A New Thing… Continued.

24 03 2017

Over a year ago I wrote a blog post titled A New Thing.  I talked about experiencing my first Christmas and birthday away from my family and how although it was a new experience that didn’t make it a bad experience.  I shared that God had been prompting me that I was moving into a season of taking hold of a “New Thing.”

This idea or theme had come from Isaiah 43:18 and 19,

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland…”

Last year, as God continually spoke that to me, I was challenged to deal with former things.  God brought out deep areas of hurt and wounds within myself from the past.  God brought me to times of letting go of activities and functions I had previously participated in.  God asked me to take intentional steps to close out the former things.

As is always the case, my expectation for 2016 was that it would be filled with new things because that is what God has spoken.  The reality though was different.  The reality was that God was using 2016 to prepare my heart for the new things I would find in 2017 and beyond.

God was cultivating within me what would be necessary for these new things to take root and spring up.  God was cultivating within me what would be necessary for these new things to stay rooted when the wind and the rain appeared.  God was cultivating within me what was necessary for these new things to withstand times without rain.

God was cultivating me.

Now a few months into 2017 I wanted to share one of the new things that God had been preparing me for.  He had been softening the soil, getting rid of the weeds and working so that this new thing could take hold.

At the end of 2016 I began a new journey at my church as our NextGen Pastor.  This means that instead of just working with our youth team to love and inspire our youth students, I now work with a large group of leaders and volunteers to care for, inspire and love on our children and youth from birth into college.  A few months into this new thing and I can tell you that I am so thankful for God’s season of cultivating.  This new thing has taken more energy from me, has challenged me to think differently and has made me let go of so much.  This new thing couldn’t and won’t happen if I stay fixed on the former things.

Thankfully, God is still tending to the soil of my heart so that this new thing and the others to follow will continue to be fruitful. 

What I love about God doing a new thing in me, is that it is dependent on God and not myself.  I must only rely on and trust God, He will cultivate and tend to the new things.

There are more thoughts swirling around in my mind and more new things that God has started within me and that I believe in the year (or more) to come that we will see spring up!

My prayer this season is that I would continue to let go and not dwell on the former things that He has asked me to lay aside and that I would see and take hold of the new things, the new promises He is giving to me.

God, that my heart would continue to be cultivated for Your miracle life and promises to spring up and take root.  That I would let go of the former things, former fulfilled promises, former fruitfulness, that I could see the new things take root and emerge.  May I trust in your faithfulness and timing in all thing.


What about you?  Are there new things in your life that God wants to cultivate and bring forth?  Are you hindering these new things by dwelling on the past? 

Will you allow God to do a new thing in your life?  Will you trust Him in what that will take and what that will look like?





Champion.

19 12 2016
I’ve been thinking about this post for over a year.  It’s really a topic and a thought that I’ve had since high school.  Something that I’ve pondered on as I have watched individuals in my life champion me.  

A champion is normally thought of as the victor of something.  They have become victorious and because of this they often are seen as fighting or competing on behalf of other people.  In the Hunger Games you would see this idea as each district had individuals competing to be the Victor but it was an honor for their district if they won.  They were champions for their people.
But what this word, champion, can also be a verb.  And in verb form it means the act of defending or support.  In Kaitlin terms… to champion is to make someone or something victorious.  To champion is to raise someone up when they can’t on their own.
Throughout my life… I have had many champions.  My parents, my sisters, my friends.  Aunts and Uncles.  Cousins.  Pastors, mentors, coaches, teachers.  They have all championed me.

In high school… I had many champions.  My parents, my high school leadership teacher and my pastor.  These people didn’t see me just as the youth with emotional baggage, who didn’t see herself as worth something but instead they saw what God was up to in my life and that my heart to follow Him outweighed my brokenness (most of the time).  And so they championed me.  They raised me up, they encouraged me, they made room for me at the table.  They naturally pulled out who God was calling me to be.
In college… I had many champions.  I had district supervisors and staff (Shout out to Dave Veach in the Northwest District!!) who loved on me and gave me opportunities to do and see more.  They didn’t hold back but only because they knew I had more to give.  I had staff at LPC who gave me opportunities to step into leadership roles, to love on others and who created opportunities to help me make it in college.  They saw not only a college student but a minister of the gospel, in many different ways.
And most recently, in the years since I moved to New England… I have had many champions.
I had a district staff that made room for me at the table.  When I arrived as a district intern I was given a voice.  I was encouraged to speak up and speak out.  To lead.  When I didn’t feel old enough, wise enough… when I just didn’t feel enough.  They championed me until I knew I was enough.
I had pastors around the district, well respected and seasoned leaders, who loved me and encouraged me.  They made room for me to be Kaitlin but also made certain that I was a part of this place.  Leaders who let me love their people and lead their youth.  Leaders who again, made room at the table and championed me.
I currently have a job as a staff accountant with a team and a boss who champion me.  They respect my thoughts and give me opportunities to both learn and lead.  They champion me to minister beyond just my local church body or even my denomination family to impact the Kingdom in far wider places.

