Monday, 23 September 2013

Let Me Love Jesus

...the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
(Revelation 5:8-14)
This is the beginning, and we are the firstfruits, the promise and the harbinger of that great day when all the universe and all of heaven will bow in unified worship to the God of Love. Lord, let me do it now, while it hurts, and I am tired, and my flesh kicks against me and hates to bow. Let me not rob You of this beginning - small, but precious in Your eyes. 

The awful truth is, I have a heart that loves me more than it loves the Christ. That is what makes it so hard to love others. Oh, I can love my own, because that serves me. But to love those who don't belong to me, who don't love me back the way I want them's just harder than I ever dreamed.

Our world dresses love up in pretty clothes; they would have us believe it's something warm and bright that you can fall right into and live happily ever after. Real love is hard and gritty, and it stomps all over you with its hob-nail boots. It shakes you out and turns you upside down and makes you want to run home crying, and it takes everything in you to desire it anyway.

The way up is down. The way to the light is through the dark. And the only way to really live is to lay yourself down and, and tomorrow, and all over again the next day...
Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?” (Matthew 26:67-68)
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:33-34)
Father, I can't always feel that what You say is true, and I can't always see the beauty in Your way, but Jesus who sits at Your right hand was spat upon, and I have tasted that You are Good, and I will hold tight to You. Jesus was spat upon - ! How can I not trust such a God? 

I will remember that dark is light to You, and first is last. I will believe that it is light that blinds me, not darkness. I will believe, when I feel most alone, that You are near. I will believe, not just in tomorrow's provision - but that today's emptiness is a fullness of a better kind. My view is too small. There are many things I cannot see, but You know them all, and I will hold on to You. The worst that You can give must be better than the best I would work out for myself.

I don't know what I want. I only feel. Overcome my feeling, and give me faith worthy of You - enough faith to wait for Your goodness. I bow before You with my tired, hurt heart. You are the One with whom I have to do. Let me have the strength to love people the way You ask. Let me love Jesus more than myself. Let my dying birth praise...praise for the slain Lamb, that One who alone is Faithful and True - Jesus, in whose face they spat. He is worthy.

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