Monday, May 19, 2008

Guard Your Heart


I think Jesus once said, ‘Guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life.’

I am thankful and grateful that I have a heavenly Father that continues to make known His compassionate and loving heart toward me that I might show the same love to all.

Religion, any religion has defined defilement basically on outward stuff, do’s and don’ts, but as Jesus said, true defilement is not what goes into a man, but what proceeds from within.

In learning what it encompasses to BE loved and to live loved by the God and Father of love is a living freedom beyond measure, but, this freedom will never be a license for me to act unloving toward anyone else, ever. This inevitably spells impossibility in our own strength, but all things are possible with God!
Regarding this freedom in Christ my heart reflects upon the beauty, wisdom and sobriety of these words from Paul, ‘It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows. For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?

One of the liberating traits of His unconditional love is it frees us from the oppressiveness of sin and its torturous assaults.

I found this quote from Kathleen Norris’s book Amazing Grace unpleasantly sobering.
“But oppression is a slippery thing, and labeling a tricky business: the twentieth century has given us plenty of evidence to suggest that the quicker we are to accuse others of oppression, the more we risk becoming oppressors ourselves. The past hundred years has forced us to look straight into the murderous heart of oppression, alerting us to its presence in our most cherished ideals. Over and over, we have seen patriotism turn into fascism, liberation movements solidify into totalitarian regimes, struggles for religious freedom translate into intolerance of the faith of others.”

Father I want to learn what it means to know no person after the flesh, but to receive every person as Christ.

Rich

3 comments:

Ruth Lang said...

Hi Rich,
Seems we are on the same page. I was just thinking this morning how easily I get stuck or should I say numded by the insanity of what we call Christianity. But in that place, it is what I would call a love failure. I fail to live loved and fail to express that love which is as you have said, the true place of freedom that He is bringing us to. I guess we could actually sum up many things as simple a love failure. What do you think
Ruth

Rich said...

Ruth,

'Love failure' is for sure one way of putting it, I guess my reasoning would be as follows.
The moon that is ever so bright and full these days is simply reflecting the glory and light of another as long as it stays within the freedom of its designed orbit.
Even the moon has phases where because of its rotations etc emits/reflects no light that we see, but is none the less stayed within its true place of freedom.

In being set free from the performance based lies that try to keep us crippled I am seeing that showing-dispalying-reflecting His love has nothing to do with my performance.

It is a wonderful but painful sobriety I see Papa bringing me to over and over again, the utter and total depravity within my flesh, but within my union with Him, endless love.

In my opinion there will never be 'true freedom' apart from these opposing tensions within us, and one or the other WILL be made eveident as we give a mind to them.

I always love to hear how Papa is drawing you ever deeper into the realityy of His love 4 you and others!

Dave A. said...

Hi, my name is Dave and I'm a love failure. Where do I sign in.

Good sharings here. This truth really hurts. I become ever-increasingly aware of my shortness of patience and love towards others around me. I travel that route for a while and then find myself realizing that I have lost my first love. I am no longer sensing completeness and satisfaction from Him and I hunger instead to be right. So it becomes so easy to see the wrong in everyone else. This makes for good ego stroking.

I am reminded again and again (thankfully) that we are pitiful without Him. (And plentiful with Him!)