Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Only God's Love will Make a Way, Comes to Stay

Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."

I was convinced I was "right." I had a good reason to be angry this time. Hadn't I put up with a lot, taken it patiently? But this instance was just "going too far." I was seething.

But deep down, I was more angry at myself. For I wanted to not be angry with this person, near and dear to my heart. And all my attempts with others, in the past, came hauntingly to mind.

I felt resentment, and like I said, most of it was self-directed. How many times had I tried in vain to get rid of these feelings?

The words of I Corinthians 13 are read at weddings as if the bride and groom can live them on their own. When I read I Corinthians 13, I know that I could never in a million years accomplish these mandates. No, and as a Christian it is not a matter of "gritting your teeth" either. It has to be Christ doing it in you, or it won't get done, period.

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own
way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

But in my moment of weakness, I knew one thing, somehow, Christ lives in this train-wreck of a person, and He demands nothing less than this from me. All of my excuses will mean nothing one day if I have not lived this. This is the ultimate reality and it hit me like a ton of bricks the other night when I was reading Andrew Murray, in his book, Absolute Surrender.

Murray writes:

"There is a brother, a most unlovable man. He worries you every time you meet him. He is the very opposite disposition to yours. You are a careful businessman, and you have to do with him in your business. He is most untidy, unbusiness-like. You say:

'I cannot love him.'

Oh friend, you have not learned the lesson that Christ wanted to teach above everything. Let a man be what he will, you are to love him {emphasis mine} Love is to be the fruit of the Spirit all the day and every day. Yes, listen! if a man loves not his brother whom he hath seen-if you don't love that unlovable man whom whom you have seen, how can you love God whom you have not seen? You can deceive yourself with beautiful thoughts about loving God. You must prove your love to God by your love to your brother; that is the one standard by which God will judge your love to Him. If the love of God is in your heart you will love your brother. The fruit of the Spirit is love."

The words of Andrew Murray, speaking for My Savior, hit me just when I needed to be reminded. How can I say I love God if I am filled with vindictiveness toward one of His blood bought ones? But I knew, that even as I simply could not love the way I am supposed to love, there is one little key that can turn this whole thing around. Turning from unbelief (in my own inability to produce anything pleasing to God) to faith in the Word of God.

Instead of groaning in depression for a couple of weeks, which I could easily do, I find that I have a better choice. I can collect Promises within the recesses of my soul.(II Peter 1: 4) These precious promises tell me that Jesus Christ lives within me.(Colossians 1: 27) I can choose to believe that as I walk through my day. When I slip up, I can quickly confess it (I John 1: 9) instead of berating myself, for Christ foreknew that sin from eternity past, even if He didn't make me choose to do it.(Romans 8: 28)I can pray for the Holy Spirit to fill me with His love for that person.(Luke 11:13) Why not, He told us if we asked us anything in His name He would hear us! (John 14: 13-14)

Jesus gave us just one new commandment in John 13: 34-5:

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Notice He didn't say pick one another's doctrine's apart, criticize one another, nitpick about the length of one's skirt or the length of the men's hair. No, love is to cover a multitude of sins.(James 5:20) I look to myself first. If we are to judge other people, there is really only two ways of looking at them. Judge either that, if a person is "in Christ," they are a brand new creation (II Cor. 5:17) or if not, they are a candidate to be one. For Christ died for all men, without exception. (II Cor. 5: 19)

Mark 10: 21a "And Jesus, looking at him, loved him..."

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