Last week, I shared what was burdening my heart in regard to the Pharisee that lives inside of mine. I shouted “Death” to that Pharisee, because he is most certainly not welcome to take up residence there.
He just keeps coming back. And I’m on to him.
However, in that very same vein, the Lord has impressed it greatly upon me that I need to love the other Pharisee invaders ~ the ones who try to go after my brothers and sisters ~ the ones that make me angry because they do seem to be wanted ~ yes, those Pharisees.
I can’t scream “Death” to those guys. I have to love them.
Oh, it’s easy when we are taking a hard look on the inside at something ugly in our own hearts, to then hate that thing which needs to be discarded so very much, that we forget to love others who may struggle with the very same issue.
It’s easy to hate the sin so much that we fail to love the sinner.
I know that the Lord will love me through whatever I happen to be struggling with in regard to sin and heart ugly stuff. He is faithful, He is kind, and He is merciful and compassionate. But I am asking Him to. What if others aren’t?
What if some of the others aren’t asking Him to clean their hearts?
Those are the very people I need to let Jesus love through me. Those are the same folks who we are to be salt and light to, friends. It’s hard ~ there’s no mistake about it. But that’s what Jesus came for: to love us while we were (and yes,we ARE) “still sinners.”
The Lord calls each of us to minister to others in certain ways at certain times. About two years ago, I felt that He was practically shouting to me that I was to love others within the body of Christ better. Then, He brought me full circle, back to the secular world and renewed my love for those who do not know Him at all.
I realize through the past couple of years that for me, what He’s doing in my heart and my life is that He’s making something quite clear:
It’s all of us. He loves ALL of us.
So, it looks like I’m not going to get out of this one. I like to focus and zone in on the one area that I want to tackle. It’s easier for my little mind to focus on one area and master it ~ conquer it ~ refine it to perfection.
But love is truly imperfect. It’s hard stuff. And we can only do it with the help of Jesus Christ.
It’s not meant to be easy.
I’ve been hurt. Close friends of mine have been hurt. And I am sure that I have caused hurt to others by my negligence or indifference. Sometimes, we are called to dust off our feet in a given area, and if with prayer and heart checks we find, with Jesus, that He’s asking for us to move on, we ought to obey His voice.
But I realize this morning that’s not happening for this girl. I’m kind of excited about the fact that the Lord has finally made it clear to me.
Most of what I share on here is written presumptively ~ as though the vast majority of those who read this are believers and maybe even followers after Christ. I will not sacrifice the truth for love, so I won’t be changing much about that. It’s how He’s led me to share.
But I also will embrace the beautiful fact that Jesus doesn’t want me to forget about loving in the midst of truth either. And that means not to forget about those who may not believe.
That means loving when it’s hard.
I also want to make it clear to my friends who may be reading my heart on this matter today that I am not directing this to you at all. I just wanted to share how the Lord is working in my heart and my life specifically in regard to all of this. I know that many of you are struggling with similar things, and am not trying to tell you that you should go this direction. That is for God to help you determine. But if the Lord is working in your own heart regarding a similar issue, I can pray for you if you wish to reach out to me. I am already praying for several who are trying to seek His direction for them and who they should be ministering to right now.
But for me, it’s about:
The Pharisee in my heart….
The other Pharisees….
The lost who have not chosen Him….
The Ones who I have hurt and who have hurt me…
The church and their own heart hurts…
The love of Jesus Christ and how there’s nothing that compares ~ at all!
So, today I embark again ~ starting off another work week. Today, I pray that the Lord would seep out of me, because I fail every time I “try” to do it myself. Today, I pray that the expectations of how others would behave would be left at the feet of Jesus. It’s not for me to decide.
I can only pray that He helps me to love others better.
“Death” to the Pharisee inside of my heart.
“Love” to all the others who may not even know they have an unwanted guest creeping around their house.
“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:46-48
Wise words that reveal where your heart is actually seeking to live, Annie. I find the revelation step and the activation step are sometimes farther apart for me. My head and heart know what I need to do, but my feet, hands and mouth don’t always get the memo…. the going, the serving, the holding back quick words. Not always harsh words, but the true words, the scripture that rolls out. His Word is life.. I have to say it but I know they know it, they don’t want to hear it from me because they already are hearing it. They want to know I will pray, love, lift up.
Praying as you journey forward stronger in His grace!