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From the Heart

March 22nd, 2012

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

1 Peter 1:22

To love each other from the heart, to this we were called.

 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Matthew 18:35

To forgive each other from the heart, of this we are required.

The Kingdom consists of that which is from the heart, and from love.  This is the substance of our Grace, the flavor of our abundant life (John 10:10), and the essence of our existence.

Yet, it is where we, for the most part, do not find ourselves always living.

What is His command, but that we love one another?

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:7-8

Love binds all together in perfect unity.  Love keeps one humble.  Love endures the fiercest opposition.

In the midst of the flames, love keeps one alive.  In the midst of the pain, love abides.

Where would the world be without love?  For God so love that He gave, and if we give for any other motive, we are selfish, head-strong, and blind to what really matters.

To give our bodies to be burned without love, we profit nothing, and to learn all the things of God and miss on this one thing, we have missed the whole.

Yet, it is in this very thing we are demonstrated how the Spirit of Christ works within us.

Without love, the world becomes about rules.  And surely, the man living out of love behaves in them better than any mere head-lead legalist, but without love, the rules are all there is, all that functions, and all that there is to survive.

For the person surviving without love, the world has no light.

And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Luke 24:32

When He spoke, even when it was not clear who spoke, their hearts burned.  They were moved in their deep places.  They felt the warmth of His voice.  Though their minds did not realize it, they talked with the Master, and had the Scriptures revealed.

Yet, when we choose offense, when we choose bitterness, when we choose these other things, we demonstrate that we have not yet to fully trust and rely upon this love.

When we fear, we show that we are not yet made perfect in love.

The love of God is still real, it is still for us, we are still His, but we press on to lay hold more fully of this love, of this Grace.

For, no amount of miraculous power or gifting can take the place of love.  No amount of leadership skills or understanding can overshadow love.

Surely, when God is all, and in all, and is in us all, and we follow Him, the greatest leadership of all takes place.

We teach, we encourage, we exhort and rebuke, but Christ is the head, and we must all learn to follow.

But, if our hearts can stay open, if we can learn to choose love, no matter the cost, no matter the yoke, no matter the pressure, and stand in His place, we win in the Spirit, and His Kingdom vindicates us with His power and might.

For, unless we love from the heart, live by the heart, and journey together down this road to Emmaus with our heart, we will miss our King, even as the disciples did at times.  Even as the Pharisees did.  Even as many people have throughout history since.

But, this simple man, this son of a carpenter, this perfect King, dwelt with us, dwelt in humility and meekness, lowliness of heart.  He preferred others, waited on the Father, and was reverent.

This pure, meek, gentle lamb, that still stood to rebuke the guilty, was the Prince of Peace, the Everlasting God, the pure Savior.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

For the Master’s way is still before us, and when we find in our own strength a way that is too hard, perhaps He wants to teach us endurance, or perhaps He needs to purify our gaze.

When we work in the way that He created, our load is easy, and our burden is light.  Not that we fast less, or pray less, or give ourselves any less, but if we could just glimpse long enough to believe and remember it how great He is, how wonderful, worthy, and pure He is, we would not only never turn back, but we would give all we have and are, even as God Himself did in sending His very own son, so that we would fast, and pray, and give, and love, and never stop loving, simply because He was that good.

And, we would take no credit for it.  We would want no reward.  We would want no recognition or position or fame, just simply to obey, simply to serve, simply to love.  He is enough.  He is perfect.  He is pure.  He is everything.

We would fast ourselves to death simply because of His goodness.  We would pray ’til the world was saved if we could, simply to help ease His heart.  We would lose our own lives this instant if we understood for a second what He was like.

A voice of one calling:  In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
A voice says, Cry out. And I said, What shall I cry? All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

Isaiah 40:6-8

The glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.