Friday, September 30, 2011

Divine Rescue - October 2, 2011

Colossians 1:13-14 - For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Ever wonder why super-heroes are such a popular genre? While we trudge through our daily "grinds", it is often refreshing to know that we can escape into another reality where mortals take on a sense of immortality. As a child, I remember the old Batman series on prime time television. Both in comic book print and on TV, I was fascinated with the Caped Crusader and how he always managed to set things right in the end. Others, such as Superman, took on an other "worldliness" characteristic of phenomenal power and strength. No matter the character, publishers such as DC Comics and Marvel created larger-than-life characters that transcended human effort when all seemed lost. Regarding mankind's frailty, it would appear the human psyche is wired to understand we desperately need something greater than ourselves to believe in. We know our inherent weaknesses all too well, so we are able to rejoice when a true hero saves the proverbial day. With all reverence I suggest that Jesus Christ is the ultimate Super-hero that will always rescue us, if we will but call upon Him. Though transcendent in all power, He is still intimately involved with each of us in a personal way.

In our lead verse, Paul describes Satan's stronghold over humanity as the "domain of darkness." I can think of no better description to describe Satan's syndicate of evil. Imagine with me, if you will, any number of arch villains or "foils" that have sought to rule society in the aforementioned super-hero genres. Often, we would find a damsel in distress (such as a Lois Lane) being held hostage by powers that sought the overthrow of their righteous nemesis. These wicked gangsters, mad scientists, or all-around evil geniuses often sought to lure their foe into some type of trap. They believed if they could somehow orchestrate the "show down", then they would have the upper hand. Of course, any of us who have ever watched a Superman or Batman movie know this isn't the case. Good always triumphs over evil in the end. As previously mentioned, these sort of outcomes are hard-wired into human beings. We seek redemption, in one way or another. If we can't find it in our religion, we will seek it in other ways.

While I see a lot of movies with my wife, I am particularly selective about what I put before my eyes. I generally want to know there is some type of redemption in the end for the protagonist (or, in some cases the antagonist). It seems less than gratifying when movies or books or any genre of entertainment leave us with an "open ending", not providing closure for anyone, including the audience. Fortunately, those who believe the scriptures and have read to the end of the book of Revelation know we win. This is the greatest redemptive story in the history of the world, and yet many discard it as archaic and unrealistic for our times. They put the Bible in the same genre as comic books or ancient myths which do little to assuage the problems of contemporary living. What they don't understand is that their great inner need for redemption will not be satisfied by any other than the thing they regard as ridiculous. The devils in the domain of darkness have lied to them so they don't understand that they are in need of ransom. If they only knew that Jesus Christ had already paid the price for their release many years ago. The lies that these "evil geniuses" continue to perpetrate over their unknowing slaves continue to be unchallenged. Therefore, the vast majority of the world who are held in these gangsters' grips are unaware of their freedom. If only they would accept this eternal gift from the greatest Super-hero who ever existed, or ever will exist. Then, they would find true freedom from the evil that plagues them everyday.

Many will continue to look up to these super-hero characters we've created out of our need for something bigger than ourselves. I personally believe these are healthy examples to emulate and to look up to, especially for youngsters. However, these are merely to point us to the greatest hero of all time and eternity, who transferred all mankind from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of "His beloved Son." It's time for us all to accept His saving power in our respective lives, and to understand the price has been paid. May we all know that Jesus Christ has rescued us, and will continue to save us as we trust in Him.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the sacrifice of Jesus. We thank You that You sent Him as the Divine Rescuer to redeem us for Your good pleasure. May we always look to Him and know that we have been transported by His grace into the kingdom of God, always to be with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick


The Bare Soul Archives

Friday, September 23, 2011

Godly Perception - September 25, 2011

The following is the message text and audio recording of a sermon titled "Godly Perception" delivered to the Teaching God's Infinite Wisdom (TGIW) Men's Bible Study Group in Parkville, MO on September 21, 2011.

