AHHH God’s love. A topic that is fresh on my heart.

Guest post by Elisha.

There was this woman in my life that was someone I just couldn’t seem to get away from. She drove me crazy. She was one of those people that when she was around my true colors rose up. Sure on the outside I kept a pretty face, but on the inside I was the biggest hypocrite as I wished with all my might she would just go away. Everytime she was around she would say things to cut me, to make me feel bad, or just to be mean. It was irritating.

All the while I knew all the right answers…I knew I was to forgive her, I knew I was to love her and I knew that there was probably some underlying hurt in her life that caused her to say these things. And as much as I prayed and vowed that I had forgiven her and that I would kill her with kindness, everytime I saw her I still wanted to ring her neck.

One day when the topic of the home group that we hold in my home came up she stated that she was going to start coming. GREAAAAT!! Just what I needed.(Please note the sarcasm). So she had been coming for a few weeks and the ministry always seemed to be directed at her and that drove me more crazy as she would sit there with a blank stare and say she was fine and she was already doing everything she needed to.

The pharisee in me sat there despising her. The unforgiveness and bitterness in my heart was rampant and I knew then that I could not ever love this person. I could pretend and even say all the right things, but in my heart there was no love. So, yesterday came and we decided to meet and get on our faces to seek the Lord. As I lay there on my living room floor I heard the Lord asking why I cared so much what others thought of me when I know the King of Kings. Why I longed for others approval when I was the bride of Christ.

Then He showed me this woman I despise who was next to me at the time and asked if I was willing to love her. I confessed that I couldn’t.  He said to humble myself and consider her better than me. Immediately I knew I had to drop my pride and be obedient. As I submitted to the idea that I was the least and the worst, God cleansed my heart from
the unforgiveness and bitterness. No formula, just a change of heart.

Then, my spiritual authority said out of the blue…”I think we should pray over (Sally).” I knew I could lay my hands on her to pray because of what God had just done in my heart. As we prayed I just asked for Him to show me His love for her. I knew if I could see it, then I would be able to love her.

As she sat there she began weeping and crying out to God for all the times she fealt alone. She said, “For the time I was alone in my closet, for the time they beat me, for the time the called me worthless, and for the time my parents killed themselves.”

Immediately a flood of sorrow rushed through my body. So much I could barely stand it. I kept my hand on her and wept with her. God showed me this was just a taste of the sorrow He fealt through all these things that she went through and that He never left her. We wept and wept and wept.

Then she turned to me and we embraced and on top of all the sorrow a new emotion came…..LOVE. An overwhelming love for her that physically  my body could not contain. I began shaking and could barely speak to tell her how much God loved her. We sat embraced for awhile as this love took over my entire being. Love so great I couldn’t even look her in the eyes becuase it was so overwhelming.

Again, God revealed that this was just a taste of how much He loved her. When the emotion died down enough to be able to come together again as a group there was something new in me. God had given me love for her.

I looked at her with new eyes. She honestly looked different and I swear her voice was different. We were new women. Released from the grasp of the enemy who loves division and strife. I could not love her with any ounce of the religiousity that is in me, but God’s love is more than enough and so much better.

Elisha

Surf to: http://www.freshc.org for a Fresh Connection…

There is hope and it is NOT in the church.

What impact does the church have on the way you experience life?  I mean really.  Does it change the way you act at work or how you treat your wife and family?  Does it encourage you to personally help the poor and less fortunate than you?  Does it care you suffer from depression?  Does it help you when you have lost your job?  Is the church even revelant to your life?  I think likely not.  The church is irrelevant to most.

Does that offend you?  I hope so.  If you are a believer you should be offended.  If you are a nonbeliever you should be offended.  I mean really. If you have the faith to be a NONbeliever then there should be distinguishing characteristics about you that the world can easily identify what group you belong to.  The same can be said for the believer.  If you have the faith to be a believer then the world should be able to easily identify you as such. 

Yet, six days and maybe even seven days a week we are no different.   We talk the same.  We eat the same foods.  We drink the same beverages.  We watch the same sports.  We take the same vacations.  We do it all, THE SAME!

Or at least that is the way it has been for generations, but there is change in the wind.  There appears to be a deep social and spiritual dissatisfaction with the way things are.  There appears to be an awakening from deep within our human consciousness to a driving desire for something more.  Do you feel it?  If you are honest with yourself, you know the feeling.  You may choose to keep it buried most of the time, but it is there. 

You feel it when you give change to the beggar on the corner.  You feel it when you hear of your friend’s child struggling with cancer.  You feel it when your spouse rejects you for someone else.  You feel it when your child is picked up with drugs.  There is within you a deep desire for something better. 

I want to encourage you with hope.  For you, it may not be in the local traditional church.  You may have already been let down or burnt by the church, but there is still hope.  The hope was never in the church to begin with.  The hope is in Jesus.  This is the change that is in the wind…

There are home churches springing up all over the state, country and world.  Members of these churches are unwilling to continue play acting the role of “good christian”.  The people of these home churches have taken seriously their social and spiritual conscious to do something positive in the world they live.  It is their total desire to be honest with themselves and friends while looking through the eyes of Jesus. 

The enlightened believe God is alive and well and desiring to do great things through each of them.  They are no longer passive participants in their faith.  They are actively, aggressively, sincerely and maybe even recklessly doing as God directs.  They are allowing God to shape their future, not letting others tell them what box they should live in.  They are part of the revolution. 

If you feel a similar dissatisfaction with your local traditional church, temple, mosque or cathedral experience, surf to: Fresh Connections and begin your journey, living a life with meaning and power!  God willing, Fresh Connections will have its first gathering in the new year.  God bless.