Just like when I buy a different car – I then see the same make everywhere when I never did before, so the same when I name myself compartmentalised or stigmatised – I then see compartments and stigma where I never before.
I will see only with love – I will speak only with love – I will hear only with love – I will feel only with love – so that I may then see me only with the love that you see me – and that I may then see others only with the love that you see me.
(and when others do compartmentalise me – I will see their compartment only with affection and love as you do)
The Lord was drinking some water out of a glass. There was nothing wrong with the glass, but the water tasted terrible. This was in a white building on a vast wasteland. The engineers within wore white uniforms and bootees on their shoes and gloves on their hands. The water had traveled many hundreds of miles through wide pipes to be there.
What have you done to my water? The Lord asked. My living water…
Love can conquer fear and hate if we allow ourselves to love.
At the same time, love will cost us something.
Agápē love is the highest form of love. It is the kind of unconditional love which comes from God –a love that transcends behavior or circumstance.
It is the love the apostle Paul described in his first letter to the Corinthians. He urged them to use their Spiritual gifts from this place of agápē love, and explained to them if they did not, their gifts would be useless and bankrupt.
Love is patient; love is kind. There is no arrogance in love. It’s never rude or crude; its not self-absorbed, easily upset or keep score of wrongs. Love doesn’t celebrate injustice, but truth is love’s delight. Love never gives up, never looks back and never loses faith. Love is always hopeful endures all things through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
As my focus becomes more about following Christ and pointing to him as a loving, compassionate and inclusive God, some of my own brothers and sisters in Christ have denounced me for this focus and said, “You are not my sister.” Some have even defended Christ, saying, “Jesus wasn’t a weakling!”
On the contrary, our God is powerful; Jesus is powerful and does not need defending. Agápē love is powerful. Agápē love is courageous. Agápē love is dangerous.
You cannot be a weakling or timid or a coward to love like that. It takes being filled with strength, fearlessness and sacredness to bestow agápē love.
Conversely, if you are unwilling or unable to love like God, you have not let go of powerless, fear and disapproval. You have not yet allowed the fullness of agápē love to replace those other things that choke out the love of God.
God is love is not a metaphor.
Love God is not a metaphor.
Love your neighbor is not a metaphor.
Love each other is not a metaphor.
They will know you are My disciples by your love is not a metaphor.
Love your enemy is not a metaphor.
Perfect love casts out fear is not a metaphor.
I am thankful today for my Father’s love, for the love of Jesus Christ. I will be thankful tomorrow for the fullness of His unconditional love, grace and forgiveness. I am thankful He has taught me how to give agápē love.
I pray this day that tomorrow you pray a humble and sincere prayer of thanksgiving and choose agápē love.
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. (Proverbs 18:21, The Msg)
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to you oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
It is finally the day after, and we all woke up this morning as Americans. Yet we are Christians first.
Some voted (or did not vote) as an expression of anger or protest. Many more of us used our vote as an instrument of principle. Whatever the outcome, our call in Christ is for reconciliation.
Many factions have sought to divide us, have sought to have us focus on flaws and sin instead of mercy and grace. The enemy has infiltrated our hearts, our thoughts, and our words.
“It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” (Matthew 15:11)
We have several choices today and over the next four years.
We can let our shock and disappointment grow fear in our hearts. We can continue to brood, letting our anger simmer until it boils over into a rage that we can no longer contain. We can continue to cast blame, point fingers, and feed our resentment. Either of these choices will keep the door open for the enemy to squeeze Christ’s living water, grace and love out of our hearts.
On the other hand, we can choose to accept the results with grace. We can pray for our new President, for all the members of our new Senate and House of Representatives. We can pray there will be (or already has been) a gracious concession speech without bitterness or rancor. We can pray for a peaceful transition of power. We can pray for progress over politics. We can work wholeheartedly to unite our country.
In January, the hand of the winner of this hard-fought election will be placed on a Bible. The new President will take the Oath of Office. We can choose to put behind us the animosity we have lived with the last 20 months and instead, take up our cross and the mission of reconciliation. We can choose to be the light and the mouth of Christ.
You see, the controlling force in our lives is the love of Christ; Christ’s love guides us. He died for us so that we will all live, not for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Because of all that God has done, we now have a new perspective; we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. All of this is a gift from our Creator, who pursued us and brought us into a restored and healthy relationship with Him through Christ.
And He has given us the same mission – the ministry of reconciliation – to bring others back to Him. He reconciled the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.And He gave us this wonderful mission of reconciliation. We are Christ’s ambassadors; God makes His appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:14-20)