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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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ConfessionalLutheran

How Routine Leads to Relationship

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I did a little experiment awhile ago. I thought I'd go a few days without Bible reading or daily prayer. Well, those few days became a few weeks and those weeks morphed into about three months. My anxiety levels grew, I was struggling to find faith and I began to try to interpret life and the world my own way. I started cutting out church on Sundays as well, figuring that I could worship by taking a walk in the woods. Let's just say that I was a lot more unhappy and groundless without my Christian routine than I was with it. I became nasty and given a little more to drink than I ought to have been.

After awhile, I felt the need to go to my pastor for the Rite of Confession and Absolution. After that, I picked up the Bible again, began attending church and incorporated studying the Lutheran Confessions into my newly revived devotional life. Satan can deceive me too and he did, more times than I can count.

 

Then, I took the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper again, explained why I'd been gone for those couple of weeks to the people who took attendance and returned to Church. God is a God of infinite mercy and forgiveness, but that mercy and forgiveness is most emphatically apparent when one has an active and living relationship with Him. What looks like rote routine can become rote routine if one forgets the reason one does these things, which is to glorify God every day and to admit that our salvation rests altogether on His grace. Also admitting our abject state as sinners deserving God's eternal wrath, yet being drawn to Him by the power of the Holy Spirit, having our sins covered by Christ Jesus, Who justifies us by grace through faith and living in grace, greatly enhances our reverence for this good and gracious God who created us, redeems us and sanctifies us. We learn to take our eyes off of self and lift them to God. This is how, for me, routine leads to relationship.

Edited by ConfessionalLutheran
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So, today my day begins when I say Dr. Luther's Morning Prayer, say the daily Prayer from the Lutheran Book of Prayers, read two chapters apiece from the Pentateuch, History, Wisdom, Prophecies, Gospel, Pauline Epistles and General Epistles, say the Lutheran Rosary and then read a few chapters from Concordia, the Book of Lutheran Confessions. Then, I go about my day, praying as I see the need or feel the wish and at the end of the day, I say Dr. Luther's Evening Prayer and the nightly prayer from the Lutheran Book of Prayers.That is a personal discipline that God has by His grace kept me in.

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Thank you for sharing this. I've just realized something which has answered the question I've been asking God several times before. I've been looking for this answer but then I've come across your post which then lead me to discern why life is cruel at times. God Bless you, Sir @ConfessionalLutheran, because of you I may be able to move on better now without worrying about of what's to come.

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