Aslan’s Meditations: (11/11) Neither Barren nor Unfruitful

It’s hard to believe we are concluding our series in 2 Peter 1:5-8, yet here we are in part 11 – the last part of our series.

I want to say thank you so much for taking this journey with me, and for all your encouraging notes along the way. It was truly a blessing to write this and I hope you learned as much from reading it as I did writing it.

We’re going to take a break for a week or two, and then AslansLily is going to take us into a new series looking at Jesus as the great I AM – so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your feedback on this series and Aslan’s Meditations in general, so you can submit any feedback you have HERE.

And without further ado, here is the last installment of our series!

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence: add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To wrap up, let’s take a quick overview of what we’ve covered in this series.

imageIn Part 1, we began by saying that all these virtues are not a list of things for us to do, rather they are an outpouring of our love and a response to God’s amazing gift of salvation and grace.

That by God’s divine power He has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness – through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue…by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises!

In Part 2, we looked at how faith is our solid foundation – that if we do not have faith, it’s impossible to please God. Without faith in the One who has created us and sustains us, if we have all these other virtues, they mean nothing because there is no grounds for them. It’s easy to fight when things are all unicorns and rainbows and mountaintops, but faith is what keeps you strong when you can’t see – the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1)

Moving into part 3, we took a step back at an important word in this passage: diligence. We saw how it contrasted with perseverance, and that Paul didn’t say this was going to be an easy journey. It’s going to take careful, persistent, daily surrender to Christ – not just something we do half-heartedly or do out of present emotion at church. It’s something we have to continually keep pushing ourselves to do – because in the end the reward will be wonderful.

imageNext, in part 4, we looked at the very broad, yet penetrating value of “virtue”, where we saw the kinds of things that can get in our way of all of these things. Faith is our foundation, but where do we go from there? Often we don’t realize the things that hinder us from God because they are a mask that we’re wearing, distorting everything and preventing us from learning and growing. It put into perspective living because of God, not trying to do good things for Him – but again, living my life as a response to His grace.

In part 5, we built on the previous lesson about having the right mask over our face by talking about what we should know in the word “knowledge.” We are ambassadors for Christ, and we have the joyous, beautiful, amazing privilege of representing God to the world. We can know all the answers, know all the verses, be able to answer every question, but unless we personally know Christ, everything is worthless. This goes back again to not living for Christ but living because of Him.

imageWhen we reached part 6, we talked about self-control and how we need to be careful what we do with the knowledge that we have – that we don’t abuse it or try to use it for our own benefit or glory. We also saw how self-control – through Christ’s strength – can help us to overcome temptations because we have a greater goal in mind.

In part 7, we looked at perseverance and endurance. We saw how they were similar, and how they were different, but most of all how after all those virtues – we’re probably getting a little tired! And perseverance is what we need to press on. Sometimes it means just forsaking all and running. Sometimes it means ignoring the pain. Other times it means stopping, thinking, and praying. Other times it means letting God clean our hearts – often a painful process. But we know that we can press on because our God is fighting for us. We also saw how just enduring for the sake of enduring was not what we needed to do – but to press on.

imageIn part 8, we talked about how being godly wasn’t just not being ungodly, but rather taking meaningful steps to do what is right. It’s not just making sure we don’t do bad things, but making sure were doing the right things. So often we think we’re okay because we don’t smoke, do drugs, or drink – but we don’t realize that doing all those things is just as bad as not doing what God wants us to do.

imageA few weeks ago in part 9, we looked at brotherly kindness, and what it means to love others with a love that’s not just specific to certain types of people – but with a family-like love that loves others despite their faults: the way Jesus loved.

imageLast week in part 10, we saw how at the end of it all – we need love. Because without it we are nothing. I was really challenged by a message I heard the other day that – we should not be praying for Jesus to teach us to love; rather we need to pray that the very person of Jesus would come into us and our lives would be an outpouring of His love. We can’t love on our own, because we are fallen human beings. But through Christ’s love, as we so beautifully saw this past week during Easter, surpasses all, and through Him we can love others.

And today, here we are at the end of the series. Let’s look at the last verse of this passage:

For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren, nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Oh! To think! To be neither barren, nor unfruitful. So often I feel as if my life is empty, like I’m not doing anything for God – but God has placed me on this earth for a specific and special purpose.

It sounds super cliche to say that God has a purpose for your life.

But think about the power of that again. God has a purpose for your life.

It’s not just arbitrary. You’re not living this life for no reason or no aim – God has something very specific for you. But until we’re willing to seek Him fully, to give of ourselves to Him, all the things we cling to – our fruit will be worthless.

I have absolutely nothing – I mean nothing – of value or worth to do, make, say, or proclaim outside of what Christ has done for me. I am no one, but through Christ I am someone precious that He loves.

By myself,  I will be barren and unfruitful. My life will be nothing. It is only through Christ, in Christ, and because of Christ that I can further His kingdom – for His glory, and His alone.

Think about all the times the kids in Narnia tried to do things on their own. The times they tried to further themselves, their looks, their status, their own plans. What happened? They couldn’t see what Aslan had in store for them, but when they failed to trust in his plan, things went wrong. Yet in surrendering their own desires to the knowledge that Aslan had something better in store, they were able to do so much more.

image1 Timothy 1:17 – Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.


Aslan’s Meditations: (10/11) Loooooove

I hope you haven’t forgotten about our series in 2 Peter 1:5-8! We’ve had a nice little break while I’ve been out of town, and I’m most pleased to be back again for part 10!

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We’re beginning to wrap up the series now – in our second to last installment on LOVE.image

Uh-oh, you say. LOVE. That’s a touchy one, isn’t it?

The word love is thrown around so much in our culture. We love certain types of food, clothing, music, games, movies. We love people, places, things, ideas. Sometimes we don’t, but we say it anyway. It’s passionate, deep, and driving.

“All you need is love.”

I personally really hate that statement, because I don’t think it’s entirely true. But I can understand where people are coming from, so we’ll get started.

While I can’t claim to know everything about love, I’d like to look specifically at love as we see it in 1 Corinthians 13. Especially as Easter draws near, we can look at love as it is modeled perfectly in the life of Jesus and His sacrifice.

imageI often think I have to model Christianity. I mean, hey – look at all those Christians who look good, sound smart, AND follow Christ. Can’t I do that, too? But I found that that started to suddenly shift my focus. I started to worry a lot more about how I looked to other people, what I sounded like, and what people were going to think of me – instead of placing my focus on Christ.

1 Corinthians 13 starts out to say – though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

I can sound good, but if I don’t have love for Christ and for others, the words I speak are really just clangs and clashes.

And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains – but have not love, I am nothing.

I could know everything – earlier in the series we talked about knowledge. How it’s important to know what we believe. But have you ever wondered what it was like to know everything? What if I understood every mystery, every question, every problem there was to know? This verse says if I didn’t have love, I’d be nothing. Imagine! To know everything in the world, to be the epitome of knowledge – yet be regarded as nothing without love.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Sacrificial giving is one of the most benevolent things a person can do. Giving of yourself, your talents, and your abilities to serve others is not something to be taken lightly – but we could sacrifice our whole lives to others – and if it’s not for love, it was all in vain.

So clearly my endeavors to be a Christian and look good too – don’t quite work. I can’t have my cake and eat it too. At least – not when my goal is to look good. We’ve got to start with the basics.

Then – what is love? We’ll keep on going in 1 Corinthians 13.

Love suffers long, and is kind. Love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil. Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Woah, that’s a load of truth right there. Have you ever stuck your name in there in place of the word love?

Hannah suffers long, and is kind. Hannah does not envy, Hannah does not boast.

Kinda puts it in a different perspective, doesn’t it? Do I really do all those things?

“Suffers long.” The usual word to replace that one in other translations is “patient” but in reality that’s just what it means – suffering for a long time. Love is willing to bear the pain and the agony, knowing there’s something greater at work.

“Does not seek its own.” That in and of itself is a load right there. To never seek my own – but to only seek Christ. To never try to parade myself as looking good, but only to parade Christ. To proclaim Christ.

