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