 
I am being championed.
And I have pastors today who are helping me to make room at the table for others.  they encourage me to think differently, to dream larger and to allow God to do more in me. Who have never once told me that I’m too much but who are helping me to be the ALL God created me to be.  They champion me to not limit God in me, to not stay rooted in the box of conformity, but to be open wide to the limit that is only God’s Word.
They champion me. 
The other day at staff meeting, one of our pastors mentioned that in many of the letters that Paul writes he addresses the letter as coming from both himself and Timothy.  Paul puts Timothy on the same level as himself.  He gives Timothy equity with just a few words. Paul champions Timothy.
In my own life, I have so many instances to champion people.  I have leaders who are capable who just don’t know it.  I have youth who are made for more, who can’t even see past high school.  I have college students just wanting to know that they belong.  I have friends in my community loving God as best they can.

And the question that I am faced with is this, will I champion them?  
Will I make room at the table, will I allow their voices to be heard?  
Will I make them victorious, no matter the cost to myself?
Will I champion now?




Resolved to Relate: Resolution Night

7 11 2016

For those of you who have read the past few posts that I’ve made you will know that in the last few months my youth group had been walking through a series on Relationships.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted as life has been a bit hectic but I wanted to conclude that series with you.  I think for those of you who have ready both the Identity series we walked through early in the summer and then the corresponding Relationship series it’s important to see where all of that was leading.

To be honest, there is so much more that should be and could be shared.  There is so much more of my own story that someday you all will hear.  There are so many other facets of God’s truth that illuminate and lead to these truths.  But to be honest, I’m not willing to wait any longer for those moments to pass before sharing what I believe God is asking us to resolve.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.  Let me first tell you what Resolution Night was all about.  For me resolution Night was birthed out of my own Resolve as a teenager to seek after God’s Way in relationships and my own covenant with my parents.

As I have struggled in my own walk to restrict my relationships to God’s Will and timing, one of the things I am the most thankful for is knowing I an not alone.  Knowing that my parents where there in my relationship successes and failures, that my friends would not stay silent but would believe more for me when I was ready to give up and for community beyond those two who continue to stand with me for God’s best.  And it was out of these relationships and the belief that there is something of a sealing that happens when we choose to stand for our resolves that our Resolution night was birthed.

Resolution Night was the culmination of our whole relationships series where youth were invited to make a public declaration of their resolve to do relationships God’s Way.  They weren’t forced and hopefully they didn’t feel coerced.  My goal was not numbers but instead heart.s  Even if only one person stood, I would have rejoiced because they were making a decision that would change their life.  If anything, I did everything I could to make certain they only made a stand if they were ready and willing to live under that resolve.

Students were encouraged to talk with their parents about making the resolve and ask them to stand with them on that night, to partner with them in their resolve.

The resolve was three part: Youth, Parent and Community.  And for me, the night had more of an impact because just as they were making that resolve, I too was resolving with them for the very same thing.


Youth Resolution

As an image bearer of God, I believe that I was made for relationship with both God and others.  I believe that relationships, although God’s design, are not the full purpose of our creation, but instead part of the greater plan.  In these relationships I believe that God’s heart is to cultivate and fulfill the desires of my heart.

As such, I resolve to pursue relationship with God before all others and to relate God’s way.  I resolve to trust and wait for God’s promised spouse and participate in relationships based solely on God’s love.

