Hello, again! I feel like I am playing catch up from the last several months when I have not written. The Lord has yet been speaking to me and dealing with me, but I had not taken the time to write like I should have. I am picking myself up and working on my obedience once again.
One of the ideas that the Lord has been dealing with me on has been the other side of love. I know that my mission is to share the love of God with the world. And I know that my naturally rose-colored optimist self took that as some sweet mandate to spread sunshine and rainbows. But God has been pushing me to go beyond that. And it has not been easy for me.
God is love. I know that to be true. No matter what we have done, God loves us. He does not love our sin. He does not love our disobedience. He loves us.
God is also righteous. And because He loves us, He will not allow us to continue in unrighteousness.
For whom the Lord liveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Throughout history, God has sent prophets to proclaim His good news AND His judgement. But He did not judge just to punish people and wipe them out. Always, the intent was to bring people to repentance, so that they can once again be in right standing with Him. Sin separates us from Him, and must be banished from our lives so that we can enjoy fellowship with Christ.
And sometimes that requires chastening. Sometimes that requires someone we love to tell us about ourselves. And sometimes, we tasked with sharing His love are sent to tell others the truth, so that they may come to repentance.
As a parent, I know that my job is to help my daughter grow into the woman God called her to be. That means that I shower her with love and mercy and goodness – but I also correct misbehavior. I do it in love, and I make sure to communicate that to her – but there are some things that are not acceptable in our home. There are some things that I must correct if she is to be a good citizen of our world and a good witness for Christ. I know some of the calling God placed on her life before she was even conceived. Because I love her, I have to guide and correct her along the way as the Lord gives me wisdom.
And so God does with us. We are His children, and He knows the fullness of what we will become. But He also sees our misbehaviors and sins that will keep us from fulfilling those callings. Because He loves us, He corrects us. If He did not care, He would allow us to just continue doing whatever we wanted.
About a month ago, I was given the opportunity to speak on the fourth Sunday. I did not know what the Lord wanted me to speak on and wrestled the entire week prior. Well, correction. I knew, I just didn’t want to say it. The Lord had been dealing with me about envy in the body, and I knew it needed to be called out. I did NOT want to be that person! I tried to reason my way out, that it was not my place, etc etc. But God told me that if I had been tasked with bringing the message and His word, I was the one to do it.
I knew despite my misgivings I could not be disobedient. And I said what He told me to say. I remember crying at the beginning, because I still did not want to say it. But He took over, and I pray that whoever needed to receive it, received it. I received it for myself, for sure!
But the point He kept trying to make is that sometimes bringing the message of His love means calling out sin. It means saying the hard things to someone – not to offend them, judge them, or hurt them; but so they may come to repentance and be saved! If I claim to love my brothers and sisters, but I refuse to share a word that can make the difference in their lives because it is uncomfortable, then I am not operating and walking in love. And likewise, I hope that someone would share a word with me that would help me, whether I liked how it felt or not.
Now, I certainly cannot control how the message will be received. But I do believe that if God sent me at a specific time to a specific person, that He has prepared their hearts to receive His word. And certainly, there is a way to deliver His message in love, going to my brother or sister
speaking the truth in love…
And so, I am learning to embrace the fullness of love. With God’s love is the mandate of righteousness. Of course, we need His help to live holy, and it is Christ’s sacrifice that imputes righteousness to us. But we must not willfully engage in sinful behaviors and poor choices, thinking there are no consequences because of God’s love. It is because of His love that He will not allow such things to continue in our lives.
When chastening comes to you, I pray you receive it with an open and repentant heart, rejoicing that God obviously loves you enough to ensure that you do what is necessary to grow into all He created you to be.
God loves you!