“Thinks no evil.” Oh, how often have sinful thoughts crossed my mind! We are called to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor 10:5) Can you imagine if our every thought and action was captive to the obedience of Christ? How wonderful that would be?

Now go back and look at this passage – we’re so incapable, aren’t we? I can’t even begin to count the times I have done exactly the opposite of what these words tell us. But now, read it again, and think about Christ, and what He’s done.

Love suffers long, and is kind. Love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil. Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

imageJesus – the King of the universe, the one who deserves glory, fame, honor, respect, and exaltation! He did not parade Himself, He didn’t seek His own. He was the perfect picture of love – and because He loves perfectly and purely, He gave His life for we who could never love.

We are impatient. Unkind. We want others to think well of us, we want to look good. We want to *feel* satisfaction, we want to see. Our sinful natures delight in temporal satisfaction. Things we can see and touch immediately.

imageHave you ever thought of the craziness of Christ’s love? What about the fact that GOD DIED. Okay, so maybe I’m being dramatic here, but really – that the Lord of all the universe came down to die.

Not only that, but He died for the ones who were completely incapable of anything.

Because He loved us.

Oh, how sweet and powerful that truth is!

Its so cliché sometimes – I mean, you’ve heard it repeated probably more than 10 million times in Sunday school, right? We so often take it for granted.

But the God who loved perfectly loves us who cannot even fathom love.

And our response? We are called to give our lives – what more can we give but that? Jesus says whoever loses his life for His sake will find it.

Love is sacrificial – and it’s a choice. It’s not always a feeling, and it’s not always something we can see the direct results of.

But we love – because He first loved us. We can love others even when they’re scumbags. Even when they don’t love us back – because we know that the God of the Universe and the Lord over all loves US.

It’s hard to love people who don’t love back. To suffer through pain and give up ourselves. But what loss is that for the gain of being satisfied by Christ? He can’t satisfy us till we understand that we cannot satisfy ourselves.

So much that we do is in response to something that has happened. We eat because we’re hungry, we drive because we have to go somewhere. We work because we need to earn money, and we sleep because we need it.

We love others because Christ loved us.

imageIn response. How many of us would get married and live as if we were single? Or have kids and live as if we didn’t? Or win a million dollars and not do anything with it?

The fact is – Jesus sacrifice is far more beautiful, exciting, and wonderful than anything that could ever happen to us on this earth. Our love is a response to that – the way we live because of God.

imageWe see love in Narnia – clearly in Aslan. Edmund betrayed the ones he

loved – and Aslan died to save him. But what you see is a change in Edmund – how He lives in response. You also see it in Eustace – his life was drastically changed. Aslan may have had to rip and tear at him, but he did it out of love because he knew that was the only way to change him.

It reminds me of the song by tenth avenue north called “any other way.”

It’s not enough – it’s not enough, just to say that you’re okay.
I need your hurt, I need your pain – it’s not love any other way.

Love isn’t love unless there’s some sacrifice to it. The kind of pain and suffering Jesus went through was necessary for us to be redeemed. And sometimes He has to hurt us in order to teach us – but He does it because He loves us and He’s got a perfect plan and story all in place.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly – but then we shall see face to face.

We can’t always see what God is doing, or perhaps why exactly we should love someone – but we know that one day Christ will wipe away our every tear and we will see Him face to face.

So is all you need love? If you’re looking at 1 Corinthians from a strictly technical point of view, yes. But as Christians we know it’s not love we need -  it’s Christ. It’s not enough just to say we  need to “just love” – but rather that we need to give ourselves for the only one who can satisfy us – Christ.

My challenge to you this week, especially as we move closer to Easter, is to look at your life and your actions. Do they reflect Christ, and are they proclaiming Him? You don’t necessarily have to speak the Gospel in order to proclaim the Gospel. Love is an action – it’s your willed choice to press on because you know that your eternal home is secure.

Aslan’s Meditations: (9/11) Brothers. Gotta love ‘em.

Welcome to part 9 in our series from 2 Peter 1:5-8! It’s hard to believe we are already nearing the end.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Today we’ll be looking at brotherly kindness. First off, what is it?

We’ll take a little detour and look at the type of words these are.

Brotherly is an adjective – a word to express an attribute or describe something.

Kindness is a noun – so brotherly is the adjective modifying that noun.

Bored yet? Don’t worry, I’m done with the grammar lesson.

The reason I wanted to do that was because *my* initial reactions to “brotherly kindness” were things like “being kind to your brothers” and things like that. But because “brotherly” actually modifies “kindness,” the kindness we are to have is not necessarily to our brothers but the same kind as to our brothers.

imageBefore I go any further, I should probably clarify that “brothers” doesn’t just mean boys. It applies to sisters as well. :)

Now obviously if you argue with your brothers and don’t get along this isn’t a good kind of kindness to show to people.

But we (hopefully) also love our siblings. I know that I would die any day for my two brothers – I love them and I would do anything for them.

So wait, we’re supposed to love our friends and family like we love our brothers?

Well, sort of.

When we say “brotherly” it has a deeper sense to it – as opposed to “friendly,” “nicely,” or another related word.

Brothers and sisters are very different from friends. You know them in a way you don’t know your friends because you’ve grown up with them.

imageThe word brotherly says “I know so much about you. I know you when you’re feeling great and I know you when you’re in pain. I know you when you’re in a nasty mood and I know you when you’re not. I know when you’ve hurt people and when you’ve loved. And I still love you.”

1 Timothy 5 says that we are to treat men and women as brothers and sisters – with all purity.

The purpose of brotherly kindness is not just an exhortation to treat others nicely – but to treat them with purity and love.

Maybe you’re single – or maybe you’re married. If you’re single, we are asked to treat everyone as brothers and sisters. If you’re married, you treat everyone as brothers and sisters too – except your spouse.

The next logical question is…why? Why do we need to treat others with purity – as brothers and sisters?

The answer is so we can be sanctified for Christ’s purpose. God wants us to love others sincerely. We have so many friends, acquaintances, and with facebook – not-so-acquaintances. :P But God wants us to have deeper, sincere relationships – to encourage others and point them to Christ.

2 weeks ago, we talked about godliness, and how it wasn’t just not being ungodly, but seeking Christ. And when we seek Christ, we find that seeking Him leads us to love others. We can’t seek Christ without doing what He commands us to do, and He wants us to love our family and friends – sincerely.

imageThere are a lot of siblings in the Chronicles of Narnia. There’s the Pevensie children and Eustace, Shasta/Cor and Corin, and even though they’re not related, Shasta and Aravis; Polly and Digory; Jill and Eustace.

The Pevensies clearly have an unbreakable bond – and how does that translate to how they treat others? While I found this aspect of it ruined in the movies, it’s much more prominent in the books.

In the movies, Peter and Susan (in my opinion) don’t treat others with that same kind of brotherly kindness. Peter and Caspian fight, Susan and Caspian flirt. We could go into long discussions about whether it fit in the movie or not, but my purpose in bringing it up is not to bash the movie but to show that in the book, their characters didn’t act that way. Peter and Caspian got along quite well, and treated each other like brothers rather than rivals.

imageEdmund learns to love his siblings throughout the course of LWW. Even though he’ not really the huggy-type of person, you see a deep sense of love and care for his siblings as his character progresses – that translates to how he treats others.

Eustace obviously has no brotherly kindness to either his cousins nor those around him. But you see that as he grows, he grows to love his cousins, and it translates to those around him.

We see this in Jill & Eustace and Shasta & Aravis. While they’re not related, they love each other with a kind of unbreakable bond that – while they annoy each other and know each other’s quirks – they both have a mission; a goal they’re trying to reach for that unites them.

imageWhenever we are concerned about our own desires: Edmund’s self-fulfilling desires in LWW, Peter’s desire to be king and Susan’s desire for a steadier, self-fulfilling life in PC, Eustace’s beliefs and refusals, Lucy’s desire for beauty, and Edmund’s desire to be king in VDT, and Jill and Eustace’s desire to be warm and fed in SC. These are all conflicts within the characters that distract from the goal.

