Sunday, September 16, 2007

Welcome to Love!

hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins...prov 10:12

LORD there is no truth higher than your truth, there is no life but that which You have given and there is no light but that which comes from You. darkness. its a fearful thing, Father. even as infants we are afraid of it, even after spending 9 months in utter darkness, we somehow know that the darkness in the world is not harmess. we feel something menacing, something malignant in the black. LORD, even i in my sheltered world have seen and felt the darkness pressing around me in the deepest parts of the night, following me even into the day; pressing around the edges of this world that we have pulled around us like a child's blanket. i know your truth, i know your promises, i know your word and still i am afraid of the darkness that circles me like a predator. but LORD you came to bring life and that more abundantly. LORD you came to expose the darkness, you came to bring light and life into the world. the prophet zacharias said you would give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death lk 1:79. in you is life and that light is the light of men, but your word says that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not comprehend it (jn 1:5). LORD i know that i do not understand your light very often. i seek it and long for it and bask in it, but i am frustrated that even then darkness can sneak in take hold, bringing fear and doubt into my head.

LORD even as i wrestling with the darkness i feel fighting for my heart, i am overwrought by the darkness in your world. it seems there is no end to the pain, and fear, and despair in this world. we have rejected your light and walk in utter darkness. We look for light, but there is darkness! for brightness, but we walk in blackness! (isa 59:9b) woe to us! indeed woe! i weep to see the pain etched angrily on the faces and bodies, even by their own hand, of those whom you created with all the love and care of an master artist, a father, even a mother, LORD. how you must long for reconciliation with your lost sheep. and they weep and cry out for a god they can't possibly know, for there is an inexplicable longing in our spirit for the pure and true love that you have to offer. you hold it in your hand; your arms outstretched to all who are thirsty and all who are weak. you are God of the broken and God of the lost. You are a God of healing. yet your power to draw near to us is limited by our willingness to draw near to you, for you say you are near to all who call upon You (ps 145:18) yet how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (rom 10:14).

LORD my heart aches for your lost and broken people, so much that i know not what to do, i do not know how to love them, Father. teach me to open my heart and my arms to the hurting to offer your free gifts of love, peace, salvation, grace, redemption, and renewal. LORD i believe the days of restoration are upon us for you promised that if we would repent and turn to You our sins would be wiped out and that times of refreshing would come from the You (acts 3:19). You also said that if your people called by Your name would humble themselves and pray that you would heal our lands. LORD i claim those promises for my generation. i do not know how to reach them, but LORD i repent of my sins and the sins of my peers. LORD we have sinned greatly, we have not honored You. we have honored ourselves and exalted our ideas. we have claimed to be like you, we have built idols and altars to false Gods. we are an adulterous, murderous, and wicked people. there is no hope for us if you turn away. i entreat your mercy, Father knowing that i stand on no ground. i only pray Father forgive them for they know not what they do!

now LORD i pray you would show me, show us your messengers how to love. show us how to draw people near to you not by our own wit and cleverness but by the pure preaching of an unpolluted gospel. help us to open our arms and welcome in the hurting world. help us to lay down our lives at the foot of the cross, sacrificing our comfort, our time, our hearts, and our lives to the cause of loving others into your kingdom. marvelous! astounding. behold! you make all things new again!

welcome lost ones, Welcome to Love!

I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them. isa 42:16

if i say "surely the the darkness shall fall on me," even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hid from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. for You formed my inward parts; You coverem me in my mother's womb. i will praise You, for i am fearfully and wonderfully made;

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