Dear Precious Friends,
On this TGIFF (Thank God I'm Forgiven Friday) I pray you are embracing this new day God has given us and remembering you are a child of God, filled with the same spirit that raised Him from the dead.
I am absolutely loving the image I'm sharing with you today... Sometimes I think about the days I shoot out of bed and don't spend time with our Lord that fills me and walk out the door... This image speaks to my heart and I pray we can all remember the importance of being filled with His word, His love, His peace and armoring up before we leave our homes... Now this image also is the reminder of the lost world out there that needs Jesus and sometimes the only way they will know Him is through our
example and reflection of love.
God has designed our life as Christians to be one filled with adventurous and redemptive action—action that is fueled by the love and work of Jesus in our own lives. So great is God’s love for us that he would leave the glory of heaven, take on flesh, and destroy the power of sin and death with his loving sacrifice. God’s love was so great that he gave himself up for us who are undeserving and could never repay him. And he longs for his love to be the foundation for all we do, think and feel. (First 15)
Jesus says: “Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20 HCSB, emphasis mine)
“What man among you, who has one-hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4 HCSB, emphasis mine)
Do you see the pattern? Jesus is knocking, is willing to go in, will go after a lost sheep, and has come to seek and save. Does that sound like someone who is waiting around for you to ask permission to get in to where He is?
Consider the father of the prodigal son:
But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20b HCSB)
The father didn’t wait for the son to walk up to the front porch, ring the doorbell, and beg the father for entrance back into the home. The father ran to meet the son. This is how God works.
The prophet Ezekiel also wrote this down about God: “For this is what the Lord God says: See, I Myself will search for My flock and look for them. As a shepherd looks for his sheep on the day he is among his scattered flock, so I will look for My flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy and dark day.” (Ezekiel 34:11-12 HCSB)
From Old Testament times we have a picture of God as a shepherd who is searching for those whom he cares for, even in bad weather. Even in tough times. Even when we have turned to go the opposite direction.
Let me in? No. That’s not how God operates. We are not shut out from the kingdom of heaven. On the contrary, we have been invited in.
“I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father. You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” (John 15:15-16 HCSB)
No longer slaves. Chosen.
We are to reflect in all we are and all we do today and every day that noone is shut out from a relationship with God through his son, Jesus Christ. As Christians we are to reflect the love we’ve been shown in Christ through the way we offer compassion and love to those around us. God has appointed us as the sole carriers of his message of redemption for all. He longs to use us to share and exemplify the hope that comes solely through relationship with him.
Love doesn’t mean all that much just as an idea. The power of God’s love comes through action. It comes through helping a stranger, showing compassion and mercy to those who wrong you, serving someone while expecting nothing in return, and sharing the hope of Christ through word and deed. Jesus proved that love isn’t just an idea.
Bob Goff champions the cause for putting action to love in his book, Love Does. (Great book that I highly recommend)!!!
In it he writes, “He says to ordinary people like me and you that instead of closing our eyes and bowing our heads, sometimes God wants us to keep our eyes open for people in need, do something about it, and bow our whole lives to Him instead.” In his book he articulates an important spiritual principle—your faith was never intended to be limited to hearing. Your faith was never intended to be limited to conversation. James 2:18 tells us, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
What does your love mean if it isn’t demonstrated? What would the love of God have meant if he stayed in heaven and never suffered for us? How would you feel about God if he could have saved all of humanity but didn’t? Jesus would have been completely justified to stay on his throne. God would have been completely justified to wipe out humanity and start over every time we chose idols over him. But instead he put action to his love for us. He committed the most incredible act of love possible in sending his Son to die for you and me. Jesus didn’t just talk about love. His love was demonstrated in every crack of the whip on his back, in every taunting word, in every nail that pierced his body and in every excruciating gasp for air in which he prayed for us rather than end the torture. He lived out his love for you and me, and he calls us to do the same.1 John 4:9-11 !!
I pray we can first remember this image... remember to take time with our Lord, our most important relationship before we go out into the world, and we remember everywhere we go, there are people who need Jesus... and 3rd we remember, that LOVE DOES... Let's go out to reflect this love to all we come in contact with, so much so that they see Jesus in us and want what we have.
Have a blessed day and thank you for being part of this group! Please share this with someone today!!