Archive for the ‘Love’ Tag

Love

I have just given a quick look at a thread on a messageboard concerning the Roman Catholic Church. “Is the Catholic Church a force for good in the world?”

The debate was started by a man who is a leading member of a ‘humanist’ group. One who has failed to state his position here, and who likes to attack Christian faith of any kind. His purpose is to prove his position and destroy the believers. He is not open for a constructive debate, however he often claims to be so.

I mention this because it is impossible to argue with such people, and even if your arguments do win he will most likely be resentful and not open to God. He might just avoid you in future. Many others joined in a condemnation of the church, faith, or any belief, most from ignorance and few with any intellectual depth. The main arguments are merely restatements of those they have heard from elsewhere.

I wondered what could be done? Nothing is the answer! I had similar opinions at one time, and arguments meant nothing to me. Rarely did I participate and never did it change my ignorant opinions. Instead Jesus himself took a hand (and look what I have done with what he offered!). It is Jesus that changes hearts, not arguments. The only debate that works is with those who have an enquiring mind. Even then only Jesus, by the Holy Spirit can change hearts.

So for the ones on that board I can only ask the Lord to be merciful and seek to ‘love’ his way with my neighbour. This is unfortunate, as this way is hard! Just arguing and debating is much easier and less demanding! Love costs and takes suffering in its stride. Love is not easy.

There again he does it daily, how come we (I) don’t?

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And can it be?

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Saviour in my heart.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Saviour in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

And can it be? What love the saviour has that he should die for me. Somewhere he says ‘Don’t call anyone ‘fool.” I only realised what this means. He never calls me ‘fool’ even though I am so bad. His love does not allow him to. Such love for me, you and all around us, both good and bad.

What kind of God is this?

Lifted

Earlier today I was annoyed at myself for falling into one of my bad habits.  It just seemed like it was a waste of time attempting to go on.  There was a wall of failure there before me. I sat down and prayed those feeble, useless, waste of time prayers that you know  will bring no answer. Looking at the book lying there I thought of one or two Psalms and decided it there was no point going over them.  I would just put my own thoughts into them and get my own answers back, and that was a waste also!

However, I am not sure where it came from, but I found myself musing not on me, but on how God had taken the initiative to love me!   I had not loved him, nor bothered about him, but he had chosen to love me!   What a thought!   In spite of the person I am, in spite of the things that have passed through my disgusting mind, he has always ‘loved me!’ It was his decision and I suppose he must have known what I was like even then!  This is a relief, and a great encouragement.

Several times I have noticed my failing s since that moment.  No doubt I will notice them again soon.  However, Jesus knows and wants to make me new!  In spite of me he is not discouraged, hurt maybe, but not discouraged.

I got up again this morning, and carried on, with fresh love for this great God, and a deeper desire to know him and love him.  This is good!

Fear

Something frightened me today. Nothing unusual in that I hear you say, but it got at me.  It upset what passed for routine, left a black mark in my mind, and wore me down.  This led on to bad attitudes with other, unrelated, happenings and brought out the worst in me.

Later, when praying from the pit of despair, a place I know all too well, Psalm 27 came to mind.  I could not recall the words, and wondered if this was just me.  I read :-

The LORD is my light and my salvation—
       whom shall I fear?
       The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
       of whom shall I be afraid?

 2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

 3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

I was glad of this!

Once again the protective love of God hung around.  Once again he looked at this spoiled brat and wept at the unbelief and stupidity.  Once again he offered a wise word, possibly while sighing deeply.  God is said to have ‘patience’ at one place, when looking up the word we discovered it is actually,’Long suffering.’  How I make him suffer!

Thank you Jesus……..again.

When Folks Sin

Should we condemn them or help them? How much ought we to sympathise and how do we discipline?

Some always put an arm around the one troubled by a sin, others take the ‘macho’ attitude and just tell them to ‘Stop it and get on with it!’ Others have their own way of dealing. The attitude can vary depending on whether you actually like the person or not and of course your own attitude to the sin involved. Some folks are surprised or revolted by the things that bother a Christian, but Jesus knows the depth of our corruption and is never surprised by anything we do. He knows our heart. More sympathy and help is given to a friend as opposed one who bugs you and this is understandable.

It is written somewhere, ‘A friend loves at all times,’ and Jesus certainly does this. Jesus however always spoke the truth to people, and if something is wrong it must be pointed out. Help may be required, but it is the decision to fight whatever brings sin that brings success, eventually. The fellow traveller attempts to ‘Love at all times’ and to be honest this is not easy, even with a friend!

Avoiding the cause helps, taking appropriate action helps, prayer helps, but personal decision is the major step. On occasion the Holy Spirit will bring relief, but not always quickly. It is imperative therefore that if sin bothers an individual they must choose to make every effort to stop it. An honest friend can help them by counsel and prayer, but an admission of what is wrong and choice to cease it is required. Reading and studying the book is the first step to know what is sin and what is not. This is the way to understand the mind of God.

Understanding Gods view of the sin is important, we often get things out of context. Remembering his love and perseverance is vital, otherwise we would just give up. And there is the most important thing – his love!

If we spent more time understanding his tough love, and less time wallowing in our physical, mental or emotional ‘needs’ we would be happier and more obedient people! It is the love of God, him choosing to love us, that is the beginning of hope for us all. Our nature is corrupt, we fight the world, the flesh and the devil, and he is aware of this. He has promised to be with us but we must choose to accept and believe this and the desire to hurt him will help defeat the sin.

Jesus understands and loves us. He always tells us the truth, even if we don’t like it, we also must speak the truth to one another.