When we are focused on a person – whether ourselves or someone else – instead of the goal of knowing Christ – it breaks down these relationships.

imageEdmund and Caspian became much better friends when Edmund realized that he could not be king. Jill and Eustace became closer when they kept their focus on finding Prince Rilian. When they focused on Harfang, they were cranky, upset at each other, and forgot the whole point of what they were there to do.

It’s hard to choose to accept others and love them when they’re getting on our nerves. But when we’re willing to place Christ’s desires over ours, we’ll find that the fulfillment and satisfaction is far beyond words.

We have to place Christ as our priority, and then place loving others above ourselves.

imagePhilippians says Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but with lowliness of mind let each esteem others as better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others.





Aslan’s Meditations: (8/11) Not Just Ungodly

Godliness. That’s a toughie, isn’t it? It’s broad, up in the air, and, like, way too hard to achieve.

That’s what’s next up in line in our series from 2 Peter 1:5-8.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To be honest, while I was thinking about writing about godliness this week, I didn’t really know what it meant. It was…well…broad, up in the air, and, like, way too hard to achieve.

Some synonyms for “godly” (courtesy of my computer’s automatic thesaurus) are ‘religious,’ ‘devout,’ ‘holy,’ ‘pious,’ and ‘saintly.’

Boy if that doesn’t scream out “We live by works!” I don’t know what does. I certainly don’t think that’s what Paul is getting at here.

Let’s get a little broader picture by looking at the word ungodly. My thesaurus says ‘blasphemous,’ ‘profane,’ ‘disrespectful,’ ‘sinful,’ and ‘wicked.’

Okay, so that makes me feel a bit better. I mean, I don’t use profanity, disrespect God, or any of that stuff.

It kind of gives one the holier-than-thou sort of mentality. As Christians, we’re often so consumed with the idea of being a Christian and acting like a Christian that we forget the reason we are a Christian. Godliness isn’t being holy, pious, self-righteous and religious. It’s not about not being ungodly, either.

Let’s take a look at Webster’s New World dictionary, which simply says: devoted to God.

And from the back of my Bible it says: devotion to God; living according to God’s standards.

Read Psalm 1:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.

So often we stop right there, feeling pretty good about ourselves. It’s easy not to be ungodly; to be a good person, love as much as you can, try to be happy, not do drugs, stay pure till marriage….all of that bad stuff. I’m a pretty good Christian, right?

Keep reading.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.

THAT’s godliness, right there.

Delight in God. Do we really delight in our Lord? It’s easy to fall into the mundane I’m-a-Christian sort of walk. But we are supposed to delight in God. Do I delight in my Heavenly Father the same way I delight in the things of this world? The people around me?

I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who are easily amused. I like things that flick, that sparkle, that bounce, that pop. :P Little things can make my day.

Does God make my day like that? That’s what delighting in Him is. Just living with that sheer joy of knowing that God is greater, bigger, stronger, and He’s your friend.

I want to go back to that definition mentioned earlier: living according to God’s standards.

This isn’t so hard to comprehend, really. We tend to go – yet again – into the mindset of just doing good. I mean, God’s standards are, like, doing good things, helping people, doing what’s right, not sinning…all that stuff. Right?

But it’s not just living according to God’s standards. It’s not living according to my standards.

Oswald Chambers writes,

To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things.

Remember when we talked about masks – the idols that blur our vision from what Christ wants us to see? Godliness isn’t just about not being ungodly – it’s forsaking our own idea of godliness for God’s idea of godliness. Living according to God’s standards means that my standards must become His.

So…why is godliness after perseverance? Why isn’t it sooner on the list?

Go back to that word devotion. Synonyms for that word are attachment, loyalty, dedication, attentiveness, commitment.

Early in the beginning of our Christian walk, when we’re doing all this diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge thing – that’s our initial commitment. We commit our lives to Christ, but then, suddenly, it’s not all the unicorns and rainbows we might have thought it was going to be. Life is rough, and God wants us to be purified for His glory. So He puts us through a lot of painful, tough things – teaching us to persevere. But through the perseverance, what holds true?

Our devotion to Christ. Our loyalty, our commitment.

Another one of those awesome synonyms for devotion is religious zeal.

Now that’s got a ring to it that we didn’t hear before. Zeal. Enthusiasm. Passion. Craze.


See, we often think that just being good is enough. That just doing what’s right and not doing what’s wrong is enough to please God.


God wants us running, full speed, unhindered, into His arms. Not just trotting along, but running. Full on. Not just forsaking all we have, but giving all that we have.

This is what it means to be godly.

imageLuke 14:28-30, 33-35 – For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it – lest after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘this man began to build and was not able to finish.’…so likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out.

That sure is a mouthful. Let’s take this verse apart.

Verses 28-29:

For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?

When we start projects, we look at the material we’re going to need, and plan out how much time it will take and how we will use the materials. When going on a trip, we list out what we need to bring, how long it will take, and how we are going to get there.

Jesus says that we need to look at the cost of following Him. He doesn’t want to scare people from being a Christian, but He wants you to know that it requires you to give up all you have – so that He can satisfy you completely.

Verse 30: lest after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘this man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Are we lukewarm Christians? We’ve built for ourselves a generation of Christians who are only halfheartedly following Christ. They don’t really care about what they believe and the implications it has on our lives. And what is the result? How does the world see us?

Do you know what the one word is that most non-Christians use to describe Christians?



Is that a life of godliness, of devotion to God? Have we really counted the cost of following Christ and gone through with it?

Verse 33: so likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep – to gain what he cannot lose. (Jim Elliot)

Like I mentioned above, being godly isn’t just about not being ungodly. It’s about taking specific steps in devotion and love for Christ.

Verse 34: Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?

Godliness is good. Being godly is a great thing. But when we become so self-righteous and self-centered just because we’re not ungodly, Jesus says later in that verse that it is not fit for the dunghill.


Jesus talks later in the Gospels that if we are lukewarm He will spit you out of His mouth.

Are we being lukewarm Christians? Not ungodly…but not really very godly either?

imageThe most  godly character that first comes to mind from the Narnia series is Reepicheep. Have you ever admired the devotion of that little guy? Not only has he given up his world, the pleasures of the world, and the safety of a nice little mouse hole, but he lives his life specifically using his talents and abilities to know and serve Aslan. His heart’s desire is what? To go to Aslan’s Country. To be with Aslan Himself.

But to reach that place, what does He do? He orders every aspect of His life to Aslan’s standards. Devotion. Godliness.

We worship the God who created the universe. The same God who parted the Red Sea, who provided for Elijah, who healed the blind and who raised Jesus from the dead – He is the one we strive after; and the one who gives us strength.

My challenge to you this week is to be flavored salt. Not just decent salt, but flavored salt. Never be satisfied with just not being ungodly, but strive for godliness – with all perseverance.


Aslan’s Meditations: (7/11) Run With Endurance

A few weeks ago, I talked about diligence – and I contrasted it with perseverance. We saw how diligence was forming a lifestyle: taking small, daily, seemingly insignificant steps that make us who we are. Perseverance, on the other hand, was something different, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today in Part 7 of our series: Building on the Rock; from 2 Peter 1:5-8 (boy, that sounded organized and professional, didn’t it? Haha…) Previous entries are HERE.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it positively amazing how God has orchestrated so many details of my life to teach me the very things I’ve been writing about. Not only that, but the things He is teaching me are always specific to what I’m writing about that week. We serve an amazing God, do we not?

Oswald Chambers describes perseverance really well.

Perseverance is more than [just] endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered. (emphasis added)

More than endurance.

Have you ever had those types of days where you just don’t really care, and it’s all you can do to hang on, to endure the rest of the mundane, grueling things of the day before the day is over?

That feeling where you just don’t want to face life anymore.

My Mondays are like that a lot. (Mondays tend to be that way for a lot of people, I’ve found… :P ) It’s all you can do to stay awake, somewhat focused, and just stay alive through the day.

But perseverance gives more than just what is needed.

