Jan 30, 2012

Monday SHINE...

Today's reading: 1 Samuel 21  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20SAMUEL%2021&version=MSG

Good morning, sweet SHINE girls! We have made it to another week in our reading!

For those of you that have been with us since day one (Jan. 1st), this will be our 5th week in this study. Wow!

As I got up this morning, I had nothing to post to you about today. Nada.

I was just going to post the scripture, wish you love, and go my merry way.

Well, as always, God had another plan. Don't we just love that about Him? I love how He leads.

As the month of February approaches this week, the Lord is leading me to post about Love.

Yep, L-O-V-E.

Sounds pretty and sweet, right? But, do we really know what Love is? Like, really?

Is it just something we say when we feel like it's appropriate? Is it something that we say because we "feel" overwhelming affection for another? Is it something we say out of obligation? Is it something that we say because it makes us sound holy, or all Christian-y?

Let's break it down. What does Love really mean, like through the Lord's eyes.


 1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.


 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8

Read the above passage and then read it again. Now, insert your name into the parts that say "Love"  or any referral to "Love". For example: "Jill is patient, Jill is kind, Jill does not envy..." etc. Got it?

Does it change things when you do that? It sure did for me. It hit home a little more in my heart.

Am I living love? Am I making love a verb in my life, daily? Or, am I just saying it at the right time, when it seems appropriate to say.

Are we living and breathing love to others? Like, really living it out....not just to the ones that are easy to love, but the not-so-easy to love?

I have had to learn this lesson, the hard, very hard way recently. There was a time last Fall when I was convicted by the Lord of this very thing. My actions were not the problem, it was what was going on in my heart towards a certain person.

Ouch.

It was severely damaging my walk, and my peace. As I sat and prayed to the Lord and begged Him to show me why I was such a mess, He gently convicted me of the condition of my heart.

It was not easy to hear. I kind of argued with Him and told Him that I had not acted out on this lack of love in any way.

He didn't care. He wanted me to love this person, regardless. Regardless of what this person did to me, regardless of what this person may continue to do to me.

Girls, this was a pivotal turning point in my walk with the Lord. I mean, pivotal.

 So, what did I do?

Well, after being stunned that the Lord could actually see in that little dark corner of my heart, I started that day making love a verb towards this person.

Trust me, it was not easy at first. My flesh was screaming in pain, as I showed this person love. She did not deserve it in my eyes.

But, do any of us?

Do I deserve to be loved? Nope.

But, does He love me anyway? YES.

My darkness finally broke into light. God was showing me that although I was "acting" like I loved her, He knew my heart. He knew it was all a facade.

He wanted me to truly love her and not keep a lock on that sore spot of my heart towards her.

Friends, if there is anyone in our lives that we feel justified in not loving, it's severely damaging us. God will not be able to use us to our full potential until we do some house keeping on this part of our heart.

Trust me, I have learned this the hard way.

Is there someone that you are not loving? Is there someone who has greatly hurt you and does not deserve to be loved by you? Is there someone that rubs you in all the wrong ways?

Girls, start today by praying for them. Yes, pray for them.

This is harder than it sounds. You will find the words are hard to say. Really hard. You will feel like you are being forced to say something that you don't mean. Pray those words anyway.

Still today, I pray for this person that I had a hard time loving. My heart has melted for her. My perspective has changed on the situation.

Friends, only God can make that happen.


"Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40


The first part of this command is pretty easy. How about the second part?

Start today, girls. Love that unlovable person.

Your life will change. You can count on it.

love them anyway,

jill






19 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ugpncf0bM8
already posted this song in the discussion part, but this just reassured me that by His love, we are free. Without His love, we cannot love. He is love. He loved, loves, and will love me even when it is not easy to love me. How could I not do this to others? The blood--what a show of love? It is my victory! Enjoy--love loudly!!! I am doing a date night challenge through facebook and through my church--this week our pastor challenged us to write down 3 words that made us love our spouse and speak those words over them, about them, and to them. Do this! Do it to for your husband, children, friends....words are powerful! LOVE OUT LOUD <3
love,
erin spinks:)
thanks jill for ALWAYS speaking to me in love! your friendship is uplifting and you make me a better me!
1. encouraging 2. inspiring 3. friendly--those are your words from me:)

Aunt Teddi said...

