Friday, July 16, 2010

#35 - Love

What a beautiful day. My heart is full. My memories are rekindled. Today, I am reminded of love.
Proverbs 16:6 - By mercy and love, truth and fidelity [to God and man--not by sacrificial offerings], iniquity is purged out of the heart, and by the reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord men depart from and avoid evil. 
Proverbs 31:30 - Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!
In my own words... as I've been reading it, you can continue Proverbs 31 to verse 31... this is how it reads in my expanded thoughts; Give her the fruit of her hands. Let her own works, her accomplishments, her good deeds, let those things speak on her behalf. May you see those things and because of that may she be praised and lifted up. May she be exalted. This woman, who above all else loves, respects & honors her God, her Father, her Savior. Let her own works praise her in the gates of the city. She does not need to speak. Her work, her love, her heart speak so loudly you do not even need to hear her words. She is a woman after God's own heart. 

In Proverbs 16:6, it notes that the truth, the love, the mercy, fidelity.... TO GOD & MAN....NOT by sacrificial offerings. The heart of this Proverbs 31 woman, she does not have to sacrifice. All she is and all she has is because of God. Her life. Her activities. Her loves. Her joys. Her whole heart. It goes back to the blog post entitled, "Past the Point of Sacrifice". Our Proverbs 31 friend is past sacrifice. It is not about offering sacrifices because her life is LIVED as a sacrifice. But not the type of "sacrifice" we may think. Not the type of sacrifice that we are familiar with as a dread, or dragging of feet. She has got to the point where her deeds, her actions, her loves and her desires are all one. Her desires ARE the desires of the Lord. Her plans ARE the plans directed to her by the Lord. Her "job" IS served and done unto the Lord. If you can picture yourself, closing your eyes, blue skies, a breeze on your face, birds chirping and as you point your head to the sky, eyes closed, you feel the warmth of the sun on your face. You are not hot, but the temperature is perfect. The breeze is perfect. As you stand there arms out wide feeling the warmth of the sun, hearing the birds singing, smelling the freshness of life & the outdoors..... right there, at that moment you feel what is in your mind. You feel in your mind perfect...... perfect peace. You want to stand there in the moment forever. THIS is the picture of how our Proverbs 31 friend lives every day of her life. Walking in perfect peace. She is in the middle of exactly where she is suppose to be. The fundamental beginning, the foundation begins with her getting "spiritual food" for her and her household. She is grounded & directed DAILY - BY THE LORD. 

Worshipful fear of the Lord. Fear in the Hebrew also translates as reverence, respect. Proverbs 16:6 is SO powerful. Check it out... by LOVE for God, sin is purged out of our lives. Because of our deep longing, our deep love and desire towards God, our LOVE drives us from sin. The GREATER the LOVE for God, the LESS of a SIN problem we will have. As our LOVE goes up, SIN goes down. Do you get that? Is that registering? As you spend time in the Word, as you spend time with God, as you worship, as you listen to His Voice..... your LOVE will grow.... and grow..... and grow. The sin or temptation of sin you once dealt with will be PURGED out of your heart. In your heart, you will not even have a desire for it. Like your "tastebuds" have changed. You do not crave or desire that sin anymore. The SIN has been PURGED!!!! WHOOOO! PRAISE THE LORD!!! By worshipful fear.... or to rephrase and include the Hebrew.... by worshipful respect for the Lord you depart from evil and AVOID evil all together! WOW!!! That is BIG!!!! Like this Proverbs 31 woman, she is walking in this great LOVE for God, she is walking in fear, aka: reverence & respect for God, that she is PRAISED! She is celebrated. She is walking in that place of utter peace and fulfillment! Stress? NO! Chaos? NO! Instability? NO! She is walking in a place of peace because she is walking in the middle of her calling, walking in the middle of WHO SHE WAS DESIGNED TO BE! 

I am reminded of a girl who is very, very close to my heart. She is a smart, vibrant, passionate girl. She is so full of gifts & talents. The Lord has placed in her some very GREAT and mighty things to do and accomplishments to complete. She is one of those types of girls that you look at her, you see her in her prime and you know, she was called to do GREAT and MIGHTY things for the Lord. She has the "IT". The "it" factor, she has it. You know that on stage, she would be wildly passionate for the Lord.... that her passion and zeal alone would draw thousands of people in to meet this God that she knows. To meet this Almighty One that could make someone's life so fulfilling. She has that "it" factor. It doesn't make her better than anyone who is not like that. It does not make her more important, that just makes "that" her calling. Her ministry. And we need ALL types and forms. I just heard recently a great quote, "You make the BEST you, but when you try to be someone else you will ALWAYS only be able to be 2nd best." So... those are Jennie's gifts.... passion, zeal, fire... the ability to draw people in. We haven't seen Jennie in several years. But she talked to Tyler for the first time yesterday in a long time. He could hear it through the phone. The mask and the layers. You just want to shout, and even help her BREAK FREE!!! Or you want to just begin to TEAR through the layers and pull out this passionate girl, this on-fire for the Lord girl, this girl who has GREAT and MIGHTY things to accomplish for the Lord. You just want to BREAK IT! Break the shell, the bondage that is holding her back. Break the power the world has hold of her right now. So, that is my prayer. My prayer is that she would BREAK FREE! My prayer is that she would be AWAKENED to her calling. That she would be RE-KINDLED, RE-UNITED with her FIRST LOVE! Her first love is still there. My prayer is that she would stop running and allow herself to just fall into the arms of her Father who is just patiently loving her and waiting, who is standing by when she is ready. And like the prodigal's son, when she is ready to come home, he will be standing at the top of the hill, looking out, just waiting for her to come up over the hill and come running home. 