I don’t need much to get through a Monday. I can make it through without focusing on my classes, without giving my energy and participation, just to make it through the day.

But that’s less than my best, and it’s less than what God has called me to do – because when I do that, I can’t interact with people, encourage others, or learn anything God is teaching me – or my teachers, for that matter!

God calls us to persevere. Give it all you’ve got, because you’re doing it for the One who will sustain, uphold, and give you strength.

Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling.

If you’re able to, I’d like you to watch this video by Francis Chan. He’s the author of the book Crazy Love (which I highly recommend) and he illustrates this point perfectly.

Video embedding is giving me a hard time, so click HERE for the video.

Do you see what he’s saying here? We hold on to that beam, we give less than our best, just to survive, just to endure it – but how can we expect God to reward less than our best?

I personally used to be a gymnast for a long time before this crazy thing called life happened and I didn’t have time anymore. I was pretty good at it, too, while it lasted. I loved it – working hard for hours to achieve a certain skill, that satisfying *smack* when you hit the floor in a solid finish, the powdery chalk all in the air, swinging multiple feet above the ground, spinning around…*smack*

But the event I almost loathed with a passion was beam. Why? Because I was afraid of it. You’d think as a gymnast I’d have learned not to be, but I hated it. The thing is like less than 4 inches wide, and it doesn’t take more than landing an inch or so off center and *smack* – except this time it’s not a very satisfying one.

At one point, I was at a gymnastics meet, and I was absolutely in terror over a certain skill I had recently been working on – and failing at – which I had to perform at the meet. I was so worried about not falling off (you lose a lot of points if you do that) that all my form, poise, and elegance went completely out the window.

But at the end, of course, I landed, smiled at the judges, and gave a nice finish. What were my rankings? Really low.

What does this have to do with perseverance?

I was holding onto the beam, like Francis Chan was illustrating. I wouldn’t give all I was capable of because I was afraid of falling. I was just enduring it, trying to make it through the routine – instead of persevering.

One of my coaches would always say “just go for it. I wouldn’t say you could do it if I didn’t know you could.”

Do we trust Christ, when He says “go for it?” Do we trust that He has equipped us with all the skills, potential, and strength necessary to accomplish what He wants?

Oswald Chambers writes, The thing that really testifies for God and for the people of God in the long run is steady perseverance, even when the work cannot be seen by others. And the only way to live an undefeated life is to live looking to God.

See, unlike my gymnastics meet, where my coach, my friends, my family, and others were watching me – sometimes the only one watching us is God. There’s no one to encourage us, no one to tell us to press on. Sometimes we’re not even sure God is watching. But this…this becomes the ultimate test of our perseverance.

Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered.

In those times, when you just want to get through the day, when it seems like no one is watching you; it is then that Christ is closest to us. It is those tiny moments that make a difference in our lives. The conscious choice to keep going.

Our hero will never be conquered.

imageHave you ever meditated on the power that the God we serve is unconquerable? Sometimes I fear I see God as just a little higher than me, but almost human. It stems from the fact that so often I see God as unreachable that I neglect to remember He is personal. But He’s also the God of the universe, Creator of all, Lord of the heavens, and He is undefeatable.

Unlike me.

Because on my own, I’ll give in to the temptation, the depression, the fears. But because my God is greater, I can rest in the confidence that He will bring me through.

Never lose heart. Never back down. We serve a God who is so much greater, bigger, and stronger than anything and everything we could ever imagine.

God is always greater than my depiction of Him.

Revelation 3:10 – because you have kept my command to persevere, I will also keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Notice that it is something God commands us to do. Persevere.

I’m often really afraid of just plugging on through. Because it’s not exactly a glamorous thing, you know? People don’t really praise you for that. They only see the end result; and they don’t see you when you’re fighting it. But it’s when you’re fighting, when you’re struggling to persevere, that makes all the difference.

imageIt reminds me of Puddleglum, in the Silver Chair.  He’s not all that glamorous of a figure, and not many people know him or care about him. He’s stuck in his ways, his outlook, but there’s something about him that keeps on pressing. He’s got this unwavering faith in Aslan that even when the signs, their circumstances, the events around them make no sense at all, when his brain is being clouded with ideas the Lady of the Green Kirtle puts in their heads, he plows through. He holds on, because even though He doesn’t feel Aslan there or see Aslan there, He knows Aslan is there.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. Looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I so love the last part of this verse – Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Remember this post? About faith, our foundation? This passage gives us confidence that He will perfect us when we look to Him!

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you – for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


Aslan’s Meditations: (6/11) Self-Control

Welcome to part 6 in our series from 2 Peter 1:5-8. I deeply apologize for not posting anything last week – I ended up being gone most of the weekend. Previous entries are HERE.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Today we’re going to be looking at the virtue of self-control. I find it extremely fitting that it’s right after knowledge.

I just returned from a speech and debate tournament – and these tournaments are interesting things. You work for weeks and weeks, late night after late night, to prepare for them. Gaining all this knowledge. All these skills – which are all put to the test at the culmination of the tournament.

And sometimes God blesses me with successes, and sometimes He wants me to learn from my failures.

The past two tournaments I’ve been at have neither been huge successes nor huge failures for me. I’ve won a couple awards in a few things, but I also haven’t placed as high as I’d like to in other things.

But this is where I’ve found self-control coming in. Learning to control all the knowledge and things I’ve learned – not getting cocky about what I’ve won, and not getting discouraged about what I’ve lost. It takes a ridiculous amount of balance.

The interesting thing about self-control is that word self. Meaning it’s something that you have to work for.  I’ve always had my parents around me, helping me to make decisions, guiding me. But as I’m getting older, they’re letting me do more things by myself. And I have to use discretion and care when I do things myself. Because it’s myself.

The number of things we have to use self-control in are absolutely endless – and it’s different for different people. Things like speech & debate tournaments, computer/internet time, eating chocolate, eating anything that’s good, really; reading books, spending time with friends – it can be a myriad of things.

But let’s go back at that word self. It’s something that takes discipline – because you have to do it yourself.

It’s one of those…nasty sort of things you have to discipline yourself to do. Because not very many people know about it – it’s a battle you fight yourself. The choices we make in control of the things Satan tempts us to do are not things that other people typically know about. We don’t yell “look, people! I’m fighting this temptation! And I’m winning – applaud me!”

We’d like to, though, wouldn’t we? We’d like people to know that we’re victorious, that we have self-control and can triumph over things. When we fail – well, we’d rather they not know about that.

But people don’t notice either aspect. It’s something you battle inside yourself – yet, it makes such a huge, huge impact on the way you live the rest of your life.

It may seem as if nobody knows you struggle with control in certain areas. And maybe they don’t need to know. The beautiful thing is that God knows – and the same God who raised Jesus from the dead, who healed the blind man, who created the world – is on your side.

imageIt reminds me a lot of Dark Island – where everyone was tempted in various ways. Nobody could hear what the other one heard, and no one’s battle was quite the same. Yet each of them had choices – to give into what they heard or to stand in self-control against it. And nobody but themselves knew what was going on.

But Aslan was there – in spirit – and gave them strength. And in the same way Christ will give us strength when we cry out to Him.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

I also find it comforting to know that I’m not the only one who struggles with self-control. I give in. But I’m not alone. I mean – sin can be enticing sometimes; and even if it’s not blatantly sin, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. You know, the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing?

But this is where we can ask others to keep us accountable. To mentor us. It may be called self-control, but God certainly doesn’t intend for us to live our lives all by ourselves.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

It’s comforting to know that Nothing – absolutely nothing – in this life that comes our way will be more than we can bear. But the thing is – we cannot bear any of it without Christ.

My challenge to you this week is to look at the little things that keep you from Christ.

Romans 6:21 says What fruit did you have then in the things which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

imageWhen faced with a challenge – a temptation or something you struggle with – take a step back and look at it. Ask yourself “Will I be ashamed of this later? Will I regret my reaction?” Learning to have self-control is not something that happens over night. It’s tiny – sometimes seemingly unfruitful – steps made in obedience to Christ.