Godly Perception - September 21, 2011

Numbers 13:33 - "... and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

As a child, I remember this massive oak tree in the vacant lot where we would often play. Underneath its towering height, we dug a large hole and called it our fort. We stocked it with all the things important to seven and eight year old boys -- comic books, plastic army men, and silver cap pistols. I recall looking up into the large branches thinking it looked at least a mile to the top. None of us dared climb this tree. It was just too intimidating. Many years later, I was visiting this town where I spent my elementary school years and took a drive through the old neighborhood. Where the vacant lot stood, was a house with a tidy yard. There with lush green grass growing under its shade was the old oak. Somehow, when I stopped in front of the house, it looked remarkably smaller than what I remembered. Actually, I couldn't believe how dwarfed it was compared to my memory. It was still large as ever, but not gargantuan like I recollected. Reflecting on this incident, I understand how its often possible to see and yet not see. We can get one idea in our heads and find out later that our perception was way off. Objectivity is often the arbiter between imagination and reality. Only when we can honestly perceive the truth can we objectively understand where we have allowed ourselves to be subjectively influenced.

In many ways, the newly formed nation of Israel operated in a subjective manner regarding their situation in the wilderness of Sinai and Kadesh-barnea. This man Moses had led them out into one of the hottest places on the planet, telling them that God was bringing them into a land "flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:8). However, there was a catch. No longer were they to watch God destroy their enemies as He did at the Red Sea. Now Yahweh wanted them to get actively involved by dispossessing those who lived in their promised land before they could move in! We read in the thirteenth chapter of Numbers that the Lord told Moses to send out spies into the occupied country, to get a lay of the land and the people living there. As many of us know, the spies returned ecstatic about the land but terrified of the people. "Thus they told him, and said, ...

We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there. Amalek is living in the land of the Negev and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites are living in the hill country, and the Canaanites are living by the sea and by the side of the Jordan." - Numbers 13:27-29

Caleb's insistence that they could take the land and its inhabitants fell on deaf ears as they declared to Moses and the congregation that they were too small and weak to overcome the pagan nations. In addition, they said that the Nephilim the descendents of Anak, the giant clan, was living there also. What comes out of their mouths next truly revealed their perceived reality. By stating that "... we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight," they were stating three important things regarding their understanding of the situation. First of all, their "sight" or their perception of themselves was a selfish, self-centered, fear-driven understanding with no consideration of who they were in the Lord. Second, by seeing themselves as weak and without a Savior, they increased the size of their enemies in their own imaginations. Lastly, they projected their own perception of how they believed about themselves onto their enemies. Whether or not the Anak even saw the Israelite spies or not is moot. They had become convinced that the enemy saw the Israelites exactly as they perceived themselves. For the timid, this had become their reality. The battle was lost even before it began.

As most of us know, God pronounced a judgment of 40 years exile upon the nation of Israel from their desired destination. They would wander aimlessly through the wilderness until the rebellious generation that refused to go in, perished. Their children would be the ones to enter the Promised Land and take possession by defeating these so-called formidable tribes with their unassailable walls. The difference between their parents and the children who took possession was evident. The children grew up, becoming strong and mature in the Lord, with the ability to hear the voice of the Lord and to obey it. They saw themselves as the chosen of God and understood that nothing could keep them from their destiny as long as the Lord was on their side. Similarly, they operated in three ways that were diametric to that of their parents reaction 40 years earlier. First of all, they knew who they were and where they were going in the Lord. Second, they saw themselves as strong in the power of God's might to defeat any enemy that would defy the chosen people of God. And lastly, they projected this perception upon every foe they encountered, eventually dispossessing all the pagan nations, including the Anak clan.

Paul stated poignantly in his first letter to the Corinthians that ... When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things (I Corinthians 13:11). Just as an entire generation of Israelites had to die off before God could take them into the Promised Land, there needs to be a similar death in us before He can take us into that place of complete rest. We have to die to our preconceptions about what we can or can't handle. If we take the time to think about all the times God has rescued us in the past, it's not hard to believe that He will always be there for us in the future. Our thoughts, words, and actions will reveal who we are, proving to God that we either understand who He is, what He has done for us, and what He will do for us or that we don't we don't have a clue. We must be vigilant to allow God to grow us up and to remove any doubt that He can do far more than we've ever thought or imagined. Will there be seemingly unassailable walls and giants in our future? Without a doubt. It's our choice to either die in the wilderness and to stumble about in an aimless manner the rest of our lives, or to die to self and to grow up in our perceptions regarding who we are in God. If we choose the latter, we have only begun to understand the peace and victory in the days ahead.

Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us everything we need to live godly lives in Your Son. Grant us the ability to seize the day, to die to self and our selfish perceptions and to see as You see us. As we do so, may we enter into Your rest through Your victory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick


The Bare Soul Archives

Friday, September 16, 2011

Obtaining the Witness - September 18, 2011

Hebrews 11:5 - By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.

Years ago, there was a saying that when a person felt smitten over someone special, that they were "taken" for that guy or gal. It is more a colloquialism, I suppose, from simpler days when a young man fell "head over heels" for a young woman, or vice versa. We may have heard it put like this: "I sure am taken with her!" The implication is an abandonment of all sense, that somehow the object of their affection has stolen their heart in a romantic sort of way. This might appear to happen unexpectedly and without design by either party. Or does it? Often, there is a drawing or a wooing that causes this sudden "taking" of emotions. The taken may feel like they are coaxed into this romantic interlude, having merely responded to the taker's attention. In a very real sense, the one being wooed has received the proverbial nod that they are pleasing to the other. The dynamics of our encounters on this earth are merely natural expressions of how God woos us to that place of communion and fellowship with Him. Like Enoch in our lead verse, it is possible while on this earth and living in sinful flesh to "obtain the witness" that we are pleasing to God. It would serve us well to look at the makeup of this man and others in the Bible of similar character to better understand how we might obtain a similar witness from our Heavenly Father.

The first mention of Enoch is in Genesis 5:18 where it states: Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch. The next three verses tell us seemingly little about this man of God, except that he becomes the father of Methuselah at the relatively young age of 65. Remarkably, however, verse 22 tells us that ... Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah. This simple statement of protracted worship by a mortal is not to be rivaled anywhere else in scripture. Even Noah, who lived hundreds of years like his predecessors, did not obtain a witness such as Enoch received. Did Enoch suddenly turn toward God after the birth of his son, or was he a committed follower of the Lord before? All the scripture tells us is that for 300 years after the birth of Methuselah, this man walked with God. To walk with his Maker in undisturbed fellowship for three centuries must have thrilled the heart of the Father. Only a few generations prior, God walked with the original couple in that garden called Eden. Before the Fall, God was taken with Adam and Eve as He fellowshipped with them continually. Now, He had found a man that desired a similar reciprocal relationship of unbroken love. They were quite literally taken with each other. However, there was a difference. The first couple were in that place of innocence as they trusted God as their Father. Enoch, on the other hand, was born of sinful flesh yet walked in humility and brokenness before the Lord. He undoubtedly knew that a Savior would come someday to redeem Him from the predicament of sin. However, the one thing this man of God had on his side was time. Three hundred sixty five years is a long time in our minds to live upon this earth, but maybe it seemed like nothing to Enoch and it certainly wasn't a factor for Yahweh. We know from reading verse 24 that a quite remarkable thing happened. It states that God quite literally took him! This is extraordinary if one considers the significance of this event. If the implication is not certain in the Genesis verse, that suddenly Enoch ... was not, for God took him, it becomes very clear by the text in Hebrews that the man of God disappeared because ... he was not found. How or why this happened, we can only speculate. Did Enoch receive a resurrected body? Quite possibly, since we know that no sinful flesh can dwell in God's presence. Regardless, the point the scripture makes here is that Enoch was pleasing to God and he obtained the witness of God's pleasure by God drawing him home to Glory.