Specifically, I resolve to:

  1. Be intentional today for the promises of God tomorrow.
    1. Guard my eyes: I will abstain from and avoid any stimulating material of any type.
    2. Confess when I make a mistake and repent of sin.
    3. Seek accountability and walk with integrity.
    4. Allow God to heal and restore all areas of my heart.
  2. Love out of willful purpose not based out of feelings or desires today.
    1. Love in a way that gives others what they need not necessarily what they or myself want, even if this results in rejection.
    2. Pray for my future spouse and will not cultivate any emotional one-on-one relationships before the Lord’s time.
    3. Set boundaries in relationships for the intention of honoring and respecting both me and those I will relate with, today and in the future.
    4. Pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect and compassion.
  3. Explores and seek out who God created me to be.
    1. Accept responsibility for my own purpose.
    2. Accept responsibility to administer the Kingdom of God to the World as God calls for my life.
    3. Accept responsibility to not settle for anything less than a suitable partner for my purpose.
  4.  Reject Passivity.
    1. Be responsible for my own will.
    2. Seek out and stand for the things of God.
    3. Confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.
  5. Rely on God.
    1. For strength, wisdom and grace.
    2. To bring to pass all His promises in my life.
    3. To bring His purity from my heart into my thoughts and actions.
    4. Trust those He has placed in authority over me.

As a man of God, made in His image, God created me to honor and protect those made in His image.  As such, I resolve to:

  1. Lead courageously: I am led as directed by God and will not be led by the world or my own desires and fears.
  2. Boldly pursue: I will chase after and take responsibility for my suitable companion, God’s ordained woman.

As a woman of God, made in His image, God created me to honor and protect those made in His image.  As such, I resolve to:

  1. Guard and protect my beauty: I have been given a beauty and a power to influence and inspire those for God’s Kingdom.
  2. Refuse to settle: I am worth being fought and pursued.  I will not settle for anything less than God’s best.
  3. Take responsibility to care for and love God’s ordained man for me and the generations that will come out of our partnership.

Parent Resolution

As the parents entrusted with the responsibility of raising children made in the image of God, we resolve to help raise our children to relate God’s way; to trust and wait for their anointed spouse and participate in relationships based on God’s love.

As such, we resolve to do this by:

  1. Praying: In all matters pray for and into the children God has entrusted to us.  Calling forth through prayer, and the actions that follow, the image of God in our children.
  2. Being present: no matter what happens, we will be there mentally, physically emotionally and spiritually to support, encourage, guard and guide our children.
  3. Loving: regardless of mistakes, we will love with God’s love, not without consequence but full of grace.
  4. Teaching biblical truth:
    1. Through reading, explanation and godly example.
    2. To teach our sons that “they have what it takes,”
    3. And our daughters that they “are enough.”
  5. Creating, instructing and enforcing boundaries: with the express purpose of cultivating healthy and godly relationship.
  6. Fighting against the tactics of the enemy to diminish, destroy, and mar God’s intention and design in our children.

Community Resolution

As the church is not just a building where we gather to worship but instead a community of people “called out” of the world into the Kingdom of God.  As such we resolve to stand together to help this youth and family to relate God’s wait; to trust and wait for their anointed spouse and participate in relationships based on God’s love.

Specifically, we resolve to:

  1. Hold any confession or struggle of a friend in confidence (except when necessary to share with an adult).
  2. Share with an adult any struggle or sin of a friend that needs addressing.  I will first tell my friend before sharing with a leader, to convince them to go with me.  I refuse to yield to “unsanctified mercy” that allows sin to increase in my friend’s life.
  3. Follow through in the process of bringing our friends accountability to see complete healing and restoration.
  4. Help instill and enforce healthy boundaries and practical steps for emotional, physical and spiritual purity.

Our Resolution Night blew me away as 7 of our youth with their parents stood for God, their peers and community and resolved to relate God’s way.  What a powerful night!

Early I said “But I’m not willing to wait for those moments to pass before sharing what I believe God is asking us to resolve.”  And this is true,  I believe that there are those who will read this either in the near future or the years to come who will recognize that God is asking you to make this resolve.

It doesn’t matter your age or your history.  If you have made mistakes before and have not waiting on God’s best for you, it’s okay, you can start today.  If you have waited for so long that you have given up hope, don’t give up but instead trust in the God that loves you in a way that ultimately is fixated on you being made completely whole.

I would like to invite you to resolve to relate God’s way.  Look for parental figures (if not your own parents) to resolve with you.  Give them permission to guide and cover you as God intended.  And then seek out community to love you and hold you accountable.  I’m here.  The body of Christ is here.

