Sunday, September 12, 2010

Glass Houses and a FULL Heart

Romans 5:8 (The Message) "6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him."

I am not only a word girl, I'm a theme girl, patterns, themes, threads, and the like. It's how God speaks to me and teaches me. I am sure I'm not unique in that. Our church family has had a series of messages lately born out of real life experiences living out God's word, in lives of our Pastors and in our congregation.

Through it all, a whisper in our ears is shouting "Love them, love them, love them, like I have loved you! Don't give up, don't be turned off, don't walk away, don't shut the door, don't hang up. have I ever walked away from you? Have I ever turned away from YOU?"

After reading Pam's Face Book post today, and hearing the pastor's message and news today in my home church, I am thrilled to see the Holy Spirit (of course) leading those who are willing to be led all over our country (and I am sure the world as well, it's just the right now, our own country gives me enough to pray about! :) to be willing to engage the messy, the difficult, the unpredictable, the unlovely, the untamed-never gonna be tamed.

Before you say, "Awww, that is good. Jesus loves - so should we." Well yes, true enough. And in theory that is wonderful and pretty. But, in practice - it is messy! People are quirky. I know I am, and I LOVE my family dearly, but each member is quirky, too. And though we all love Jesus in my immediate family, into every life a little mess will come from time to time. Never doubt it!

Jesus' ministry had it's messes
, and it certainly was through no fault of His. His family seemed to struggle with their perception of him, having grown up with Him. His disciples, good as they were, jockeyed for position. Judas betrayed Him, and stole from the ministry. His closest ones let Him down in His darkest hour.

Recently the Lord put something in our Pastor's heart
, that for the people and the churches who would, there would be great opportunities to reach people. People who are in all different stages, unchurched and unsaved, backslid, offended, dissatisfied...in this world that is ....whooooweeee...under some serious birth pains, people who ARE thirsty for the Living Waters, ARE hungry for the Bread of Life...need to be able to find people who live in glass houses, just like them. They live in glass houses, and they KNOW they live in glass houses and wouldn't throw a stone for anything (or at least it is their heart's desire to not throw stones and they would quickly repent should they stumble). People who not only are aware they are fallen and redeemed Christians, with no claim to fame, except that Christ died and rose again for them and saved them from themselves, and filled their heart's with love. Love that makes them humble (not smug) and not willing that any should perish, for lack of having the opportunity to meet people filled with Christ. If they can't find that in the church - I ask you, where will they go?

In a world that is shaking,
can people find some other people who are are grounded in Christ? In a world that is obsessed with fame and superficial relationships, can people find some other people who care what The Lord thinks, much, much more than what man thinks. People who actually, actually listen to the answer of the question "How are you?" and don't try to instantly "fix" them, rather they LISTEN to them, love them and do not serve them platitudes. Sometimes a kind listening heart and a hug and a smile does a heart good!

People who won't whisper, won't roll their eyes. People who at least will be sorry when they do, and say so, and then try, try again to let God's love flow through them to others!

Mercy is messy. Success isn't sanitary. But it IS worth it ALL!

Thanks for letting me share some of my thoughts with you all. I pray your week brings you words from our King! Strength to keep on! Love to overcome and endure! and MUCH Joy!
Maria

1 John 3:2-3 "Beloved, we are [even here and] now God's children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God's children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is. And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless).

6 comments:

  1. Yes! REAL Christians who remember first and foremost that while they were yet sinners Christ loved them...who remember that there but for the grace of God do they proceed forth! YES! Oh, to be the true light and salt of this world, to come alongside sinners and not be afraid to get messy, to suffer while you love without nothing in return...(kind of like raising teenagers! LOL)But in the day to day grind...so much harder to do...so many fears sweep in...so many fleshly weakness of our own...but God can love through us if we will be but His vessel and let Him! Amen. Amen! hugs sweet sister.

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  2. Leslie - lol! EXACTLY like raising teens! And it continues on throughout adulthood to varying degrees. So much of this that I have learned, He has taught me exactly through this part of life...and I was thinking as I read your words, that He refines us in that loving process, it's all put to good use. And oh, yes, in the day to day process, it sure does tempt fainting...but He won't let us! His Holy Spirit keeps breathing fresh rhema into us!

    It's so great to hear from you! I know you are SWAMPED, thank you for the visit! We all miss you, but know you are out there getting life done!

    Love you!
    Maria

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  3. Awesome words...this is exactly what is needed by so many that are hurting...and searching....

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  4. Good stuff....I'm so glad I'm not following people or a denomination....glad I'm following God...learning more and more what that means...how to abide, how to love myself well and thus be able to love others well...

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  5. Good words girl....such a huge truth needed within the body of Christ.
    I wonder if we can really reach out to anyone until they see we are real. Here in our camp ground we have been loving on a family for awhile now. We are there to lend a hand and give help when they need it. It is neat to see them opening up to us...and great to see how our love for them is growing.
    Of course there were many times that I found myself wanting to hide the fact that we were not perfect....but I know now that it was those imperfections that made the evidence of our relationship with God "palatable" to them.
    I am having some type of problem that is causing great physical pain.....and I was so touched this morning when our neighbor said that she would pray for me.
    Of course there is so much more to this whole story....but I see an openness to Him that is growing each day.
    And all because this family living in a glass camper was willing to live out His love and not condemnation.
    Love you girl...hope this made sense the drugs have me a little foggy. :)

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  6. You are such an enthusiastic encourager!! I wish we were really neighbors. Will continue to settle for internet-neighbors.

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    Julie

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Thanks for visiting, and REALLY thanks for leaving a comment here in the Squawk Box! I love to hear your thoughts! May God speak softly to you today!