Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
I remember getting ready to play Legos with my granddaughter Madison when she was 3 or 4. We sat on the floor and Maddy said, “Oma, take all the mean faces out and only keep the happy ones.”
Have you ever seen the billboard that says “Christians, Tell Your Faces”?
We had a guest at a church we went to many years ago. She said she was a prophetess. When we were on the way home from church, Gabi asked, “Why does that lady have mean eyes?”
That’s a very good question beloved ones.
When I was 15, my friend Janice and I were searching for Jesus. We didn’t know that’s who we were looking for at the time. We decided to attend all the church services at the Base Chapel. (Our dads were military.)
The first service we tried smoked us out with incense. The second service preached fire and brimstone. We had no idea what that was and left scared and more uncertain than ever.
We had a new family move in next door and the scuttlebutt was that she was a ‘white witch’. I thought about going to her, but something (I know now Someone) stopped me. I would have been all in had I gone to her.
I kept searching, and ended up finding a blacklight poster with a Lakota Sioux prayer to Great Spirit (Wakan Tanka). I’m Algonquin, but it struck a longing chord in my heart, so I would sit on the floor, lift my hands and pray.
Oh, Great Spirit Whose voice I hear in the winds. And whose breath gives life to all the world, as I come before You, one of Your many children, hear me, I am small and weak. I need Your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things You have made and my ears sharp to hear Your voice. Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people. Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy – myself. Make me always ready to come to You with clean hands and straight eyes. So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my Spirit may come to You without shame.
I read my Good News for Modern Man New Testament, but I didn’t understand. Everywhere I looked and everyone I asked were either very judgmental or confusing.
I finally met Jesus 14 years later when I was 29. Yes! My heart’s homecoming at last.
John said, “God is love.” (1John 4:7-21)
Throughout the Scriptures we find: love is kind; be kind to one another; put on a heart of kindness; taste the Lord’s kindness…It is a fruit of the Spirit as well. (1 Corinthians 13:4, Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:12, 1 Peter 2:3, Galatians 5:22-23)
After I met Jesus, I was still a mess. I made bad choices for years. I finally asked the Lord why. I had buried away that when I was 5, I was the boy babysitter’s special girl. Finally, I could be free in Jesus! He helped me break that garbage off.
Look around you, beloved ones. People are hurting and scared. They need to see Jesus in your loving and accepting eyes. When I was a mess I didn’t need anyone to tell me I was going to hell because I made mistakes. I needed someone to love me through the mistakes and tell me Jesus still loved me and wasn’t mad at me. He wants us to come to Him so we can work it out. (Isaiah 1:18) Folks, I owe my all to Him. He is my All in All because I let Him be. I continually turn to Him. He loves me.
I understand about the fear of the Lord. I respect Him and revere Him, but He has never, ever been mean to me or pointed out what I was doing wrong. He’s not mean, nor does He heap condemnation on me. Even when He gives me a hard word it lands softly on my heart.
Jesus loves sinners. (Matthew 9:9-17;Mark 2:14-22) He loves the demon possessed. (Mark 5:1-20) Jesus loves adulterers. (John 8:1-11) Jesus loves all…you…me…all. Jesus loves.
He loves us so much that He lets us choose Him, or not. If people reject Him, it’s their prerogative and it’s between Jesus and each person.
But what if people meet Jesus in you and me? What if we love those who don’t know Him and those who do, but are struggling with all of His love in us? What if they said, “You’re so kind and loving to me. Why? I don’t deserve it.” Neither did I, friend, neither did I.
Check out how Saul met Jesus in Acts 9:1-19! So good! Jesus is so very good us.
Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and Kings and the sons of Israel…
Romans 9:23-24 And He did so in order that he might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among the Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
We love because He first loved us and we owe no one anything but love. (1 John 4:19; Romans 13:8)
Abba, may we represent You as Love to a hurting world. Help us to see hearts as You do and give us the words to speak into those places only You know. Thank You for always loving us and never giving up on us. We love You and we praise You. You’re amazing! Thank you for sending Your love when Jesus was born, so Your love can live in us to draw the hurting and lost to You. Amen and so be it.