Jul 5, 2016

Who do you love?

Dear Jesus,

There you go. Wrecking my heart again. Just when I think I cannot take anymore, you shed more Light on Your Word and it pierces my heart once again.

Since deciding to read a chapter or two of the New Testament along with our SHINE Reading Plan, I fell right into a big ol' heap of conviction. Are you doing this on purpose? Well, of course You are.

For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. Proverbs  3:12 

Yep, I remember.

Father, as I read through the book of 1 John this morning, it was if my eyes were opened. I thought I knew about love. Really, I did.

I forgive pretty easily. I smile at my enemies. I pray for those who have hurt me.

But...there is a heart issue going on at times. The outer layer of my flesh really doesn't matter to you.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 (ESV) 

You are the ONLY One who sees my heart. You see the hurt, the pain, the rough spots. Even when I try to hide them and shiny them up, You see it all. The ugly. The unforgiving.

11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters,[a] if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:11-18

And then a few sentences down You spoke this through your disciple John, "Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love."

Oh, Father, may I never get to Heaven and be told that I never knew You. Please, help me to understand Your Love. Help me to love like You.

This world we live in grows colder by the day. I shiver at the thought. Hatred upon hatred. Lord, let me show Love when every inch of my flesh wants to harbor hatred. When every ounce of my flesh screams to get revenge because it would be justified.

Lord, let my love for others be a consuming fire that spreads everywhere it goes! Let apathy leave my heart and never return!

Lord, help me to never be lukewarm in loving others. Even when it is HARD. Even when it makes every ounce of my flesh wince in pain. Perhaps that is the point? The more the inner spirit is renewed by Christ, the more the flesh wastes away.

Father, help me to not back away from hard conversations. Even when I don't have the perfect words, I will trust You to speak. Even when the words come out messy and confusing, I will trust that You have already prepared the heart of the receiver of those words.

Help me to call out sin when I see it. First in my own life, then in the life of loved ones. Sitting by smiling a big Jesus smile as someone walks right into the pit of hell is not Love.

I want to love others enough to point them to You. When I see them going down a dark road, give me the boldness to grab their arm and help them to turn around. 

save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Jude 1:23

Father, I thank you for snatching me from the fire. I fall to my knees and praise You all of my days for saving me. Thank You for not just smiling at me and hoping I notice You. Thank you for not waiting for me to fall into a pit. You grab my arm and pull me to Yourself. Every single time.

Lord, help me to love others in this way. And most of all, surround me with people that will grab me by my arm as well when I step off into a dark path.

I will fail You. I will not listen to You. I will ignore You. I will abandon You at times. I will make so many mistakes.  I will swear for the thousandth time that I will not turn away from You ever again.

I will question Your love for me. I will ask You to prove it to me because I don't "feel" it.

Forgive me in advance, Father.

And give me the strength to forgive others that do the exact same thing to me as I do to You.

Please give me Your Heart, Jesus.

No other heart will do,


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