Weekly Rewind (Week 6)

Acts 3:11-26

Virginia Crowley

I hummed as I dressed for church this morning. Our Forward series in Acts has been so helpful to me, and I was eager to be back with my Christian "family" as I'd missed church  last week due to illness. I hummed the song, "I love you with the love of the Lord, yes, I love you with the love of the Lord. I can see in you the glory of my King, and I love you with the love of the Lord." It seemed I loved everyone at Piney Grove, and I wanted to be with them all.

I reflected on the words of the sermon, that we easily become complacent in declaring the finished work of Jesus in saving the lost populace we see around us in our everyday lives, and His desire that we become disciples who earnestly reflect that salvation. I thought of my own desire this morning to be with my Christian friends and family, in a respite from the world I realized that is degrading almost daily. I realized I don't have the eyes of Jesus to see the lost friends and neighbors and even strangers in the market places I encounter daily, as people He loves so much that he shed His blood for them, and my own complacency that they don't even know it.

I wept silently as I cried out in my heart, "Refresh me, Oh, Lord! I want to love people that You love, not just the ones who surround me here in this sanctuary! How can I love the lost as You do? Please grant me a teachable spirit!" I heard the words from Pastor Dallas, "A plot of earth does not make a garden. Gardeners make gardens. And God gives the growth."  "Oh, Great Gardener of my soul, till me! I've been fallow ground for too long!," I prayed.

I realized I have wanted a safe place for too long. I want to be plowed by reflecting deeply on God's grace. "Renew Your Spirit within me. I confess my need of a servant heart; only Your Spirit can make me a profitable servant. Only Your Spirit can bear witness with my spirit so that  I cry out "Abba, Father! Daddy, Daddy!" Your Word tells me that you come into your garden to see if your vine has blossomed. You are concerned that Your vine bears fruit- which You give. It is my response to You to blossom - and You give me understanding of your Word to make it so. Evermore make me to understand, my Father!"

I want to sing in my heart over the lost people I meet in my world, "I love you with the love of my Lord, yes, I love you with the love of my Lord. I can see you with the eyes of my King, and I love you with the love of my Lord."

Dallas WhiteForward