I rejoice in the expectation that the time is near. Those called will be brought back to the Lord. The anointed will rise up. Not only will we live a life of love and peace, but we will live a life of SETTING THE CAPTIVES FREE! We will live lives of BREAKING BONDAGES, letting people experience what FREEDOM in CHRIST is truly like. It is not a life of a mere list of rules, regulations, standards and boredom. It is a life of ADVENTURE! It is a life of ABUNDANCE, TRUTH, EXCITEMENT. Living as a Christian is a life beyond any other. And, across the world, where ever YOU are right now, whoever you are reading this, I would welcome you to agree for Jennie being back. Being back where she is suppose to be. Being back from running. Being back with her Father who is waiting on her. And Tyler and I, with love in our hearts, fullness like she were our own child or sister, our love is just waiting for her to come back. A love that is so deep. So, Jennie, if you are out there, we would drive anywhere, we would do anything just to have you home. Day or night, we are here and we love you. 


Deb Ellis said...

Very powerful blog today, Amy. I shivered as I read the compassion in your prayer for Jennie. I agree with you and Tyler for Jennie's return to her calling from God. It's so hard to stand by and watch those we love make poor choices and wander away from the plan God has for their lives. Prayer is the answer and I am confident that you will be sharing a testimony of God's faithfulness regarding Jennie on this blog and we will all rejoice with you and Tyler.

Dylan Barry said...

Proverbs 16:6 is absolutely incredible. It is two fold verse where Proverbs 16:6a speaks of the sacrificial system of Israel and the acts of God towards man.

"By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for," (v.6a, ESV)

The important word is "atoned" (Heb. "kaphar"-he will be atoned for or propitiation) Who's "steadfast love and faithfulness" will atone? God's. What is in view is what we find exclaimed in Exodus 34:6 (ESV)-

"The Lord passed before him (Moses) and proclaimed, 'The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness...'"

That Exodus verse has to do with Moses asking if he could see God's face (Beatific vision). I we read the next verse in Exodus, God proclaims that he is the one who "forgives iniquity and transgression and sins" a threefold repetition used in Hebrew to glorify His mercy and grace.

So will not the wise man see that God "by (His) steadfast love and faithfulness" has borne away our sins (God provides a way for reconciliation)? For the Christian, is it not the wisdom of the Christian to have peace through Christ (the Pascal Lamb)? It is because of God's steadfast love and faithfulness that we (Israel or the Church) can draw near to our God. The first couplet leads into the second by speaking of what God has done, which is provide atonement.

Dylan Barry said...

The second couplet:

"and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil." (v.6b, ESV)

The word "and" will tie the two couplets together. It is out of reverence for the Lord and His steadfast love and faithfulness exhibited through the sacrificial atonement that the wise man "turns from evil". It is the common wisdom saying that man act with piety towards God in that God acted in mercy towards us.

Dylan Barry said...

Given that Proverbs 16:1-9 is unified by the themes of man's action or plans and God's sovereign direction what can be said of verse 16?

I cannot help but see the Gospel sing in this passage. What fascinates me is that the Proverb says that it was not merely the sacrifices that atoned the sin done, but they served as a sign post pointing up to something greater. The lamb, bulls or doves did not propitiate the sin, but God did!! They were mere shadows of a greater reality.

If one reads the book of Leviticus, there are only two times (one them being the Day of Atonement) in which the priest was called on to slaughter the animal before the altar himself, all other times the person bringing the animal had to kill his own sacrifice. He would have "to be covered" in his consequence so to speak. It was not like the clean breaking of bread, but the deprivation of life. What a telling reminder of the consequence of iniquity. Sacrifice was dirty business. It was what God called for in order that men could draw near. We can say that what God commands (perfection), He graciously provides (sacrifice by animal and finally through His Son). The focus being on man's inability to draw near to God by his own means.

Dylan Barry said...

Finally, it is because of who God is towards us that we turn away from sin. It was the Puritan Henry Scougal who wrote, "The worth and excellency of a soul can be measured by the object of its love." (The Life of God in the Soul of Man) If men love those things that are passing on, should we be surprised that his person is weak, discontent, fleeting and distracted? If men love God, who is infinite, how can one's love ever come to the end of eternity? How can man not cease from betraying the true loves of heart? Will not his actions testify to what he desires most? Scougal points out, would it not be pain and heartbreak to the lover to act with disdain towards his beloved who is the object of his heart? Love has a way of stirring up in the lover the passion to offer the best to the beloved. It finds it fullest satisfaction in giving to the fullest measure in order to complete or fulfill love's deepest longings.

Curious isn't it that only when we are fully satisfied in God that our satisfaction towards others can be called blessed. It also means this, if our fullest satisfaction is found in God, then there is no room to find satisfaction in sin. A cup filled with to the fullest cannot be filled even more. Fascinating.

Jo Ann said...

I stand in agreement with you & Tyler concerning Jenny. I remember her well & what a joy she was! My favorite memory was when we were on our way to Nashville & my car windows kept freezing over. I stopped at a gas station & you & Jenny were there. It was sooo cold but we stood outside & talked about what a memory we had shared. Such a simple thing God used to bring us to the same station. Several times when I passed that station I was reminded of happy memories, then I would call Jenny (I didn't have your number then). I left 3-4 messages but she never returned my calls. I don't even know if I had the right number. I pray for her return now as a have many, many times!

Social Sharing