God doesn’t call us to do giant things that the world will praise. He calls  us to take small steps of obedience with the little things He’s given right in front of us – to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.


Aslan’s Meditations (4/11): A Máscara que usamos

Autora: Hannah Dokupil


Bem vindos à nossa quarte parte da série Construindo sobre a Rocha, de 2 Pedro 1:5-8. Para ver os artigos anteriores, clique aqui.

Por isso mesmo façam todo o [esforço] possível para juntar a bondade à que vocês têm. À bondade [virtude] juntem o conhecimento e ao conhecimento, o domínio próprio. Ao domínio próprio juntem a perseverança e à perseverança, a devoção a Deus. A essa devoção juntem a amizade cristã e à amizade cristã juntem o amor. Pois são essas as qualidades que vocês precisam ter. Se vocês as tiverem e fizerem com que elas aumentem, serão cada vez mais ativos e produzirão muita coisa boa como resultado do conhecimento que vocês têm do nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo.

A devoção dessa semana é sobre a palavra virtude.

Estava pensando sobre isso algumas semanas atrás, e tentando decidir o que iria falar sobre ela. Quer dizer, você realmente não pode expandir mais que “virtude”, pode? Todos os outros componentes deste versículo se encaixam como “virtudes” – conhecimento, domínio-próprio, perseverança, devoção a Deus. então, porque adicionar “virtude”, se é justamente isso que as outras palavras são?

Aqui está uma rápida definição de virtude: a qualidade de fazer o que é certo e evitar o que é errado, excelência moral.

O que eu posso tirar da palavra “virtude”?  Eu acho que nesse verso, a palavra não está aplicada no sentido definido acima. Mas aqui está o que Deus tem trabalhado na minha vida na última semana, e isso pode ir contra a definição acima da palavra virtude, mas talvez Deus faça uma conexão na sua mente como fez comigo.

Virtude é, como eu disse, uma palavra bastante ampla. Mas eu acho que é exatamente por isso que vem depois da fé. Fé , como vimos, é a nossa fundação. É sobre ela que construimos. Mas a virtude está logo depois da fé. Porque? Virtude é uma espécie de parente.

Dependendo da sua visão de mundo, religião ou fé, a virtude terá um significado diferente para você. Para muitas religiões, a virtude é um trabalho piedoso do ritual sagrado, ou até mesmo a moral elevada pela qual você deve viver.

Como cristão, no entanto, a virtude é algo bom que Deus trabalha em nós que se torna uma base para a maneira como vemos o mundo. Sem fé é impossível agradar a Deus, mas Jesus também diz que você vai conhecer os cristãos pelos seus frutos. (Mateus 7:20)

Uma coisa em que meditei bastante semana passada foi sobre ídolos, as coisas que se colocam entre nós e Cristo.

Ao longo dos anos, tive vários entendimentos diferentes do que são ídolos. Quando eu era pequena, todos os ídolos eram coisas como Buda, ou o homem algre gordo que estava sentado de pernas cruzadas no chão, com velas em frente a ele em todos os restaurantes chineses que fomos.  Basicamente, era um “deus mal”, ou um “deus falso”.

Quando fiquei mais velha, aprendi que deuses são qualquer coisas que você coloca acima de Deus. Este não era um conceito difícil de entender, e na minha mente de dez anos de idade, não havia muito que eu poderia colocar acima de Deus. Deus era…apenas…isso.

Quanto mais eu amadureci e quanto mais eu aprendia sobre o mundo, mais ídolos eu encontrava competindo por minha adoração. Não eram apenas algo pelo qual se ficava obcecado. Não tem que ser algo que você colocou descaradamente na frente de Deus. De fato, os ídolos que eu encontrei na minha vida eram coisas que se tornaram inconscientemente à frente de Deus. Coisas que eu não reparei que tinham tomado o lugar de Deus – como amigos, família, e até mesmo a igreja.

Igreja? Fiquei horrorizada quando Deus mostrou isso em minha vida. Como poderia a igreja se tornar um ídolo? Mas Deus me mostrou que eu tinha colocado o “serví-lo” acima dele mesmo.

Oswald Chambers escreveu: cuidado com qualquer coisa que concorra com a sua fidelidade à Deus. O maior concorrente da verdadeira devoção a Jesus é o serviço que fazemos por ele. É mais fácil servir que entregar nossas vidas inteiramente a ele. Nós não somos enviados para fazer batalhas para Deus, mas sim para ser usados por Deus em suas batalhas. Será que estamos mais voltados para o serviço que para o próprio Deus?

Urgh. Essas são palavras incríveis…

Sexta-feira passada fui apresentada a um tipo diferente de ídolo. Ou melhor, uma outra maneira de ver os ídolos.

A mãe de um amigo meu estava lendo uma citação de um livro para mim. Eu não me lembro exatamente, mas aqui está um pouco do que consegui entender:

Coloque a mão no rosto e olhe através dos dedos. Agora vire a cabeça para ver o que está ao seu redor. Não importa o quanto você se vire, sua vista será sempre distorcida pelos seus dedos ficando no caminho.

O mesmo acontece com os ídolos. Tudo o que idolatramos se torna a máscara através da qual vemos o mundo. Aquilo que distorce nossa visão para ver as coisas de uma certa maneira.

Eu acho isso particularmente proeminente nos meus meios de comunição social / vida on line. Enquanto eu faço minhas tarefas diárias, algumas coisas que eu gosto uou acho interessante, eu imediantamento escrevo isso como um status no Facebook ou blog – porque o Facebook se tornou uma máscara através da qual eu vejo tudo.

Eu faço o mesmo com as pessoas. Às vezes eu penso em certas pessoas de quem eu gosto como se elas estivessem ao meu lado, ou imagino como reagiriam a uma determinada situação. Em vez de ver uma situação através dos olhos de Deus, eu passo a ver tudo através deles.

Esses são os ídolos.

imageEu estava conversando com um amigo algumas noites atrás, e surgiu o tema de querer que seja seja real para nós.  Querendo ouvir de Deus, para ouvi-lo falar conosco e nos mostrar sua vontade. Mas o que me impressionou foi … se eu tenho todas essas máscaras pelas quais vejo o mundo, como posso ouvir claramente o chamado de Deus? Ele não pode falar comigo quando estou filtrando tudo através das visões distorcidas que possuo. Uma vez ele disse que é preciso ver o mundo através de lentes cor-de-deus.

E é por isso que a virtude é depois da fé.

Fé é um salto enorme, mas depois que você pulou, é muito fácil voltar para trás, para se ter dúvidas. É por isso que a virtude é a próxima da lista.

Mike Donehey, o vocalista da Tenth Avenue North ( quem citarei uma vez ou outra nessa série), diz que seu verso favorito é Salmo 34:8 “Procure descobrir, por você mesmo, como Deus é bom.” Porque se você não fizer isso, nenhuma outra coisa fará sentido.

E no começo eu pensei que era um pouco estranho. Quer dizer, não há realmente versículos importantes como João 3:16 e Romanos 5:8? Mas o que ele disse é que, se não provar e ver que o Senhor é bom, nada do resto faz sentido.  Uma de suas frases mais famosas é “Nós não podemos aprender a viver para Deus, até que aprendamos a viver por causa de Deus”.

O que me impressionou foi a forma incrível como isso se relaciona com a imagem da máscara / ídolo borrando minha visão. Porque eu não posso fazer nada para Deus até que meu ídolo – minha máscara pela qual filtro tudo – seja o próprio Deus. Eu não posso viver para Deus, até que eu aprenda a viver por causa dele. Eu não posso entender qualquer coisa que Deus tenha feito por mim até que eu possa ter um vislumbre de quão poderoso e terrível e maravilhoso Deus é. Quão bom é um Deus que nos ama a menos que Ele seja um Deus bom? Eu não adoro a graça salvadora de Deus, eu adoro o Deus que me deu a graça salvadora.

imageEdmundo, em LFG, foi o que teve a visão distorcida pela Feiticeira Branca. É tão fácil perceber que Edmundo estava indo para o caminho do mal. Mas para Edmundo, não era bem assim. Ele tinha acabado de conhecer uma bonita rainha que lhe dava sua comida favorita, que o aquecia, e fez com que ele se sentisse bem consigo mesmo. E, é claro, dá pra ver claramente isso traduzido na forma como ele tratava seus irmãos. Ele estava ácido com Lúcia quando voltaram de Nárnia, e ainda traiu seus irmãos depois que retornaram para lá. 

imagePedro e Susana também tiveram visões de mundo e ideias que foram frustradas – frustrados por suas supostas ideias de realidade, do que foi possível e real.

