Monday, February 10, 2014

For the Love of Christ Controls Us

Yesterday, was truly a wonderful day! Imagine fighting so hard for something...whatever that might be for you. Putting everything you have, your whole heart, soul, mind, and energy, into it. Not to mention blood, sweat, and tears! Lots and lots of tears (Psalm56:8). Further, thousands of prayers...heartache, headaches, heartbreak, sleepless nights, strife, and anxiety. For what do you feel is worth combatting? And, taking the risk of losing everything? Staring down evil and receiving a taste of hell.

Yesterday, was an amazing day! I felt as though I had received a crown or won a medal (1 Corinthians 9:24). I wanted to shout, dance, and cry...but surprisingly I was not overcome with emotion. I was able to keep my composure.

Sometimes I wish I had powers like in a Stephen King novel where someone grabs another person's hand or arm and can transfer events witnessed, feelings experienced, and things viewed. Thankfully, God knows! He sees my heart, comprehends my journey, and is fully aware of all I have invested and endured. Though it's difficult to "bounce things off" of Him like a "sounding board" to adequately, efficiently, and continually assess situations, I do have the Holy Spirit (John 14:24, 26) which burns when things are "not right". (And, I much rather offend man than the Holy Spirit.)

Yesterday, was AWESOME! Despite all of the spiritual warfare leading up to this point. In spite of once living over ten years in an environment (John 10:26) viciously hostile toward Christ and His believers...regardless, of being repeatedly screamed at, threatened, and called "stupid" among other worse, unmentionable names because of my faith. God faithfully brought me through it all, BY HIS GRACE ALONE, and yesterday I saw some fruit (John 15:16). Though I am burnt out and tired, it renewed me a bit.

(Sidebar: Regarding "fruit" Pastor John Piper explains the following,
[John 15] Verse 16 clarifies that the asking is for fruit-bearing: “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” The fruit in the foreground in this text is the fruit of love and the fruit of joy, not just in us but in others, and that means converts. Praying for people means praying that they would enjoy what Christ enjoys with the joy of Christ, and that they would love whom he loves with his love. (By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org)

Yesterday, was hopefully only the beginning! I desire, with all my heart, that all "would enjoy what Christ enjoys with the joy of Christ, and that they would love whom he loves with his love".

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15 ESV)

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