Who Will Love Me for Me? – The Path That Will Lead You There- Purity 603
Purity 603 12/16/2021 Purity 603 Podcast
Today’s photo of the nose of a kayak heading towards the light underneath a canopy of trees comes to us from a friend’s October vacation to the Florida Keys.
It’s Thursday, and as is my habit, I share photos of pathways, roads, or waterways to encourage my friends to take a step into the spiritual realm by pursuing the truth, meaning, and purpose that is to be found on the path of Christian Discipleship. The difficulties of this life can surround us but when we start to seek the Lord and His ways for living we discover that just like in todays photo, we might not be out of the woods yet but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the beauty of the journey, even in the midst of our struggles, and that we can know that we are progressively moving towards the light of the good things that God is preparing for us as we steadily walk away from the darkness of the world’s ways.
I may not be teaching until January 6th, but my lifestyle of Christian Discipleship doesn’t end just because class is not in session. This evening I will be visiting with a brother in Christ who “just appeared” at the recovery ministry I was teaching at a few years ago. They didn’t have a problem with drugs or alcohol but were struggling with the sins of the flesh which according to statistics for both Christians and non-Christians is common among men.
I had talked about how the Holy Spirit had progressively led me into sexual purity after I had victory over drugs and alcohol and this man approached me about being an accountability partner. Through the years, we have encouraged one another and have become good friends and we meet periodically to check in on each other’s lives. Just as our journey of faith doesn’t end, good discipleship relationships endure through the years. Discipleship/accountability relationships, when they are done right, allow the parties to be real with one another and foster spiritual growth.
So seek the Lord and you will find company on the path of Christian Discipleship as people will “just appear” as the Lord sends people into your life with which you can grow.
Another person the Lord sent into my life is my beloved fiancé, TammyLyn. She sought the Lord and found my discipleship classes on my podcast, felt compelled to come to my classes in person and the rest is Christian love story history: a story so awesome I can barely believe it but to doubt it would be to deny knowing about just how good our God is.
Even though I am seeing my friend this evening, TammyLyn will be travelling down to River House to spend time with me afterward. I told her that because of my appointment she didn’t have to bother as our quality time would be limited but she assures me that she doesn’t care about a few lost hours spent in the Lord’s service, she wants to spend time with me because she loves me, a concept that I admittedly struggle with accepting that someone could love me, for me.
My past, my former broken relationships, and my low self-esteem from before Christ still can affect the way I think about myself. Sometimes I feel I have to earn love, or that people are just tolerating me and if I’m not careful they will leave, or that the love and happiness I experience in life will be good for a time but will be fleeting. But TammyLyn assures me that she loves me for who I am and that we are getting married on January 1st because we are going to love one another for ever. She’s the real deal and really loves me for me.
As awesome as she is at assuring me of her love for me, I have to do the same thing for her. Only yesterday she thanked me for loving her at her best and worst, and even in the crazy situations that surround her. She thanked me for loving her even though she wasn’t “normal”.
I assured her that I didn’t think any “normal” people existed and if they did they would not be interested in me and more than likely wouldn’t be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and I wouldn’t be interested in them.
In our relationship, TammyLyn and I have agreed to love each other regardless of the physical distance between us or any of the madness that surrounds us because of our pasts. We have agreed to love and accept each other for who we are, warts and all. I have decided to lover her for her, and she has decided to love me for me.
And that reminds me of the simply heart wrenching song by JJ Heller that documents various scenes of people struggling through life where they wonder if there is anyone out there who will help them, if there is anyone out there who will love them for who they are, if there is anyone out there that who will love me for me.
The song climaxes with a man on death repenting and asking the same question. The song says:
“He utters a cry from the depths of his soul
"Oh Lord, forgive me, I want to go home"
Then he heard a voice somewhere deep inside
And it said
"I know you've murdered and I know you've lied
I have watched you suffer all of your life
And now that you'll listen, I'll tell you that I..."
I will love you for you
Not for what you have done or what you will become
I will love you for you
I will give you the love
The love that you never knew”
If you would like to be emotionally moved and possibly break down in tears as I did this morning, I am including the link to a video for JJ Hellers’ song on the blog. (https://youtu.be/VE3vxMqXMCo ).
In this life, we may never find someone who will truly love us for us. But when you seek the Lord on the path of Christian Discipleship, you will find the One who knows all about you, and amazingly He will love you for you.
So keep walking and talking with God, He loves you and He will lead you out of the darkness of this world and show you what love really means. He will give you the love you never knew.
Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
14 When Jesus saw what was
happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom
of God belongs to those who are like these children.
15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
Today’s verses indicate that it is only through faith alone, in Christ alone, that one can enter into the kingdom of God. A child can’t perform like an adult. Their small frames are too weak to do the things adults can do. A child’s knowledge and experience are limited too. Without the care of parents or other adults, children would suffer and possibly die.
CHRISTMAS REFORMATION LONG OVERDUE
… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve …
Christmas as it is celebrated today is badly in need of a radical reformation. What was at first a spontaneous expression of an innocent pleasure has been carried to inordinate excess. In one section of Chicago, for instance, the excited citizenry vie with each other each year for the biggest, gaudiest, and most vulgar Christmas tree, on the porch, on the lawn, along the street; and one gigantic, flashily dressed and cold but determinedly smiling Santa Claus drives a fully lighted herd of reindeer across the yard and over the house!
How far have we come in the corruption of our tastes from the reverence of the simple shepherds, the chant of the angels, and the beauty of the heavenly host! The star of Bethlehem could not lead a wise man to Christ today; it could not be distinguished amid the millions of artificial lights hung aloft on Main Street by the Merchants Association. No angels could sing loudly enough to make themselves heard above the raucous, ear-splitting rendition of “Silent Night” meant to draw customers to the neighborhood stores.
In our mad materialism we have turned beauty into ashes, prostituted every normal emotion, and made merchandise of the holiest gift the world ever knew. Christ came to bring peace and we celebrate His coming by making peace impossible for six weeks of each year. Not peace but tension, fatigue, and irritation rule the Christmas season. He came to free us of debt and many respond by going deep into debt each year to buy enervating luxuries for people who do not appreciate them. He came to help the poor and we heap gifts upon those who do not need them. The simple token given out of love has been displaced by expensive presents given because we have been caught in a squeeze and don’t know how to back out of it. Not the beauty of the Lord our God is found in such a situation, but the ugliness and deformity of human sin.
Among the harmful abuses of the Christmas season in America is the substitution of Santa Claus for Christ as the chief object of popular interest, especially among the children.
The morality of Mother Goose stories and fairy tales has been questioned by serious-minded Christian parents, but my opinion is that these are relatively harmless because they are told as fiction and the child is fully aware that they are imaginary. With Santa Claus it is not so. The child is taught falsehood as sober truth and is thus grossly deceived during the most sensitive and formative period of his life.
What shall we do? Cultivate humility and frugality. Put the emphasis where the Bible puts it, on the Christ at the right hand of God, not on the babe in the manger. Return to the simplicity that is in Christ. Cleanse our churches of the unscriptural pageantry borrowed from Rome. Take the Scriptures as our guide and refuse to be pressured into conformity to paganism practiced in the name of Christ.
Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship