Monday, February 14, 2011

Beyond Words

As we pause 24 hours on this day set aside to focus on love, I think of something St. Francis of Assisi said
not your typical Valentine's Day fare, but this is how I am learning to love others well . . .

"Tell everyone around you of the great love of God. 
When all else fails, use words."

And as a lover of words—with a deep, sincere passion for God...I wish I followed this wise teaching more often!

I am learning to facilitate learning by asking other’s questions which stir up thought and discussion.  This stimulates conversation within—between them and God, as well as them with themselves!  But I am also learning to not preach and to teach as little as possible—to back off and let God work.  That’s the purpose of those fruits of the Spirit.  And I pray that they become more and more evident in my life.

I want to be an encourager—not a discourager.  Heavy, long-winded speeches do just that.  I care deeply about God and people and all of our walks with Him.  I want to share what is on my heart. 

Too much talk turns people off!

I attended Beth Moore’s simulcast because I wanted to sit and listen to her teach the Bible.  
I made the choice to sit under a teacher.  
You choose to come here, to sit and listen to me share my walk.  
You have made the choice to be here.  

In my home, in my church, in my daily life, in my small group—even with the junior high girls in my Sunday School class—they have not chosen to sit under me as a teacher.  They have not sought me to teach them about God and the Bible.  In the girls’ case, they are plopped into my classroom because their parents choose to attend that service.

I am learning to come alongside to encourage in love, ask questions and listen.  He is showing me that this not only stimulates their own growth with a more personal fit, but my growth as well.

“Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.”  Hebrews 10:24

We need each other!  
We need encouragement!  
We need one another to stimulate us to love and good deeds!

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10

We all want the fullness of Christ!  
We all want to walk in the good works God prepared for us!  
But we get discouraged, we get lazy, we get passive, we get weary.  (Gal. 6:9) 

In this verse from Hebrews, I see encourage and loveFind all the ways you can to do those two things.  This world is full of discouragement and hate God came that we may have life and live abundantly (John 10:10).  Living my life in that abundance is a far greater testimony than using words from my mouth or from this keyboard in defense of God and in defense of my self and my beliefs!

Everyone needs love.
Everyone needs encouragement.
Everyone needs nourished hearts and emotions.
Everyone needs a Savior.
Everyone needs God’s love.

Too many words in the mix 
turn off the heart’s ability to hear what is being said. 

But love! 

Love has a language that reaches beyond.  
Love has the extraordinary ability to express what words never could. 

God IS love!  Am I?  Or am I merely words?

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