You have Stolen My Heart

Have you met those Christians who are just SO IN LOVE with Jesus? I’m sure you have. Do you look at them with their noses in the Bible or their hands raised during worship times and wonder what they have that you don’t? Do you ask: “how do I get there?”

I used to.

And it led me to pray about it. Never underestimate the power of prayer. You see, God WANTS to be pursued. He wants to be sought after. He wants us to turn hungry eyes on to Him.

When you turn to God in prayer and start asking for a deeper love for Christ, greater understanding of His forgiveness and grace, and a passion for His Word, you can be sure that He will answer. In the meantime, show your desire for Him.

Open your Bible faithfully and trust His Spirit to bring the words to life. As you read of God’s character (and the contrast that man’s character makes with His) you cannot help but fall in love with Him. You will grow in awe and wonder of the Almighty.

If you find making time for consistent prayer hard, why not join your church’s weekly prayer meetings?

If you read the Bible with a sense that you are missing the point – that you aren’t going beyond the surface – then don’t allow discouragement prevent you from finding what you need to dig deeper. It may mean a trip to your local Christian bookstore (in Australia two big names are the WORD Bookstore and Koorong). Find a Bible Study book to work through. Go to your church library for resources or the local library (most have a Bible Dictionary or similar that you can use to gain an overview of the book in the Bible you wish to study).

If you find it difficult to break into spontaneous worship when preparing the evening meal, why not play your favourite worship CD?

If you find it too hard to fit Bible reading in to your afternoons after collecting the kids from school, why not play an audio Bible on your drive to work each day?

And never forget that it is a personal journey – God doesn’t want you to be where Mr Hands-Raised-Each-Week is. God has you on a unique journey. Don’t look at where others are in their faith. Fix your eyes on Christ and seek after more of Him.

Turn your eyes on to Christ and He will captivate your heart. He is worth our adoration and praise. If you look for Him you will find yourself falling ever more deeply in love with Him.

John 15:7-11
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

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The ‘Unloveable’ Lonely

I watched the Gran Torino with Mark a few weeks back. Whilst I would not recommend it to anyone with a faint heart, I personally found it very moving. It is an intense movie but I found it to be a brilliant social commentary as it looked at one “unloveable”.

Clint Eastwood starts as a bitter old man who has shut everyone out. He remembers “the good old days” when young men stopped to help women and the elderly. He knows houses by the names of their builders and original occupants, not as transitory shells. He grew up in a time when Anglo-Saxons were the main racial group in his area and does not count the new immigrants as Americans. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that he ends up discovering that friends are not always found where you expect them and family are not always denoted by genes.

The reason that I found the movie touching was the truth I saw within Client Eastwood’s character and the challenge it presented to me. Here was a man who was lonely; longing for someone to see value in him, his life and his skills. He had much to offer but no one, not even his family, looked passed his age nor the shell of bitterness and aggression he hid behind.

 Watching the film I could think of people I have met that hide behind walls to prevent people seeing the pain, loneliness or hurt they live with daily. But these people are treasured by God, made in His image, and have value. It only took one person to allow his wave of bitterness and angst to sweep over them as they stepped inside the wall. Once that one person was inside they were privy to all the wealth of treasure to be found in the old man Client Eastwood played. Then others saw; others came in; the wall melted. His family had wanted him to receive their well intended advice with joyful acceptance so that they would feel good. They did not ask themselves how they could best love him.

Touching. Challenging. Am I prepared to take that initial wave? Am I willing to seek out the treasure in people who throw angry words at me? Am I prepared to step up to those who society classes as ‘unloveable’, who are unwilling to be loved? Am I  prepared to change how I show love to meet another’s needs?

Christ declared these words:

Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Oppression can be of spirit; captivity can be of the mind; poverty can be of the heart. Christ calls us to walk in His ways. If He went out to such people, should we not also stretch out our hands to them and offer them hope, love and friendship?

John 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. Mathew 5:14 “You are the light of the world… Mathew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others…

This is not easy but it is our call and He will help us. We are called to love. Remember the two greatest commandments; love God and love man. Today let love infiltrate your daily routine – especially extend it to the “unloveables” who are, in fact, loveable and are crying out for love.