If you know me… or if you meet me for even as little as ten minutes, you have probably found out that I’m an Okie. If you don’t know it by my speech, which I get teased about quite often, you know it because I’m talking about home. It is a place to be safe and talk just about anything you want, you just need to boldly spill and they are there to hear with such a loving heart as a parent. The door is always open in my parents home, now 83 and 81 years old. What a blessing this has spoken to my heart as I travel unknown roads that my heavenly Father has taken me. When I was young, my dad always had something up his sleeve to give his kids to help enjoy home as it was often said of him, ‘Is your dad ever going to grow up?’ He was a mechanic so ‘inventing’ gadgets or modifying good deals he bought was in constant supply and many times to our advantage. They owned 40 acres so space was also a luxury we enjoyed in our little community. My mom loved people and her heart was focused on God and bringing ‘people’ to Him. Many, many times I was instructed NOT to open that bedroom door as I enjoyed the freedom to play, but she was praying. I would often hear the tears and my name. Not to be surprising, when guest or friends came to join us, It was not uncommon at all for her to ask, ‘Do you go to church anywhere?’ Sometimes my dad would bring people home for lunch unexpected as he would break from working on their vehicle at his shop up town, and always, always… the question of church was popped at some point before they left the house. Our family of eight did not see much money pass among us but we sure saw the arms of care reaching out. Sundays were filled with company as we would bring friends over to ‘play’ in the adventures of the Ford Family.
Today I am reflecting on Love taught in my home as a child and if you relook at the picture I enclosed you can see it still continues today. I can look around and see it in such small portions in some families and it breaks my heart. I am of age now myself and realize the abundance of love available but so little shared and even challenged myself to do better. For the selflessness sometimes Love requires is tough.
I read this morning in the Message Bible…
17-18God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ's. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
19We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
20-21If anyone boasts, "I love God," and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won't love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can't see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both.
This scripture seems obvious but many people can honestly say they had no example or did not experience this as their hearts and life were maturing as children. This is where the Gift of Christ takes on such a beautiful meaning. As faithful and loving as my parents were, they could still not ‘save’ me from my own life of destruction. If I would have had the most perfect model parents that were ever birthed, I would still have a lost soul outside of the redeeming Blood that Jesus shed for me. I surrender (He is my Parent) and I confess my need (talk to Him about my problems) that Jesus is my Lord (I no longer want to be in control) and find Perfect Love (the example and Gift of Love) so I can be a part of His family. If I were the best of people or the worst, I must go to the same Cross for my Drink of Salvation. I am overwhelmed with the Love that the Father has provider for He has made it known and available to all walks, all nationalities, all situations, all styles of people. No one is left out. Jesus loved us FIRST, so now we know Love. I want to walk in that Love and learn of it every day for I am still a child of 57, maturing in the things of God as I wonder about playing, while Jesus Prays for me. Calling my name, Shedding tears for my sake, Watching my steps and Teaching me today how to pass on His Love. The best part of this walk… His Promise that we are First Loved and then required to love; but FIRST we are LOVED. I am so thankful for being Loved. It is the Greatest of all Gifts and its mine and ALL that call upon His Name…! He is so Amazing..!!!!