Appropriately, the transliteration of Enoch's name in the original Aramaic text is "dedicated." We might say that this early descendent of the first man was only the first of many throughout the scriptures who likewise obtained the witness through their dedication to the Lord. While none walked in the manner of Enoch, we know that Noah (previously mentioned) along with Job and Daniel were witnessed to by God Himself as being upright men. In Ezekiel 14:14 the Lord mentions through the prophet that these men were righteous before their Maker. Both Samson and Samuel were dedicated to the Lord as infants with a Nazirite vow, obtaining the witness of God's pleasure as judges of Israel (Judges 13:7; I Samuel 1:11). Of course, the greatest example of someone walking this earth with God and obtaining the witness was Jesus Christ Himself. As Peter declared to the house of Cornelius, all the prophets bore witness of the coming Messiah and the forgiveness of sins through His redemption (Acts 10:43). Remarkably, the Holy Spirit appears to have borne witness to the words that He was uttering through the apostle's mouth that He indwelt all those present as a result. They too, obtained the witness of the Father (John 5:37) and were taken by God to fulfill His purposes through the spreading of the Gospel to the "uttermost parts of the earth." Unlike the Old Testament saints, all believers in Jesus Christ had the opportunity to be taken for the purposes of God. There was nothing separating men and women from sharing in the presence of God except unbelief. The message to us through this chapter of Acts and the rest of the New Testament is that God desires to take as many as who would believe in His Son. Whoever would believe in the Son will share in the Holy Spirit and thereby obtain the witness.

Heaven looks on this very day to see what our response might be in regard to His wooing. There is loving relationship waiting to be born within us all by the One who created us. As that great "cloud of witnesses" surrounds us, urging us to commit to His care, may we allow Him to take us with abandon (Hebrews 12:1). Our only requirement is to walk with Him, even as Enoch walked with undeniable humility and understanding of our great need for Jesus Christ. And then, like Enoch, we can be taken by our God to live an extraordinary life. Are we smitten with God? Are we free to relinquish our life of unfulfilled desire and walk with Him forevermore? If so, don't be surprised how he takes you, for He most certainly will. It is the promise of obtaining the witness of His pleasure.

Lord, may we obtain the witness by obediently walking with You, day in and day out. May we believe that by the blood of Jesus we are worthy to receive Your Holy Spirit who bears witness of Your eternal love for us all. As we give ourselves more and more to You, everyday, may You draw us irresistibly to Your presence. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick


The Bare Soul Archives

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why Does Revival Tarry? - September 11, 2011

James 5:16 (KJV) - Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Certain scriptures seem unequivocal at face value. When we read promises such as Matthew 11:28, we can believe that if we come to Jesus then we will find rest. In this respect, personal application to the scripture is available to everyone. Through a relationship with Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity of gleaning this promise as well as hundreds of others regarding the good things the Lord has in store for us. Often, these promises will manifest themselves very quickly in a believer's life as they live humbly and obediently before their Lord. In some cases, other promises may take longer to realize. However, what about God's assurances He has made for communities or nations? Personally, I have been involved in prayer for revival for my city and nation for many years. I know of many people that I would consider men and women of God who have likewise earnestly been seeking God concerning revival for several decades. The combined effort of just these aforementioned people would undoubtedly equal hundreds of years in collective time praying for a great moving of God . We read throughout the Bible references concerning how peoples and nations repented and God sent revival to their land. (Jonah and the restoration of Nineveh to a Godly nation is only one example [Jonah 3:9-10].) While God's entreaties through His prophets were often disregarded with subsequent judgment, the promise of restoration was always there IF a nation would but humble themselves to God. Probably the greatest promise regarding restoration and revival is the familiar text in the second book of Chronicles. It reads like this in the King James Version:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. - II Chronicles 7:14

As previously stated, I have seen much of what I would describe as calling upon God, humbling of the flesh through prayer and fasting, with a concerted effort to seek the Lord's face. Yet, regardless of all this activity, the western Church has muddled along without the desired results. Oh, but there is that other bit of instruction in Chronicles that is often an unpleasant topic to broach -- turning from sin! Does this necessarily mean that the whole nation must turn from iniquity before God hears and responds, or can it mean those who are earnestly seeking revival in proxy for the nation? Let's look at the possibilities.