Well, I've been hit again...praying 1 Cor 13 every day...believing I'm loving...and yet..could I answer any of your questions yes?...I sheepishly say yes. Hit! Up again and attem...loving anyway!! Love you! I like the 3 word challenge...for you Jill...1. truth 2. endurance 3. patience...
a good shepherd for your sheep. :) <3

Maria said...

and to just think that you had nothing to say today, Jill! God is doing wonderful things through you. I know I am not living love. At least not in the way I need to be. So that is what I will be praying for today. That He will help me love like he intended. It sounds like you are a great friend Jill ... you are sure inspiring me every day. Also, going to be writing my 3 words down about my husband right now. THANK YOU THANK YOU! Love, Maria

Mary Hudgins Balicki said...

I so needed this, Jill. Providential for my path and Chad was blessed by it, too as I sent the link on to him.
When you spell out I Cor 13, there is that passage that gets me every time. "5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."
...I confess that I carry my bruises like badges of honor, never letting them heal and really feel entitled to a hall pass on true forgiveness based on past hurts. When there's a new addition, I lump it together with all of the other baggage. How can I honor my husband and love him if I'm keeping a check list? I can't and it's exhausting, not to mention unfair.
Lord, help me to take your lead on this. Help me to live I Cor 13 and truly forgive it all. Thankfully, the blood of Christ covers all of my failures and his, too.
Mend us back together, Lord - we're broken and flawed without you.

Lisa said...

Well boo...busted again. Saw a face in my head when I was reading this post. I not only need to love her, like really love her, not a fake, flippy love...but forgive her too.

I need to straighten up.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE :) the suggestion to replace "Love" in the scripture with your name. Talk about feeling accountable. Wow. Thanks Jill - great message. -Dana

Krischa said...

I am putting the name in place of love for the scripture in to practice!! Can't wait to love LOUDLY! Especially as I venture into homeschooling next week the child that has my personality! "Krischa" is patient! Thanks for being a blessing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking the truth Jill. I needed this reminder. Daily! :)

Anonymous said...

Love, Sarah (that's my comment above! :)

Terri Abbott said...

Come here to me, God's LOVE! My three words to you Jill; tender, teacher and (receptive)student. Thank you for your open heart and fertile soil that God can plant His Kingdom seed our hearts for us to reap and re-sow AGAIN! Hallelujah! I confess also that it has been in me at times difficult to forgive and love. VERY. I thought I did this well and then the Lord showed me I was being selective in who I would apply the forgiveness and love to. I was choosing easy ones - haha! After I did those, the Lord crooked His finger and said 'looky here girl', 'do you see what I see'? When you pray 'Lord search me heart and lift up any unsightly areas that are not pleased to You and purge me of them...' Well, He will. Very recently I was to attend a gathering where it was possible I would also see one of my children's old high school coach(details unimportant) that I had a very hard spot in my heart for. It had been 14 years (isn't that strange, my child's number in athletics was '14') -just saw that. Anyway, I was cautioned by my husband that if I were to see this person that I need to not 'create a scene'. DEEP BREATH. .....in my heart I'm like 'ok'. I purposed to allow God to do what He would, to listen to and obey my covering and I THEN I prayed 'Lord where I'm weak, be strong in me, give me Your love' and was utterly out-of-body-experience AMAZED when I welled up with compassion at the sight of him! What can I say, as I walked up to speak with him (see that? run to the roar girls), I suddenly saw him as God sees him, I thanked him (oh yeah) for being such a tremendous influence in my son's life. I felt pure joy and wished him well. It was GONE! Praise God. Yes, Erin, God IS love. When we ask for His love to flow thru us, our eyes see things differently and we can't help but be 1 Cor 13: 1-8. Carrying around such hardness takes energy and work, it further blocks our walk with God, how can He trust us when we won't allow him to remove these ugly boulders? I'm allowing Him to one-by-one show me any other places I need to sow His seeds of love and I WILL, with His help, WIN. We win by tenderness, we conquor by love. Want a breakthrough in your life? Try this. Father God, please help and direct us each and everyone. Amen

Anonymous said...

