I just started Part two of my new book…loving like Jesus loved…here are some of my unedited thoughts as I approach this part of the book…
I think this is going to be tough. I’m talking about this part of the book. Not to read, I’m sure it will be, but to write. Normally I write the introduction to the different parts after I’ve written the chapters, but not this time. When I write God normally takes me through quite a journey. I benefit far more than anyone who reads it. I need it more than anyone else. I learn more and go through all kinds of amazing experiences. I am tested to the max. While I dread the pain I will feel and the sin I will have to confront as I write. I can’t wait to get into it. God is going to do some amazing stuff in others lives. He is going to change my life. He is going to allow me to confront my own demons, my own lack of love. I will never be the same. I expect nothing less and nothing more. I will learn to love more and I pray that you will share this journey with me.
I was challenged by this part of the book long before I started writing it. My first revelation had to do with the impractical nature of love. As I read and re-read the Gospels I can’t figure out God’s love. My practical mindedness is overwhelmed by the extreme nature of His love. Francis Chan called it Crazy Love in his book. I can relate. This stuff is crazy. It makes no sense. It’s a whole new way of loving. It’s going to cost each of us much. It already has. I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to figure His love out.
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of His love is that it demands actions. I find it easier to talk, preach, teach, and write about it. I don’t think that’s enough. At the same time I know that his kind of love is life giving. It aborts my life of any kind of religion that sucks the life out of me. It takes me to new depths of surrender and new heights of experience. It backs me into a corner where only faith can lead me out. It is indeed the Jesus way.
It forces me to continue to pray, “Jesus, show me your way.” At the same time be gentle with me. Be patient with me. Help me in the weakest areas of my life. There so much I find easy about your ways. This is not it. Transform my heart in order that I might do a small part in transforming my family, my network, my community, and my world. Lead me to your cross where I can experience your love for my own and then lead me to my cross that I might share your love with others.
How do I know this section of loving like Jesus loved is going to be so challenging? It’s simple! It was challenging to Jesus. Nothing demonstrates it any more then Jesus’ experience Gethsemane just prior to his crucifixion. His prayer revealed the tension he felt as he moved toward the ultimate act of love, that of him laying down his own life for the sins of mankind. It is in garden that he finds himself alone. The disciples are asleep. In a few hours they would be scattered. In this aloneness with the Father he prays an honest prayer, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Maybe he didn’t get the response he wanted. He prayed a second time, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” The Father’s will was done. It always is when we love like Jesus.