Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. ~ 1 Peter 4:8
The last year of my Dad’s life here on earth was filled with intense emotions. Here he was dying, and all I wanted was for him to live. I was convinced that God wanted him healed.
But Dad, look the Bible says that God wishes above all things that we prosper and be in GOOD HEALTH, even as our soul prospers.
To which he would reply, Paul’s thorn was never removed. If God wants me healed He will do it.
And the debating would continue. Pre-destination. Election. Prosperity. Speaking in tongues. Miracles. Did they pass away or not?
The list goes on…and today I sorely regret spending hours with him in his final year debating that which wasn’t of utmost importance.
ABOVE ALL, keep fervent in your love for one another.
We loved each other. Of course. But the non-essentials became a source of stress and anxiety for me. I was always on the defensive. Always trying to convince him of ‘MY WAY’. But In his mind I had veered off course into a non-Biblical belief and he was trying to steer me back on course.
Even writing this now makes my heart race again. The feelings of urgency and the passion of conviction can turn even the softest of people into hard-headed and hard-hearted debaters.
ABOVE ALL. What?
Keep fervent in your love for one another.
Today I don’t live like that anymore. I choose to love first. I choose to listen. I choose to listen WITH love. What a concept!
Seek first to understand, than to be understood. ~ Steven Covey
Today I don’t major on the minors. I aim for love and tolerance. I realize I don’t know everything and most Christians are very good people with reasons for believing the way they do. It’s ok. There is no final exam on doctrine given by John Calvin or Martin Luther or Kathryn Kuhlman or Billy Graham.
I’m sure they all agree on one thing. God is LOVE.
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. ~ 1 John 4: 7-8
I can remember singing this song in children’s church with that exact verse. It’s a lesson even children can understand. Love one another. But all that other doctrinal stuff we get caught up in as adults? Aren’t we missing the point? Jesus wants us to have faith like a child. What does that look like?
Children love without judgment. Think of them at a playground. Do they pre-qualify who they are going to go on the monkey bars with? Do they judge the kids who are on the slide? It’s all ok. It’s all fun. They live and let live.
Children also trust that we have their best interest at heart. And we do. Even when they don’t understand why they can’t get their way. Deep down, they know we love them.
God didn’t make this world to confuse us. It is a mirror reflection of the spiritual world. That is why we can learn so much from nature. That is why Jesus used parables to show larger truths. The lessons are hidden in plain sight.
For this reason I have decided to get back to basics and start a Virtual Bible Study called Jesus Anonymous. Everyone is welcome. Regardless of your denomination, your maturity or newness to the world of Christianity or your curiosity to find your own way…YOU ARE WELCOME.
Jesus Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from spiritual disconnection. The only requirement for membership is a desire to reconnect with God. There are no dues or fees for J.A. membership. We are self-supporting through our own contributions. J.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or religion. It does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses or opposes any doctrines. Our primary purpose is to connect with God as we understand Him and to help other spiritual seekers achieve reconnection.
Stop fighting everyone and everything. God is bigger. He doesn’t need our rigid convictions to win over hearts to Him. He needs His Love, coming through us, to be what people see.
In all we do are we aiming for love? How do we know? This can be your litmus test.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~ 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
If you do that, I guarantee you’ll be smack dab in the center of God’s will for your life. Love. ABOVE ALL.
Day 31 Lenten Love Prayer:
God forgive me for majoring on the minors. Forgive me for getting into debates and arguments of doctrines and making my ‘rightness’ more important than showing Your love. Love is my highest calling. Let me remember that when my heart is racing and I want to get in a last point. Let me remember love when I am feeling threatened and insecure. Let me see that for what it is. My ego, trying to run the show. Help me to surrender to Love. Help me to see people with Your Eyes. Help me to step out of the way and lower my resistance so they can also lower theirs. I trust that You speak to everyone and I choose to love. Above All. Let me show Your love. Let me be patient and kind. Help me to see that no one person holds all the truth and I only know a small bit. I know but a drop in the ocean of your wisdom. Help me to let go of my need to be right and choose the softer way. Love. In all things. Love.
Day 31 Scripture:
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:2