LOVE IS SIGHT

““The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said, “Master, why is it that you are about to make yourself plain to us but not to the world?” “Because a loveless world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him—we’ll move right into the neighborhood! Not loving me means not keeping my words. The message you are hearing isn’t mine. It’s the message of the Father who sent me.”

‭‭John‬ ‭14:21-24‬ ‭MSG‬‬

When we have the love of God ruling and reigning in our hearts, He will reveal and make manifest a Himself to us, with that illumination, we can see EVERYTHING! LOVE IS SIGHT! A LOBELESS WORL IS A SIGHTLESS WORLD!

KINTSUKUROI

Kintsukuroi is a very interesting word that means “to repair with gold.” It refers to “the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.” As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

God is in the business of repairing us with the intention that we come out more beautiful because we were once broken. Glory ! God doesn’t despise the honesty from a truly repentant heart. Instead, our surrender allows him and his grace to change us and make us whole. Somehow, God is able to make us more whole and more beautiful than we can ever imagine, because we live as testaments of his amazing grace.

In the words of the song by Tasha Cobbs “Here I am, God, Arms wide open, Pouring out my life, Gracefully broken

THIS IS AMAZING GRACE!

ARE YOU A FRIEND OF GOD?

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him.”

‭‭James‬ ‭4:1-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The scripture above tells us that friendship with the world and it’s systems is enmity with God,. The question before each of us then today is Are you a friend of God? Are you willing to do all that is needed to maintain friendship with God?

Are you allowing God to change your world – through you? Are you a city changer?

I FORGIVE FOR MY SAKE

One concept I have struggled with in scripture is the concept of forgiveness, I reason out and justify the fact that someone wronged me, hurt me and probably is ignorant of the level of harm they have done to me. Meanwhile I daily deal with the effects of their actions, then I see in the Bible that I should forgive. How does that happen? By forgiving, do I not endorse their bad behavior? Do I not justify their vile actions? Not at all, one thing that I have finally learned is that forgiveness isn’t endorsement and it certainly isn’t accompanied by warm, fuzzy feelings. Forgiveness is a choice we make.

The directive to forgive those who have wronged us comes from God. He asks this of us, not because it is easy, but because it is good. It takes a load off our hearts and lives!it brings a freedom that I can’t describe, it is better experienced than explained!

Unforgiveness holds me prisoner. The way to freedom is to set others free!

MORE OF JESUS LESS OF ME

Culled from 30 devotions for youth leaders

Two full tables of guests never looked at me.

I stood behind the lectern and addressed an audience in Frederick, Maryland – only to discover that a significant number of those in attendance paid no attention to me. Their eyes were locked on Jennifer.

Jennifer was a competent and enthusiastic interpreter. Her language? Sign language.

Youth for Christ in Central Maryland leads a vibrant, impactful ministry at the Maryland Deaf School, and many of our advocates, friends and supporters attended the annual fundraising banquet to show their support.

My words found a home in Jennifer’s hands, whose job it was to convert my verbalization into motion. Even as I referenced members of the deaf contingent, their eyes never looked my way—they remained fixed and focused—on Jennifer.

It unnerved me at first, but over the course of 30 minutes I found it to be beautiful and appropriate. My text was John 14:6: Jesus said to him (Thomas), “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The experience became a lesson, not for the audience, but for me. My message, rightly and humbly communicated, should push the gaze of those I lead, of those I serve, of those I communicate with, off of me.

Is it possible that even as I communicate the message of Jesus, I am “pleased” that the eyes of the crowd are on me? This reality convicts me, as it rightly should.

The words of John 14:6 reverberated through Jennifer’s hands. Her silent competence pounded the reality of my calling deep into my soul.

My effectiveness should be measured by where the eyes of those who follow me gaze. At me or at Jesus? Is it my compelling delivery that draws them or the unconstrained message of the Gospel? Would I be content if the people in the room never saw me?

I was in the classroom, even as I stood at the front of the room. Through the silence – I heard my Master. Only Jesus. Always Jesus. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus.

More of Jesus – and yes, less of me.