Good morning, SHINE! It's worship Wednesday!
Wherever you are today, in your car, at home, at work, at school....worship the Lord! Turn up the radio, CD player, Ipod, or whatever you have a sing a song to the Lord!
Get down with some worship music today, girls!
So, can you tell I am a little excited? I love worship Wednesday. (obviously.)
How about 1 John, girls? Isn't it delicious?
As I read 1 John 2, I uncovered a treasure chest full of pure gold! Oh my goodness, so much to talk about. Where in the world do I even begin?
We could literally discuss these 29 verses found in chapter 2 for a year! So much good stuff. Oh, so much.
I'm going to go ahead and dive straight into the deep end of the pool with this one.
"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him." I John 2:9-11
Whoa, hold your horses here. Are we talking about "love", again?
Oh, you can bet your last tube of your favorite lip gloss we are!
Last month, the month before, and the month before that, the Lord has been pounding our little heads and hearts about loving others. Our heads were just feeling better from being sore and here we go again.
I am pretty sure the Lord knows what trips us up, girls. It's our love walk. Hands down.
I see you looking around and wondering who I'm talking to....it's you. It's me, it's all of us.
Before I go any further, let me tell you something that happened to me yesterday at my favorite grocery store.
My favorite little grocery bagger was walking me to my car. I was asking about his grown children and his grandchildren and all about his Easter.
We have a history, he and I. I've been walking to my car with him for years, and he is just the sweetest little older man.
As he was unloading my goods into my trunk, he casually said the most racial remark. Good thing he was busy looking down when he said it because my face probably would have turned him to stone.
I was mortified. Shocked. Embarrassed by his ignorance.
I didn't respond to his remark. What I did do, was pray for him in my heart right then and there.
Suddenly, I was filled with sadness for this little older man. He was wrong. So wrong.
It broke my heart into a million tiny pieces.
I sat there listening as he kept talking about something. I don't even remember what he was saying, nor was I really listening at that point. I was in full-on conversation with Jesus asking Him what was I to do? Should I witness to this man? Should I tell him that his remark offended me?
I heard the Lord say loud and clear: "forgive him, Jill. he knows not what he says."
This phrase sounded awfully familiar. Where had I heard this before?
It was Jesus on the cross. As the people were hurling insults at Him, he asked the Father to forgive them. For they know not what they do.
Oh, girls. As badly as I wanted to tell this man off because of his ignorance, my Jesus was telling me to show him love.
I kindly smiled my best smile, told him goodbye and that I would be seeing him again soon. I pulled away in my car, and tears rolled down my cheeks.
This man (my grocery bagging friend) is walking in the dark. Completely. Not even a night light. Complete and utter darkness.
But, who was I to judge him? I have certainly had my share of unloving ways.
Maybe I didn't say the ugly words out loud to my unlovables, oh but you can be sure my heart was screaming all kinds of sin!
Girls, if we are going to shed this heavy coat of mediocrity, we must walk in love. Daily. We must walk in the glorious light of love with Him.
When we walk in the bright light of love with Him, we don't see color, status, or physical appearance. It's too bright to make out anything but pure love. Kind of like when you look directly at the sun. It's hard to see for a few minutes because the light has re-focused our eyes.
Maybe it's not a prejudice, maybe it's just a thorny person in our space. Maybe this person just rubs you in all the wrong ways. Maybe it makes you feel like an idiot to act like you are okay with this person and the things they do that get on your last nerve.
Does it really matter what they think or what anyone else thinks? If we are going to slough off this mediocrity layer and live in excellence, we must die to our pride, and our flesh. We must live to please God. God alone.
We must do things that go against our very "natural" self. Things that only the Holy Spirit could help us do. Things like loving our unlovables.
I want us all to take a close look at our love walk today. How are our relationships with the following folks:
- our parents
- our spouses
- our children
- our mother in laws
- our father in laws
- our siblings
- our bosses
- our co-workers
- our neighbors
- our friends or ex-friends that have hurt us
- an ex-spouse
- an ex-boyfriend
Maybe I have left off a few. Let God show you, girls. He will bring your attention to this area of disobedience if you ask Him. Trust me, He is chomping at the bit to show you!
Let's don't let something as simple, yet as profound as our love walk hinder us from being in the light.
Light a fire in your heart today, girls. Ask God to burn off the ugly parts that are keeping you from completely walking in the light with Him. Oh, He will! He's got the matches out and He is ready to char some sin off of that pretty little heart of yours.
Oh, Lord. We confess that our love walks really stink sometimes. It's such a struggle dealing with others in this world. People are different. I am different. You love us all the same. You are not a God of favoritism. Yet, we tend to show favoritism to your beloved children.
Forgive us. Cleanse us. Anoint us with the oil of Your Love. Show us how to walk with You and beside You. The darkness was not made for us. Living in the Light with you is what we were created for.
Let us crave You and not the world. Open our eyes to things unseen. Show us how to love like You, feel like You, and follow you. We don't want to be your "fans". We want to be Your followers.
You are the Potter, we are the clay. Mold us, Jesus.
Let us make you proud.
all our hearts together agreeing in the Precious Name of Jesus--the Son of God,