Have you ever had your world turned upside down for love? Have you ever loved someone so much that it inspired you to become a better person? Has there ever been someone so special in your life that you were willing to give up everything for them, because they were just worth it? I have. Let me tell you about it.
He is the most beautiful man I have ever met. He is compassionate, loving, gracious, kind, and so forgiving. As a matter of fact, no matter how awful I am (and I can be pretty awful) he always forgives me. He always makes time for me, always listens to me and always shows me how much he cares about me. He wants to know how my day went and he wants to hear my problems. I guess you could say he is pretty perfect. And I adore him with all my heart and soul, with every fiber of my being, every breath in my body.
His name is Jesus. He is my God, my King, my Savior, Lover of My Soul, Holy and Righteous, The Almighty, Counselor, Friend, Father, Redeemer, Rock. He is my everything, and I owe my very life to Him. Before I met Jesus, I never knew how wonderful love could be. I never knew how amazing life could be! I spent most of my free time trying endlessly to search for happiness. Filling the void with TV and people and games and whatever else sounded good in the moment. Nothing ever had any purpose though. I was always left feeling empty.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8
But Jesus knew this about me. And he knew that he had the answer that would be the exact cure for my suffering soul. Jesus had been pursuing me for years. Well, all of my life actually. Somewhere inside me I think I knew…but it was easier to run from him. I didn’t really know who he was and what he would want from me. And I was so scared. Scared to be hurt again, like I had been so many times before by people. But Jesus never gave up on me. Not once. Even when I regularly used His name as a swear word.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Yet he forgave me for even that. How can that be? How is that even possible? For love. He did it all for love. I can barely grasp the fact that God loves me, let alone the fact that He loves me enough to passionately pursue me. To die for me. Many times I have struggled with the fact that Jesus would die for me. Little old me. I am nothing special. But to Jesus I am. I am precious and beautiful to him. Always.
So when I met Jesus, I knew, He was worth everything to me. He was worth turning my life upside down for. He was worth giving up anything and everything for. But then things got complicated. Jesus asked me to start to become set apart for him. He did not want me to look like everyone else around me. It wasn’t just that he asked me to give up things of the world. Or to learn to love all his children. Or to become more modest. He wanted me to be brave and bold. To speak out in His name and to learn to use amazing gifts that he gave me for the good of His children.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Gifts that set me apart from the average person you talk to on any given day. Not because I am special, or unique. No, because he has these gifts for each person who would take them. Gifts to prophesy, to heal, to pray for others, to see spirits, to give a word of wisdom, or a word of knowledge, lead, serve, speak in tongues or interpret tongues. But what do you do when you have some of these gifts and live in a world that doesn’t believe that they are real anymore? How do you move forward learning about your spiritual gifts when there is no one around you to even teach you what they are, or what gifts you might have?
Are you going to be willing to be so set apart that you step out in faith and use your spiritual gifts? Are you going to be bold when you hear God tell you to heal others or to give a word of knowledge to someone or to begin to speak in tongues? These are wonderful gifts that God wants us to use to help each other. But it can be scary. It is so easy to suppress the calling to do God’s work when it is something difficult. I am certain that many of you have heard a calling from Him. A soft whisper that was leading you towards more. To use your spiritual gift, to step out onto the water and walk with Jesus. To go up to the mountain and witness the transfiguration.
What would that do to your life? How would that change you? Are you willing to listen to God’s call, his sweet and soft whisper? Have you ever loved someone so much, so very much, that you just ached to the very core of your soul?
Then maybe it is time to take Jesus’ hand and take that next step he is asking you to take. You will be afraid. You will not know what to do. You will at times feel that it is far too much for you, and you may even feel that it is just plain crazy. But you need to remember one thing. Nothing is impossible with God.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10