Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More on Lavish Love

2 Peter 1:6-8 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
6 Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. 7Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Right in the middle of a self protective maneuver during a potentially painful conversation last night, God brought to mind the prayer I'd written out that morning: "Will you teach me what it means to love without restraint that I may mirror you?"

The words stopped me in my tracks. Mirroring Jesus was not what I was doing. In fact I couldn't think of one situation where he was self protective; on the contrary, he was vulnerable and broken out of love for others.

God had taken me at my word when I had prayed, "Teach me," that morning and once I remembered my prayer I had no real choice but to come out from behind my protective shield; one small step forward in following him.

This morning I remembered a line that seemed relevant, from a poem I wrote in April 1978. It's not a great poem but it shows that God was teaching me the same lesson twenty eight years ago. The journey continues!

I'd always been a "loner,"
Until my Lord one day,
Took me so gently by the hand
And I could hear him say,
"You've got to love each other child,
"Alone" is not the way-
To tread the path I'm showing you,"
And then to my dismay
He started to reveal to me
My soul through his dear eyes,
How full of pride and self I was,
I had a real surprise.
I'd never seen myself that way,
I'd thought I was "reserved,"
But now I clearly saw the truth,
I knew what I deserved.
I started to despise myself
And cried in sheer despair,
"Teach me to love my brothers Lord,
Please show me how to care,
And yes, of course he answered me
'Twas always in his plan,
To plant his love within our hearts
For all our fellow man.
Because you see, our love is vain,
It's fickle, frail and weak;
Dependent on all kinds of things,
But God's love is unique.
His love is unconditional,
Unselfish, patient, kind.
It hopes all things, endures all things,
And very soon you'll find,
That when you have this love within,
(which only he can give),
That love will flow to others
and a different way you'll live.
Belinda
Prayer: Dear Lord, I'm serious, I do want to learn how to love as you love; to integrate my longing to be like you, with my actions. Thank you for helping this sometimes slow learner to remember her morning prayer yesterday. Please help me to be attentive to your voice today.

1 John 3:23 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright
© 1996 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.

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