Monday, April 16, 2012

Refresh My Heart - Part One

Refresh My Heart...Love Me ~

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is
Love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

"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. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."  Matthew 22:37-39

People need love. The more unlovable we are - and we are experts at convincing ourselves that we are undeserving of love -  the greater our need is for love. God tells us over and over again that he loves us, and he proved how much when he sent Jesus to die in our place. 

How sad - how sinful - that those who can make us feel the most unloved and unlovable are often those who have accepted the greatest gift of love for themselves.

Nothing gets in the way of loving one another like our taking on God's role of judge and dispenser of justice. When we take on that role we can never do it with the same compassion and unconditional love that God freely offers to us. We do it out of anger, arrogance, a need to make ourselves look or feel better, or the ultimate justification...defending God and showing others where they fall short of God's perfect plan. 

Isn't that the least we can do for those wayward souls?

Think about it. Are there people who would not feel comfortable coming to your church because they would be so harshly judged by the good Christians in attendance? Who would they be?

  • a gay couple
  • a woman who has had an abortion
  • an unwed pregnant woman
  • a man just released from prison
The Bible is God's love story to us. We are never more like Jesus than when we are loving the unlovable. Of all the things we are called to do on this earth while we wait for His return, the most important, the most life changing, the thing with the most eternal significance is LOVE. 

Imagine the grace experience of someone who believes himself or herself to be damaged beyond redemption, but finds unconditional love and acceptance and validation of their worth in the words and actions of God's servants on earth! Can you? Can you feel the gratitude, the relief, the total wonder of it all?

God loves and judges with perfect balance and perfection. We don't, and can never hope to. Thank goodness that is not our calling. 

We are called simply to love as God loves us: because we need it, not because we deserve it or have earned it. 

You may not have a problem with any of the situations listed above. It may be another one that causes you to judge instead of love. We all have things that trigger our urge to judge, but our desire to love comes from God, and he is greater than any force on earth. 

How do we begin to refresh one another with love? We start by recognizing God's unlimited love for us, warts and all, and allowing Him to fill us with gratitude and love in return. It must start with God. We are incapable of loving ourselves or others apart from Him. 

God calls us to love and what He calls us to do He equips us to accomplish in His power. 

If you feel unlovable because of the actions, experiences or choices of your past let me assure you that you are God's heart, and He pursues you as the priceless treasure that you are. In His love letter to us you will find tales of murderers, prostitutes, cowards, liars, thieves, negligent parents and wayward children. You will also find the stories of their redemption and how the touch and purpose of God changed their lives forever. 

There is a reason those stories are included in the account of God's perfect love for us. It was to show us that no matter what our circumstances, God's perfect love covers everything, and takes someone damaged and despairing, and turns their story into a beautiful tale of hope and purpose. 

We need to be careful with one another. Each of us is a priceless, irreplaceable treasure in God's eyes and in His heart. He traded the very life of His only Son for you, for me, and for each precious soul that lives. 

We not only refresh one another with love, we offer a life changing introduction to the One who loves perfectly. 

May our love lead us to pray for and support one another as fellow recipients of the same love and grace. Loving someone doesn't mean condoning those things that are wrong. God doesn't do that and He loves perfectly. It simply means we recognize our place under God and with others. 

Who do you consider unlovable today? Ask God to help you see them with His eyes and His heart and love them through you. 

We refresh the hearts of one another in so many ways, but the greatest of these is 


You are in my prayers today. 


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