Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Gentle Quiet Love

How to begin 2009...... That is the question.......

I don't really like making New Year resolutions. We always make resolutions and then turn right around and break them. I don't like it when someone else breaks a promise to me so I figure why do that to myself. Instead, I decided that I would seek God for the first change in me He would like to bring this year.

In other words, what's next God?

God has shown me many things that I must do to reach out to people in the New Year. I have written about and even challenged many to do some of them in the coming year. But as I began to pray about today's post, God spoke to my heart very personally.

The main focus for God with us is not the things we do, but the condition of our hearts. Don't get me wrong, we are supposed to give abundantly of ourselves to others. But it will come easily and naturally if our heart is right. If we truly love others then we will reach out to them. First though, God is concerned if our heart is right.

Over and over this past year, as I would complain to God about the things I saw wrong, He would remind me to focus on my own part. I would see the lack of real love in the church and get upset. I would go to God, stomp my feet and say, "Why don't they reach out to me? Why don't they act like they want to know who I am?" What He said to me was, "why don't you reach out to them?” Now that caught me off guard.... Instead of expecting everyone else to reach out and be different, I should be different. I should extend myself in love even if they don't.... I should love others even when I'm not being loved.....

You see, the only person that we have control over is ourselves. We must first concern ourselves with our own behavior. I had to ask myself, "Is my heart right when I blame everyone else for the problems I see?" "Do I really love unconditionally when I am worried about what the outcome is for me?" Christ reached out and was rejected by His own people. Did He recoil and complain? No, He simply asked the Father to forgive them and reached out again. He continues to reach out today and gets rejected by many. But His love is constant in spite of the rejection.

As I was reading today in I Peter where God is speaking to wives about submission. I read this in chapter 3 verse 4 : rather let it be the hidden person of the heart with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

If you read the verse before this one, it is speaking about adorning our beauty in our hearts not just our outward appearance. What really spoke to me in this verse was "the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit" and how that is very precious to God. My thought was "if it’s precious in His sight then I so want that sort of spirit" A gentle and quiet spirit of love would silently move the world towards God. I want that heart in 2009 Lord.

As I wondered what that might look like, a picture began to form in my mind. A gentle word, a loving touch. A quiet prayer. I think maybe I have seen it in the love of a mother for a child when she quietly holds her sick child to comfort it. She loves with a gentle touch. Without a single word her love is known. It’s known because it’s felt by all who see it. Its felt because it comes from a tender loving heart. She's not concerned about how it will affect her or if she will get sick herself. There is no worry about rejection or what is fair. There is only the simple love of a mother quietly being shown to her child.

The love we receive every day from Christ is this way. It’s not loud and boastful or pushy and prideful. It’s gentle and quiet. It’s simple and comforting. It is the love that only comes from a gracious and merciful God. A love that comes from a Father to his child, from a Bridegroom to its bride, from Jesus Christ to us.

I want that kind of love in my heart this year. A heart of gentle and quiet love. A heart that gives love no matter the circumstances, unafraid of rejection and not looking for anything in return. One so full of Gods love that it’s just felt by others because its kind and caring. A heart known only by the quiet touch that it gives off.

As we begin 2009, this is my prayer. "Lord, take my heart, mold it and change it, so that when we reach this point again next year, I can say, my heart now more reflects Yours."


Darlene said...

I love this post! It really spoke to me and encourages me to look at my own heart. My family has gone through so much and still is..that you do get that tough skin so you can't feel the hurt so much. I want people to see God in me and this gentle love. My prayer is for God to remind our daughter of this love and the scripture He has tucked away in her heart ...for her to return to him and our family.
Thanks for this post...I needed this today!
Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

i think that your heart is going to continue to be changed :-)

Ben said...

This has been something that is really troubling me for a long time. (The fact that I do not really love others like Christ loved me), I admit I do not love people in my church like I ought to... But, I don't know where to start. I do not hate them, neither do I love them. The Bible says If I do not have love I have nothing... Would you please give me some advice on how to love. I know this sounds foolish, but I really need it and I am looking through the Bible. Is not love something that should come involuntarily, can I change?? Please help.

judi lake said...

Hi Sherri! Perhaps we've both been convicted by the same as my spirit has been echoing your same thoughts yet you've worded these feelings much more eloquently than I ever could -- You close with "..."Lord, take my heart, mold it and change it, so that when we reach this point again next year, I can say, my heart now more reflects Yours." Sherri, I join you in this prayer -- Thanks for this beautiful post and a very happy and blessed new year to you and yours! love and hugs, Judi

Anonymous said...

Blessed be your heart, Sherri, for wanting such a heart. :-)

I wish you all the best for the year 2009. May the good Lord see to it you further grow and prosper in the love of our Saviour and that you gain a lot of inspiration and motivation in the coming year.

Sherri Watt said...

Thanks Darlene, God gives us what we need when we need it, doesn't He.

Thanks Nancy, You are to kind!

Hi Ben, Its not us that can love like Christ, ask for God to change you. I will email you more about this.

Thanks Judi, Amazing how God sometimes shows us the same things. Big Hug back at you, Girl.

Thank you Anders for the kind words. You are an amazing poet!

Peter P said...

Great post Sherri.

Sorry I haven;t been commenting much lately I've been... well, I don't know what I've been, I've just not been myself.

I echo your prayer: "Lord, take my heart, mold it and change it, so that when we reach this point again next year, I can say, my heart now more reflects Yours."