“Here ya go!” As I was standing on the sidewalk on cold winter day, my friend flung me a seriously AWESOME winter cap that she had made me. I caught the cap with utter shock, checked it out & beamed from ear to ear. She had knit me this thoroughly magnificnet blue & white cap that has been my favorite for years. She later explained that she had to figure out a creative way to get the cap into my hands because of my difficulty to receive gifts.
Each of us have quirky hangups that can create obstacles for connecting in healthy ways with others. Maybe you have a sense of superiority over others & feel the need to help them improve – that’s an obstacle for connecting. Perhaps you see yourself as a victim from a past trauma or abuse, so it’s difficult for you to trust, another obstacle. I could endlessly list all kinds of obstacles we may have for connecting with others, but let’s be thankful that God has already overcome all of our obstacles and quirks because of genuine love. While there may be hindrances and obstacles along our horizontal journey, our vertical relationship with God is never in peril nor compromised – for the simple reason that God never stops loving us. His lovingkindness is everlasting!
Genuine love seeps through the edges. It finds a way to be expressed, when it’s difficult & even unwelcome. I say this, having read Jesus’ Prodigal Son parable this morning. Despite the behavior of the riotous & righteous sons, the father’s actions were the same with each one – going out to reconcile & connect. Both sons had different reactions, but genuine love finds a way to express itself in ways that would be meaningful & transformational to the recipient.
So, will you let God love you today? Will you be available to experience God’s Love however God would choose to express this genuine love?
We are all prodigals in various ways, but genuine love seeps through the cracks & soaks into the hard spots because that’s what love does!
Presently, I have the honor of speaking at the Bible School Andrew Womack has, Charis Bible College and what an honor this is for me! I love many things about getting to minister here, but one of absolute favorite things is the fellowship & conversations around the Bible and about the Holy Spirit!
This makes me realize that God has set up our lives for communion & fellowship with others who follow Jesus.
Sometimes this can get tricky from various struggles: misunderstandings, conflicts, dysfunctions, misaligned purposes, etc.
With that being said, let’s be clear that God fully intends for us to keep fellowship with other believers. Consider Acts 2:42, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching & to fellowship, to the breaking of bread & to prayer.”
Be sure to keep your fellowship with other followers of Jesus as a high priority in your life!
“Get rid of the people who drag you down & who don’t inspire you!” I’ve seen & heard statements like this over the last few months from people who follow Jesus and it makes me twitchy & it’s disturbing. Fundamentally, this is not how Jesus lived on earth. This mindset is indicative of the pervasive consumer mindset that lurks in our culture & is an enemy to genuine love. Here’s the honest truth about both you & me: we won’t always be inspiring & there will be seasons in our lives when we need help. I can appreciate that we need not let a person suck the life out of us & this isn’t healthy for anyone. But the vending machine mentality toward people & relationships is inherently dysfunctional, sabotaging genuine connections with people.
Let’s not be around people only for what we can get out of them.
Here’s the tweak for this destructive twitch: let’s determine to be inspiring to people rather than seeking to be inspired – inspiring others to receive Jesus’ love & lavish His love on others 🙂
My kids have some really awesome neighbor friends and we love this family heaps! Their kids and our kids are back and forth between our houses all the time. So their little girl just rang our doorbell to come over for awhile. I wasn’t expecting to see her because our garage doors are open and everyone normally just traipses through the garage, in and out, no formal doorbell ringing. I answered the door, saw our neighbor and said, “Hey honey, glad to have you here – next time, just come through the garage. No need to ring the doorbell.”
I think God is like that we us: Come on over because Jesus’ blood has already paved the way for you to have not merely religious access but moreso intimate connection to God’s house, family and kingdom. Come through the garage, enter through Jesus’ blood because God’s heart is eager to welcome you with arms wide open.
Hey friends! I just published a book that I think is honestly the best thing I’ve ever written! My new book is called Jesus Chicks and it’s really brief but extremely insightful. In my new book, I take one chapter per chick to talk about the women with whom Jesus interacted – Martha, Mary, His mom, the Canaanite woman, etc. What I love about this book is my discoveries about how relational Jesus is with us, as I show with His interactions with each of these ladies.
I’d strongly encourage you to get a few copies to share with your friends and even book clubs / Bible study groups since there are also discussion & consideration questions at the end of each chapter. You can also get it as an ebook as well! 🙂