Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A gushy Lenten love note

In the last couple of weeks I have been challenged on several levels. First, to intensify my prayer life. I've also been pushed on the subject of humility and service for the sake of Jesus. And, I have found myself drawn deeper into a passionate love for Jesus. Yep, there it is.

I'm not speaking of a passion for the "good teacher" Jesus, or the "spiritual master" Jesus, or the "friend of the lowly" Jesus. And I'm not talking about a passion to do more Kingdom work, although such passions are worthy of our best efforts. I'm talking about a passionate love for Jesus himself. Like my love for my wife, or my children or my grandchild, or mother or sisters, etc.--I have been drawn back into the feeling of love for Jesus. I have not been here for a while (I am sorry to confess).

Spending time with someone, telling them you love them, and sacrificing for that love will do this for you. Action for the benefit of the loved one will draw love from your heart. Like a dried old leather saddle, my soul has come alive with the renewing oil of God's nearness. And something in me must say very clearly, that I love Jesus.

I know this is a more sappy post than you are used to here, but this writer is a bit more sappy these days. I've caught myself weeping as I read of Him, or as I sing on Sunday morning. Just plain old sentimental love for Him.

Now I know--and I have taught over and over--that "love" is not a feeling, but a commitment. Well pardon my Lenten blubbering here, but sometimes the feeling of love can be pretty intoxicating and even necessary. I'd hate to have done my thirty-plus years of marriage so far with a love that was strictly cognitive. There is something about passion and feeling that is necessary glue in such a relationship.

And so, with the Psalmist I am confessing, "I love you O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."


Zee said...

i'm with you, brother!

pastor Vova kept mentioning the talk that Peter and Jesus had after Jesus' resurrection, when Peter was asked "Do you love me, Peter?" and that was it that made me really think about the balance between the feeling and commitment.

i like what you wrote in the next-to-last paragraph. i guess lately i have heard too much about love being a choice that you have to make and too little about the FEELING in love...

hm, tempted to write about it.

*hugs* great post, David!

Anonymous said...

Read with interest you blog post from this morning. I resonated with it. Been such a tough stretch for me for whatever reason and I feel rather trapped in "church" rather than the Lord and love for Him of late. I haven't had a chance to read your book but I am wondering if the same runaway instincts can surface for long term, deeply involved laymen. I suspect such is part of my problem. Any others out there verbalizing that sort of thing to you?

david said...

Zee, thanks for your words here, and I'll look forward to reading what you write. Would you please link it here as a comment?
Anonymous, thank you as well. I am sorry for your "tough stretch." And this is interesting, I have had many laymen express that they too were burned-out. They say things like: "You should write a series and have titles like The Runaway ___________. Each time, they fill in their own professional occupation. BUT never have I had a laymen suggest in response to my book that they are burned out on church, or we that I should write "The Runaway Laymen." Pardon my assumption here, but I think many are, but are as afraid to express that to me, as I was afraid to publish a book with such a theme!
Kind of rambling here, but, I'll say as I've fallen for Jesus again, I've also found a renewed love for the church...warts and all (mine the worst). However, I've also had to be pretty painfully honest about what the church IS NOT, and what she cannot do for my soul...without a humble dependence on her Founder.
Don't know. I'm in a good place for now, and will pray for you to find yours. And while I'm here, I can witness to the fact that He is a good place to be.

Mark said...

You can't say it any better than you did David. I sure hope it is a feeling and not just a commitment we make, because God sure gave me a heart and mind full of emotions and feelings. I'm with you and pondering a deeper love each and ever day now.

Zee said...

Sure :) here it is:

love: a choice or a feeling?

david said...

Yes, Mark. Me too. And thanks Zee. I'm heading to your blog now!