Saturday, Dec. 24 – Brandon Fitzmorris

24 Dec

Week 4: Love
Today’s Scripture:
Gen. 12:1-3
Matthew 28:16-20

John 15:9-17  

I have been known to tell “ The Youth” of BRCC, “ Love is not an emotion, but an action.”  Actually I tell them this about every other week. It took me a long time to truly learn this concept, and in fact I am still learning the depths of this truth day by day. You see, for the bulk of my life I viewed love in three ways: the emotions I felt, the affection I desired, and the attention I sought. The problem is that these are only byproducts of true love, only glimmers of what true love can be. And so here I was looking for a glimmer, a shadow of love, and the broken relationships began to pile up like broken down cars on the side of the interstate of my life.

It took many years for me to realize how selfish this view of love really was. Consistently seeking out what I wanted or needed from a relationship. I would feed off of the affection, affirmation, and attention like a parasite until the relationship was broken. The Lord soon showed me that I had this same approach to Him. Everything about my relationship with Him was about me. The life in ministry I wanted, the emotional affirmation I sought in worship, and the wife I wanted Him to send to me.  I said I was always seeking to find “His will for my life,” while actually trying to shape His will to my own.  I had become a believer in the summer before my senior year of high school, and had experienced a freedom and joy that I had never known. And within a few short years I traded in that freedom for slavery. Not the slavery of my former life and outward sins, but a much deeper, darker form of slavery and I couldn’t even see the chains. I have lived my whole life surrounded by people who are in deep bondage.  Addiction has left many scars upon my childhood; looking back over my life, the fallout of sin is everywhere.

It’s a sad thing when a person is bondage, but it is heartbreaking when the person is blind to the chains. So there I was–depressed, broken and alone, and The Lord was opening my eyes to what His love truly was. He has a funny way of doing that sometimes. Showing us just a glimpse of his goodness and light, and in doing so, we see ourselves for who we are. He doesn’t need to point out our chains and give us a list of our faults. He needs only open our eyes to who He is, to begin the process of showing us who we truly are. He began to show me that his love for me had nothing to do with me and what I could bring to Him, as if he needed anything from me.  There is a verse in the gospels where Jesus is about to wash the disciples feet. It says in doing this He showed them the full extent of His love. His love was real, and it took the form of sacrificial action.  His love for us is made perfect in His sacrifice for us, in the actions He took and is taking. And we are called to be imitators of this love, taking action to love the people in our lives–to serve them, to do what is in their best interest, and to lay down our lives on their behalf. When we do this, when we live out love, with our friends, spouses, children, co-workers, and enemies, we will experience pure affection, sweet emotion, and healthy attention. We will see lives changed.  No event, church service, or mission trip can do this. But one person, laying down their life for love another…Now that, my friends, has the power to change the world, or at least that person’s world.

So go change somebody’s world.  Go be a tangible representation of Jesus to someone who will never go to church.  GO LOVE. Love the way He has loved you, without hesitation, full of grace and forgiveness. Be quick to give, first to serve, last to leave, and I promise you, friends, you will be blessed more than those you serve.  I know this is true because I get to live this dream daily with you and your children.  Being able to serve as the Youth Pastor at Broad River has blessed me more than I could ever express in words. Being a part of your lives and seeing the Lord work is completely satisfying to my soul.  SO LET US LOVE.

-BF

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