The Bible says, God is love. In 1 John 4:8 it says, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love”.
The Bible also says in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Now, as much as I would like to believe that we as Christians love one another, the fact remains that we really don’t.
In the course of my life, I have met very few Christians that truly exemplify the love of Christ in their lives and toward others.
What made me start thinking about this… is a book I am currently reading called “Now I Walk on Death Row” by Dale S. Recinella. It’s a book I received for free from Baker/Revell Publishers to review it.
I have to say that what started out as my doing this out of an act of service toward God, is now blessing me tremendously. I would have never known that my choice to use my gift of writing to blog and review Christian books was going to turn out to speak into my life to such a degree that it is.
I never heard of Dale Recinella in my life. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the book, but it sounded interesting. He was a Wall Street Finance lawyer, I work in a law firm, so I figured I would relate to him in some way.
The minute I opened up this book to read it, I was immediately drawn in. He is a prolific writer. I love the way he writes. I haven’t cried and laughed so hard reading a book in a long time. But what really got to me was his journey from being a finance lawyer to a true servant of God.
I don’t want to give too much away, but I would encourage everyone to get the book. You won’t be disappointed. This book is having me really think about my walk with God in a deeper way.
I can say that Dale Recinella’s life exemplifies the love of Christ. I’ve only met a handful of people like him in the course of my life.. I can freely admit that I’m not one of them.
Of course, I dream about being this selfless, self sacrificing, loving child of God, but I know I’m not. And books like this, totally have me face where I’m at. Mr. Recinella asks a profound question while reading the bible, “Did Jesus mean what He said?”
We as Christians, read the Bible every day, but do we ever ask ourselves this question? I know I haven’t. Yes, I try the best I can to follow Christ’s teachings, but I fall short. Yes, I try to be faithful to attend bible study and church on Sunday. Yes, I tithe and I pray for people. Yes, I try to be a good wife and a good mother. But yet and still, I know for a fact that I’m not exemplifying the love of Christ in my life or towards others.
I have a very predictable and complacent existence as many other Christian’s. We have our little communities, our little cliques and rarely do we step out to reach out to others. Rarely would we put our lives at risk for others . Rarely would we step out to be inconvenienced. Rarely do we step out to get our hands dirty. And if we do, we just feel so full of ourselves with our “good works” as if we’re doing some great feat. As if we are scoring brownie points with God or something.
I’m really not trying to rain on anyone’s parade here or be pessimistic… I’m just telling it like I see it and notice that I’m including myself in this. I’m not exempt you see.
So my question is, what kind of a Christian am I? Do I really love others the way Christ loves? Do I love my enemies? Well, the answer is, I’m a nominal complacent Christian, that just does enough to get by. My concern is for my family and myself. I don’t really love others and especially not my enemies! That is the truth.
Now that I’ve admitted this… now what? I have no idea. All I know is that between reading the Bible and reading this book, I realized that I’m not in a great place. I’m not such a great Christian. Perhaps I would have liked to consider myself a great Christian, but I’m not. I realized that my heart is hard and when push comes to shove, I don’t really love others the way Christ would want me to. Yes, I like people… I like people that are nice and behave respectfully towards me. I like people that don’t give me any trouble. Yeah, I like people alright, but now love people?… Well… that’s another story.
I am suppose to be a follower of Christ, but my life does not signify that. Seriously, I’m not just saying this. I really mean it. So the question is, how in the world does one become a true and authentic follower of Christ?
I’m not talking about doing good works now, because I know a ton of people that do good works. They serve in their churches, do missions work, but simultaneously they aren’t the nicest of people. I could very well be one of them for all you know HA HA HA. But seriously, I mean, what is it going to take for any of us to really believe and take Jesus at His Word?
I wish I had the answer for you. I wish there was some magic formula and Poof… you become this exemplary Christian in no time. I can only speak for myself, but that hasn’t been the case. I have had people pray over me, fast with me, lay hands on me, you name it, I did it… and guess what, it didn’t change me one iota. My heart condition is still the same, and when your heart is polluted so is your vision. You can’t see anything clearly when you got a bunch of smoke in your face.
Sometimes I wonder, how long oh Lord? I kind of feel bad for God… I mean, here He goes and decides to create me… He goes through the trouble of forming me in my mother’s womb. He says, He knows the plans He has for me (Jeremiah 29:11). And then He has to sit back for the majority of my life, shaking His head wondering why He even created me in the first place? I can’t do anything right. He tells me to sing… I tell Him, I don’t think I can… I obey Him and then totally make an embarrassment of Him and myself while I’m at it. He told me He wanted me to go to Colombia and I heard Egypt… the frequency was off I guess… (some of you know what I’m talking about here and are laughing).
I’m telling you, I don’t know how in the world God puts up with me. I really don’t. I admit it… I’m an utter failure to Him… but He still loves me. I sense His love, I tell Him I’m sorry that I’m a big old flop… and I ask Him to help me. He has a lot of compassion, I thank God for Jesus, because if it was anyone else, they would have gotten rid of me already. Some already have tried… but I’m still here, because God wants me around for some reason. So I just take it a day at a time. Every day, I ask the Lord to help me. Some days I do better than others…
But when I read books like the one I’m reading now… it really makes me look at my walk with utter disappointment. I really admire people that go all out for God and succeed. My hat goes off to them. They truly live a life giving it all to Him.
Whenever I die… I hope to see Jesus face to face… my deepest desire is that He would tell me, Well Done… I choke up every time I think about that. I’m not exaggerating… my eyes well up with tears… my desperation for God is something fierce… but yet, I fail Him… what a contradiction huh? When will I ever get it right? I haven’t a clue… but the desire is there.
I end this blog with a song that deeply touched my heart this week and I want to share it with all of you.
May it encourage you today… http://youtu.be/dUMRqJCV9Q4