Will you believe you were made for more?

Will you trust and wait on God’s best for you?





Sabbath: Trust. Rest. Be. Create.

7 10 2016

This post is a post that I started well over two years ago.  I was exhausted.  I worked full time serving the churches and pastor’s of our district and then I was also the youth pastor at my own church.  If you looked at my planner you would see that I was scheduled from one event to another.  There was not much room for breathing.  But then God spoke and did some amazing things.


“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

That scripture has always been on my heart, for as long as I can remember.  It has been a phrase that has spoken to my heart of who God is.  Probably partially because I’m a bit of an overachiever.  I go, go, go until I can’t go any longer.  I work and work and work for God but when it comes to the sitting, waiting and listening part well… let’s just say I don’t gravitate to that easily.

Sometimes I get so caught up in doing something for God that I lose sight of knowing God.  To know someone you have to spend time with them which is lost when you are go, go go.  The idea of being still to know that He is God spoke something to me that I didn’t realize until the last few days…

When I’m still I don’t just get to know God more but I know that He is God because when I am still, it means He must be working instead of me.  When I am still then it shows His glory not my own.

It all started several months ago as I sat in my review at work and they asked one simple question, “How would you like Monday’s off?”  It was like a breath of fresh air!

I had noticed myself becoming increasingly more tired and run down because most weeks I didn’t really get a day to rest and relax.  Monday through Friday I was working in the office and then on the weekends I was preparing and attending to church and youth group things.  I was exhausted both physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I was drained and there were moments where it seemed like I wouldn’t be able to pour out because there was less and less within.

Well I am exhausted no longer. 


Although I no longer work at this job and I no longer have a specific day of Sabbath I can speak that what God spoke to me in this period has stayed with me today.

I look back and I see that God was moving on my behalf, 
even in ways that I could not see.

Shortly after this time I found out that the office would be closing and I entered a time of intense emotional wrestling.  Without God moving on my behalf I’m not sure how I would have made it through.

 

I now make time to stop and just be with God.  

I now make time to know God and be known by Him.  

I now make time to be still so that His glory may be shown.  

I now make time so that what I do could be out of a peace that only comes from His presence.

Be still.  Know that He is God.  Be still.  Know Him and be known by Him.  Be still. Be.





Resolving to Relate: DTR Part Two

5 10 2016

If you have been following my blog for any length you will notice that there has been a strong theme over the past few months that have to do with 1. identity and 2. Relationships.  This is because at my youth group we have been talking about Identity (Who we are in Light of who God is), Resolving to Follow God, and then how those two play out in our relationships, especially dating, sex and marriage.

In our Identity series we talked about Determining the Relationship and that we must resolve to love those we interact with not as the world calls us to love but instead with God’s love.  A few weeks ago we touched back on this idea of Determining the Relationship but more in the context of relationships.

Our original design was as the image bearer of God , male and female together. As the imago dei (image of God/image bearer of God) we were created for:

  1. Relationship with God
  2. Relationship with others

If we are made as the image of God – then we have to understand who God is:

God is love.

1 John 4:8 “he that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.

This word love is the Greek word “Agape.”  This love…

…is considered a benevolent love which means that this love that is God’s very identity is a love that gives the recipient (you and I) something we can’t receive, make, find, earn on our own.

…it sees something infinitely precious in the recipient – not because of something they have done or not done but just because of who they are.

…is not shown by doing what the recipient desires (wants) but instead what the one who loves deems as needed by the recipient, even knowing this may lead to rejection.

We, as humans, cannot show this type of love to God or others without first receiving God’s love – it is only God, in His Holiness, who has such an unselfish love because this love is rooted firmly in the personal character of God. God’s love is a part of his personality and cannot be swayed by passion or diverted by disobedience.

God’s love isn’t based on how we make him feel – it is willful. He chose to love us and He continues to carry that love out.

If we are made in the image of God, and love is a part of His personality/His very identity – then doesn’t that mean that we are made in the very image of love?

And so, we must determine what our relationship with the World should be. Our Relationship with the World must be one of love – God’s love.

A love that gives what people need not what they want.

A love that is willing to be rejected to truly love.

A love based on seeing those we love as infinitely precious and deserving of God’s truth, God’s life.

A love not based on our feelings but based on willful purpose.

But the question is, how do we do that?


