Seeing the God in Others:)

If you’ve ever had someone see the good in you that you cannot see in yourself, then you understand the power of seeing the good in others. Seeing the good in others is seeing the God in them. Christ helps me do just that and connect in a way that changes them, me, and the world as God releases His Son’s precious love into His world. The message on this last day of Lent is the importance of that connectedness and the compassion that results when His love is recognized and released.

I am designed by my Creator to connect, and I cannot be who He wants me to be until I make the connections He has in mind. Having someone take time to help me understand Christ’s love by seeing the good and God in me gives me the courage to carry out His call to do the same for others. Love and worship must be shared. The body of Christ is connected by His love. When I think about Easter, I am reminded of the resurrection and humbled to think that the powerful love that brought Christ out of the grave is in my own heart and the hearts of all who accept His offer of love.

Christ’s love stays hidden in many, and I’ve certainly hidden it away in my own heart. Bringing His love out of the darkness and into the light of relationship changes everything. Having someone recognize that love and bring it to the surface with honest communion transforms me and allows the resurrection living and loving God has in mind for me. Jesus did not stay in the grave, and His love will not stay locked away in my heart. The grave could not contain His love, and neither can my heart. Christ’s precious love is meant to be shared, and it will be whether or not I participate in the process of sharing it or not.

Love cannot be imposed on others. To love out of fear or force goes against God’s very nature. Before I can see His love in others, I must first see it in myself. That comes when someone sees what I cannot and helps me come to the place of seeing it myself. It’s a sweet revelation that prompts me to want to do the same for others. The process is a painful one that takes time, but it is well worth the hurt to experience the delight that comes from loving as God desires. It brings out the very best when a dear friend sees the worst but still loves the best in me. Releasing God’s love into His world and helping others do the same frees the spirit and heart to connect and serve in God’s world in His way.

It’s been a crazy Lent this year, but on this Holy Saturday, I’m seeing the beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. The light is Christ’s love, and He’s waiting there for me with a sweet resurrection smile of delight on His face. God reminded me this morning that I serve a risen Savior, and that makes all the difference in the way I love and connect in His beautiful world:)  Happy Easter!!

God’s Family

The tragedies of the week caused us to put aside our differences and remember that we are a beautiful community closely connected by the love we share. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God’s family would do the same. I can only imagine what this world would be like if we all quit squabbling about details and arguing over petty differences. God loves all His children, and it breaks His Son’s body and His own heart when we break apart. We learned this week that we are more alike than we are different.

Families stick together, and that is never more true than when tragedy strikes. When death enters our safe haven, we cling to one another. Love causes fear and sorrow to take a back seat, and those things that once seemed important enough to fight about no longer matter. God loves this world, and He watched His only Son die to save it. When we remember His loss, we draw nearer to Him and to one another. When we get caught up in our agendas and plans, we begin to argue over who’s doing the most or who’s right about this or that.

Satan sits back and grins when we poke at one another, place blame, or point out sins in each other. God shakes His head and wonders what more would it take to get us to come together and see what truly matters. Jesus said to love God and our neighbor. This week, our sweet community has been a beautiful neighborhood. I pray that we will hold on to that spirit and not allow anything to come between us and those we love. We should love each other and celebrate our differences. God created each of us, and we are all beautiful to Him. Would that we would be to one another, so His kingdom would come, and His will would be done.

It is possible to love in God’s kingdom now. If you didn’t see that this week, you were not paying attention. Join me in praying for unity as we love God with all that is within us and love each other as we have this week. The praying life is all about community. Satan argues and fusses about being right and loves to see separation and discord. God creates us to be a loving community because He knows it’s the very best way to get a glimpse of Him. We each must decide who we want to be like, and I saw an awfully lot of God this week. I’m excited about all He has in mind and look forward to seeing it work out in the faces of the beautiful folks in this community and in the world.

Wholeness and Holiness

The scriptures this morning are about being one, and the lessons this week have been about wholeness. Holiness and wholeness go hand in hand. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 are beautiful verses that describe the oneness God desires.

“For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” NASB

The image of drinking from one Spirit struck me this morning. Sharing a drink with someone is very intimate, and I don’t usually drink from the same cup as others. The scripture clearly says that we were made to drink of one Spirit. God made us for the intimacy of oneness, and holiness is about experiencing the unity Paul describes.

Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God are all one, and it is His desire for us to be one with Christ and so become one with Him through the Holy Spirit. The church is a poor example of oneness, and I know that breaks God’s heart. As we are apart, so is His heart. It is humbling to realize that I have the power to break the Creator’s heart, but I know I do. So do we all, and that should cause us to lay aside differences and come together.

I’ve said it before, but it bears saying again. Satan loves individuals, and God loves unity. I pray that we all will truly hear the words spoken to the church at Corinth and know that they apply more today than ever before. So much division exists in the body of Christ that He becomes an unrecognizable pile of pieces.

What a beautiful world this would be if all Christians came together as one! It would truly be His Kingdom come, and His will would be done in a way that would make us all wonder what took us so long to figure out that being whole is much better than being broken. Our brokenness is healed by the wholeness Christ affords. Thanks be to God:)