Steve Macchia Blog

Known and Loved

I often remind leaders of the importance of cultivating their most central relationships, continually deepening their ties with those who “know you best and love you most.” When you know with certainty that you are loved and celebrated by those closest to you, then you have strength to sustain any winds that seek to blow you off course. When you are confident of faithful commitment that stands the test of time, then you receive courage to withstand any predators that come to tempt you, and shared wisdom to avoid any rocks that emerge to trip you up along the pathway of life.

However, there are far too many who exist daily without such support. They continually seek the approval or applause of others, but within their heart they may never discover how empty and shallow are such attempts. They want so much to be recognized and affirmed, they will do almost anything to garner basic life support and cure the relentless emptiness deep within. They don’t have those who know them well and love them in spite of themselves. As a result, they are left with full and busy lives, but not nearly as fulfilling as they desire.

This is the spectrum: those who know they are dearly loved on one end, and those who can’t imagine why anyone would know them as beloved on the other. Most of us are somewhere in between. Regardless of where we are on this continuum, we all long for the very same thing: to be known and loved.

During Lent we remember the temptations of Jesus and we experience our own. We recognize our rapidly escalating expectations for a hope beyond this life, and we wait longingly for Holy Week. In and through it all we are led into the security of one great truth that’s a stake in the ground by which no stronghold can conquer: Jesus Christ knows us best and loves us most. The love of the resurrected Jesus is our only sure repose during the days when we don’t feel loved or lovely whatsoever. Jesus knows us intimately, unconditionally, lavishly. In Him and through Him and by Him and because of Him we are known and loved.

Rest well dear friend in the reality of Christ’s redemptive love. No matter the heartache of your past or present circumstance, be assured of this one thing: Jesus loves you. On this one simple truth your life and mine is transformed.

As you craft your personal rule of life, remember always the fragrance of love and be held and sustained by the scent. Join the journey of building and growing healthy relationships at www.RuleOfLife.com



All In One Day

The following was written in my journal on a recent vacation day when I found the changes in the sky reflective of the various relationships that add spice to my personal rule of life…

A rainbow to greet us and remind us of God’s faithful, unending love.
Sunshine and blue skies reminiscent of the promises and blessings of life in abundance.
Occasional clouds that skip across the skyline to shade and shadow the earth below.
A dark cloud descends with rain to shower the earth and slow down our torrential lives.
Sunshine brought on by the dawn; sunset to brighten and then sullen the sleepy horizon.
Moonlight and starlight to dazzle and amaze the deep violet sky.
All in one day. For all to employ. So noticeably vibrant, alive, beautiful, faithful, surreal.
So too are the relationships that sparkle and splatter and surprise and scatter our days.
Some filled with beauty and joy – others accompanied by sadness and need – still more that come and go to delight or disappoint.
But all in one day and all to embrace, for all will be with us both now and forevermore.

Our roles and relationships matter significantly to the life God invites us to humbly fulfill for Christ’s glory. Join others who are crafting their rule of life and share your story at www.RuleOfLife.com



Lovingly Intentional

As we listen and attend to the loving voice of God, He invites us into a relationship of ever-deepening intimacy. That’s the way God has worked in the hearts of His beloved children since the day Adam and Eve walked freely in the garden. His welcome is consistently one of affectionate blessing toward all whom He created…including you and me.

Our best response to His divine invitation is to seek His glory in both private and public worship, solidify our understanding of His call on our life, and then lean fully into a vibrant walk of daily faith. This is where our personal rule of life becomes a central focus…our gracious response to God’s loving initiatives.

Becoming lovingly intentional begins with our roles and relationships with others. What are your roles and with whom are you currently in relationship? For example, your roles may include being a child of God, a mother or father, a sister or brother, a friend, worker, student, etc. Within such roles there exist several relationships…all with names and faces, stories and needs, etc.

Interview the Spirit prayerfully, inquire of others specifically, process with your small group, and reflect personally on questions like the following: what are my primary roles and relationships? Am I seeking a realistic number of roles and relationships? In what ways could I be contributing to the health and/or healing of my primary relationships? With whom shall I reach out today?

Sitting prayerfully with such questions allows us the privilege of serving others in Jesus name, even offering a cup of cold water to refresh their heart with our presence, prayers and provisions of grace. We were meant to exist among others and within community. Renew today the pursuit of your roles and relationships with loving intentionality.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” Phil. 2:3-5.

For more information on crafting a rule of life join the online community at  www.RuleOfLife.com



Selective Listening

Ever sit with a selective listener? They only want to hear what tickles their fancy, satisfies their current preferences, keeps communication shallow, and/or entices their self-centereed curiosity. Usually lacking in attentiveness and oftentimes accompanied by impatience, a selective listener will choose to hear what they want and disregard the rest.

When that happens the listener often misses the deeper, most crucial message. Hearing the words but missing the meaning can lead one down a primrose lane of pretense which lacks depth, maturity, and wisdom. For such listeners the journey is only a good one when fulfilling that which is easiest to hear and follow…have you ever been such a listener?

Crafting a rule of life invites us to consider unhindered, unbiased, uncontrolled, and unhurried listening.  Attending first to the voice of God, and then to those who know us best and love us most, is the starting point of discovery. When we do so we are making a fundamental decision of life as a follower of Christ – listen first and then respond.

Listen long and hard and deep and slow…so you don’t miss the voice of the One who created you, calls you by name, knows all about you, and has your best interests in mind. Choose that path and avoid the potholes of selective listening…it will lead you into the abundant life of fuller awareness and into the freedom that comes hand in hand with joyful submission to the call of God.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight , so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God,” (Phil. 1:9-11).