Não foi até que todos entraram em Nárnia e começaram sua jornada à procura de Aslan, olhando para aquele cuja visão do mundo era verdade, que eles viram a luz.

E assim é a virtude. É uma qualidade ampla, mas que é tão importante por ser através dela que vemos o mundo. Nossas virtudes devem ser moldada por uma e apenas uma pessoa – que é Jesus Cristo. Meu desafio para você essa semana é olhar para a sua vida. Através de que coisas você vê o mundo. Facebook? Música? Entes queridos? Nárnia, mesmo? Somos chamados a colocar essas coisas para a morte.


Que tipo de máscara você usa?



Aslan’s Meditation (3/11)–Fácil falar, difícil fazer

Bem vindo a terceira parte da nossa série – que agora tem um nome: Construindo sobre a Rocha. Estamos examinando cada uma das virtudes listadas em 2 Pedro 1:5-8 , acrescentando cada um e considerando o que eles significam. Veja aqui as outras partes.


Por isso mesmo façam todo o [esforço] possível para juntar a bondade à fé que vocês têm. À bondade juntem o conhecimento e ao conhecimento, o domínio próprio. Ao domínio próprio juntem a perseverança e à perseverança, a devoção a Deus. A essa devoção juntem a amizade cristã e à amizade cristã juntem o amor. Pois são essas as qualidades que vocês precisam ter. Se vocês as tiverem e fizerem com que elas aumentem, serão cada vez mais ativos e produzirão muita coisa boa como resultado do conhecimento que vocês têm do nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo.

No artigo anterior falamos sobre fé: como ela é o fundamento de tudo em que acreditamos, essencial antes de acrescentarmos qualquer outra virtude à lista. Neste artigo, vamos voltar ao verso, com este fundamento em mente, à palavra esforço.

Não vimos ainda todas as virtudes listadas que Pedro diz que devemos adicionar à fé. Mas antes de começar, temos que ter a mentalidade do esforço. Não será uma jornada fácil e sem dor. e Pedro quer quer você saiba que deve se preparar.

Eu pessoalmente acho que esforço é uma coisa realmente difícil de dominar. É fácil e falar e difícil de fazer.  Às vezes é mais fácil perserverar nos momentos mais desagradáveis, emocionais, traumáticos da vida do que nas atividades mais banais e tediosas do trabalho e da escola. Quero dizer, na verdade, ser diligente?

Essa é a definição de esforço(sinônimo de diligência): dar o grau de cuidado necessário para uma dada situação.

E perseverança: persistente determinação.

A diferença entre essas duas palavras está nas palavras  cuidado e determinação.

Acho que uma das coisas mais difíceis para mim é fazer as coisas de forma consistente. Eu deveria fazer um dever de casa todos os dias, em vez de tentar fazer todas no domingo à noite. Eu posso estar perseverando quanto a completar tudo no sábado à noite, mas não estarei sendo muito esforçado, não é?

Esforçar é difícil porque é algo que precisa ser feito diariamente. Geralmente exige tarefas banais que não são realmente concluídas depois de concluí-las. Como lavar a louça, limpar a casa, completando atribuições. Sempre há outra coisa para fazer quando você termina algum. Mas enquanto trabalha duramente nisso tudo, você não percebe que há algo maior no trabalho.

Você quase nunca vai ver os resultados imediatos dos seus esforços. Mas é engraçado – as coisas mais importantes das nossas vidas, aquilo que nos molda, transforma – são coisas que fizemos durante anos. As coisas que lentamente, ao longo do tempo, construíram uma base sólida.

Pedro diz para fazer todo o esforço possível, porque nenhuma dessas qualidades vão acontecer sem nossa entrega à Cristo.


Isso é tão difícil para mim. Eu penso sobre isso, e isso realmente não deveria ser tão difícil, certo? Quer dizer, eu como diariamente, durmo diariamente, bebo água diariamente. Tudo isso são coisas que eu preciso.

Uma coisa que Deus me fez pensar outro dia foi que eu como três vezes ao dia porque preciso. Eu falo com Deus porque eu preciso dele?

Eu fui condenado porque eu tinha que dizer “não.” Quero dizer, eu rezo antes de cada refeição, com certeza.  Mas eu realmente tiro tempo, cada dia, para passar com quem me sustenta? Cada respirar depende dele.

  Esforço é dar passos diários para fazer uma mudança.

Se você olhar para o último versículo desta passagem – se essas coisas são suas e são muitas – você não será improdutivo no conhecimento de Jesus.

Uau. Como seria se minha vda não fosse improdutiva? Se essas qualidades e virtudes não só fossem minhas, mas fossem abundantes?

Mas não é algo que, de uma hora para outra, você adquiri essas qualidades. É por isso que Pedro diz para fazer todo o esforço.

Ele nã diz para fazer esforço, mas sim, TODO o esforço necessário.

Você já parou para pensar no poder da palavra “todo”? Nós empregamos muito esses dias. “Ele comeu todo o sorvete”. “Você está ocupando todo o espaço à esquerda”. “Você não está me ajudando em tudo”.

Mas “todo” significa mais do que isso. Significa tudo. É abrangente.

Deus não nos chama para darmos parte de nós a ele. Ele nos chama para darmos tudo.  Isso me faz lembrar de uma música chamada “You Are”. O refrão é mais ou menos assim:

Eu te dou tudo de mim
para tudo que você é
Aqui estou

Nós permitimos que Deus trabalhe em nossas vidas completamente?  Nos entregamos por completo, mesmo nas tarefas mais banais? Nós não podemos ver o grande quadro enquanto estamos bem no meio dele – mas é através do esforço e da paciência que um dia vamos ver o resultado final. E o animador é que Cristo está conosco por todo o caminho. Ele nos dará a força necessária para nos entregarmos completamente a Ele.

Estava tentando descobrir como tudo isso se aplica a Nárnia. Pensei em vários personagens antes de pensar na obra como um todo.

Cada um dos pensonagens viveram experiências diferentes, diferentes tentações, e aprenderam coisas diferentes – não apenas em Peregrino da Alvorada, mas em todos os livros. E quando você está lendo cada livro, você tem uma imagem de como Nárnia é.

A Nárnia que você lê em Sobrinho do Mago é diferente da que você lê em A Viagem do Peregrino da Alvorada. No entanto, quando você termina de ler os sete livros, surge uma história que não vemos quando estamos lendo – cada história se torna uma parte do que as Crônicas são.

Você já chegou a algum ponto nos livros (qualquer livro) que é super super chato, não faz sentido algum, é apenas o diálogo entre duas pessoas, mas mesmo assim, é essencial para o coração da história?

Eu me lembro de ser muito pequena e estar lendo O Cavalo e Seu Menino, sem absorver nenhuma palavra do encontro entre o  Tisroc  e Rabadash na sala onde Aravis e Lasaralina estavam escondidas. É uma parte muito importante para mim agora, mas como uma criança de 8 anos, eu tive que fazer esforço para terminar aquele capítulo – e então passou a fazer mais sentido.

Meu desafio para você essa semana é buscar a Cristo de forma diligente e diária. Tente pegar algo que você vai fazer todos os dias, e faça com persistência. Leia sua Bíbia todos os dias, fale com Deus, ou fique off no facebook. Qualquer coisa que Deus te convença. Um mês atrás, eu fiz o compromisso de ler minha Bíblia por pelo menos cinco minutos todos os dias pelo resto da minha vida. É mais ou menos na monotonia, fase de rotina, e às vezes faço só por fazer. Mas eu vejo Deus agindo enquanto eu leio. Cada vez mais acho que é um hábito, algo que eu espero, e Deus tem me ensinado muitas coisas.

