the cloak, the full expression of the King’s heart.  He is our covering and our protection.  Jesus brought love, mercy, grace, redemption – an end to the wrath of God.  Can we not fully accept this gift from the King, see Jesus lifted high above the ground and wear the cloak of love he gave for us?

Can we see him high and lifted up on the Cross living and dying as a perfect example of the holiness of God?  He poured out his life for us – it is a wellspring – fresh and pure that shall never run dry.  The more we drink of him the more we lay aside our old selves and experience renewal and revival.  We begin to walk that second mile with a heart pleasing to the King and should that not be what we all aspire to?

Our heart … is to be taken up, consumed by matters of the King.  What matters to the King will be of utmost importance to us.   Our question then must be, “Oh God, what is your heart taken up with?  What consumes your heart, oh Lord and King; you who have made yourself Redeemer and Friend to us who are the intricate creation of your hand?”

“My heart”, You would say, “is consumed.  The fiery love that burns in every part of me blazes with love for my children.  My heart is consumed by fiery love so that nothing remains in me but the power of love.  If it were not so you would be consumed by my anger and my jealousy.  My jealousy is balanced by and surrenders to the love that blazes in my heart.”


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