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Friday, March 8, 2013

Of actions & intents….. This thing called love

Something has been pretty heavy on my heart for the past few days and I woke up this morning with clarity about the message I needed to share today. My quiet time reinforced this thinking and thereafter, I found myself flipping through my notes from my recently concluded study of the book of Romans. As I did this, I kept thinking about this thing called love.  I had it somehow settled in my mind that this would be the topic of my blog today. As I sat down to type however, I recalled that I had started an article about two weeks ago, but which I never finished as I had a leading to write on something else. Reading through that partial write-up, I was amazed at how it tallied so well with what I want to share with you this morning. This is the genesis of my double-barreled title today sis. It seems even more apt given that today is International Women’s Day and I pray it ministers to you doubly so.

23rd February:
Not to sound like a broken record or anything, but I really have had quite a few of these experiences recently where I hear the one thing on the one day, and then same or next day read or hear the exact same words spoken to me through someone else. In my last blog (Realignment) I had shared one of these experiences and I do so pray it ministered to you, sis. Today, I am again led to share another of these experiences, sensing this is again as much for me as it is for you today.

So again, there I was listening (albeit with half an ear) to Bishop Dale Bronner as I sorted through some stuff I was putting aside to give to charity. Something he said caught my attention and I stopped to listen more intently. He said ‘You see the problem with most of us is that we judge others by their actions, whereas we judge ourselves by our intents’. Hmmm! Serious food for thought! I grabbed my jotter and made a quick note of this statement. It was certainly something I needed to think through and assess how I measured up to in practice. The very next morning, I was listening to leadership guru John Maxwell speaking. Admittedly, I again was listening only partially as I was running slightly behind schedule and was focused on being able to leave the house asap. He sure had my full attention however when he said ‘Too often, we judge others by their actions, whereas we judge ourselves by our intentions’.

Wow! I literally stopped in my tracks and couldn’t move for a few minutes. Now, I don’t need to tell you that I immediately began to do a mental search to figure why the Lord would need to speak this word to me. I beamed a spiritual torchlight on my relationships and interactions of recent to see the ‘if’s’/‘how’s’ of any judgmental positions I may have adopted of recent. I really couldn’t put my finger on any one thing, but you and I know the mind is so not willing to cooperate in any one area where it might be found guilty right? So perhaps admittedly, I didn’t turn the searchlight on full beam. Oh dear!

I immediately also began to try to find linkages to the similar ‘period vs comma’ experience I had a few days earlier, and which was the subject of my ‘Realignment’ post. Thankfully, I didn’t have enough time to get into that space of spiritual intellectualism that so often gets us into trouble with God. Rather, I mentally moved this into the realm of things which the Lord had promised to make clear to us all in due course. I mean, who knows? There really might not be a link. Indeed this could be me trying to put a comma between two experiences the Lord has clearly differentiated with a period, right? Hmmm!  That said, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit as He reminded me that much of what He had been teaching me in the latter part of my study of the book of Romans, had to do with issues around judgments and walking in love. I was clearly going to have to re-examine my love walk on this earth.

March 8th:
A few days ago, I found myself in a very remarkable gathering. Words that readily come to mind are ‘explosive’, ‘volatile’, ‘noisy’, ‘discordant’. I was quiet through all this, but really and truly came out of that session somewhat traumatized. And why wouldn’t I be? I spent three hours in the midst of mostly unwarranted bickering and arguments, very loudly so too. The critical discussion points and corporate goals were near lost in the space of interpersonal play ups, outright rudeness, several people speaking at the same time and a basic refusal to accord honor to each other. The cells of my body were literally vibrating out of that session. But here is the irony - at some point, we all stood up to say prayers, ending with ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit….’. I went stock still as the Holy Spirit ministered to me that neither grace, nor love, nor fellowship was at play in the midst of that gathering. He said those prayers were on our lips but certainly not in all our hearts. I came away sad, thinking to myself how easily we miss this thing called love.

Sis, the Lord our God called us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. He took time to explain that this was the greatest of commandments, given that God is love and all His commandments are fulfilled in the commandment to love one another as Christ loved us – even unto dying on the cross. Early this year, the Lord said clearly to me ‘Don’t be religious! Walking in love goes much deeper that you can ever imagine’. Sometime soon I will share with you what happened before I received this word, but I so thank God for chastising me that day. As I thought about this gathering I was in last week, the Lord brought this message to my remembrance and I want to speak it again to you just as clearly. Sis, walking in love is deeper than we imagine! Walking in love is our highest call to be like Jesus. I mean how can we claim to be the image of Christ if we fail in love?

Sis, please look up Romans 12 v 16 & 18; Romans 13 v 8; Romans 14 v 10, 12 & 13; Romans 14 v 19; Romans 2 v 1 & 6; and 1st Peter 1 v 14 – 22. For easy reference, these Scriptures are also put at the ‘Word of the Week’ section at the bottom of this page. I so want to make heaven sis, and no doubt so do you. Let us therefore consciously work to overcome as many of those ‘sins that so easily beset us’ as we can, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our minds must be focused on the greater good. We must learn to humble ourselves so that the Lord Who is the lifter up of our heads can exalt us in His due season.  

In 1st Corinthians 13 v 4-8, the Word describes all the attributes of love as God calls for us to love. If we are truly heaven-minded sis, then there should be more times than not when we lay aside our strong arguments, our pride, our personal agendas, for the greater good. This is what my Coach defines as love being ‘contending for the highest possible good to be made manifest in the present moment’. As I think on that gathering sis, I realize how what was playing up was truly a ‘judging of others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions’ situation. That was why grace, love, and fellowship could not prevail, and that was why the Holy Spirit said He was not in it. God cannot be in an equation if there is no love, for He is love. It’s really that simple!

Sis, reflect on your relationships and interactions as I am doing now. You and I need to look past our difficult relationships – be they with spouses, friends, colleagues at work or in church, social groups, in-laws, etc. If we look at the tensions between us as a stumbling block in our walk with God, then we can more readily (as we should) ask the Lord to take away the hearts of stone among us, and fill us with His spirit of love and grace. We will not make heaven if we do not walk in love, sis. Since we are always clear on our own intentions, how about you and I take the time to ask the next person to explain their intentions and open our hearts to see their perspectives. We may not always agree, but in the place of honor and respecting our rights to be different, it is still possible to agree to disagree in love; to contend for the highest possible good for all concerned.

I leave you with this as food for thought sis. I will be praying for you, as I will for myself, that God will once again pour out of the abundance of His love into our hearts. When He does so sis, please be a channel and allow God’s love to flow through you to those around you. As imperfect as we might see them to be, remember that we aren’t perfect either. Far from it! Yet, God chose to love us… our imperfections and all. How can we do any less, sis? How can we? We must love; we must honor; we must respect; we must show grace; we must ensure the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit truly reigns within and among us. We must truly understand, live and walk out this thing called love. The Lord will help you sis. He will help me.  

Be blessed…. For you surely are!

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About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world



34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God


5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.


25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.