The true story is told of a Jesuit priest in Bombay who would drive a motorcycle from one end of the city to the other each day, until one day when he was in an accident. He was then in the constant care of a non-Christian doctor.
In my entire neighborhood alone, there are a great number of children. They are all to be treasured as human beings, to be sure. But there are two little kids who are a peculiar treasure to me, more than any of those other beautiful children could hope to be.
Sometimes we need to stand before our greatest treasures and say to them, "Of all the things I have and value, you mean the absolute most to me" and then see what happens inside us when we actually say that sentence.
Today, God, I want your Word to affect both my mind and my heart. I need to know your tenderness, your intimacy, and your love in a way that I have not known it in some time. I will soak up your Word today. Please help my heart understand. Speak to my heart and may I come to know you more?
"and though you have not seen Him, YOU LOVE HIM, and though you do not see Him now, you BELIEVE in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls." -1 Peter 1:8-9
I greatly desire my heart to know the joy of salvation my mind knows it is. My soul is saved, and my mind knows the good news of the reality, but my heart does not often sit and rest with the very good news that this truly is for my soul eternal. God, help my heart rejoice today. I want to love you more.
Help my heart today. Give me a heart of flesh to replace the bits of built up stone.
An interested person visited to see what was happening there, and was able to speak with an elder.
"So what was it your old pastor preached." "He preached that we were all sinners in need of grace that can only be found in Christ." "What is it this new pastor is preaching?" "He preaches that we are all sinners in need of grace that can only be found in Christ." "I fail to see a difference." "Well, this new pastor preaches it with tears in his eyes."
I must say the fact that God continues to give me opportunities to speak and preach is all grace. That he continues to give me opportunities to speak about the gospel of his ridiculous love is Amazing Grace.
I have been made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace...to me the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach the unfathomable riches of Christ.
Every opportunity to preach the gospel is a reminder of how very little merit I have to deserve this honor and responsibility. I never take it so lightly as to miss how desperately undeserving I actually am. I am "less than the least of all God's people" who is continually given ludicrous grace to preach the outrageous, reckless, raging fury that is the love of God.
Abba, May your spirit connect directly with mine! May my spirit truly worship yours! Today I am striving to bask in your love. Not to think about your love and try to feel your love, but to sit and bask in your love. I sit here right now drinking in your love. Your love that calls me your child and sees me as blameless. A love that relates to me in my spirit and not my flesh. I praise you and deeply thank you for loving me in my spirit instead of my flesh.
I swim in the love of my heavenly Father who has loved me despite my flesh and the mistakes and struggles it trips on. You love me because you see through my flesh, my feelings and my facade into my spirit which truly does remain blameless due to the outrageous price you paid for me so long ago.
Today, Abba, I rest in your love that I could NEVER receive from anyone else. I am skinny-dipping in the waters of your love that lavishes me in acceptance, mercy, grace and spiritual pleasure. I am truly drinking in a love I could never return. I long for you to be pleased, and I trip and stumble to make you happy and you still tell me not to compare and measure your love for me in terms of my love for you! I try not to compare my lazy, passive, conditional, emotional, and often theoretical love with your love.
I rest in your love today with the realization that no matter how amazing my wife or daughters' love for me is, it will fail in comparison to yours. That no matter how much my mother loves me, it will tremble at yours. That I CANNOT depend solely on Tonya, Bryleigh, Haddisen, mom, friends, books, or my writing to feel special, loved or valid, but to depend only on your love.
I am taking this moment to really trust in your love for me at my deepest core, to spend a moment claiming my identity as your beloved child, and TRUSTING that enough to believe...BECAUSE of that I am special, loved and valid. I am your child and I am drinking that love in right now. Thank you for loving me, Daddy. I love you and desire you to be happy, and I trust that I truly am special, loved and valid BECAUSE of your love for me.
I am not here to speak to you. You are not here that I might teach you something. I ask you to be restful right now. Be silent and quiet. I do not ask you to do this so you may DO anything else. I am not going to speak to you. I merely ask that you are silent and just LET ME LOVE YOU. Just be still and drink in my love. Don't sit and think too heavily ABOUT my love. Just sit quietly in my lap with your head on my chest and just let me love you. My love is not an ideal, a theology to study. My love, right now, is my action. I am LOVING you. Just be still in my arms and just let me love you. Be still and drink in the love that radiates around you RIGHT NOW only awaiting your silence...your stillness to fall on. If you are not still, you will only rustle it about. But if you are still, my love will pour upon you like snow in a globe. You CAN BE covered in my love, but you must be still and allow me to rain down on you more love than you will ever be able to contain. Don't think! Don't listen for me. For I have nothing to say to you right now. I only have something to give you. I have only to love you right now. Rest and BE LOVED my wonderful child.
Last night, my hero passed away. Brennan Manning has had the strongest impact on my bedraggled heart. Sitting with him twice over hot dogs will be moments my heart will not easily forget. But far more important than hot dogs and baseball are his reflections on the outrageous love of God in all His grace and mercy that have wrecked my heart for good since 1999. My hero finally rests in Abba's embrace for his Father was very fond of him.