Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in Me. John 14:1
Oh Lord, You are my portion and my cup: it is You who upholds me. My boundaries enclose a pleasant land: indeed I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not fall. My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also shall rest in hope. The Lord is my strength and my song; You have become my salvation. Psalm 16:5-9
Andrea came over Friday night with an almost armful of deep red roses from Heather’s yard. And I am listening to and relistening to You make beautiful things. Which somehow came up with a link from Cameron. And I remember Heather and Dustin’s yard when we first peeked out the back door.
Hope is springing up all around.
And I just walked around Reid Park because my bike tire is flat. Really, there are few things I love more than the smell of creosote.
The promise of rain in the desert.
It would be harder to find a sweeter prayer time than that of Vineyard City Church, the one before the service. Before the donuts and coffee with plastic lids.
Vulnerability abounds. There is no pretense. The church is full of gritty people willing to do the hard work, if He walks with us. Broken so He can put us together again to look more like Himself.
And I have been thinking about spring a lot these days. Following winter. And dying seeds before there is fruit. The rhythms of it all woven into all of life and death and life again.
And Glenda talked about this death and life cycle. Dying in order to be like Him.
You have heard it said, “Love your neighbor. Hate your enemy. But I say, Love your enemies. Do good to those that hurt you. Bless those who curse you. Be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect.
Jesus brings a radical challenge to us.
Who is my enemy? We can ask, “Do we want this person to go away and never come back?” This might signal unresolved resentment. Is there someone I just don’t want to love? We as humans seek to justify our feelings and beliefs. To blame the other.
To love an enemy is one of the clearest examples of being like Jesus. It is an unmistakable sign that we are of the Father. And it is an opportunity to be radically transformed.
For Jesus, love is always a choice, connected with an action. He died for us even while we were enemies. Loving an enemy has no revenge, it is giving more than is expected; it is going the extra mile.
We can become consumed with resentment. Or. Suffering and death is the path to life. It is the love of Christ that moves me to extremes. Paul continues, Christ’s love is the first and last thing that we do. We do not regard people according to the flesh. But we love them through His love.
Prayer for enemy:
· Confess our sin· Ask for compassion, to see him as Christ sees him, a person He loves to death· Ask for His strength and willingness to forgive· Be accountable to someone else· When we pray for blessing for our enemy, we are dying to self· We are to do good, just as He sends sun and rain to both the evil and the good
Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble…no exceptions. No retaliation. No murmuring. Instead, bless–That’s your job, to bless. 1 Peter 3:3-9
No excuses. Be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect.
And my Morning Offices to be read between 6 AM and 9 AM is a little off of calendar, so this morning's readings were from Good Friday with long sections of Scriptures from John 19 describing The Passion of Christ and chunks from Psalm 19 about my heart within my breast is like melting wax.
Lest I forget what the love of Christy should looks like.
That His joy might be complete.