Brokenhearted Love

 

Isaiah 53: 3-7

Biblegateway.com

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.

My heart at times becomes shattered.  It can be caused by people, circumstances, unmet needs and expectations.  I crave to have a full heart.  A heart that doesn’t have scares or empty places.  When I was younger, my heart was filled by excitement and the anticipation of an event.  It would also become filled when my parents and family showed their love by making me feel important.  As an adult, this filling isn’t as easy as I would like.  My husband, son, friends, family, and even complete strangers are expected to help me accomplish this full heart.  Instead, they continue to cause small cracks and at times open old wounds that I have tucked away. 

As I sit and connect with Jesus, I realize that I am putting too much emphasis on my human experience.  He wants me to realize that only He can fill, mend, and extinguish the burning desires of my heart.

John 3:30  He must become greater; I must become less.

All my desires are self-centered and lacking the true graciousness of Jesus, one who humbled himself to serve.  He sacrificed His life to forgive mine.  I am saved through His selfless act of love.  

I must put my wants, needs, and desires to rest.  I need to put Him first.  This is when our broken hearts can truly love.

Submit,  listen, pray, walk with Him, and our hearts will never ache again.  When our hearts are full of His love, His gentle hands will wipe the scares and fill the voids.  It will be fully healed.

Now we can serve as He served.  

Matthew 22: 37-39 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Our sins are washed away when we surrender to His love.  We will then be capable of loving others and our sacrifice will create a closeness to Him which defies explanation. 

Our life is to love, our purpose is to love, and our commandment is love.

 Ephesians 3: 16-17 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love

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Why?

tear

John 16:33 

Biblegateway.com

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Oh, why is this happening?  Why does it seem I can never get a break?  Why do the people I love have to suffer?

At times it seems that I have been given more than I can bear.

Unfair.  Unwarranted.

Is this a punishment?  Cursed by God.

I’m good.  I’m trying to live as God wants me to live.  I must be unworthy of His holiness.

2 Timothy 2:12 if we endure,  we will also reign with him.  If we disown him, he will also disown us;

Each Christian carries a cross and it’s personal.  Each of us will have suffering, unfair treatment, pain, and out right obstacles that take on their own identity.  It all seems at times connected to our sins, almost destined to happen, but at times it is unexpectedly random.

Our great God knows that this will happen just as Jesus walked as a man persecuted and tortured for the sake of God’s plan.  We will either be carried around the tribulation unscathed, or we will be sent right into it with the searing pain taking us to our knees.

Why do we as Christians need this pain?

1 Peter 2:20  But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

Our walk will have times where we will not understand why, but if we trust,lean on, and endure with the patience relying on His ways, then we will have a closeness that will endure anything.

Job 36:26 How great is God—beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.

The goal of God was to have everyone saved through Christ.  He needs to do this with free reign to move among the people, listen to spoken and unspoken prayers, speak words of comfort and direction, and inspire all to need Him with great desire.

Our duty is to submit to Him.  Not a submission of convenience, or one with doubt and guilt.  A full submission and trust that goes beyond explanation.

When we are ready and waiting.  He will be there.

He wants us to say, “I need you now dear Lord.”  He will then reply, “I am here, come to me and I will give you peace, and rest.”

Now eyes will be open, hearts will change, and joy will show up in the midst of pain.  Life is a dance in which our feet wobble through the moves of awkward music. This is just a dress rehearsal for our final destination where joy will be the only thing that ever fills our days.

Revelation 21:4  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

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Line in the Sand

line-in-sand

Deuteronomy 5: 6-22

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“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before[b] me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

11 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

17 “You shall not murder.

18 “You shall not commit adultery.

19 “You shall not steal.

20 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

21 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

22 These are the commandments the Lord proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.

As I watch the latest news feeds, observe the youth of our nation act out what is our new reality, and notice society’s standard of what is accepted, the line of God’s benchmark is completely blurred.  Do we have set morals, decorum, or true standards?

Where is the sanctity of marriage and family?

Where is the brotherhood and sisterhood of this great nation, founded on strong faith in God’s plan?

We need the truth of one true doctrine.

Not a truth that hides behind men’s and women’s schemes, desires, and lies.

Moses knew after hearing from God that the most important commandment is to have no other God then the one true God.  Nothing should take priority over the worship and reliance of God.  We shall not bow down to any likeness of God, serve any other master, and seek out answers from anyone or anywhere other than our heavenly father.  This was stated over and over in Deuteronomy.  Our great Lord of Lords knew that if our eyes gaze away and our focus falters, we will fall to the death of our spiritual selves.

