The Day Life Changed…
Posted on December 14, 2021 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you…” ~ Paul of Tarsus
It was a tough time, the days seem long and lonely… hope seemed so far away. Not knowing who to count on… who to trust, made each day harder to face. It seemed as though everyone wanted something from you, and those closest were being pulled away by circumstances beyond anyone’s control…
The moment the light shown again was that day of realization when someone ‘opened their heart’ and hid nothing of themselves, being vulnerable and honest. It was that day life began to change; even though they knew the struggles, weaknesses, failures, and resistance of your heart, still they loved you.
But to enjoy the light, you must step into the light and experience its warmth. It is one thing to be loved, but to truly know its healing power you must participate in the relationship it creates. Paul goes on to say to the Corinthians, “you are withholding your love from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also” (2 Corinthians 6:11-13).
The difficulty most of us face in moving forward from the pain is we do not love in return. The problem in relationships, families, marriages, and churches is the failure to understand the reciprocal nature of love. Love is a two-way street. It always is; it is inherently so. Love requires a response. Paul loved them, but they did not love him back. They were closed; they were unresponsive; they were coldly self-contained. And the result? Paul puts it in one word: they were “restricted” (Stedman).
Paul urges them to, “open wide to us also.” The power of Love is not in receiving it, but in the giving, in the vulnerability and honesty that allows others to find rest in your company. Paul writes, “If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.” (1 Corinthians 13:3-7 MSG) The next line says, “Love never fails.” If you have known someone to reach into your darkness and offer themselves as the means for you to enter the light again, then you know how powerful Love is.
The day life changed for me was the day I accepted Christ’s offer of salvation, having understood ‘He was the way, the truth, and the life, that no one would come to the Light of the Father’s presence but through Him. God put some very special people in my life to help me grasp that truth in ‘real-time’; for that I will be forever grateful. He put a new song of hope in my heart that I can enjoy each moment of each day. Even so, I look forward to the day when I can sing that song of salvation face to face; returning to Him the Love and worship He deserves.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
(1 John 3:16)
Praying you choose Christ today
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we [l]may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.- Hebrews 12:28-29