Saturday, February 21, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Let that be His voice to you.
In case you have forgotten... just a little reminder:
It's you He loves.
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love..." Ephesians 5:1
Somehow that story reminds me of another that shows the same unconditional love...
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them, The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus,
"Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them,
"If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her,
"Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
"No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Now go and leave your life of sin." John 8:2-11
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:17
"He was nothing special to look at. He could walk down this street today and not one of you would even notice him. In fact he had the kind of face you would shy away from, certain he wouldn't fit in with your crowd. But he was as gentle a man as one would ever know. He could silence detractors without ever raising his voice. He never bullied his way; never drew attention to himself nor did he ever pretend to like what vexed his soul. He was real, to the very core of his being. And at the core of that being was love."
The stranger paused and shook his head.
"Wow! Did he love!" His eyes looked far past the crowd now, seeming to peer across the depths of time not space.
"We didn't even know what love was, until we saw it in him. It was everyone, too, even those who hated him, who wouldn't extend to him the simplest of courtesies. He still cared for them, hoping somehow they would find a way out of their self-inflicted souls to recognize who stood among them."
"And with all that love, he was completely honest. Yet even when his actions or words exposed people's darkest motives, they didn't feel shamed. They felt safe with him. His words conveyed not even a hint of judgment, simply an entreaty to come to God and be freed by him. There was no one you would trust more quickly with your deepest secrets. If someone were going to catch you at your worst moments you'd want it to be him."
"He wasted no time mocking others, nor their religious trappings." He glanced at those who had just done so.
"If he had something to say to them, he'd say it and move on and you would know you'd been loved more than anyone had ever loved you before."
Here the man stopped, his eyes closed and mouth clenched as if choking back tears that would melt him in an instant if he gave in to them.
"I'm not talking about mamby-pamby sentimentalism either. He loved, really loved. It didn't matter if you were Pharisee or prostitute, disciple or blind beggar, Jew, Samaritan or Gentile. His love held itself out for any to embrace. Most did, too, when they saw him. Though so few ended up following him for those few moments his presence passed through their life, they tasted something they could never deny even years later. Somehow he seemed to know everything about you, but loved deeply all that was true about who he made you to be."
He paused and scanned the crowd. In the last couple of moments perhaps as many as 30 people had stopped to listen, their gaze firmly on the man and their mouths suspended open in bewilderment. I can record his words here, but am bereft of an adequate description of their impact. No one within earshot could deny their power or their authenticity. They rang from the very depths of this man's soul.
"And when he hung there from that filthy cross," the man's eyes looked up into the trees that towered over us, "that love still poured down--on mocker and disillusioned friend alike. As he approached the dark chamber of death, wearied by his battle with sin, there was no finer moment in all the world. His anguish became the conduit for his life to be given to you. This was no madman. This was God's Son, poured out to the last breath, so that we could live free."
- Jake Colsen
LIVE IN LOVE.