  1. A love that gives what people need not what they want.

I firmly believe that with both friends and with the suitable partner God has for us – that they will challenge us to be more of who God created us to be. They will give us what we need feedback, challenges, encouragement, room to grow, etc. not necessarily what we want.

We also need to be willing to be those people. Those friends and even those possible suitable partners.  Are we giving space for them to seek God first and not us, are we challenging what they are hearing from God when it sounds off base?  Are we calling them out when their actions don’t line up with what they say God has said?

2. Love with willful purpose – not a love based on feelings.

In resolving to relate – we need to be intentional – we need to have willful purpose in our relationships. We need to know what God is calling us to.

In our relationships we need to care both about those we are relating with today but also those we will be relating with and who they will be relating with in the future…

Listen to me, it isn’t just about how far is too far. But it is about honoring each other and those you will end up being with.

3. We need to be intentional today for the promises God has for us tomorrow.

We need to not just think about today but we need to ask God what He has for us in the future and then make decisions based on those promises.

Noah started building the Ark when there weren’t any clouds in the sky… when they didn’t even have a concept of what rain was. His actions were in light of God’s Word for the future not what he saw or felt in that moment.

4. We need to know who we are in God.

Adam and Eve were suitable partners for what God had created them to do.  God’s plan for us includes suitable partners for what we were created to do. But that means that to know who is suitable, we have to be willing to wait until we know what God has called us to do.

This doesn’t mean that we have to know the exact specifics but we must have a sense of the direction that God is calling us to.

God gave me this picture:

Imagine that you are back in high school and you have a huge project for one of your classes. Each person has a unique project they are working on and it has to do with who they are and how they were created.  Each project was created to bring out that specific person.

With this project, you will be working with a partner of the opposite sex.  The teacher tells you as you are receiving your projects that you can choose your own partner or you can wait on the teacher and they will pair you with someone who has a project that would complement your own.

You decide to pick your own partner.  You see someone who you think is cute and looks as though you would get along great.  You introduce yourself and ask if they would like to be partners.  They quickly agree and you start talking.  You find out that you have similar personalities, you likes similar things and everything looks perfect to you.

Over time though, you find that your projects are less compatible than you first imagined.  Conflict begins to arise as your research and resources are incompatible.  You find that either you must separate to find new partners, you will stay together but work harder to try and make things work or one of you will have give up their project.

If you had just waited on the teacher they would have brought you a suitable companion.  A companion whose project would have complimented your own.


The questions that God has challenged me and I challenged my youth with is this:

Are we willing to be intentional today – in our relationships –
for the promises of God for tomorrow?  

Are we willing to be intentional today so that our marriages, our callings,
our families tomorrow will be all that God intends them to be?





Zacchaeus: A wee little man made tall.

5 10 2016

Since I read the story of Zaccheaus this morning I haven’t been able to stop thinking about.  Driving into the office this morning I was pondering the story and I was struck with a thought that I had never had before.  But hold on, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s start with the story:

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

Luke 19:1-10Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.  A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.  He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him,’Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.’

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.'”

Okay, let’s break it down for a moment.  Zacchaeus was a wee little man, not just in stature but in character.  He was a tax collector but not just a tax collector the chief tax collector.

Tax collectors were despised by their own people because they collected taxes on behalf of the Roman government.  But it wasn’t just their job title that caused their own people to marginalize them, no it was the fact that they were dishonest, cheating their very own people out of their money.  They would inflate the tax and then cushion their pockets with the extra.  And Zacchaeus was the chief of them all.

And this chief sinner, when hearing that Jesus was coming through was drawn to His presence.  There was something about Jesus that beckoned to Zacchaeus, that caused Him to desire to see who He was.  It was this something that caused a grown man to become undignified and climb a tree.

One of my favorite parts of this passage though is that Jesus knew Zacchaeus was in the tree.  He knew without looking up and He desired Zacchaeus to be in His presence and know Him.  Jesus called out to the chief of sinners.  And it was from being in the presence of Jesus that Zacchaeus repented of his ways.  He repented of his sin and offered restitution and reconciliation to his people.

Zacchaeus released control of his money.  He released control of the very thing that he had held onto comfort before, the very thing that he had tried to use to ease his sin.  He released providing for himself and self medicating all for the presence of His Lord. 


