We seek Jesus wondering if He is the answer.
Just recently, someone I met at the store spoke kind words to me and it’s just what I needed to hear. So I decide, this Sunday I am going to look for a church.
As I got close to the doors, I heard the worship. The singer’s voice echoed beauty that only the Holy Spirit gives. My spirit leaped within me. Surely this is the place I am going to stay, I thought. This is the place I will find a friend; the place where people will care about me.
Greeted at the door, the pastor and his wife introduce themselves. Others greet me. The service starts and I sit with a smile. One Sunday turns into two. Conversations ensue, I share about me.
After reaching out with my desperate need, I noticed the casual greeting this week and none at all on future visits. I sit through a few more sermons, praying, asking Jesus for one simple thing; if they are here to share how much You love us, why do they not love me? I never returned.
I meet this neat lady at the store and she made a complimentary remark. We talked for a little bit and exchange numbers. I excitedly tell my husband later that night about my chance meeting. I was so excited to have met such a neat Christian lady and she seemed so knowledgeable.
We talk several times. We took her up on her invite to church, spent several occasions with her and her family on after church lunches. I had let down my guard with her as trust grew and began to share some of what I struggled with. Shortly after, I stopped dead in my tracks when I heard my name mentioned while passing some ladies in church, too involved in their conversation to notice me. I listened and overheard them, “Yeah, I heard she has such problems, did ya hear that… She really needs prayer.”
Hearts stay broken. Spirits injured. Lives left with the fingerprints of a bruise… rather than the fingerprints of love and healing from our wonderful heavenly Father.
These are but a few examples of the devastation caused by the poison we spew, injuring others.
Jesus asks, “Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?” Ezekiel 34:19
Many in your tour group arrived at the crystal clear cold mountain stream before you and started drinking, quenching their thirst from the long hike. Your dry parched mouth began anticipating the fresh water quenching your thirst as you lean down to drink, when a member of the group inconsiderately runs thru the water stirring up the sediment – turning the water a mucky brown. This is what the Holy Spirit showed me in this verse. We destroy the goodness of Papa God, making a mockery of His Word when we disregard His Word and teachings and live self-centered lives. Oh how it hurts people.
God is calling us, wooing us back to our first love, Jesus! He can turn things around. Are you ready?
Do we love Jesus more than these?
Jesus crucified and Risen, Peter has carried his sadness for betraying Jesus and now they are about to have their third meeting with the One that Loves them.
From the shore, Jesus called out, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” After an awesome provision given, they joined Him for breakfast. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs. Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. John 21:17
Jesus asks you and me, “Do you love Me more than these?”
Well do you?
He’s asking us if we love Jesus more than anything else in this world. There are a million things we could love more than Him with ourselves being at the top of the list.
We are hurting and being preyed upon by wolves disguised in the garb of a good Christian in sheep clothing. Must we, His children, bring such damage to His house (the body of Christ, not a church building) as well?
If we have to watch our backs within the safe-house walls – where can we have a safe haven to rest our tender spirits and feel loved and genuinely cared for?
Will we make mistakes and hurt others, of course we will. How we choose to handle it though shows the love and character of a Great person. Yes, I have experienced situations like those in the beginning many times, as I’m sure you have; and it’s not that we’re looking for a perfect situation. Is it too much to ask that we own up to our mistakes and make amends? In the meantime, asking Papa to help change us, applying ourselves diligently to not make the same mistake again.
Who do you love?
Love God with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Mark 12:33