“Happy Valentines” they said as they came into the room to greet us, as the church service in jail started. I love spending the holidays with these guys. Mrs. Zander asked Tammy and me if either of us were going to talk about 1 Cor. Chapter 13 known as the love chapter, we both answered with the shake of our head, no. It was a good thing too, because when JoAnna Mack got there, that is what the Lord laid on her heart to talk about.
Lately there has been a conflict at my workplace where personalities are clashing, and I happen to be one of them. It has been wreaking havoc on my confidence. There have been moments of temptation for me to respond from the flesh. I know how that turns out, by the way, it always manifests the same result. The words of the Lord keep ringing in my head and that is to speak the truth in love. No matter the reaction to any situation, ask your self, “Are you speaking this out of love?” I would like to say the answer is always yes, but is it? Ephesians 4:14-16, says “we are no longer as children, but are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” When we were a child, we spoke as a child; we don’t argue and cast allegations anymore.
Remember when Jesus was on the cross and He said to the Father, “Forgive them for they know not what they do?” Well, He’s still doing it today, except now he’s doing it in us, but it goes through our flesh to get to our Spirit. I told those ladies tonight that unconditional love is giving the other person permission to hurt us. That is not easy, unless Christ dwells in you and you have already tried it the other way.
The prodigal son story says, in verse 17, “When he came to his senses he said, how many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger?” Notice it was his remembering the goodness of his father that brought about his repentance. There was never a thought of more rules on him, or others pointing out his sins to him, he remembered how well his father’s servants had it, and that’s what caused him to long to return to his father. We may not like the way someone talks to us or treats us, it may even feel like the whole world thinks we are a loser, but we must move forward to the freedom Christ has for us in His love.
God is love; He doesn’t dispense to us love in little packets. He, himself, takes up his abode in us and loves others through us. How will his love manifest to others if there’s no opposition? It’s easy to love those who love us back, but what about the ones who are mean and nasty to us? Hey, I don’t like it any more than you do, but I’m telling you, that’s how it works. We trust God and He does the rest.
Tammy came to us and told us to change our mental picture of family and home. Abram was told to leave family and home to go where God would send him. God had a plan to create a new family for Abram just like He does for us. Romans 8:5 “you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, Abba, Father!” We have to have our minds renewed and that means we no longer think the same way. So no matter what you are going through, we see them as opportunities for faith and to speak to others in love.
There were several ladies who wanted to talk tonight, so I counseled the same young lady I did last time. She is hungry for the word and to know who God is. She said,” I feel like a little baby because I cry when I read the bible, is there something wrong with me?” She understands more and more as she grows.
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you all about a new Bible study we are having at our house. So, far, we have had one woman show up for two weeks in a row. God picked her and we have had a blast. We purchased new furniture and it seems to be a disciple magnet. We spoke in faith that God would send the people and trust him for how it all turns out. WOW!
Written by Tracey