Sunday, May 25, 2003

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
"Greater love have no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
John 15:12-13

I'm sitting here at my work desk typing because I experienced the glory of God
tonight. Who would of thought a little Bible study meeting with only a hand full
of people would turn into a glorious experience of God's presence? I am in awe
right now of His majesty, His holiness, and His love for the lost and broken hearted.

Tonight I realized how much I lack in the love of God. I cried like a little baby tonight,
I don't think I've sobbed like this since I was maybe in grade school, but something
happened tonight, something more than words can explain.

We had met for our leadership meeting at 5pm, everyone came late so we ended up
skipping the planned meeting and we just prayed for the night. God continues to
show me how prayer must come before planning. We must pray in order to have our hearts
aligned with God's or else our human efforts become only human efforts. The meeting
finished with only 15 minutes to prepare for the Bible study.

There in that little room in the back of the office we prepared snacks, Sean got ready
for worship and by chance Sam brought his violin and Aaron said he would play the
drums if needed. A few of my seeking friends came and some others also. It was maybe
only 25 of us in the room, but love was already beginning to fill the air. As Sean began to
lead worship, oh my goodness....the worship was BEAUTIFUL. It had to be God because
they had not even practiced or ever even played with Sam or Aaron. It was beautiful worship.

I read Acts 2:42 "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in
the breaking of bread and prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders
and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together and had
all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods and divided them among all,
as anyone had need. So continuingg daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking
bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.
Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church
daily those who were being saved."

I never thought the above passage was a prophetic word for what we experienced tonight.
A homeless man named "Joe" was invited off the street corner to join our bible study.
As we split off into small groups for guys and girls Joe joined us guys. We began to discuss
our experiences with religion and God. Some shared how they viewed religion and church
as legalistic, unloving and impersonal. We then began to study John 15:12-13 and asked
a few questions that changed the entire night. "In what way has Jesus loved us?" ...
"Who would you lay your life down for and why?" As people began to share one by one
how Jesus has loved them, suddenly Joe spoke up. I can't quite remember what happened
but Joe said something like, "Jesus loved us cause we crucified Him" ..."we crucified
the heck out of was our sin that crucified him to that cross!"

We were all silent and in awe of the striking words that came out of Joe. He then began to
share how he layed down his life for his friends and fellow souldiers in the Korean War.
He began to weep and he got up and left the room weeping. I don't know what happened,
but even as i think about it again, my eyes are beginning to tear. This man knew Jesus,
he probably knew Jesus more than any Christian in that room. He has suffered, he
has been mistreated and he has truly nothing. Nothing but Jesus.

Not knowing what to do we began to pray for Joe. We were suppose to end praying for
one another, but how can we pray for ourselves, when we see someone suffering like Joe?
What are my problems compared to his? I bicker over insignificant things, complain to God
about the smallest mishaps and here is a man "with nothing" ..he has no food, no money,
no place to lay his head and at that moment my heart was humbled.

I don't know what it means to love. All of us in that circle began to repent to God for our lack
of love for the broken and down trodden. I began to cry profusely to the point I couldn't
control it and I don't even know why? I then began to understand the breaking heart of
God for the lost and broken hearted, for the homeless and needy, the poor and afflicted.
The compassion of Jesus I realized was constant. Jesus' heart breaks continually,
moment after moment, second after second for those who are rejected by society.
And there I was afraid to even hug the man because I was afraid to get dirty? How
wretched am I? In my sinful nature I have no capacity to grapple what it means to
truly love. Father have mercy on my lack of love for those you weep over.

One by one, everyone man in that circle began to weep. We began to empty out our
wallets by giving away all our money to Joe. It was a beautiful moment. This is what
Jesus died for. He didn't die for us to have good services and nice music, He died
that the Church might love the lost. He commanded us to love others the same way
He loved us. He died for you, me, us...and we are struggling to even love a homeless
person by giving him a dollar?

God came down tonight. We layed hands on Joe and cast out the demons that haunted
him. We hugged him, we held him, we repented before him and honored him for his
work as a hero for our country. It was God showing us tonight its not about me, its about
them. Its about reaching out to those who don't have anything, who have no one to love

Who would have known the girls in the other room were being also touched by God
in a powerful way. Down in the hall they were laying hands praying for a sister in distress.
The glory of God was in the office tonight and we didn't know what to do with it. So I
said, "lets just close with a worship song." Well, that worship song turned into a
sponatneous time of worship, repentance and thanks to God. They are still worshipping
in the hall as I speak. God's pleasure takes over us when we love one another. When
we truly forget about ourselves and give ourselves to the needs of others. I don't even
think I touched upon even a centimeter of God's heart for the hurting and broken tonight.
How wretched I am, but His amazing grace still loves me in my imperfect condition.

There is nothing i can do to make Him love me more or love me less. We experienced
Church tonight. Not a program, but people loving God and loving one another. I
think I could live with Church if it was more like tonight~just loving one another.

As I was kneeling on the floor with the eyes of my heart staring towards heaven, I knew
God was asking me to give up the thing I cherish the most. it's so hard when you love
this thing soooo much and you want to hold onto it so bad, but God says, "Do you love me?"
"Please Jaeson, trust that Daddy knows best and give it to me." My favorite analogy
of surrender is this story of a little girl who would not give up her fake pearl necklace
when her Daddy asked for it. Finally, after her father repeatedly asked her twice,
on the third night she reluctantly gave it to her Father, trusting that He knew best.
When she finally did, the Father took her fake pearl necklace and exchanged it with
a "real pearl necklace" to her surprise.

God doesn't want to harm my future, He only wants the best. Why do i have such
a hard time believing it? I want to hold on so tightly to those things I desire, because
I don't want to lose it. But it is only those who lose their lives that will actually gain it.
So why am I struggling with giving up this little thing God is requesting from me,
when compared with the problems of Joe, it is merely insignificant?

I gave it up to God tonight, I don't know how it will play out. I'm leaving my future
hopes, wishes and desires into God's hands. They are not mine to determine.
I must destory every idol in my heart that would compete against the throne
of God's Lordship. Jesus again I pray, please, help me make You my only
satisfaction. It breaks my heart and I want to cry when I even think about losing
the thing I love so dearly, but if this is what You are calling me to give up, then
I must obey and trust that You know what You are doing. Daddy knows best,
and I must have faith that He does.

This pearl isn't mine, this pearl is yours~so Lord I entrust this pearl to you.
I love this pearl so much, but you love her more, I must go on into maturity
and seek You above all else, trusting You to take care of that which I am not
able to love with perfection. My heart breaks, but I pray Your grace to be
sufficient as I give to You this pearl of mine, in exchange for the pearl
of Christ. I have a long way to go in this journey. Mold me, break me,
conform me into Your image that I may become whole, without blemish,
and able to love this pearl as You have loved me.

One day, I pray I will be able to look back and know I made the right
decision. To love as You have loved me, every person you have
brought into my life, that I had loved them as You have loved me.
Lord tonight that is my prayer....amen. eyes are on You.


At 7/02/2008 10:53:00 AM , Blogger Joe Chen said...

I love the story about surrendering. I'm going through something like that right now and this is the first time I've willingly surrendered something I held very, very close to my heart.

Thanks for writing this post, I continue to gain courage from your journals.

God Bless.


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