Sunday, August 8, 2010

More of You, Less of Me

     We had a great Sunday School lesson this morning on 2 Timothy 4. The part that really stuck out to me was verse eight. Paul has just finished saying how he has fought the good fight, and then he goes on to say that "[T]here is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." Our SS teacher asked us to consider how we can obtain that crown of righteousness and the thoughts that followed were very challenging. Paul said that he and those who were receiving the crown of life longed for the appearing of Christ. Honestly looking at myself, I can see that I don't long for the appearance of Christ. I'm not afraid of Christ's coming, but I am not longing for it. I thought about the reasons that I don't long for the appearing of Christ. I love my life here too much. I love my family and my friends. I hold onto the life I live, not realizing the life that Christ offers me. I've been so challenged in this area lately.  Luke 14:26 says that "If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison--your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple."(NLT) My love for God is to be so superior to everything else in my life, that my love for other things(my friends, my family, etc.) should look like hate in comparison to my love for God. I've been so convicted the past two weeks, realizing that I do not have that kind of love for God. I am a relational person. I thrive on relationships. I love my friends and family deeply, and I cling to my relationships with them. I've realized however, that I have been clinging too much. It's taken some loosing of my fingers by God to make me realize this. Some very painful loosening. 
     I desperately desire for my love for God to be everything to me. I want my love for God to be so superior to my love for other things that my love for them looks like hate. I want that.  But how do I get there?? How do I become consumed by Christ and Christ alone? I don't know the answer. All I can do is seek Him. Jesus, I want to love You more!

I have felt the winter snow,
 Seen the beauty of a rose.
Sat by many fires,
And enjoyed the warmth of friends.
I've known love 
And it's embrace,
 Have felt the wind 
Against my face.
Watched the moon at midnight 
Shine upon a sleeping world
But, it's been the rain,
 I'ts been the storms,
It's been the days 
When I've been worn,
That I have found You, Lord,
That I have found You, Father.
 It's in the pain,
That I have grown,
Through all the sorrow
I have known.
So, if that's what it takes
 For You to lead me this far,
 Go ahead and break my heart.*
Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have 
And ever hope to be.
All for Jesus.*

*Break My Heart by Kathy Troccoli and Jesus, All For Jesus by Robin Mark.

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