And it was this thought that caught me anew this morning.  As I was thinking about Zacchaeus’ response to the presence of His Lord my mind turned to an encounter that had happened just a chapter earlier.  The encounter of the rich young ruler:

The Rich Young Ruler

Luke 18:18-23 “A certain ruler asked him, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good—except God alone.  You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’

‘All these I have kept since I was a boy,’ he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.

Such a different response from Jesus and these men.  Zacchaeus, the chief of sinners, gladly gave all that he had from his encounter with Jesus.  Zacchaeus gladly gave up his wealth for the true life from Jesus.  The rich young ruler, although considered pious, still lacked in that he clung to the temporary riches.

One clung to the eternal and the other the temporary.

Jesus exclaimed salvation to Zacchaeus but not the rich young ruler.  The chief of sinners received salvation and rejoiced while the pious ruler left sad.


Are we clinging to the eternal or the temporary?  

What is our response to the presence of Jesus?  

Are we encountering a teacher or our Lord?





Identity: Determining the Relationship

4 10 2016

I went to a smallish bible college for my college education.  And I’m not sure about most colleges but at my school relationships and dating were weird.  Our campus and student body was so small that no matter what you did everyone was watching and noticing.

There was a phenomenon in college called “DTRing”  DTR stood for “Determining the Relationship.”  A DTR happened when two members of the opposite sex had been hanging out a lot and on one side or the other questions of where this newfound friendship were going arose.  A DTR conversation could be identified by the following:

  1. A male and female were sitting alone at a bench or table.
  2. Normally there was an abnormal amount of space between the two.
  3. At least one of the individuals looked extremely uncomfortable.
  4. Both were serious.

A DTR conversation could happen because friends were questioning the friendship or due to a desire from one participant to be more than friends.  A DTR was meant to determine what their relationship was: dating or friendship.

I wish I could say that I never had a DTR but unfortunately I participated in a few too many of these.  And while the concept is mildly amusing to think back upon I can’t help but think that when we are talking about our identity as image bearers of God, that we are made for relationship with God and others, that we must Determine what our Relationship with the World will be.

Let’s take a look at what I’m talking about.

If we are made in the image of God we have to understand who God is.

God is love. – 1 John 4:8 “he that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.

When I say love what do you think about?

This love that speaks of God’s love is the Greek word “Agape.”  This love…

..is considered a benevolent love which means that this love that is God’s very identity is a love that gives the recipient (you and I)
something we can’t receive, make, find, earn on our own.

..sees something infinitely precious in the recipient – not because of something
they have done or not done but just because of who they are.

..is not shown by doing what the recipient desires (wants) but instead
what the one who loves deems as needed by the recipient,
even knowing this may lead to rejection.

God’s love for man is His doing what He knows to be best for man, not what man desires, because He sees us as infinitely precious to Him.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you look at Jesus, Jesus was not the Messiah, the Savior they wanted but He was the Messiah, Savior they needed.

God loved mankind enough to give us what we needed (and still need) knowing that mankind could continue to reject Him.

God’s love for us is not motivated or manipulated by our rejection or disobedience.

Romans 8:39 “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We, as humans, cannot show this type of love to God or others without first receiving God’s love – it is only God, in His Holiness, who has such an unselfish love because this love is rooted firmly in the personal character of God. God’s love is a part of his personality and cannot be swayed by passion or diverted by disobedience.

God’s love isn’t based on how we make him feel – it is willful. He chose to love us and He continues to carry that love out.  

If we are made in the image of God, and love is a part of His personality/His very identity – then doesn’t that mean that we are made in the very image of love?  It is out of His identity of love that our identity and purpose are redeemed. Jesus redeemed our identity and redeemed our purpose of relationship with God and others.

And so, we must determine what our relationship with the World should be. Our Relationship with the World must be one of love – God’s love.  A love that…

..gives what people need not what they want.

…is willing to be rejected to truly love.

..is based on seeing those we love as infinitely precious and
deserving of God’s truth, God’s life.

 ..is not based on our feelings but based on willful purpose.

What the World desires is to be accepted just as they are. To be accepted in their brokenness and chaos.  They know nothing except brokenness.  Their true desire is love, God’s love, but they don’t have even a basis to know what that is.

Eph 5:1-2 “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Luke 6:27-28 “But to you who are listening to say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

Are we willing for the World to dislike us if it means they will experience God?

Are we willing to be rejected to truly love others?

Will we resolve to love and not tolerate, no matter what it takes?