The effort of Moses to convey God’s message goes on to explain the importance of rest and mediation on God’s word.  Which is necessary to keep us connected and put our hearts set for hearing from His word.  This is the foundation that builds to a strong faith.

I think Moses also understood that we would need constant reminders because life and its’ pull would keep us from God.  This is and will always be our undoing.  We may not break other commandments, but eventually we will slip into a state of blindness.  This blindness causes a blurry line and then commandments are broken ever so slightly. First a little lie, a moment of envy of someone else’s life, a possible stolen idea, thoughts of leaving a marriage for another, and then we are now knee deep in the mud that began as a slippery slope.  

How easy it happens when we take our focus off of God.  We become a person who is dead spiritually with a harden heart and lack of solid expectations for ourselves and others.

What shall we do?

Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Love without expectation.  Love without benefits.  Love without proof.  

Love with knowing God loved us first.  Love with His words.  Love with His justice and grace.  Love because He call us to love all.

Our line is drawn and we need to follow, stand firmly placed as a stationary rock set by God, with the inscription “Loved”.  

We are called to share the commandments and live them through our thoughts, actions, and feelings. Passing on God’s will and love for us to each generation, fervently worshiping and following without ceasing.  

May we walk in His light and seek what standard He has set.

Deuteronomy 11:19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

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Living in the Dark

darkness-pic

Isaiah 45: 7-8 NIV

Biblegateway.com

I form the light and create darkness,
    I bring prosperity and create disaster;
    I, the Lord, do all these things.

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;
    let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
    let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
    I, the Lord, have created it.

All whom have lived on this planet have experienced the dark.  It comes and blocks out the light.  It causes blindness, creates fear and hopelessness, and if it lingers long enough, hardens our hearts and souls separating us from our great God.

This darkness is unavoidable and as most of us know is our current reality.  It seeps into our day to day lives, it creeps into our homes through outside forces, it steals our peace, and sometimes we allow it to saunter in because our behavior welcomes it’s presence.

We can fight it and try desperately to rid of our lives of it by eliminating the outside world, but inevitably it will find us.  What are we to do when nothing can protect us?

Ephesians 6:13 NIV Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

John 18:36 NIV Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

1John 1:7 NIV But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

We are instructed to first prepare ourselves through reading and meditating on His word.  Next, we need to walk in the darkness and using the Holy Spirit to guide our path to protect our steps.  Then, we need to carry out the newness we have in Him by shedding the light for others so that they can see the path.  

Our duty as a Child of God is to walk closely to Him and then burn bright enough in the blackness of the broken world to draw others close to Him.  If we cover our light, hold it too tight, then the Lord’s Kingdom will not be felt on earth.  

Our Lord of Lord and King of Kings has a plan to make blessings and miracles happen.  We need to allow that to occur by stepping towards the light and then shining it for the hundreds we encounter on a daily basis.

Look around while you shine, the world is beautiful and full of promise.

Luke 8:16 NIV “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.”

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Beauty in the Weeds

weed-and-house

Romans 8:18 NIV

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18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Our God knows suffering.  He knows what it feels like and knows that it is overwhelming and smothering.  Jesus walked the life of any man.  He was humbled, hated, and eventually killed for His love for us.  As it is stated in Genesis 50: 20 “ You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

In our day to day lives pain and suffering happen.  They are the nasty weeds in our lives. The chaos weeds, evil and vindictive weeds, weeds of distraction, weeds of frustration, and just everyday weeds of annoyance.  As anyone may know that when a yard goes unattended, weeds will just take over.  It looks ugly and disorderly.  On the verge of hopeless.  

What do we want to do with this?  We want to just plow it down and rip it all out at once.  Just get rid of it so we can start over.  

Is this the way of undoing our pain and suffering?  Is the answer to just take it on or are we missing what should be done?

It takes a good gardener to know that if you rip everything out, all the good plants that may have been salvageable will go too.  If dedicated to preserving the already laid grass and plants, you careful take on one weed at a time on hands and knees.  You carefully tend to the beauty that awaits.  

God knew that Jesus’s death would be horrific and full of unanswered questions.  He knew that many would suffer.  Life is hard and painful.  

What if we took each hardship and pain and we look closer to it, analyzing what beauty may be hiding among the weeds?  We would find the good in which God leaves in this mess we call life.  

Each situation within God’s plan for us, is a small flower waiting to be found among the chocking weeds.  Our job as believers is to carefully and patiently walk through the pain, get on our hands and knees in prayer, and look for God’s grace to shine.  

Our faith strengths and our closeness grows when we persevere, calmly encounter discomfort, and wait for that small beautiful gift that He leaves to let us know He is working in all situations.  

Our God is Good.

1 Peter 5:10

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

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