Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Don't Forget the "Milk"

As we seriously mature in Christ, it is vitally important we realize that - for the most part - those to whom we minister do not see the folly in clinging to things of the world. God's merciful forgiveness and deliverance has developed tenacious discernment within us, causing us to see clearly the emptiness of fleshly desires; but most of those to whom we minister have not come to that place.

Simply put - it's a process; whether we want it to be or not, it is. Maturing in God takes time, willingness, obedience, and lasting humility.  That's why the words "patience", "enduring", "forbearing", and "persevering" hallmark so much of God's character.

You might be saying, yeah, yeah, yeah... we know all that, Sharon - and that's fine... but do you always apply that knowledge to God's assignments?  Folks who are literally "assigned" to us by Daddy are so for a reason and - since God is the Master multi-tasker - we can be certain fully half of the assignment's benefits will be for us.

For example, a "General" in Christ Jesus (by Abba's definition, one who has earnestly committed to His course and plan no matter the cost) has grown through years of receiving His unconditional love, purging, and cleansing - right? That General has been blood-washed and secured in the knowledge that God will never leave him nor forsake him, and he knows very well what pleases the Father and what does not.

With that in mind, Abba will entrust to that General an immature Christian who's been hurt and wounded, who's angry and shows it, but who truly desires to learn and be healed.  To say the least, that's a challenge for the young Christian AND for the General who God has asked to show forth the same enduring, forbearing, persevering love he is shown.

Mature Christians should realize such cases will constitute the majority of ministry to younger Christians and, certainly, to the lost; so it's up to us NOT to forget the "milk" - the simple, humble, biblical foundations of faith in Jesus Christ that tender us toward "newbie" frustrations, and enable us to love them unconditionally, as we are loved. 

This powerful praise of the Gospel's benevolence always blesses me:

"The law says, 'Go!'  The Gospel says, 'Come...'
The law says, 'Do!'  The Gospel says, 'Done'."

To me, that means Jesus has already supplied everything needed to minister to that newbie through us, and to further grow us through Christ-like obedience.  We don't have to rely on ourselves, because Jesus has done all the work required of us and them; we just have to draw on Him.  Mature Christians, take heart and hang in there!  In confirmed assignments from Abba, our only part is to show them His love in patience, obedience, endurance, forbearance, perseverance and - through all the inevitable processing - don't forget the "milk".



(Dear readers: You're welcomed to view a video supplement to this post featuring me and my best friend Lynette. To do so, just click here.)

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Married Life is All About "Love"

The reason I've titled this post the way I have, putting "Love" in quotes, is because that wonderful four-letter word is probably the most abused and misunderstood in all of creation. In the past I misused and misunderstood it, too; but the Lord has redefined it for me, yet again.

Love is not love unless it is sacrificial.  God spoke that truth to me long ago, but I am only now becoming acquainted with its true meaning. When we put on and take on Love by Abba's definition, y'all, we put on JESUS.  His life on earth and in Heaven is all about sacrifice; about putting the Father and us first.

Love the Lord with all your everything, and love your neighbor as yourself.  Remember those words?  Whose are they?  They're the Lord's; they're found in the Old and New Testaments, and they are the signet ring and hallmark of God's heart toward us.  In loving, put God and others first. The Lord Jesus is God's greatest Example of unfailing, undying, unconditional, sacrificial Love for mankind and all of creation... and He is our Example in marriage.

Humble, gentle, patient, forbearing, sacrificial Love is what God cultivates between all His kids, but especially between husband and wife.  For agreement in God-ordained, God-defined matrimony is more powerful than any other force on earth; remember that it's reflective of Christ and His Church.

Husbands, how do you want Jesus to treat you?  Treat your wife that way.
Wives, how do you want Jesus to treat you? Treat your husband that way.

I want Jesus to be gentle, patient, forbearing, and sacrificial in His treatment of me, always. (He's already lovingly condescended [that's humility] to enter into relationship with me because of His great Love.) So, I need to treat my sweetie-pie with that same goodness.

There is nothing like marriage and married life to expose deficiencies in us. During the nearly eight months I have been married to Jack, God has shown me many blanks I need to fill by His power... and that's the only way they can be filled, BTW... by Abba's power.  There's no such thing as "my own strength" - that's a pitiful joke.  It's all God, beloved; it HAS to be; otherwise, we will be taken captive by our flesh, and we will NOT show forth Christ and His sacrificial Love to our spouse.

Married life is all about "Love" by God's definition and no other.  And let me hasten to say that when God's definition is applied in humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, and sacrifice... marriage is indescribable beauty.

Figures, doesn't it? "Love" is Jesus the Christ Who Himself is altogether Lovely and Who made the ultimate sacrifice to restore us to the true Love of the Father. That makes great sense to me.  God honored Christ's obedience, and God will honor you and me. My prayer is I remember that in my deepest soul and spirit every time I look at my husband and that I smile back at Him with the unconditional, sacrificial heart of Jesus every time he looks at me.

God bless, y'all.


"...fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)