April 9, 2012

Holy Week

this weeks tour...love and sacrifice
He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
Happy Easter everyone!
I find great joy in this day more than any other day of the year, why?
He is Risen!
It is so amazing (and sometimes a hard concept as humans to grasp) that God loves us so much He would sacrifice His Only Son...
I have not always put God first in my life. Over the last year and a half, something in my heart has been awakened. 
Love...more specifically Agape love (agape is the Greek word for love, the essence of agape love is self-sacrifice. It is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself) 
I have tried to make God a priority, but trying is not always enough...only in the last few months have I been pursuing God with all my heart. (and what an amazing journey it has been!)
Many times, as a Christian, I have felt it is my duty to do certain things...read the Bible, pray, help others, etc.
That is not what a relationship with Jesus is all about. He wants us to want to be with Him, because we genuinely want to.
"Duty will never take you where love will" (Feel by Matthew Elliott)
I now have a passion and deep desire to want to grow my relationship with Jesus.
"His demand is for extravagant love, passion coming from the heart."(Feel by Matthew Elliott)
God has opened my heart to feel and know Agape love...I no longer think of those things as a duty (well truthfully sometimes I still do-but it is becoming less and less), but I passionately long to do those things with all my heart to become closer with Him.
"God had converted my little duty-driven pity party into a spontaneous act of real love."(Feel by Matthew Elliott)
There is never a right time or a wrong time, just God's time. In His perfect timing, I have become more of who I am in Christ. A passion in my heart has been released, it was always there, God was just waiting for me to realize and respond to it.
That is what happened to me in Haiti...Agape love.
Through this experience I have grown to know the Lord more each day, and I can not contain my excitement!
I want to live my life fully for Him.
I have always had a heart for others, I just never knew what God wanted me to do with it.
He asked me to follow Him. I accepted. 
I have Agape love in my heart...what more could He ask of me? 
Then...He asked me to follow Him to another country. I accepted. (I am afraid, but I accepted and know that obeying Him is what I want to do)
He asked me to sacrifice my life to Him, just as He sacrificed His Son for me. (whoa! really!? that is what you want me to do!? after many prayers...I knew in my heart that I was going to be obedient and accepted) 
Now my life has been turned upside down (or is it right side up?) 
I am sacrificing my current 'life', for the life God intended for me. 
Of course some of those things are material-like the comfort of my home, bed, shower, food...and all I know as of now that I currently call 'my life.'
'My life' has never been mine, it has always been God's. It has taken me 26 years to give it back to its Creator. (after all...it is all I have to give Him)
I now have a tangible connection with sacrifice. (I will never fully understand the sacrifice God made with His Son, but at least I can relate it to something) I am giving up all I have ever known my life to be...for the unknown future-God's plan for my life.
I am so over joyed that all I ever want to do is be in constant communion with God. I pray more than I ever have, I read the Bible, I do daily devotions...everything I do is to create a stronger relationship with my Creator...I love Him so much I can not get enough!
I pray this Holy Week that everyone would know and feel the love (Agape) that God has for us, His creation.
"In human experience that veil is made of living spiritual tissues; it is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole being consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain. To tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us and make us bleed. To say otherwise is to make the cross no cross and death no death at all. It is never fun to die. To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful. Yet that is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free."..."It does not keep its victim hanging there forever. There comes a moment when its work is finished and the suffering victim dies. After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for the joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the presence of the living God." (The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer)
Remember the cross and what it stands for, God's Agape love.
May you feel the agape love of God on this beautiful Easter!

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