Sunday, January 31, 2010
Noisy Gong, Clanging Cymbal
Have you ever been seeking God through His word and prayer and have Him continually bring up something over and over again? It seems lately God has been bringing up the topic of love over and over again for me. It started when Cody told me he felt called to the people of Karamoja. Then again while reading Amy Carmichael's biography. While reading it some things about love really stuck out to me. Amy loved the people she worked with and she did not want them to parish without knowing the gift of salvation. She was very troubled if they didn't know. I started praying that God would give me a deep love for the Karamojong people. A Christ like love. Deeper than I have. That love for them would be the driving force for so much of what we were going to do. For the sacrifices we are going to be making.
This last week God has brought the idea of love up to me again. I decided to go to the well known love verse in Corinthians 13. I can not tell you how many times I have read this verse since becoming a Christian or how many times I have heard it preached on or read either in church or weddings, or Bible studies. Yes it has always challenged me. But for some reason this time some things really clicked with me, and I felt a conviction like I have never felt before. And not just conviction about going to serve the people of Karamoja in love but the love with which I serve my family.
Starting at Verse 4: my responses are in parenthesis. Love is patient and kind (wow, love how Paul starts with that one, because so much will follow with patience and kindness). Does not envy or boast (please God clean my heart on this one); it is not arrogant or rude (I am feeling real small about how rude I can be to my children or husband sometimes). It does no insist on its own way (how many times have I wanted my own way.....uhhhh...majority of the time); it is not irritable or resentful (ouch....God help me when I am irritable....as I can get there real quick when I hear, "Mom, Mom, Mommy, Mom, Mom, Honey, Mom, Honey, Mommie....'WHHAAATTT?' followed by extreme irritability.); it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with truth (no comment....:). Love bears all things (WOW), believes all things (super WOW), hopes all things (Speechless), endures all things (AMAZING).
What is so cool about our God is that Jesus showed all of this. He was God in the flesh living this out for you and me to follow. AMAZING.
I can then look at my life and see if I am following the greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-40, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." I have to ask myself and ask God to search my heart to see if I really love him and if I really love my neighbors and the least of these. I start to ask myself the basics, "well what is love." I will admit the first thing that came to my shallow mind was a warm fuzzy feeling. Then my brain turned on and realized that it is action. A great scripture to display this is 1 John 3:16-18, "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the worlds' goods and sees his brother in need yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." Love the last part, "Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and truth." I can say all I want about loving God, and loving my family, and loving the Karamojong people but until I put my actions into place it means nothing. Yes action might be a byproduct of emotion but I pray that it could be much deeper. I have been asking God to instill in me a deeper obedience in all areas including love and I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to do his work in creating fruit in my life for I know that I can not do it on my own.