Love is not just the affection of the Christian life, it is the Christian life. Love is the reason God reached out to us, it's the response of the cross, it's the reality of Christ's church, it's the result of following in the ways of Jesus. This week in our devotional readings we take a fresh dive into the life of love. As you read, ask God to strip away any hindrance to love and simplify your life into a full-bodied, deeply-rooted, biblically-centered, ruthlessly-expressed, Jesus-born, tenderly-lived love. Keep sharing and reposting the devos.
". . . the disciples rebuked them." Mark 10:13
A divine double-take is required of us. Look again at this story, not at the children, but at the disciples’ reaction to the children. Would you have done the same as Peter, John, Thomas and Phillip, in your zeal for Jesus, become annoyed at the smallest distraction?
The disciples thought they were doing Jesus a favor by keeping the women and children away while He was teaching. They were annoyed with them for coming forward at such an inappropriate time. They resisted the children, shouting, "Keep back now! Can't you see He's busy?" Jesus became indignant at the high and mighty stiff-necked, self-exalting attitude of the disciples. The true condition of the disciples’ hearts was revealed.
Nothing exposes the contents of the heart like being in the presence of Jesus. His innocence surfaces our impatient, irritated, unforgiving intolerance toward ourselves. Deep below the surface of public life, many Christians are fed up with themselves, sick of their own mediocrity, disgusted by their inconsistency and bored with their own monotony. They are crushed by a savage self-condemnation. Often, the remedy for a cluttered soul is rejected.
To the extent we allow the compassion of the Lord to invade our hearts, we will be free of the self-hatred that follows us everywhere. Until our heart hears the call of Jesus to “let the children come,” we will never be free, as children, to sit at His feet and receive the tenderness of Jesus. Then we will be free of the spirit of self-blame.
It's not possible to know the Christ of the gospels unless we change our attitude toward ourselves and become like little children. We must take sides against our own self-evaluation. How beautiful it is to open ourselves intently and freely to the Father’s love. Experiencing the love of Jesus frees us from ourselves and frees us to love others.
The tenderness of Jesus’ love is real. Wouldn't you like to know at this moment how Jesus feels about you?