3 04 2013

William Gladstone, in announcing the death of Princess Alice to the House of Commons, told a powerful story. The little daughter of the Princess was seriously ill with diphtheria. The doctors told the Princess not to kiss her little girl and endanger her own life by getting too close to the contagious disease. But if you’ve ever been a parent, those directions given to her were much easier said than done.

Once when the child of the Princess was struggling to breathe, her mother, forgetting herself entirely, took the little one into her arms to keep her from choking to death. Rasping and struggling for her life, the child cried out, “Momma, kiss me!” Without even giving it a second thought and like it was done by reflex, the mother tenderly kissed her daughter. Princess Alice got diphtheria within days and soon thereafter died from it.

Real love doesn’t play by earth’s rules. It never assumes that the one we are supposed to be looking out for is ourselves! Real love is unconditional and administered with no strings attached. Real love is born in heaven but it must be lived out here on earth. Real love is never driven by selfish desires but always operates by doing what is best for the other person receiving the gift. We only taste of real love when we are willing to forget about ourselves and hold nothing back in our giving- even if there is no guaranteed “getting” in the equation. Real love lays it all on the line even if while standing on that line- the giver is about to be run over by an eighteen wheeler! Real love is willing to sacrifice the most precious of gifts- one’s life- given freely for the life of another.

Because God loves you, He will always be direct with you. He will always tell you the truth. He is absolutely ruthless in going after the things that spoil the flow of His grace and blessing into our lives. His process is to subtract in order to add. He will never allow you to get too comfortable with a selfish mindset that will eventually do you in. He will insist on removing everything that prevents His glory from shining through you so that you can love like He does. A beautiful loving cup you can never be if there is still dross still in the mix.

So there are times that God allows us to be in situations in which we are beyond our ability to cope on our own. He permits difficulties to come to us. Contrary to popular opinion, God does give us more than we can handle in order that we will hand over the steering wheel to Him! And when we ask, “Why God?” which almost all of us do, He reminds us that He is refining us and teaching us to love Him back the way He loves us. He is drawing us away from our own strength so that we may depend on Him. He knows exactly how much heat to allow in our lives. He will never scorch us, but if we jump out of one cauldron because it is too hot- there is probably another one waiting just around the bend. The dross must be removed! The dross kills real love.

Do you know how the ancient refiner knew when he was done and the heat could finally be turned down? It was when he looked into the cauldron and saw his own reflection in the shining silver. As long as the image was muddy and rippled with flecks of slag, he knew he had to keep working. When his face finally showed clearly, the silver had been purified.
This is exactly how it is with our spiritual refining process. God’s plan for us has always been to look and love just like His Son Jesus does. As Jesus works carefully in our lives, standing beside us through it all, He keeps looking into us to see His love reflecting back. In the midst of all our mess- He sees His face in us. There is less of us and more of Him and we all win because a fruit of that process is that we produce a love of another kind.

Jesus chose to kiss us when we were dead in our sins. Judas’ kiss to the Lord was to betray Him. Jesus’ kiss to us is to rescue us! This is what Easter is really all about! It is God’s passionate love for His people come alive! Jesus chose to love us when we couldn’t possibly love Him back. But when we stop fighting God and surrender to His Hand touching our lives- it brings lasting beauty to our ugliness and allows a love that satisfies to flow both to us and through us. God isn’t out to get us as much as He is out to love us and in that love- we finally learn how to live because we finally understand how to give- no matter whatever. Love isn’t love until you give it away. And on Good Friday_ God gave us the very best He could possibly offer! He gave us Himself!

And His kiss lives on because on Easter Sunday Jesus came back in grand fashion! Do you need a kiss like that today? Fall on your knees and let His love raise you up to be more than you ever could make of yourself! Forget the chocolate bunnies- I will take my Master’s kisses! What about you? Is His kiss on your list today as the best things in life? Who needs some godly loving in your world today? Happy Easter my Family! Love you all!

Let Pastor Rudy know what you think by emailing him pastorrudytlc@comcast.net



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