Esforço. è fácil dizer, difícil fazer, mas os resultados são enormes.  Entregue-se a Cristo, tudo o que você é, todo dia. Você nunca, jamais vai se arrepender.


Aslan’s Meditation (2/11): Rocha Sólida

Autora: Hannah Dokupil

Textos Bíblicos conforme Nova Tradução na Linguagem de Hoje


Esta é a segunda parte, de onze, da nossa série sobre 2 Pedro 1:5-8.

Por isso mesmo façam todo o [esforço] possível para juntar a bondade à fé que vocês têm. À bondade juntem o conhecimento e ao conhecimento, o domínio próprio. Ao domínio próprio juntem a perseverança e à perseverança, a devoção a Deus. A essa devoção juntem a amizade cristã e à amizade cristã juntem o amor. Pois são essas as qualidades que vocês precisam ter. Se vocês as tiverem e fizerem com que elas aumentem, serão cada vez mais ativos e produzirão muita coisa boa como resultado do conhecimento que vocês têm do nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo.


Nesta parte, vamos olhar para a primeira qualidade listada: a fé.

Há uma razão para a fé estar em primeiro lugar na lista. Em Hebreus diz que sem fé ninguém pode agradar a Deus, porque quem vai a ele precisa crer que ele existe e que recompensa os que procuram conhecê-lo melhor. Hebreus 11:6.

Isso é muito poderoso. Esse versículo diz que sem fé é impossível agradar a Deus. IMPOSSÍVEL.

Fé é a nossa fundação, é o que permanece verdadeiro, quando nada mais é. Você pode olhar para todas as outras qualidades listadas – a bondade, o conhecimento, o domínio próprio, a perseverança, a devoção a Deus – todas são grandes qualidades, mas você não pode reter nenhuma delas.

Fé… fé é fácil quando você sente. É fácil ter fé em Deus quando você o vê agindo. Mas o que não é tão fácil é ter fé quando você não a sente – mesmo sendo o centro da fé – acreditar, mesmo quando você não vê.

Eu já passei por momento na minha vida quando não senti Deus. Eu não o vejo agindo e não sinto que esteja adorando, e não importa o que eu faça, é como se eu estive fazendo sozinha.

De fato, a semana passada esteve provavelmente na lista das semanas mais “pela fé” que eu experimentei.

Lembro de uma frase de Elizabeth Elliot que diz: “Fé nao é um sentimento. É uma ação, uma escolha voluntária.”

Só porque eu não sinto Deus, não quer dizer que ele não esteja comigo. Mas ele está,  e é por isso que eu coloquei minha fé nele, dizendo: “Deus, eu não sinto sua presença agora, mas eu te vi agindo no passado, e eu sei que você está comigo.”

Um sermão na minha igreja foi particularmente inpactante, e eu nunca esqueci. A premissa era “não se esqueça, na escuridão, que você viu a luz”.

Quando a sua fé é abalada, quando você não pode ver, a coisa mais importante é se lembrar como Deus falou com você na luz. Nunca, jamais esqueça uma circunstância em que você viu Deus.

Mesmo em Hebreus 11:1, por definição, a fé é a “certeza de que vamos receber as coisas que esperamos e a prova de que existem coisas que não podemos ver.”

Esperança é uma palavra maravilhosa, não acha? É uma palavra cheia de… bem, esperança. É incrível o que a pesperctiva de esperança fará até mesmo com a mais terrível das circunstâncias, e este verso diz que a fé é a certeza de que vamos receber as coisas que esperamos.

Mas, o que é esperança, mesmo?

Romanos 8:25 diz: “Pois foi por meio da esperança que fomos salvos. Mas, se já estamos vendo aquilo que esperamos, então isso não é mais uma esperança. Pois quem é que fica esperando por alguma coisa que está vendo? Porém, se estamos esperando alguma coisa que ainda não podemos ver, então esperamos com paciência.”

Uau! Isso é poderoso – para mim, é um lembrete constante de esperar com alegria em Cristo, quando eu não entendo, por causa da esperança que eu tenho em meu Senhor e Salvador.

Essa é a nossa fundação, o alicerce para tudo em nossa vida cristã.

Lúcia sempre foi uma das minhas personagens favoritas na série de Nárnia, por várias razões – uma delas é a fé. De todos os Pevensie, Lúcia é a que mantém uma fé inabalável em Aslan, de que ele é Todo-Poderoso e que virá sempre.

À medida que crescemos, a fé se torna cada vez mais difícil – porque quanto mais aprendemos sobre o mundo, mais ele tenta nos distrair de Cristo. Eu vejo isso acontecendo com a Lúcia, a mais notável nos filmes.

Em LFG, é fácil para Lúcia ter fé em Aslan. Ele é grande, forte, poderoso, e ela está vivendo em uma espécie de mundo de sonho. Nárnia foi uma nova descoberta,  ela era uma pequena criança, e esse foi apenas o começo de suas aventuras lá. Eu vejo muita da minha infância na Lúcia de LFG. Despreocupada, feliz, mas forte, fiel – que caracteriza muito da infância de crianças que cresceram na proteção de lares cristãos. Sem saber muito sobre o mundo, mas vivendo a fé simples, infantil.

Em Príncipe Caspian, ela está um pouco mais velha. E embora ela não tenha dúvidas sobre Aslan e sua fé não vacile, ela está relutante em abandonar os outros e seguir Aslan. Ela acredita que ele está lá, mas estava com muito medo de segui-lo sozinha. Eu vejo isso em mim mesma quando eu estava no ensino médio: tentando me ajustar, mas ainda tentando agarrar minha fé e aquilo em que acredito. Conhecendo um pouco mais do mundo, e de repetente, hesitante ou não, você quer que o mundo saiba sobre sua fé.

E finalmente, em Peregrino da Alvorada, vemos Lúcia tendo oportunidade de colocar em prática aquilo em que ela depositou sua fé. Ela tentou duramente com as tentações para se tornar bonita, ainda acreditando em Aslan com toda sua força, mas lutando para equilibrar sua crença com como exatamente deve viver as etapas de sua vida.

Que tipo de fé somos chamados a ter?

Mateus 10:16 diz: “Escutem! Eu estou mandando vocês como ovelhas para o meio de lobos. Sejam espertos como as cobras e sem maldade como as pombas.”

Somos chamados a ter uma fé simples, infantil, mas com a sabedoria de quem é mais velho e mais sábio.

Mas nós não podemos passar todo esse texto falando sobre fé sem falar sobre o objeto de nossa fé. Até agora falamos sobre ter fé em Jesus Cristo – mas eu acho beleza no fato de que nossa fé é somente em Jesus Cristo.

Cristo é nosso rei. É neste Rei que colocamos nossa fé. É dele que nossa esperança vem. Não é apenas um pensamento mesquinho, ideia, ou algo que uma vez ouvimos falar. O Deus do universo, o criador de tudo, te abraça com ternura na palma de Sua mão – é o único em quem depositamos essa confiança.

O meu desejo para você essa semana é que você dê aquele salto de fé. Mantenha as preciosas verdades que você sabe, que você viu na luz. Nós acreditamos em um Salvador que é muito mais bonito, poderoso e amoroso que qualquer coisa neste mundo. Ele é o objeto de nossa fé, a certeza da nossa esperança, aquele em quem podemos confiar totalmente, em cada aspecto de nosso vida.


Torre de Babel

Muito bem.
Traduzi o texto inicial do Aslan’s Meditation.
A autora do texto até postou um comentário seu blog pessoal comentando isso (, mas fez um comentário que motivou uma resposta da minha parte.

A seguir, o comentário dela:

“Someone translated my Aslan’s Meditations Devotional into Brazilian Portuguese, right HERE. Isn’t that just really neat? I stuck it all into google translate, and while it sounded sort of like someone who didn’t know english very well, it was the same idea, and I thought that was SO. COOL.”