James, the brother of Jesus our Lord, writes with one consideration. Using Elijah as an example, he compares the prophet as a man with a nature "like ours." He describes how the man of God prayed fervently and how the Lord used this man to control the weather, bringing a king and a kingdom to their proverbial knees (James 5:17-18). Through this grand meteorological disruption, Elijah was able to use this nation crippling catalyst to orchestrate one of the greatest showdowns of the Bible between himself and the priests of Baal (I Kings 18:20-21). Because of this encounter, the rule of wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel was sorely weakened, allowing eventual reforms after the death of Ahab's son, Ahaziah (see II Kings 2). This national and spiritual revival would appear to be the direct result of Elijah's obedience to God. James' testimony about Elijah in his verses 17 and 18 actually serves as an example from the context of verse 16. James uses this verse as a segue from personal, bodily healing to the restoration of a nation. Interestingly, he implies that both types of healing are only possible through effective fervent prayers through righteous men. Is fervent praying lacking in our contemporary situation or is it righteous men, or both? Or, are we lacking God's impetus to raise up men and women such as Elijah to bring heaven once again to this earth? Is it because God cannot find a man such as Elijah? Or, rather that He has not YET raised one up (or many more) for this hour? The former would imply that the responsibility lies upon those select few to stand up in righteousness and to call down heaven in prayer. The latter suggests that the onus rests with God. I remonstrate that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle of these two postulations. We can assume that no one is more desirous of God's kingdom being manifest upon this earth through a revived Church then God Himself. However, we cannot presume we know why revival seems to not being addressed with earnest in the mind of God. The limited love that we possess for humanity and the desire to see them saved pales in comparison to God's heart for both his Church and the lost.

I would submit that the reality of our present situation is something that can't necessarily be reduced to a few scriptures regarding why God is not moving in a wholesale manner in the westernized Church. Many of us who are familiar with prayer for our nation know of 24 hour prayer rooms where night and day prayer for revival has been the agenda for many years. Are these folks who have given themselves to this noble life "unrighteous" or not "fervent" in their prayers? That is not mine or anyone's to judge. Possibly the Lord has some more refining to do before we truly see Him move in these last days. Without a doubt, He is preparing hearts for the day when He will move with more power than that of the first century Church. We might speculate that the time is not right, that He will move only as He sees fit. While this is definitely true, that God will only do His perfect will when He determines, it can also be equally true that He will move as men's and women's voices move His heart in prayer. This, of course, is the great conundrum whether God has moved these to prayer or whether hearts given to God have caused Him to move, or a combination of both. The answers to these questions will become clearer in time, or eternity. Regardless, we must continue to pray, seeking to order our lives righteously, doing all we know to align ourselves with the Father's will as we pray for His kingdom to come to this earth, even as it is in heaven. Do we need "Elijahs" in our present hour? Of this, there is little doubt. With this in mind, it will continue to be our place, as those seeking a revived church and nation, to seek the Lord to raise up many who might stand in the gap like the prophets of old. May the Lord Jesus Christ be glorified by men and women such as these whose hearts burn for a holy nation and a righteous land.

Heavenly Father, we know little regarding Your will for a revived nation other than You told us to humble ourselves, to seek Your face, to turn from our wicked ways, and then You would heal our land. We ask that You would purify us in this process of prayer, causing us to be righteous men and women, fervently praying Your will. Cause us to enter into the counsel of Your heart, accepting Your timing for these great events. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick


The Bare Soul Archives

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Broken Heart - September 4, 2011

Psalm 34:18 - The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

We have all experienced loss. Whether it is the passing of a friend or relative, or possibly the loss of a beloved pet, most of us have undoubtedly experienced heartache over a loved one that is no longer with us. Some have probably heard of a long-time marriage being shattered by the death of the husband or wife. I can remember my Uncle John and Aunt Maude. I really only recollect one visit with them when I was about 11 years old. I do remember how devoted he was to Maude, speaking tenderly and kindly to his sweetheart. They were both in their 80s at that time and had been married for many decades. I recall hearing a few short years later how Maude had passed into eternity. Uncle John buried his beloved and was grief-stricken, bereaving the loss of his mate. He lived several more years, but I am told they were lonely years. While he did live to a ripe old age, I suspect that when his heart finally did give out that it was due partly to his great loss. Many of us know of similar circumstances regarding a loved one who was never quite the same when their spouse was taken. While love of this type is certainly remarkable and well worth commending, I believe it is only a shadow of the love that God desires us to possess for all mankind. I believe He gives us earthly examples like the aforementioned to illustrate His great love toward all humankind. However, He desires that we take the analogy to a higher level and understand that His love is infinitesimally greater than anything we could ever experience regarding our greatest love while upon this earth. Even more remarkable is the reality that He loves those who disregard Him. His love is never diminished no matter how much He is spurned. To comprehend the pain of a broken heart for someone we miss terribly is one thing. To experience a broken heart for those who continue to reject us is quite another.

As stated, it is terribly vexing to lose someone close. It can truly be heart breaking. We are told that the prophet Ezekiel lost "the desire of his eyes" in a moment's time. The prophet prophesied regarding his loss stating: And the word of the LORD came to me saying, "Son of man, behold, I am about to take from you the desire of your eyes with a blow; but you shall not mourn and you shall not weep, and your tears shall not come (Ezekiel 24:15-16). The Lord took his bride away as a sign to the obstinate nation of Israel, and yet he gave the seer grace to not mourn and languish regarding his loss. Why would the Lord do this? It becomes evident in verse 23 that the prophet had become a sign to Israel's indifference toward sin (Ezekiel 24:23). What should have been a heart-breaking experience for Ezekiel concerning the loss of his wife had become a sign to the wayward nation of their hardness of heart toward sin. God demonstrated through the prophet how far they had divorced themselves from mourning over their iniquity. Through this allegory, the Lord showed them that their heartless empathy toward their own transgressions against a holy God was their undoing. Nothing is related to the reader in this passage concerning the reaction to Ezekiel's lesson. However, the Lord made His point and we can be sure that whether the nation of Israel grasped the importance of God's message, the prophet undoubtedly did. We are told from verse 15 that she was the desire of his eyes. How much more was the captive nation of Israel to their Heavenly Father as He used His servant to illustrate!

Another example comes to mind regarding how the Lord used an analogy of a broken heart to show His great love for the wayward nation of His affections. Imagine loving someone with all your heart day after day, year after year. However, a problem becomes increasingly evident when this love is not reciprocated. The prophet Hosea was commanded to marry the harlot Gomer and to pursue her affections even after she had enough of married life, returning to her former life of prostitution (see Hosea, chapters one and two). Even though they had children by their God-ordained union, this was not enough to provoke Gomer to a monogamous relationship with her spouse. While it is not clear what happens to Hosea's first wife, we are told in Hosea chapter three that he is again to love a harlot and to cherish her as his wife. To marry one prostitute was degrading enough. Women of their kind were at the best shunned, and at the worst, stoned to death for their infidelity. Here, in the space of three chapters, we find Hosea with a double humiliation of engaging in a seemingly unholy union. While this probably gave the hyper-religious much to gossip about, we can easily surmise that God caused a great love in Hosea's heart toward his two brides. For there to be a strong correlation between God's broken heart for His people, He must have given similar heart breaks to the prophet. The message was clear to Israel through his obedience. However, we can judge by history that the oracle was largely unheeded (Hosea 4:11-14).

Brokenness of heart is not novel to the human race. Truly, it is only possible because our Heavenly Father's heart is susceptible to the same. When we get a glimpse of the great love that a husband might have for a wife, we should pause and consider the One whose heart breaks daily for a stubborn and rebellious world. His heart certainly overflows with a depth of love that we can only imagine with our temporal beings. As mortals, we have the ability to suffer loss and to have a heart break in anguish. I believe that the Lord would have us all take the examples of those who love deeply and mourn over a love lost. He would desire that our hearts would break in prayer and acts of mercy for those all around us. Are we willing to have our hearts broken with a love that comes from above? If we are, we will be characterized by a heart that cannot contain God. It will "leak" out to everyone that it touches. Love is not to be kept, but given away as soon as we receive it. Let not the world watch and wait any longer for those who would pursue them for the Savior. May we be that generation that reaches out and allows our hearts to be broken for Jesus Christ's great sacrifice. May the Lamb receive the reward of His sufferings by us embracing His brokenness for this lost world.

Fairest Lord Jesus, thank you for Your love for all humankind. May we experience Your great love through the brokenness of Your heart for the billions of souls on this terrestrial ball. May we love no matter the outcome, but to lay down our lives as You laid down Yours. We praise and exalt You. In Your precious Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick


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