Saturday, June 27, 2015

Love Wins

My social media feed is filled with Confederate flags and multi-colored banners with "PRIDE" written from end to end.  It's overflowing with terrorists acts and people being murdered on the beaches of Tunisia and beheadings in France. And it is exploding with my Christian brother's and sister's posts of outrage and anger. 

So, this post is merely a gentle reminder to all those who believe, as I believe, that God is on His throne and Christ stands at His right hand pleading with the Father on our behalf:

God has purposed the generations from end to end, since time began.  He makes no mistakes.

THIS is the world we are to SERVE.  The one just as it is right now. I'll say it again:  God planted us HERE, exactly.  We are to SERVE this world.

Jesus tells us clearly that there WILL be troubles.  But, He also says with equal clarity that He has overcome the world.

He HAS overcome it.  Not that he will, but that He has overcome. Currently.  Present time.  Right now.

We are to serve and love and share the Gospel.  We aren't to worry if people will hear it or respond or like us. That's not our job. The Holy Spirit is really good at what He does and He's got this.

We are to stand firm in our faith, but be gentle and kind. 

We are to forgive and love and serve.

We are not called to serve only those who are kind to us or those who believe as we believe or those that we like. Actually, Jesus is pretty clear that those kinds of people aren't His and aren't following His heart.  Those kinds of people are just like the world, not different from the world, as we're called to be.

"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?"  Mathew 5:46

We are to love God with all our hearts and all our minds and all our souls, with all the strength that WE have and then to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Period.

Side note:  He never, not once, said that would be easy.  As a matter of fact, Jesus said,

“I have spoken these things to you so that you shall have peace in me. You shall have suffering in the world, but take heart, I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33   Basically, this is going to be tough, but you can do the hard things because I have paved the way. I HAVE overcome the world.  Now go, tell the world. 

And this:

"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you."  John 15:18

We are planted exactly where we're supposed to be and we're called to love. It's hard and it's sometimes humbling.  (more often than not, actually)  But, while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us.  Not when we finally got our junk together or when we were good enough or when we eventually dropped all that sin that was weighing us down, but WHILE we were STILL sinners, He died for us.  

How can we possibly do any less, even knowing that some will never hear us or be kind to us in return?  

Last week, Elisabeth Elliot passed away and man was she a walking example of knowing she was planted where she was supposed to be and loving those that were unlovable to her! 

The very people who murdered her husband were the people she served. She loved them FIRST.  Their salvation followed as she told them about Christ, but most important, as she LIVED out the love of Christ.  Those she served were cannibals. They ate her husband after they murdered him. Literally. I cannot fathom it.

 If you've never read about Mrs. Elliot, please do.  Her life was one of suffering and obedience and love.  

Her life reminds me that I am not called to love the lovable and easy.  Her life stands as a reminder of who I can become if my focus is on Jesus and Him alone.  Mrs. Elliot wasn't supernatural.  She loved Jesus and believed Him and His Word.  She BELIEVED.  

She didn't come to them with harsh words and retribution for murdering the man she loved.  She came to that tribe of lost people and loved them as her Father Loved. She loved them. She knew that they could not love as she loved because they did not know the very One who IS Love.

 I am reminded by Mrs. Elliot and, more importantly, the Word of God that this world isn't surprising God or wiping God from it's pages.  This world is following the exact path God foresaw and knew and He loved it anyway.  My thanks for that cannot be expressed on this little corner of the blogosphere because He loved me right in my sin, too.  

I want to remember and know that my light can only shine when it reflects His love.  

"But I say to you, love your enemies and bless the one who curses you, and do what is beautiful to the one who hates you, and pray over those who take you by force and persecute you."

We either believe Him or we don't.  We either obey Him or we follow the world.  We either trust Him or we don't.  There is no gray or middle ground.  Stand firm in Love.  

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