Embora ela mesma assuma que usou o tradutor do Google para embasar seu comentário, resolvi me “defender”.

Os trechos a seguir mostram o texto original, em português, e o texto em inglês, traduzido pelo Google.


“Olá, eu fiz a tradução do seu texto e, em minha defesa, devo dizer que o Google efetua uma tradução mecânica. Eu fiz uma tradução manual, levando em consideração os regionalismos do Brasil. Então, na verdade, eu fiz uma adaptação, e não uma tradução. Uma palavra em inglês pode ter muitas correspondências em português, dependendo do contexto. Se você já usou algum tradutor automático, você deve saber que eles servem apenas para dar uma ideia do que o texto está querendo dizer. Por exemplo, no topo do seu blog tem a seguinte frase: "One day, one night, one moment, with a dream to believe in. One step, one fall, one falter, find a new earth across a wide ocean." Esse fall, de "one fall", no google em português, tem todos esses significados que você pode ver no link|pt|fall

E sobre os textos bíblicos, eu utilizei uma versão diferente, muito popular no Brasil, que é a Nova Tradução na Linguagem de Hoje (NTLH).

Então, não quer dizer que eu não conheço muito bem o inglês, e sim que as escolhas que eu fiz foram diferentes das do google tradutor. Eu sou brasileiro, falo português, e sei que a tradução do google, para o seu artigo, não é boa. Até porque ele não diferencia o português do Brasil e o de Portugal. Por isso eu tive que fazer as alterações. Seria mais fácil colar seu texto no google e copiar a tradução. Mas eu preferi ter todo esse trabalho para que ficasse com a "cara" do Brasil, portanto, mais fácil de compreender. Uma pessoa que entenda português, terá maior facilidade de leitura com meu texto, e não com o do google.

Faça um teste: este texto foi traduzido para o inglês usando o google. Pareço conhecer o inglês agora? Acredito que não. rsrsrsrsrs.

Estou esperando ansioso pelo próximo texto para continuar a tradução.”



“Hello, I did the translation of its text and in my defense I must say that Google performs a machine translation. I did a manual translation, taking into account the regionalism of Brazil. So, actually, I made an adjustment, not a translation. An English word can have many matches in Portuguese, depending on context. If you’ve used any automatic translator, you should know that they serve only to give an idea of what the text is saying. For example, on top of your blog has the following sentence: "One day, one night, one moment, with a dream to believe in. One step, one fall, one falter, find a new earth across a wide ocean." This fall, "one fall", on google in Portuguese, has all these meanings that you can see the link # en | en | fall
What about the biblical texts, I used a different version, very popular in Brazil, which is the New Translation Today’s English Version (TEV).
So, not to say that I do not know much English, but that the choices I made were different from the google translator. I am Brazilian, I speak Portuguese, and I know the google translation for your article, is not good. Also because he does not differentiate the Portuguese of Brazil and Portugal. So I had to make changes. It would be easier to paste your text and copy the google translation. But I preferred to all this work to stay with the "face" of Brazil, therefore, easier to understand. A person who understands Portuguese, will find it easier to read my text, and not with google.
Take a test: this text was translated into English using google. I seem to know English now? I think not. hehehehehe.
I am eagerly awaiting the next text to continue the translation.”


Qualquer pessoa que conheça bem o inglês, verá que esse texto está meio…..ruim…..

É tudo culpa da Torre de Babel.

Aslan’s Meditations – Apresentação

Autora: Hannah Dokupil

Textos Bíblicos conforme Nova Tradução na Linguagem de Hoje



Esta é a primeira de uma série de onze meditações na passagem de 2 Pedro 1:5-8, onde se lê:

Por isso mesmo façam todo o [esforço] possível para juntar a bondade à fé que vocês têm. À bondade juntem o conhecimento e ao conhecimento, o domínio próprio. Ao domínio próprio juntem a perseverança e à perseverança, a devoção a Deus. A essa devoção juntem a amizade cristã e à amizade cristã juntem o amor. Pois são essas as qualidades que vocês precisam ter. Se vocês as tiverem e fizerem com que elas aumentem, serão cada vez mais ativos e produzirão muita coisa boa como resultado do conhecimento que vocês têm do nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo.

Para começar, vamos olhar para o verso como um todo. Durante as próximas 11 semanas, vamos analisar cada valor (esforço, fé, bondade, conhecimento, etc) e olhar para cada um, individualmente, como ele se aplica ao anterior, e o que significa para nós, pessoalmente.

Serão artigos menores que o normal, mais isso significa que podemos publicar toda semana. Eu (Hannah/Tru) conduzirei esta série. Se funcionar, continuaremos – se não, concluiremos a série e tentaremos outra. Obrigado pela paciência.

Para mim, este versículo sempre foi uma longa lista de coisas para fazer. Depois de adicionar a bondade, adicionamos o conhecimento. Depois que fizermos isso, você precisa começar a trabalhar o domínio próprio. E depois disso, a perseverança … e assim por diante, e se você fizer todas essas coisas, você estará preparado para a vida.

Não sei quanto a vocês, mas eu não acho que isso esteja certo.

Porque, veja, o texto começa com as palavras “por isso mesmo” . Portanto, a pergunta natural é … Por isso o que? Porque estamos fazendo tudo isso? Vamos voltar um pouco, e olhar este versículo no contexto. O livro de 2 Pedro começa assim:

“…escrevo esta carta a vocês que, por causa da bondade do nosso Deus e Salvador Jesus Cristo, receberam uma fé tão preciosa como a nossa. Que a graça e a paz estejam com vocês e aumentem cada vez mais, por meio do conhecimento que vocês têm de Deus e de Jesus, o nosso Senhor! O poder de Deus nos tem dado tudo o que precisamos para viver uma vida que agrada a ele, por meio do conhecimento que temos daquele que nos chamou para tomar parte na sua própria glória e bondade. Desse modo ele nos tem dado os maravilhosos e preciosos dons que prometeu. Ele fez isso para que, por meio desses dons, nós escapássemos da imoralidade que os maus desejos trouxeram a este mundo e pudéssemos tomar parte na sua natureza divina.”


Para mim, o texto está falando sobre como, à luz da Graça de Deus, vivemos vidas caracterizadas pela fé, bondade, conhecimento, etc. Algo sobre o qual estive pensando muito ultimamente é sobre viver à luz da graça de Deus pela fé. É fácil ter fé quando se está entusiasmado com alguma coisa, quando você se torna cristão, quando você está em alta espiritual e vivendo para Cristo … mas a fé se torna uma coisa totalmente diferente quando você está perdido, confuso, e sem saber o que Deus está fazendo em sua vida. Mesmo assim prosseguimos porque, pelo poder divino de Deus, recebemos tudo o que precisamos para viver uma vida que agrada a ele, por meio do conhecimento que temos daquele que nos chamou para tomar parte na sua própria glória e bondade, porque ele nos tem dado os maravilhosos e preciosos dons que prometeu.

Certa vez ouvi um ditado que diz: “não se esqueça, na escuridão, que você viu a luz” – e acho que esse versículo se aplica a isso. Por causa da maravilhosa graça, amor e promessas que o Pai Celestial nos concedeu, é assim, que vivemos.

Edmundo, após ser salvo por Aslan, sempre encontrou tentações da Feiticeira Branca – tanto em Príncipe Caspian, quanto em A Viagem do Peregrino da Alvorada. Mas em cada um, notamos que a maneira como ele lida com essas tentações é sempre à luz do que Aslan fez por ele. Ele lembra e aprende com seus erros e com o que Aslan lhe ensinou.


Nós muitas vezes pensamos (ou pelo menos, eu me pego pensando) que nós somos salvos pela graça e então nós temos que fazer nossos caminhos com boas obras para o resto da vida! Pelo contrário – somos salvos pela graça e vivemos diariamente pela graça, e é por essa razão que nós adicionamos à nossa fé muitas coisas – mas essas coisas nós só podemos obter através da fé em Cristo.

Espero que vocês se juntem a mim nesta jornada.