My beloved is mine, and I am his;
HeÂ pasturesÂ his flockÂ among the lilies.
~ Song of Songs 2:16
God’s story is a love story. We can read His storyÂ in the Scripture, behold it in the seasons, wonder over it in the oceans and maybe more than anywhere else, we can catch glimpses of His great love in ourÂ relationships, the completely broken and the less brokenÂ ones.
The completely broken ones pointÂ the way,Â even with flaming arrows, to what His Spirit within us wants us to know, and wants us to experience:Â wholeness. The less broken ones are conduits, vessels and pictures.Â They are all small love stories pointing to the best love story of all. We are created, designed, for this wholeness, this beauty, this loveâ€”no matter how we arrive.
To our peril, we ignore the story. We wander far too near the edge that our Shepherd desires to lead us away from. He tells us where “He pastures His flock”. It is among the lilies. It is among beauty. We have trouble recognizing it oftenÂ because we have become more conformed to the world, one tiny step at a time, that soon becomes not tiny at all and our hearts are hardened.
We must remember, His story is a love story, our lifeÂ depends on it. He calls us back to His ways, to His paths because He loves us, He has goodness and beauty and truth for us. No matter what we go through we can live, alive.
Yes, we have a guaranteed “losing” of our lives along the way, to follow Jesus, but it is not the violent death of falling off aÂ cliff. It is the shedding of old shells we were never meant to stay in permanently. It is the way of the “death” of the caterpillars, putting off the old self in order to take flight with the new. This isÂ our next step with the Shepherd Who has called us His own, even before we knew where He pastured His flock.
If what you know about this love story is more broken than unbroken, if you’ve never experienced theÂ small love stories pointing to the best love story of all, never met a good shepherd, pastor, father or friend: take heart, your very need, is your ticket forward.
â€œBlessed are theÂ poor in spirit,
forÂ theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed areÂ those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.” -Jesus
If this week you find yourself following JesusÂ through transformation, shedding and dying to what is earthly in you, then take courage and know you are not alone. Our family around the world is literally choosingÂ death, discomfort, and loss rather thanÂ denying Jesus as theirÂ Messiah or His Word; they are giving up all to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, because they too have found this is a story of love we’re all in. LOVE CONQUERS ALL.
“Blessed areÂ those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”-Jesus
So, together, let’s:Â “Put to death…what is earthly in (us):Â sexual immorality, impurity,Â passion, evil desire, and covetousness,Â which is idolatry.Â On account of these the wrath of God is coming.Â In these (we)Â too once walked, when (we)Â were living in them.Â But now (we)Â must put them all away:Â anger, wrath, malice,Â slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.Â Do not lie to one another, seeing that (we)Â have put offÂ the old selfÂ with its practicesÂ andÂ have put onÂ the new self,Â which is being renewed in knowledgeÂ after the image ofÂ its Creator.” -Â Colossians 3:5-10
“Not all of us are called to die a martyrs’ death, but all of us are called to have the same spirit of self-sacrifice and love to the very end as these martyrs had.” -Richard Wurmbrand,
“Precious in the sightÂ of the LordÂ is the death of his faithful servants”, says Psalm 116. That’s what we remember as we wear The Martyrs’ Cross around our necks and around our hearts.Â Love conquers all.
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Raynna, for the whole family
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We remember & pray for persecuted Christians all over the world, ponder & praise the beauty of our God and study His word to be rooted & grounded.
The Martyrs’ CrossÂ is a WEAR and a WAY. Join the world wide family wearing it around our necks and around our heartsÂ HERE. Buy one for yourself or sponsor one being sent to a family member experiencing persecution.