Saturday, January 8, 2011

Of Gnats and Camels or His Love?

Happy New Year and snowy greetings from our corner of the world in Michigan! We received a lovely, blanketing of Lake Michigan precipitation over the past two days....known as "lake effect snow" ~Well, Christmas break is over and I'm "back in the saddle" again....teaching piano and desiring to write more.

For those of you who'd like to keep in touch via Facebook, I now have a Dinner with the King FB page. Just look it up and send me a Friend Request.

During this break, it has given me time to ponder and seek the Lord about some of which seems to be the "heated" discussions that often happen between Christians regarding interpretation of scripture, various prophecies...who said what...what they meant....Letting the hairs on the back of our neck rise over this issue or that issue...and then taking the sword - either directly or indirectly to wound another member of The Body of Christ. It happens happens globally.

As I've come before Him to sit...and be quiet...and inquire....He helped me to understand even more the essence of His love...and that being the foundation of His love the Lord, Our God, with all our heart, mind, soul and body and to love our neighbor as our self...for the law has been fulfilled in Christ and we have only one law now to fulfill and that is the law of Love. (James 2:8)

It was during this time of "pondering" that the words of the Apostle Paul resounded deep within....and I could hear him saying, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside." (1 Cor. 13:11)....and then I heard him write: "And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody)." (1 Cor. 13:2)

It's as if I hear the Apostle Paul saying, (my interpretation): "You know, there was a time that I had to be the expense of the other person...but even though I knew I was right...that was not the core issue. The core issue was how I loved that person. I'm getting older, and I realize that being right isn't as important as loving...for that is the more excellent way...not on my insistence that I'm right. I'm older, and my body is wearing out. I don't have the energy I once had. Now I want to use my energy to do what is important before the Lord...and that is to love others....and I encourage you all to do the same. Don't sweat the small stuff....Let it go and let God."

And to emphasize His point, the Holy Spirit brought up the following scripture - repeatedly, from Matthew 23:24 "You blind guides, filtering out a gnat and gulping down a camel!" And isn't that what can so easily happen? We get so caught up in what so and so said, or this thing or that thing, that we forget that we are called to love each other.

I'm getting older...and feeling it....arthritis pain is my constant companion...
Pain does things to us that other things don't...It causes us to evaluate what is important in life and what isn't...It causes us prioritize and "downsize" the unnecessary issues of life....It causes us to think "How do I want to be remembered when I am gone?"...."What will be the most important when I'm standing face to face with the Lord, Himself on Judgment Day?" Next to my salvation in Christ...what is truly THE MOST important issue? Will it be that I was right about the interpretation of a certain scripture or issue....
or will it be that insofar as it was possible, I sought to live in peace with all men...that I sought to minister unto the least of these...Will men see my good works before them so that they would thank the Lord - even when they don't understand yet Who He is?

Please understand that I am not advocating checking our brains at the curb and promoting sin. God forbid! But there is a way to deal with issues that leave a person's heart intact. For it is a kind word of honey that will be received more than one of pure vinegar.

Many years ago, a Sister in the Lord sent me what she believed to be the word of the Lord to me. It came at a time when we were going through much personal grief in the death of a dear family member. I was crushed deeply and could not understand why the Lord would send me such a hurtful word. What the Lord helped me to understand is that a bruised reed, He will not break; whose word do I value more?...His or man's?...and He says in Psalm 138:8 "The Lord will perfect that which concerns me."

I have often said that persecution comes more from within the church than from without...because so often, those who are doing the persecuting think that they are doing the Lord a service to speak harshly against another Brother or Sister. But we know this should not be so.~ (1 John 2)

The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Tim. 2:24-25 "And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and contending). Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered [preserving the bond of peace]; he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong. He must correct his opponents with courtesy and gentleness, in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and come to know the Truth [that they will perceive and recognize and become accurately acquainted with and acknowledge it]."

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ....may we all determine in our hearts to allow His love to live and reign in our hearts this year in greater measure.
When there is an "issue"...take it to Him....and leave it with Him knowing that in quietness and confidence, He is our strength. (Isaiah 30:15) We will never agree in all matters with all the Brethren...that is just life...and that is just people.

But when we are in Christ, Beloved let us love one another, for love covers a multitude of sins; that we may have boldness in the day of judgment...

In closing...
"If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment (charge, injunction) we have from Him; that he who loves God must love his brother [believer] also." (1 John 4:20-21)

Ephesians 1:10 (Amplified) "[He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and comsummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth." v. 12 "So that we who first hoped in Christ [who put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!"

Much love always, in Christ,

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Welcome ~

The purpose of this blog is to encourage our walk in Christ; together in Him; for as we develop our relationship with the Lord, we ARE more than conquerors through Christ Jesus! Praise God! My writings are mostly from an experiential standpoint; however sometimes this includes dreams and visions. (Comments are reviewed prior to posting.)