On this day of November, I hope you remember The love that we share, That ’twill always be there. And tho sickness may come, Or a storm rages on, Still…
When love the Father gave to us, And through Son’s side the spear was thrust, It did not then depend on us, His will was why He died. As foll’wers…
Eight friends and I returned from the Far East today after more than a week of rich ministry and testifying to the glory and grace of God. I entered the trip in a better place than my last international venture, but I think I was still walking mostly in my own strength. I wrestled with God’s independent, active, passionate movement among the nations, and at the same time, His passionate response to the prayers of His people. How does His sovereignty interface with the prayers of His people, of which He says they avail much when fervent (James 5:16)?
Day by day He broke my heart. Sometimes my Father softened it through the love of the local church shining in such a dark place. At other moments, what worked on the knots in my heart was my teammate who prayed for God to surprise her and believed that He would. Still more, my precious Lord opened my heart as we patiently waited on Him to awaken dead lives with the gospel…and then saw Him do it! I struggled with distractions that I thought would tarnish my memory of the trip, but now see that God was humbling me there, too.
Curtain-like the grey clouds roll, As in the dusk companions stole. Miles behind and more ahead, E’er pain or cold the plan to tread. Fair flowers stood against the wind,…
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” ~1 John 4:18-21
In relationships, romantic primarily but also platonic, we often have an element of fear entwined, which leads us to the anxiety, butterflies, and other similar apprehension so common to insecure situations. We fear that if we misspeak or fail to act in an expected manner, the other person will reject us. Although this is more of a secondary application of the above passage from 1 John, I believe that the other person’s rejection is the punishment linked to our fear. Consequently, we do not have perfect love, because we are convinced that their love is in some way conditional. And it may be.
I hope you all are doing well as we enter yet another week. Though tiredness was making some psalms sound particularly appealing this evening, I’m sticking to this “upset the world” theme that has been building since last Tuesday. I pray it will strike a chord in your hearts and encourage you to upset the worlds of those around you. Sometimes that means stepping out of your comfort zone; others, it means relying completely on the Lord’s strength when yours is depleted and empty. Wherever you are, the call to all of us is the same — be like Christ. And if it is any motivation for our lives, even Jesus — God incarnate — spent serious time in prayer. If it was essential to His life on earth, how much more should it be to ours?
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
Jesus to the believers of the church at Ephesus, Revelation 2:4
Of what were the Ephesian Christians guilty? Had they forsaken the Gospel and turned to false teachers? No. “I know [that]…you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false” (1). Did they lose sight of the good works of righteousness to which Christ had called them and instead turned to the temporal pleasures of sin? Not at all. “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men” (2). Perhaps they had simply tired of the salvation that cost them so much? No, but rather “you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary” (3). Where then had they fallen?
- Can love persuade our hearts to remain steadfast for the hope of one day?
- Is love strong enough to make you steadfast for the years in between?
- When hope is finally fulfilled and the sun never sets on the day, will history tell of your loyal love?
I came across this poem during my time in college and rediscovered it in 2005. The Lord’s plans are perfect and if we wait on Him, He will be glorified, we will be blessed, and the light of Christ will shine brighter. Read and meditate on this poetic oration of God to His child as it relates to romance and relationships.
A Message to Those Who Wait
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone
To have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly, and exclusively.