I find it very hard to love someone who continues to hurt you and your family over and over. Someone who tries to hurt you intentionally! Even when you try your hardest they just don't want to be loved by you. Life is a competition to some people and they feel like they have to put you down to make themselves feel better. You can't make someone love you back! I do pray for these people-that God would change their heart....but his timing isn't my timing. I have been praying for this for about 12 years now! I do feel like when I pray for them God knows my heart.....but this is the hardest thing I have ever tried to do!

Terri Abbott said...

Anon; been there and you're so right, it's very hard. Sometimes when people don't change, you just have to change yourself. Sounds like they're missing out by not loving you. Rest in the fact that God DOES love you and ask Him to show you the areas of your life that He wants you to put your love, again allow God to change YOU. When you pray about these peeps, just leave it with God, and yes, that's a tough one but by faith, you just walk it. You may never have their love but you can control the fact that you set yourself up to be hurt by them. They only have power to hurt you when you allow it, throw the hurt back with love on top of it. Turn it loose with God and go about your life. Father, in Jesus name, I pray you show Anon the way to walk and that you meet her needs in love, answer her with your wisdom for her life.

Rebekah Hudgins said...

Lord, change me, not "he, she or it." Manifest your perfect will in my life, help me to pour love on those around me and help me to be obedient to the Holy Spirit's prompting so that you can reveal your will.

Thank you for this message, Jill. I remember a few years ago when you were wanting to write more and I think you are being blessed in your gift as you bless us.

I love you so!!!
Bek

Anonymous said...

I really love this post, because this is something that God had spoken to me about recently also. He told me to pray for enemies (those that cause me pain) daily. It is amazing that when I do that, I am not allowing all the anger, hurt, and bitterness to reside in me. I have a moment in my life that I did this and felt immediate peace.
One night, years ago, Thomas and I got into a rare fight that made me so mad that I had to leave the house. I decided to go the grocery store. While at the check out line, God told me to go get Thomas a magazine (he loves to read gun magazines). I stood there for what seemed like a long time, just arguing with God. People probably thought I was crrraaaazzzyy. I told God...why should I do something nice for him, he is being a butt to me and I don't like him very much right now. God just kept saying...Go get Thomas a magazine. Finally, I stomped my way towards the magazine rack, still arguing with God. As I was standing in front of the rack, still arguing, considering getting him a girly magazine....God said, No Courtney, get him a magazine. I said...FINE....as I picked up a Guns & Amo (one of his favorites) magazine, all that anger had left my body, literally. I felt it leave me from my head out to my toes. I was no longer angry, I had never experienced anything like it before. I felt PEACE and LOVE.
I realized that that is how God loves us, he loves us when we are unlovable. He still does nice things for us even when we don't deserve it. And that is how I should love others....unconditionally.

Courtney Frey

Jill said...

love this, courtney. thank you for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jill. The way you brought the passages of love so personal was beautiful. And so needed. :) and thank you for this blog. It has given me what I needed to be consistent with my quiet time. My soul thanks you,
Xoxo,
Amy

momto8 said...

I love your blog. You are inspirational in your faith. God is good. All the time.
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.
Keep shinning!

Jill said...

thank you, momto8! thrilled to have you join us!

Mary Hudgins Balicki said...

Courtney, that is a precious story. Thank you for taking the time to recount it for us. You inspire me, girl. :)