Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mission Possible

I  often get up from prayer energized and motivated. Like a pre-workout drink, I'm jumping and hopping in my spirit. Let's do this!
Many times during my morning talk with the Lord my head swarms with ideas to share the gospel with my neighbors, with the people in Walmart, with the mom at the playground- everybody!
Then in a few minutes, my  flesh reasons with me. "It's too pushy."
 It's too risky." "It's too much out of your way." "It hasn't worked before so..."

"Our knee-jerk reaction to initiating spiritual conversations may be that we don't want to offend anyone. But the reality is that anyone who follows Christ offends the nonbeliever."- Bill DeWandler

Let me share something that I happened upon that is sure to get you geared up for reaching souls.

The Personal Evangelism challenge. Arabah Joy expresses it so clearly here I figure I'll just share the wealth.

Ok now before you turn your nose up at the idea, or scroll down really fast, or cock your head, hear it out.
"...we need to understand this isn’t some sort of competition. It isn’t some Christian bells and whistles program for earning spiritual brownie points.
It’s simply a godly resolve made in faith and empowered by the Holy Spirit. "
I invite you to embark on this Journey to be a witness to your world- your neighbors, your co-workers,  your family, friends, and passers-by in the grocery store. I can't reach them. You can. And you can't reach the people in my circle. This is our mission- and we have been chosen to accept it. I'm super excited to get started. Beginning June 1 I'll journal the journey. Who's with me? 
Here's mine!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Art of Perfect Love Part 2

Truth hurts.

But it also frees.

I faced an ugly truth about myself the other day. What I call LOVE is not true, genuine, unconditional love. What I call LOVE is really, at face value, commitment, but not LOVE.


IT hit home further when I read this line from a prayer on  Darlene Schacht's Daily Marriage Prayer .

"Give us a good attitude, so that we don’t merely love for the sake of our vows, but for Your sake, Lord."- from Daily Marriage Prayer, May 25, 2015

Whoa! I suddenly realized I have been and in truth may still be guilty of  " love for the sake of vows" part. 

Double OUCH!

Love involves commitment, but commitment in itself is not LOVE. Love involves trust, but trust in itself is not LOVE. Love demands sacrifice, but sacrifice in itself is LOVE. Love requires service, but service by itself is not LOVE. I thought by doing these things I was showing love. I am forced to ask the painful question- do I really LOVE who I say I love?

The only way to truly love is to truly know LOVE Himself- GOD.

Here is a perfect description of what God is:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7New International Version (NIV)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Or in other words:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7Living Bible (TLB)

Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.
The only way to be this to others is to know- diligently seek after- God. This is by the reading and studying of His Word about LOVE and involving our self in talking with him daily. We must then let this spiritual fruit grow in us. God plants the seed of this fruit in our hearts through his Word.
I'll end with this prayer.
You said we are not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The world has its notion on love and I am sorrowful that I may have allowed the world's definition of love  to dictate my own. I repent for falling into the trap of comparing myself with the world rather than the WORD. Please forgive me.  May  I  have an increased desire to surrender to you as you impart the seed of Love into my spirit. Help me to allow the fruit of love to grow. Empower me to  love as you called us to love, and not just in my own idea and in my own strength. I allow you to be my perfect example, in that while we were yet sinners, you loved me enough to die in my place.  I commit this to you, and am confident that the work you have begun in me will be performed until the day of the Lord. In Jesus's name. Amen

Stay tuned for Part 3.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The *Art of Perfect Love Part 1

Both of the words  say "God" to me.

So there's no way God would require that of us right?

See, we really like LOVE.
We like to be loved, and it feels good to love others back- most of the time.

Our love says :

"you care about me",
 "you make me feel warm inside",
"You want to make me feel good",
"You aim to please me",
"You want to  (fill in the blank) for me".
"Oh and I'll do the same for you because well, it's only fair and it's the right thing to do."
"I'll do what makes you happy, because it feels good to be the reason someone is happy."
 "I'll do what pleases you so you can feel better about doing what I want in return." .

God Love says:

"I want what's best for you"
"I want you to live- really fully live!"
"I am there for you- always"
"I believe in you- always!"
"I see beyond your faults."
"I have mercy on you"
"I forgive you"
"I will help you"
"I will pull the bulk of the load"
"You can trust me"
"I will die for you"

I had to personally evaluate  my idea of love in prayer this morning. I thought, God there's no way we can humanly love like that. It's- it's just not fair, I said to him, to put that pressure on us- right?

The he spoke to me " God is love. Anyone that loves is  born of God and knows God. He that does not love, does not know me."

"Ok God but I do love." I replied
"I am love."
"Ok, ok but what does that really mean?"
"Pursue me and you will find what Love really means. Read 1 Corinthians 13 again."
"Yes, Father. I will."

We were both quiet as I let the conversation process in my heart and mind.
I'll be back after I let Him speak to me through 1 Corinthian 13.


*Art is from the Latin word Artis meaning "skill"

Monday, May 4, 2015

When the Road ahead looks Dark

Keep walking.
Close your eyes if you must.
And Trust Him.
For the path lit by His Word
Is one that only faith perceives.
Walk by it.
One. Step. At a time
Into his good expectation for you.
Soon you'll look behind and realize you made it through.
Yes, keep walking.