March 20, 2009
Lessons from My Savior
This is a photo of one of the two calendars that I have going. I'm not sure what is going on lately, but life is sure churning up a whirlwind! I enjoy all that I am doing, but then again I do miss my down time.
Among all this busyness God has been showing me a lot. Awhile back I had asked a question of what you thought love was. Thanks for your responses by the way! I am doing a book study by John Piper called Desiring God ~ Meditations of a Christian Hedonist.
This book is a hard read, but the study is excellent and Piper has short CD's to watch after each section to further explain in detail each section of the study. The CD's are wonderful and have really given me something to chew on, digest and focus on living out in my Christian walk.
What a challenge this has been! These golden nuggets that I have learned are meaty and I am having to constantly re-read them and preach them to myself throughout the day. This has sure awaken my soul and made me realize my stale relationship with my Savior!
More than ever before I am aware really for the 1st time (outside a trial) that I need to rely solely on Christ just to make it through my days! It's easy when we are in the depth of a trial to cling to Christ, but I think the true test is when life is fine, things are going smooth and not much activity (trial wise) is going on. How often do we just fall into our groove as soon as our feet hit the floor each morning and we forget our time with God? Sadly He is pushed to the bottom of our "to do" lists. Our Creator, our Savior, our God, our Father who gave us life and allows each breath we take, He has become in all honesty a task, a check, sometimes even a dreaded "duty" to spend time, devote time with Him. I can only say this because I am guilty 100 times over of feeling these thoughts. Thank you Father for your long suffering and mercy as I learn devotion to my one true Love, my Treasure and thank you for understanding and forgiveness as I continually stumble along the way!
Getting back to the question that I asked of you. The reason I asked, was because I was in the process of learning the true meaning of love. Our society has a very skewed meaning of love. Do you not agree that most people think, "If you love me, if you make much of me, I will feel loved! Talk about me, my skills, my gifts, my talents... make much of me, for this is love!" John Piper says; "Love is not a mirror." In other words, love is not making much of someone; love is doing whatever you have to do in order to enthrall someone with what will make them eternally satisfied. Heaven is not a hall of mirrors liking what you see. Think about this... What have been the most joyous moments of your life thus far? Were you thinking about yourself at these moments, the most deepest most rich moments of joy? Some of mine are seeing a beautiful sunset or sunrise, witnessing Abby doing something for the 1st time, when I see photos of space, watching in awe as the gymnasts do amazing things during the Olympics. All these moments are "self forgetfulness" ones! We have parables all over our lives! We were created for bigness and excellence, we were not made for mirrors, we were made for standing in front of what is infinitely beautiful and having it so satisfy us! John Piper asks, "Do you feel loved by God because He makes much of you, or because you believe He frees you and empowers you to enjoy making much of Him?
So how do we show true love to one another without shedding a pound of flesh in each act... meaning loving with an alliterative motive (i.e. a reward, a pat on the back, a possible raise, to be talked about.) We are all guilty of this if we are honest with ourselves. When we do for others out of "love" we seek to gain something for ourselves "mirror". Think about it, no ones looking, so be true with your heart. I was & I am guilty of this, once again 100 times over. It's not fun when we examine hearts and see the utter blackness of sin that lies there within.
I can not do anything good part from Christ as Isaiah 64:6 says, "... all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away." Our joy in doing for others has to come from Christ 1st. We have to be aligned with Him, receiving from Him in order to show true love. "Love is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others. The overflow is experienced consciously as the pursuit of our joy in the joy of another. We double our delight in God as we expand it in the lives of others." says John Piper. Superior joy = Christ, Duty always fails!
"Love is the overflow of Christ that meets the needs of others" Say this over and over, I preach it to myself and have it posted on my fridge! Remember It is better to give than to receive, with the right heart and with joy in Christ, not for self! (mirror)
So I come back to what I was saying before that I am realizing that I need Christ daily, each moment of each hour of each day to remind my heart in this "ONE" area of where I need to be! Remember I said that God was revealing things to me that hurt... this is it... but I know it is good!
This is just one area! There are so many more things I have yet to learn and become refined in... yes I need Christ daily, wow do I ever, we all do! In examining my heart God has gently shown me the error of my way regarding true love, I hope that through this lesson I am learning you too may be convicted and encouraged to examine your heart also... His refining fire is for our good... sometimes I think we think too highly of ourselves seeing a heart of gold at times, but when that gold is melted before our Holy God all the impurities bear their ugly faces and rise to the top and thats when He reaches down and removes them so we can reflect His image... a refined, regenerate, santified child of God.
"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom He recieves" [Provbers 3:11-12]. It is for discipline that you have to endure... For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (vs 3-7,11)
Labels: Painful Truths