Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You Put This Love In My Heart

People are busy these days.   There is all the responsibilities of life:  work, home, family, church, volunteering, staying healthy...  Just to name a few.  I don't know about you but I think it can be quite overwhelming.  Then you throw in one of life's curveballs:  a divorce, an illness of yours or a loved ones, a death, a financial setback.  Other setbacks big and small:  a change at work, a broken pipe, your car breaks down, your parent falls, your fridge breaks, deadlines, a child goes off track,  it can on and on.  Sometimes just catching your breathe can seem impossible.  And in the middle of it all you realize that you need to be a good christian, a good person, live a good life, obey God.  Whew! What a lot of stress.   Your plate's full!

I've been thinking  lately about that last one though.  Obeying God and what His word says to do.  Also my friend brought up at a meeting at church that we should pray for other people to come to our church and come to know God.  Which, of course is true.  If you love Him and realize how much He loves you it's only natural that you want others to know that too.  And when they know that truth your church will grow.  These two thoughts, obeying God and new people coming to church have been swirling around in my mind.   Which have led to some other thoughts.  One way to obey God is to love others.  In 1 John 4 in the New Living Translation it says

9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.

...we surely ought to love each other!  The New King James version says: "Beloved, if God so loved us we also ought to love one another".  And in an earlier verse,  verse 7  It says:  "Beloved let us love one another".  The word ought sounds like the word should.  And I truly hate the word should it conjurs up in my mind guilt and fussing and disaproval.  And that makes me want to resist.  But if it's coming from a loving Father, God himself perhaps I need to lay those preconceived biases aside.  This is an opportunity to obey, right?   But when you put that with the idea of loving people hmmm, it becomes a challenging opportunity to obey.   Because loving people whether they are new people in the church or people in your family or people at your work place or people you have to interact with in the many areas in your life  isn't an easy task.

My same friend also said a long long time ago in a prayer meeting that having new people come into your church would make you uncomfortable.  It would be inconvient.  I say even at times annoying.  You see, don't know if you've noticed but people are not always likeable.   And on top of all the stresses and annoyances of your already crowded life, God wants you to love new people?   The thought makes me want to run away and hide.   In that prayer meeting we actually prayed to be made uncomfortable.  It was a good prayer.  A sincere prayer.  But lately I've been thinking.   It sounds so virtuous, so wonderful.  Did it please God?   Or were we a little like a teenager dreaming of a fast car.  Only thinking of the wind in our hair, our friends riding with us, having fun,  life being perfect.   Not really knowing that having a car has responsibilities with it.  That it is a powerful machine that you may be too immature to control.   And that caution and time spent learning to drive it must be a big part of owning it.  

Yes, loving people is what we are to do.  Reaching new people is what we want and need to do.  But once they are there we have the responsiblity to love them.   And wow that is a huge thing.   Because new people at a church are like the other people in our lives. Imperfect.   I am a dreamer and when I think of loving people I think of this perfect little world where people all think like I do and we smile and get along and life is simple and sweet.  POP!!!  

Dream worlds only exist in our minds.

I have found that people rarely agree with me.  Life is anything but simple.  And we all have issues.  We all have unresolved stuff.  We are all, as believers, in the process of being made in His image.   And we rub against each other.  We get on each others nerves.   Often we find God and we become a believer and as a work in progress we come to church where we believe we are supposed to be and what do we find?     Reality.  Imperfection.  Sometimes everything but what we thought we would.  But for those of us already at the church our responsibility is to love the new ones and those already there.  But loving one another is far from idyllic.  It's honestly, very hard in ourselves.  Ahh that is the key.  In ourselves.  

In ourselves.....We need the Lord to help us.  We need the Spirit to guide us.  We can't love or at least I know I can't love like He asks, like I desire to, without Him.   People who come into church or into your life or maybe even the ones still there are annoying sometimes.  They whine.  They look different than me.  They make me uncomfortable.  They are immature.  They argue.  They are snippy.  They have messes.  They have baby mommas and absentee dads.  They have money woes.  They have purple, pink or blue hair.  They are unforgiving.  They are irresponsible.  They have tattoos.  They are rich.  They are poor.  They are everything in between.  They are set in their ways.  They dress in ways that offend me. They won't listen.  They are full of fear.  They are full of tears.  They are imperfect.  They are indifferent.  And they are all God's children.  They are loved by Him.   They are us.

And the only way I know to love them or love us is to spend time with the Lord. Spend time getting to know Him better and better.  To meditate on His goodness and His forgiveness on His love so that I have His love to give to others.  So that I can know I'm beloved and forgiven.  When I know that deep down inside I than can receive His love and I than have real love that I can give to others.  Otherwise my love I want to give runs out.  My trying is pitiful.  My grandiose illusions of being a loving person fall down on the ground just a heap of broken intentions without God's love, without his help.  

The Keith Green's song keeps going through my mind.  I wish you could hear it with me.  He is singing to the Lord, "You put this love in my heart"  and he is amazed by it.  I think when we become amazed at God's love, at His acceptance of us, at His forgiveness than we have some love left over and we can love people a little at a time a little here a little there.  Just slowly day by day, moment by moment, without fear or dread without trying or straining.  His love reaching out and touching lives and returning and blessing our own life.   Than people will stay at our church.  People will be able to overlook each others faults and grow together not as a "church" but as the body of Christ.

Here is Keith's song:

  I found it hard to believe
Someone like you cared for me
You put this love in my heart

I tried but could not refuse
You gave me no time to choose
You put this love in my heart

I want to know where the bad feelings go
When I'm depressed and I get down so low
And then I see you coming to me and it's alright

I want to tell you right now
I'm not afraid to say how
You put this love in my heart

There are sometimes when I doubt
But you always find me out
You put this love in my heart

Cause when I see all that you've done for me
It's hard to doubt, I just have to believe
Cause you followed and proved it all of your life

Well I know
the loneliness I had before
Is gone now
I'll never feel it anymore

Cause your love has released me
From all that's in my past
And I know I can believe you
When you say I'll never be forsaken
Your love is gonna last

There's so much more I should say
If I could just find a way
You put this love in my heart

Is all this real or a dream
I feel so good I could scream
You put this love in my heart

I want to know where the bad feelings go
When I'm depressed and I get down so low
And then I see you coming to me and it's alright

You put this love in my heart

You put this love in my heart

You put this love in my heart

1 comment:

  1. Really great thoughts Donna! Thanks for sharing with me:)