Urgency to learn to love
—that was the topic of the last post. It hit home with me in big ways and whenever God draws my attention so completely, an exclamation point on His message is usually in my near future. This post was no exception.
I write much about living love out loud, stepping out in kindness so that the world sees a difference—
Loving every chance we get.
But, I don’t write much about giving voice, word along with deed, to the lost about their need of Jesus Christ.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
I’m certain you know the little catch phrase, “If you live a sermon, you never have to preach one.” I’m not discounting the power of a life lived well – to glorify God and increase the Kingdom–but I am wondering, if maybe like me, you may have used this particular mindset to excuse yourself from sharing the gospel with those who need desperately to hear it.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:17
Most often the people who need to hear it from us are those closest to us because they’ve seen our transformation. They know who we were and can see who we are, but many times those are the ones we’re most afraid to speak the Truth to. There is so much to lose, they may reject Him, and what terrifies us is they may reject us as well.
We can quote the verses all day long about blessed are those who are persecuted because of My Name when we are at arms length from the thing but when it’s up close and personal I have to think that the hurt of separation is still going to sting. We can talk about how the division that Christ brings in many relationships shouldn’t take us off guard because He tells us in His Word that mother and father will be split from children and brother will forsake brother on account of Him. Well, it might not take our intellect by surprise but our hearts may be another matter altogether. But, even knowing these things, for me the time for deed alone has ended. For me . . .
It is time to speak.
The fruit in my life, the fruit in your life, can’t authenticate a thing if I don’t give voice to the Who I believe in. Our deeds can never match our words if there are no words.
One of my prayers for this year has been to . . . .
Fearlessly fear only God.
And He is answering by gently pulling back the veil so that I am able to see the areas I am still shrinking back in. I too often let the fear of man set my path, choose my words, restrain my love. Because true love . . .
Christ-like Love will risk me to reach them.
If I am desiring to observe Christ and learn a life of extravagant love, expecting nothing and offering everything than I am going to put all of me on the line. I won’t hold back a thing because
Our Jesus has withheld nothing of Himself.
He gave up His heavenly home, put on earthly skin, and came to walk among us. He wasn’t concerned with His comfort.
He was concerned with us.
He lived in unbridled holiness and Love on this planet and endured hostility, rejection, and in the end, humiliation as the soldiers mocked and spit upon Him. He was not consumed with Him.
He was consumed with us.
He died the unimaginable death, on full display while they continued to taunt Him, “if you are who you say you are . . .”, “If you really are the Son of God” . And still, He was not focused on vengeance.
He was focused on forgiveness.
Sweet One, Christ lived love out loud – but He spoke Love as well. His actions matched His Words. The fruit of His life authenticated every holy utterance.
To Love Like That – I must do the same.
To Love Like That – You must do the same.
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5:1-2
Live it out to be sure – but speak the Truth. Share the gospel. Love the ones you love enough to tell them that they NEED HIM. I’m afraid if we allow the fear of separation and rejection to keep us quiet then we will risk the ultimate separation when our time on this planet is done.
Be strong and courageous
– love without limits—
love without caution.
Love was offered knowing rejection would be the response. Love was given feely. No strings attached. No demand for love in return. Because here’s the stunning truth, even those who have not repented in their hearts, confessed with their mouths, or professed love for God, well, they are still loved by God. Are they saved? Absolutely not. But are they loved? Absolutely.
His desire is for them to come home. He created us for complete love fellowship with Him. He wants us to realize the depth of our lost sin condition and accept the Gift of Grace who wore flesh to save us.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
That is Love. He is Love. Long-suffering, compassionate, Love. It isn’t what He does.
The hard question then is . . . Do I really want to Love Like That?
The answer is yes. But I so confess that I’m not sure how. And I am asking God to move every bit of me out of the way and fill me up with every bit of Him.
I came face-to-face with what seemed to be a life and death situation with someone I love. I had always thought that if I just lived it out, she would see a difference. I thought it would make her want to know why and how we do life on the Boulevard the way we do in the face of much trial. But Sister, it was not enough.
As we drove to the hospital, my heart was filled with regret because I had not spoken. Had I lived? Yes. But had I loved? NO! Because I would not risk me for her. I would not give love freely with no strings attached. I chose caution over extravagance.
So I praise God that “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” but in the same breath I confess the sin of fear to Him and ask that He strengthen me of Spirit–not allowing me to continue in the footsteps of self-preservation.
It is time to speak.
So Sweet Reader, I must ask you this, do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you acknowledged the sin in your life and asked for forgiveness in His Name? If not, do it now. Do not wait. Today is the day of your salvation. If you confess with your mouth and believe with your heart you will be saved.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
It is time to speak.
There are no “official words” and you will not find the “Salvation Prayer” in any particular chapter or book of the Bible. Beloved, just talk to Him.
Pour your heart out to Him.
Confess your need of Him.
Be filled with the Love of Him.
If you’re not certain what to say, this is a prayer that can guide you, but it isn’t the words – it’s the heart giving voice to them:
Oh My Father,
I come to you in the name of Jesus, Your Son, whom You Sent for me. I am a sinner who needs you and I repent of my sinful way of life–
I need your forgiveness.
I believe that Your One and Only Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins and Father, I want to turn from my life of sin and live for Him. Your Holy Word promises, that if I confess the Lord and believe in my heart that You raised Jesus from the dead,
I will be saved.
I believe Your Word Lord. Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word,
right now I am saved.
Thank you for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. Grace that never leads to license, but rather always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself. Thank you Jesus for living for me, dying for me, and giving me eternal life through Your resurrection.
In Your Blessed, Holy Name I pray. Amen.
Sister, if you’ve spoken that prayer for the first time today, welcome to the Kingdom of Life! Death has no hold over you and the angels of God are rejoicing. Please find someone to tell. Get to a Bible-based group of believers. Study the Word of God. Do not be the seed on rocky soil burning hot for a moment and then quickly snuffed out by the troubles of life.
And if this wasn’t your occasion to pray, I’m asking God to bring a great cloud of witnesses into your life who are not afraid of rejection, separation or the loss of you to share this message with you again. I’m asking Him to convince the ones close to you that it is time to love you extravagantly and confirm for them that it is time to speak.
Blessings to you Sweet Sisters around the world. May His Love give the gentle boldness we need as you and I go forth in His Name and may we speak.