Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days of Love Day 1 A Lover, not a Fighter

Last night at church, a visiting preacher reminded us of the need to reclaim our 'first love' with Christ. When you  have been a Christian for a long time, you can start to fall into the pattern of being all about the work of Christ - to the point of fighting for 'Christ' just to get your own way... The preacher used a really helpful example. In war-torn countries who live for decades,even centuries under tyrannical rule, there is often a pattern that occurs when freedom finally comes. Once the chains of tyranny are lifted, its as though people forget to switch off their 'fight mode' and instead begin to fight amongst themselves! Factions form and suddenly its all about who is in charge, who rules, who gets their way.

Ever been to a church committee meeting?

It can be hard to switch off the Fighter, and become the Lover that you once were. Sometimes we need a reminder of the love we once knew.

On Friday night, after visiting Awesome's family for dinner, we were driving along the main road he grew up on. I suddenly remembered that when we were dating, I would drop him home late at night, and would need to drive up to the next intersection and turn around before driving home. Often as I doubled back, there would be Awesome, just standing in the middle of the road (on the median strip of course!), on a 3-lane highway, waving goodbye. It seems kind of razy now, so I asked him why he used to do that.

"Because I loved you, and I knew you liked that."

Raining, freezing, 3am, whatever. Standing in the middle of the road. We need to reclaim our first love for Jesus, the do-anything, even if it doesn't make sense feeling we used to know. That's real love.

This month I am joining the Time-Warp Wife in a 31 Day Challenge - 31 Days of Love.

Today's Challenge (well, Friday's really, but I'm catching up!) was to read and reflect on 1 Corinthians 13. 

  • What is God's definition of love?
    Unceasing, forgiving, selfless passion (passion being the very moving of your soul for the other's plight) for the other. The kind that puts the self behind the other.  
  • What are the characteristics of love?
    Patience, kindness, comfort, confidence, contentedness, giving, agreeable, founded in truth.
  • In what areas of "loving" do I stumble the most?
    Bearing with all things... being content and agreeable. Its easy for me to talk positively and be friendly (except when I'm tired!) and to later be grumbly and frustrated about the person I was just talking to.  I'm like this with God too. I pray nice, say nice, stay nice, but inside can be resentful and discontent with my situation, His provisions or the disparity between what I would like and what I have.  
  • What are a few of the steps I can take toward change?
    Prayer for the inner heart to match the outer smile. For courage and conviction to see my own messiness and not pretend to have it all together. By reconnecting with the Word each day, get in touch with my first love for God, to go back and look up all those passages I first loved and memorised, to recall the excitement I once felt. 
Cathie Heard says: "We are never worthy enough for God." It's not about how we feel. We are as close as we can get to God this side of Heaven, because we are already in Jesus. 

1 comment: