If this is good advice for Solomon, Son of King David....who is a man after Gods own heart.....why would it not be good enough for me? Now there is one more thing I want you to see here: until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. Hmmmmmmm......makes me think! Now, we live in such a SELF centered world.....and I am terribly guilty of falling into the trap of how things affect me.....but maybe what is shown here is to remind us that everything.....every situation.....is NOT about me.....it is about HIM! So these issuse in my life.....the loneliness and isolation I feel.....is that just me....feeling sorry for, well, me? At this point am I thinking about me and how I feel when I should be looking at EVERY situation in my life as an opportunity to service GOD? Whoooooooaaaaa!!!! I have to admit something else to you......this year has been really tough for me in ways most will never know. I have felt incredibly deep hurt that leaves me constantly looking to God to help me forgive. If you are human (which if you are reading this, I can only assume you are) than you have, or will feel this pain! I am not sure why this is even an issue with Christians, but it has been my observation that as Christians we tend to hurt each other the most! I remember years ago a statement that was made that said, "Christians often shoot their wounded". It has been my observation that sometimes.......this is true! Why? If you read the Bible.....and if you are a Christian I hope you do......then why can't we love each other with the love of Christ? There is scripture, after scripture, after scripture pertaining to the Love of God and that If we are of God, we must love! If we have not love, we have not God!
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing and though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, [fn] but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long [and] is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether [there are] prophecies, they will fail; whether [there are] tongues, they will cease; whether [there is] knowledge, it will vanish away.
Now these are just but a few of many, many verses on love. Now look and tell me what you may recognize here in these verses. Look at the use of "I". The first part of the scriptures start with the action on our part, Though I speak....though I have prophecy.......I have all faith......I bestow all my goods to feed (the poor).........starting to see a pattern.....then it goes into the "but", "BUT HAVE NOT LOVE".........fill in the rest. We may do tons of great and wonderful things, but if we have not love......we have NOTHING!!!! Want a few more sobering facts:
1Jo 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1Jo 4:20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
I implore you to please click on the scripture address above and go the the Bible online......read ALL of 1 John 4. We will NEVER be perfect in this life......we will never be able to be sinless and perfect, but we must strive to live a life honoring to God! We must live a life of LOVE! When you have been hurt over and over and over again.....we still must forgive and love. It may be that there comes a time when you must put up boundaries to protect your heart from what may seem like constant hurt. God wants us to live victorious lives. I have never seen where He has told us to be a perpetual punching bag of being hurt.......but I have seen it said that we must forgive.......we must live our lives as pleasing and acceptable to Him! We cannot be responsible for other people and how they react.....we can only be responsible for how WE react and how WE LOVE! It is ok to love from a far.....sometimes there are situations where that is what is safest for our hearts......and sometimes bodies in the event of abuse......but we still have to love! We cannot do it on our own! Only God can give HIS Children the grace to do this! Only GOD can change circumstances......sometimes He does......and sometimes He just changes us........but however He does it.......it can ONLY be done by HIM! I read a quote from Francis Chan that sparked something in me to write this: “Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people He has made?” (Crazy Love, Francis Chan)