For loves sake…

Early in my walk with Christ I was taught that love was not really an emotion but a choice that you make. They said that love was an action that you performed just like Christ laid His life down. Preachers instructed me that love was doing the right thing even when you didn’t feel like it because that proved your love was actually sincere and not wishy washy. My love however was not at all that way, and I found that daily I failed miserably at making the right choices. I could not seem to do things for others that I did not want to do no matter how “right” they seemed. My flesh would kick in and I would get angry because I did not myself feel loved and why should I make the sacrifice to be nice to others when they were not being nice to me. And on top of that, when I did consent to do something for “love’s sake” that I didn’t want to do I ended up doing it with a bad attitude and a nasty look on my face. It was impossible for me to love like Jesus.

Somewhere along the line in my journey I met love. I met the Man that is love, the God of Hope and Grace, that taught me what true love is. I began to see the love that Paul and John talk about as more than just an action that you take like a robot because you are supposed to act a certain way in response to Jesus. I began to see that love is also more than beautiful rhetoric, with little real depth or meaning. I began to see God’s love in a way I never knew love could be displayed or felt. I found that love is profoundly, and most definitely an emotion. Love found me and swept me off my feet and enveloped my heart in change. The whirlwind of emotion that I was catapulted into, revolutionized my way of thinking and even my entire worldview.

Gone were the days of emotionless action because I was supposed to “be good”. No longer did I live in a world where “I love God” was scrutinized by critical doctrine enslaving me to condemnation. I was freed to truly love God when I found that God truly loved me. I was freed to love when I found that I was free to hate. I was freed to care when I found that I was free to not care. My heart was finally at liberty to lay itself down for another when I discovered that I was completely at liberty to be selfish and think only of my own safety and happiness. I was finally free.

Love was the truth that my heart had been missing all along. The lie of an emotionless, robotic, demanding God was forever washed away in my heart when I discovered that God SO loved the world that He sent Jesus. God’s emotion for this world and my heart, was so strong that there was nothing so precious that He would withhold from me. He loved me so much that He would be the shepherd that ran out against the lion and the bear on my behalf to protect me. He cared so deeply that He would personally take the shame of public nakedness, and the scourging that I deserved. God’s love was the truth that crashed into my heart and set me free. And who the Son sets free is free indeed.

I would love a chance to share with you my personal encounter with love, and how it has revolutionized my faith walk and my life. If you have questions or need to talk you can email me at youarebecauseiam@gmail.com . Have you been weighed down by religion and rules? Are you ready for the “much more” that Grace can bring? Please contact me. Lets run together!

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living waters….

 

She had 5 husbands and the one she was with wasn’t even her husband. This woman was a wreck. She clearly had some major issues when it came to her love life, and probably all other relationships. She waited until the well was cleared of all other women before she went to draw water from it. This was most likely because she had felt the sting of shame in times past when she encountered others in a public place. They probably mocked her poor life choices. Looking deeper into her circumstances we can see she most likely did not know how to give love and accept love in a way as to nurture a healthy love life. She probably had low self-esteem and lacked any self-confidence.

How often do we fall into that category? We look for the love, acceptance, and self-worth that we all deserve in all the wrong places. For some of us it is in alcohol, drugs, or other substances, for others it is social media, platform building, and relationships. For others still, we find our identity and value when we abuse sex. But why is it this way?

Jesus called out to the woman to give Him and drink of water. She responded that Samaritans did not have dealings with Jews and why would He want to get a drink from her. Jesus say something very strange in return to her. He says “if you knew the gift of God and who it was who says to you, ‘give me drink’ you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” How strange.

Jesus first asks the woman for something simple that she could do for Him, but it was something so out of the box for her to think about. She could see He was a Jew, and she knew that Jews thought of Samaritans as dogs, and wouldn’t even address them in public. Yet here was this Man asking her to draw water from her father’s well for Him. Then He offers her living water. Jesus didn’t ask her to draw because He was thirsty, or because He needed her water, He asked because He was getting ready to set her up for her healing.

Her response betrays her lack of knowledge. She says ‘where then do you get that living water?” In order to understand this, we have to see it from a cultural view. Samaritans were once Jews that lived with the rest of the nation of Israel and served God. At one point after the Babylonian captivity the Samaritans believed you could only worship God on the mountain where they were, but the Jews pressed on to Jerusalem. (This is why Jesus unveils true worship later on in this story.) This woman had been raised with a people that knew YHWY God and studied the Torah the same way the Jews did, yet had differing beliefs on location of worship, that is all. Which means this woman had heard the scriptures from Jeremiah that declared God as the source of living waters, and Jesus Himself as the living water.

She missed this entirely when she asked “where will you get that living water?” She thought Jesus was referring to actual water. But what He offered to Her was Himself. She had been running from man to man for years. She lived a life in shame, afraid to show her face in public. And Jesus, the most holy, most perfect Man that ever lived was offering Himself to her. He was in essence saying I can stop the hurting. I can heal the pain of rejection. I can quench the thirsting for recognition, acceptance, protection, love and value.

Jesus was saying, if you come to me and absorb all that I have for you, your days of searching for love in all the wrong places will be over, and you will find a new purpose and meaning for your life. This is what Jesus offered to that Samaritan woman at the well that day, and this is what He offers to you. He will come in and give you a drink of His living water. Water that will not ever shame you, reject you, or move on because they found someone better than you. Jesus offers when you drink of Him that you never have to search anywhere again. He offers you life. Will you drink of His living waters?

(Story found in the gospel of John)

 

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