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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Love Connection

Where’s Mary?

That was the question of the day. I’d planned a party and failed to show up. Not on purpose, just by the circumstances.

The party was for friends I’d yet to meet face to face. Women from all over who’d come together for this brief time in New Orleans. We were all in town to attend the same Christian conference and one of the women, a local, decided that it would be a great idea to plan a lunch. I immediately raised my virtual hand to help out. I talked about the gathering, encouraged others to attend, and actively publicized the lunch gathering to all who would listen. I was so excited to get to meet these virtual sisters face to face. The time of the luncheon came and I couldn’t make it.

I was so sad and a little red-faced. Who helps plan the party and then doesn’t show up?

Apparently, I do.

This wasn’t like the obligatory family gathering that is happening across this great country tomorrow. The traditional Thanksgiving gathering. This was just a bunch of women; most had never met in person. We were connected through the Internet. Some were bloggers and others were readers, but all had a love for the Lord. We came together in New Orleans for a Bible study. Who knew what the Lord had in store for us!

When I consider the abandon with which we worshipped, I’m stunned. When I consider the outpouring of love and joy, I’m awestruck. When I think about the scriptures studied and the revelations for so many, I'm amazed. And when I remember the testimonies of these brave women, I’m humbled. I’m so blessed that the Lord allowed me to walk this path with these women, these warriors in Christ.

A life that is changed. A life renewed. A heart restored.

In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.”
This is the abundant life that I saw begin for so many in New Orleans. Abundant life that began with hearts wiling to accept the grace of God’s love.

We started off our week a little hesitant with each other, but we got to know each other quickly (this is really true for those who DID show up for the lunch event). Over the course of the week, these relationships were made stronger, friendships began, and promises to stay in touch were whispered in our goodbyes and through our tears. We longed to stay connected to each other and to Christ our Lord. But it’s not the goodbyes where we found our strength; it was in powerful relationships with Christ. It was in transformed relationships with Christ. We connected with each other through our love of Christ.

You don’t have to travel to New Orleans to find this transformation. It’s right here, right now. It’s in the powerful love of Jesus. Do you love Him?
Not with a lukewarm-take-it-or-leave-it kind of love, but with a breathtaking, consuming, passionate love? The kind of love that just threatens to overwhelm you.

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Even in our unlovable state, He loved us.

but God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died
for us. Romans 5:8

Do you love Him? If not, it’s yours for the asking.
Read the scripture below:

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything
according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever
we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

Pray and ask God to fill you with a passionate love for Him.
Do it everyday.
Every hour if you need to. Will it happen immediately? I don’t know. It didn’t work that way for me. I had to commit to loving Him and believing Him. Believing that I was worthy of His love was the hardest part for me. But I am, because He died for me.

Trust Him, trust His Word. And pray for this love relationship daily. Oh, my dear Sister in Christ, the freedom that comes when you put Christ first in your life.

When you choose to love Him passionately!

The joy. The power. The hope. All of this is yours, in Christ. This is your love connection!

In Him,

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Blogger Denise said...

Such an awesome post dear.

November 26, 2008 at 2:58 AM  
Anonymous Willow said...

This is an amazing post.

In all the Bible reading I have done over the years, the impact of this verse -- We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 == somehow escaped me. THANK YOU for pointing it out!!

I pray every day for the kind of love for Christ you describe.

November 26, 2008 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger Woman on a Mission said...

We all to often loose focus that "the greatest of these is love." If we would act towards others in ways of love that are our living thank you's to God, the world would really be transformed and at the very least, we would transform ourselves.
Great post!!!

November 26, 2008 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Joanne Sher said...

That love is SO crucial! Thank you so much for reminding me of that. Wonderfully written.

November 26, 2008 at 8:11 PM  

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