In HOPE 9.9

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David Timms

 Prayer for Today

Father, teach me to love more deeply, more selflessly, more consistently, and more inclusively. Guard from heart from the seduction of success and open my eyes to the first and greatest call you place on my life ... to love you with everything I've got and to love others thoroughly and recklessly.

When I'm distracted by busyness or discouraged by failure, help me to abide in your love ... that I may lead others to do the same. Amen.


Hope Happenings

An eight-ton wrecking ball crushed a slice of Fullerton history -- and Hope International University history -- this past Monday morning when demolition began on the seven-story Terrace Office Center building. For photos go to: .

The rebar-and-cement structure, built in the late 1960s, is the last building to be demolished on the seven-acre property destined for a $140 million University House project. Inland American Communities will construct student housing with 1,189 beds targeted for those attending higher-education schools in the city.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831


"Love is the acid test of Christian spirituality. If Christian conversion is authentic, we are in a process of becoming more loving. If we are not becoming more loving, something is seriously wrong." ~ David Benner, Surrender to Love, p.90.


God's Call

Most of us err in one of two ways when we talk about vocation -- "God's call." On the one hand, we conclude that He calls just a few outstanding individuals. Louie Giglio is called. Max Lucado is called. Our pastor is called. But not us.

On the other hand, we assume that His calling is always to something great; leadership, significant service, widespread influence, "success."

But the real call of God -- our common vocation -- is much simpler; to be loved and to love.

The Father calls us first to Himself so He can heal, affirm, soothe and save our souls. And as we receive His love He then calls us to love others.

That's it. Simple. Stop the bus.

We've complicated this idea of God's call, insisting on some extraordinary divine encounter that catapults us into a high level of leadership and responsibility. And this misguided understanding of vocation distracts us from the truth.

Thomas Merton reminds us that "all vocations are intended by God to manifest His love in the world." That's straightforward enough. It's not about wisdom, power, fame, or leadership ... but love. And, as David Benner reminds us, "If we are not becoming more loving, something is seriously wrong."

Tragically, many of us are not becoming more loving. Our marriages have cooled off, our friendships have dwindled, and we've grown increasingly cynical, isolated, or selfish over the years. We want to be loved but have ceased loving.

To the extent that we love poorly we fail our primary vocation as followers of Jesus.

Jesus said, "By this shall everyone know that you are My disciples; that you love one another." (John 13:35)

We'd like to tweak that just a little. How about we serve sacrificially? Lead energetically? Speak passionately? Evangelize earnestly? Teach whole-heartedly? And Jesus calls us again, just as He has always called all His followers, to love more deeply and more consistently.

The nameless Good Samaritan models this deepest value of the Kingdom. But Christ on the Cross provides the consummate example.

We share a common calling, but not a simple one. Start first with your spouse (if you're married) then let your love ripple out. It is our first and always highest calling.





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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.