We Love – We Make Disciples

5 05 2014

One of my passions is to see people set free from whatever holds them captive. My part is usually to pray for them, and sometimes by hands-on involvement.

When I noticed a particular person at our church who was in obvious bondage, I talked with our pastor about it. His response?

“That’s So-and-so. She’s {named the problem I had observed}. We love her.”

That simple.

(Meanwhile, I pray for this person’s freedom and thank the Lord for their condition. Had it not been for them, I’d have missed an opportunity to grow in this area! God used their ‘issue’ to teach me an invaluable lesson.

You never know who your circumstances are affecting, or how the Lord is using them to minister to others. Crazy, isn’t it?)

My pastor’s heart about the matter really challenged me. Do I love people in that way? Do I accept them where they are and encourage them as they mature?

No. My tendency is to turn them into ‘projects,’ and lead them to truth with my “superior wisdom and knowledge.”

Gag me!

At the time, we were going through a course on discipleship/mentoring. The most important thing we do with others is to point them to Jesus for guidance.

“What do you sense the Lord is telling you about this matter?”

This has a two-fold benefit. They learn how to hear from the Lord, and I don’t bear the responsibility for the outcome of their situation. Talk about win-win!

Since then, we’ve been given ample opportunity to practice what we learned…to be doers of the Word, and not hearers only.

As a result, we are being given the great privilege of experiencing the transforming power of love.

For me, the self-appointed ‘social worker,’ this has been a great challenge. Every time I’m sure that I know what needs to be said or changed, the Lord whispers, “Shhh. Just love.”

The peace we are experiencing as we obey the Lord is indescribable. Life took a crazy left turn, and looks like nothing I could have imagined right now. Despite the fact that our plans for this season have been shelved, we have a calmness in our home that can only be ascribed to the Lord.

What I have discovered is the truth of the Lord’s word to Samuel: “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”

No matter how well I think I know a person or their situation, I can not possibly know as much as the Lord does. My tendency is to judge behavior. His perspective is based on the content of their heart. Consequently, it is very easy for me to make assumptions – and even judgments – based on what I “know” to be true…

and be dead wrong.

The intent of this post is not to “toot my own horn,” but to challenge you to love people…all people…and let God work through that love to soften hearts and set them straight.

It’s not easy. You’ll need to lean heavily on the grace and mercy of God. You will stumble a bit along the way. Jude 24 is your cushion when (not ‘if’) this happens. (This is the voice of experience! 🙂 )

Once we take our opinion of others out of the way, we can become a conduit for the Lord. We can be around people who are up to their necks in alligators, and yet be at rest. We continually turn their eyes back to Jesus for guidance, and are able to move gently through the day. Amazing.

And so today I point you to Paul’s “better way” from 1 Corinthians 13…

Love!

 It is important that you hear “the rest of the story.” Please read:

Against the Grain and Meanwhile…

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25 responses

8 05 2014
cucumberlodge

John 15:10,11 – “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

8 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

I’m currently meditating on this passage. There is so much good food here. Thanks for drawing my thoughts back to it. 🙂

\o/

8 05 2014
cucumberlodge

You’re welcome. There is a strong connection apparently between, law, obedience, abiding, and joy.

8 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

From what I’m learning, it would seem that abiding (relationship with the Lord) leads to a desire to obey because I love Him…not merely to keep the law, but to please Him. That always leads to joy!

\o/

7 05 2014
nopew

It’s, “Love your neighbour like you love yourself”. Too many people don’t love themselves and so cover it up by being smart aleckey, “wise counsel”, rater of problems into categories, gossips, anything to cover their own dissatisfaction. It is not self-centred to start by loving self. When I have a degree of self-acceptance and self-forgiveness (thanks to the work of Jesus) it follows more easily that I accept others and forgive them. Actually, walk close to Jesus and that deep compassionate love starts to rub off. That’s the greatest of these, right?
Peace

8 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Love is indeed the greatest. It’s so simple. Too bad we complicate the thing! 😉

\o/

6 05 2014
Michael Monday

Hi big sister 🙂 Its been a while. Nice piece you have here. May the Lord bless us more with fresh anointing in Jesus name, amen

6 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

From your mouth to the Lord’s ears! There are six others living with us at the moment. The opportunities to write are limited. God is good, though, and the peace of God (which certainly passes all understanding) reigns supreme despite our circumstances. 🙂

\o/

5 05 2014
Nate

Truly there are not enough Christians who just love and accept people – despite the fact they are dealing with things.

6 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

It’s not always easy, that’s for sure. The rewards are tremendous, though. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

\o/

5 05 2014
dianarasmussen

I love the way you write. I feel like we are all sitting down for coffee…I too have to keep my mouth shut, lol 😀

6 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Diana. Today will be the ultimate challenge, I think concerning a closed mouth (for me)! I am making tiny bits of progress, though. 😉

\o/

5 05 2014
Mel Wild

“Every time I’m sure that I know what needs to be said or changed, the Lord whispers, “Shhh. Just love.”” I love this! Sounds like God! It’s amazing how simple our part is. Thanks for sharing your amazing adventure with us. Blessings.

5 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Simple, yes. Not always easy! 😉 Old habits die hard.

\o/

5 05 2014
Pure Glory

Love it! When I remember that God is still working on me, it is easier to extend grace and love. To often I forget to examine myself, as it is easier to see other’s faults. Love, however, covers a multitude of sin, including my own!

5 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for taking time to comment. 🙂

A couple of years ago the Lord pointed out that the splinter and log are made of the same material. That little thing I’m critical of in others often is a much larger problem in myself that I could not see.

That alone keeps me from criticizing. 😉 If I restrain myself from pointing out someone else’s splinter then it means that I don’t have that problem, right???

\o/

5 05 2014
Pure Glory

LOL! Keeping my mouth shut is an on going challenge! Especially to season everything with love and mercy. We are all works in progress. 🙂

5 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

🙂
\o/

5 05 2014
Steve Austin

So thankful to call you my friend! I cherish your teachable spirit and your abilitiy to communicate so clearly and be willing to teach others what you are learning at the same time. You are a joy to the Kingdom!

5 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Steve. Encouragement helps more than you know. 🙂

\o/

5 05 2014
Steve Austin

Just noticed that you published through Lulu in the past. I would love ANY advice you could give me on that. I am beyond ready to do my own!

5 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Sure, Steve…but not today. Could you e-mail me and I’ll get back to you on Wednesday or Thursday?

Be prepared for a LOT of work. I did everything but the cover on my own.

Lulu has a template for the size book you want to produce. It’s easier if you write your book using their template. You can, of course, copy and paste from your word processing program as well. I prefer to do it all at once, rather than fix the issues that arise from transferring from one page setup to the other.

\o/

5 05 2014
Steve Austin

Sounds great!!

5 05 2014
Mary

Love trumps every time! Now if I can only remember that …

5 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

You and me both! 🙂

\o/

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