The above was on my mind this morning as I awoke and I was immediately reminded of the words “under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all”. Indivisible meaning undivided and “for all” is self-explanatory. While praying for our country I was led to a verse in a hymn that is sung in our Church.
“Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,
Here health and peace are found, Life, Truth, and Love;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow but Love can remove.”
“Perfect Love casteth out fear.” Fear is always at the base of any discomfort followed by hatred and resentment. Recognizing this, I know I have to begin my prayer work with God/Love and see how He is seeing things. I know it is not from eyes that are filled with hatred, resentment, bitterness, etc. Today, I will look through God’s eyes and listen carefully; rather than with judgment and self-righteousness.!
Almost twenty years ago, during a challenging and dark time in my life, I moved to a city where I knew no one. During this time, I visited a downtown Church which I found very unfriendly. In looking back, during the year I visited I sat at the back and left immediately following the benediction. Several years passed before returning to this Church due to a move which was nearby and it made sense for me to go there. This time I became involved with different committees and stayed after Church each service to say “Hello” and be greeted as well.
Without a doubt, this Church became so important in my Life and I made lifetime friends there. Several years ago, I moved again and have a new Church but continue with relationships formed there and also, attend when we are in the area. How on earth could I have ever thought this Church unfriendly? I know how. I was so closed-minded and scared of being hurt, that I couldn’t see or feel the Love surrounding me.
Psalm 13:5 states “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” My heart fills with humility and gratitude as I realize that I have never been separated from God and never will.
The above was a solo sung at our Church yesterday and I thought it was so appropriate. Below are the verses.
“Let no walls divide your world, pull them down today. Be a friend to every man, help him on his way. Love can overflow the heart like a rising tide. Speak with kindness, speak with love, let no walls divide.
Walk into the weary land, never fear the night. Take the stranger by the hand, bring him to the light. If he stumbles, help him rise, calm his foolish pride. Give him mercy, give him love, let no walls divide.”
This was written by William Aubert Luce and I will pray with these words.
This morning as I study and pray, the thought came to me that my Church family may know me better than my own family. There are times when I feel less judged by my Church family and I feel my siblings may still view me in the past. Then, I asked myself, “Is this my thinking?” Philippians 3:13-14 states “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time with family individually as they were here during a recent challenge I experienced. The only thing that was expressed was Love, no pretense nor judgment at all. As I think back my heart is filled with gratitude and humility for that time with each of them. My daily prayer is for more grace and the ability to drop off any concern on what anyone else thinks. It really is none of my business. Spiritual growth is all that really is going on.
This morning I have been praying about our precious little Church, which expresses magnanimity since Love guides, not countless detailed rules. As I think about the committees I serve, I ask myself does my prayer mean listening for Love’s guidance or for my views to prevail? And I do feel our Church is and should be inclusive rather than exclusive and cliquish. My heart fills with humility and gratitude as I think about our membership and I turn to Ephesians 3:20-21 which reads, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”
Recently, I heard the above question read and it resonated with me! What a wonderful question to ask oneself when conversing with others. Actually, it can be applied to thoughts we might entertain and we are always at choice on what we spend time thinking about. James 4:7 says “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Isn’t that saying the same thing; God/Love or devil, error?
This is one small way I can help out in world news and affairs. Rather than getting caught up in the gory details, I can turn to God, who is all-powerful and know the battle is always His. Today, I will not waste one minute on contaminating! Instead, I will look to see what God sees in every situation.
Yesterday, I attended a meeting at our Church and there was a differing of opinions. Remembering the verses from I Thessalonians 5:16-18 which reads “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”, I silently turned to God. I realized it is alright to have an opinion, but I must respect the other one as well. On the drive home, I rejoiced within, that the importance of that meeting was not to get my own way but allowing someone else to think differently from me without taking it personally. That, is Spiritual growth and I was humbled by that revelation.