Monday, May 24, 2010

Just a Blurb on Love

It took a lot of love to leave a glory beyond all else to come down here to Earth- to dwell with sin and man and accept a human body and the life of a person. It took strength to walk on a vulgar land and understand temptation and pain. If you were God and had all splendor and glory and power in your right hand, would you have stepped down to save the sin of mankind?

Ah, but there is something missing here. Yes, He is glorious and powerful and terrible. But He is also love. He doesn't just love- as an action- but He is love in its entirety. We can't possibly understand that truly. We can love- we can even love with Christ's love- but we can never be love.

What does love mean? 1 Cor. 13:4-8a is the most commonly referenced passage when it comes to defining love. "Love is patient." Are we always patient? I'm not. "Love is kind." I'm not always kind either. "Love does not envy or boast." I certainly can think of times when I've envied others and boasted about myself. "It is not arrogant or rude." Most of the time when you see arrogance in a person and they are rude to you, do you think that they are loving you at the same time? I've been arrogant and rude before... something I definitely regret. "It does not insist on its own way." I don't always give preference to another's opinions or choices. "It is not irritable or resentful." I can think of more than half a dozen things that I hold against others and resent. "It does not rejoice with wrongdoing." This sort of ties in with the previous phase. When I resent someone or hold something against them, I like to see them fail because it makes me feel better than them. "But love rejoices with the truth." I know many times when I hated the truth and I didn't want to hear or accept it. "Love bears all things." Do I endure everything with the people around me? The hurt, the trials, the hardships, the failures, as well as the bliss, the triumphs, the easy roads, and the times of succeeding? "Love believes all things." Do I doubt those people around me? Not only what they might be saying, but also their capabilities? "Love hopes all things." Do I easily give up hope and forget to trust God? "Love endures all things." (I already went over that.)

Now, I just went through that passage accepting "love" as a verb- an action. I certainly am not love. I am not consistent in any of those aspects of love.

One thing that I thought was really cool while thinking about this was what the passage sounds like when you replace "love" with "Jesus". After all, Jesus=God and God=Love, so Jesus=Love. See the difference:

"Jesus is patient and kind; Jesus does not envy or boast; He is not arrogant or rude. He does not insist on His own way [Luke 22:42]; He is not irritable or resentful; He does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Jesus bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Jesus never ends."

How perfectly does that fit? I'd say it's pretty perfect: it's perfect love.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Speck in an Ocean of Grace

A few days ago, I was reading in 2 Corinthians 12 for my devotions. I don't have much to say today (haven't had much time to think because of school tests and closing out), but I did want to post this for ya'll to think about. Paul is so clear here, it almost blows my mind. Have a look:

"So, to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." There fore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (12:7-10)

This spoke very clearly to me. I get very excited when everything is going well and the glory of God is so apparent to me. But then sometimes a thorn gets put in my side and I'm reminded about my weaknesses because I fall or make a mistake. Like Paul, I plead with the Lord to take those weaknesses away. But He says "My grace is sufficient for you;" in other words, "rest in my grace, it is enough." And "for my power is made perfect in weakness." This passage really reminded me to be content with all weaknesses and hardships, calamities, insults, and persecution. I may be a speck in the ocean, but if that ocean is God's grace, then I am content... or, at least, I should be.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What will it be like?

Try to imagine what it'll be like when Jesus comes. Will you be excited? What will be your reaction? Will you feel like dancing? You know your own personality. What will you feel like doing? Will you fall down in amazement, with your head to the ground in reverent worship? Will tears fill up your eyes and you run to meet Him? Will your heart beat faster than it has ever beat? Or will it stop in complete and utter disbelief? He is coming. There's no doubt about it.

"He who testifies to these things says, "Surely, I am coming soon." Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20)

Will you jump for joy, like a child? Will you sigh in relief because you've waited and watched for so long, and He's finally here?

When I imagine it, I think that when I heard those trumpets sound, my heart would jump like I had just gone over a big hill on a roller coaster. Then, I think I would jump up and down like a crazy person shouting, "Yes! YES!" At the same time, tears may just come to my eyes because I know that all this imperfection in me is over. The race is done. Then, I'd have a thought in my head- that one of my lifelong hopes was to never experience death and instead witness the coming of Christ from an earthly view (although, anything that God has for me is good ;)). Then, I'd sing "Great is Thy Faithfulness," if I could find my voice. And at the same time, I'd run as fast as I could to feel God's embrace. I've always wanted a big hug from God- to feel completely surrounded by His power. I think that I'd love to take Jesus by the hand and show Him everything He's told me, just a like a little child takes his mother by the hand to show her all the new toys that she bought him. He knows all the things, because, after all, He showed them to me. But to repeat them back to Him would make my heart so glad (if it could get anymore glad than it already was). Then, like an impatient 4-year-old, I'd wait to see heaven and spend the rest of eternity (Eternity- think of that. Infinity- can you fathom it? And then pair that with God- can you understand or appreciate that enough?).

What about you? What's your story? There's also the possibility that you don't know how you would react. Or, there's the possibility that you do know, and it's terrible. You know that at that time, you'll shirk away in fear and shame, knowing that your heart is not covered by Christ's blood. If that's so, don't wait!! Jesus could come anytime. He could come before I publish this post. At any moment, He could come again. Are you ready?

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great god and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works." (Titus 2:11-14)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"My son, do not despise Me"

Have you ever felt worn out and wearied from your walk with God? The temptations come without yield and no matter how hard you try, you seem to just fall flat on your face all the time. I have periods in my life like that. Every once in a while, when God is teaching me something major, I feel like all I can do is fail and conquering sin, even with God, seems impossible.

Last night, I opened my Bible before bed to read the "daily Proverb," as I like to call it. Proverbs 3:11-12 was like God speaking to me. It says, "My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." After I read that, I entered this in my journal:

"You totally just said something to me, God. I've been resentful, not thankful for the trials and temptations that you've been putting me through. I've been upset about falling flat on my face so many times. Sure, I should be mournful about my sin. But not about what you teach me through it."

I recall certain phrases that I may have said, and most likely thought, like, "I wish I didn't have to learn so much," or "Sometimes I wish I'd just learn it and be over with it." But with this verse, I'm changing my perspective. I'm going to purpose to thank God every time I fall on my face. It hurts sometimes, and definitely can be uncomfortable and disappointing, but I can learn more about God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness through it.

Just my little blurb for today :)