SO this is something I wrote a few months ago, in reaction to watching the series A.D. I have also recently been listening to the bible project podcast, and many of these things are still stirring in my heart. God is doing something deep in me with this idea of loving others. Decided it was time to share this. I hope it encourages others like it is me, to let Jesus do this work deep in your hearts as well to love the way He loves us.
We have been watching the series A.D. on netflix recently. It has left me wondering so many things. Especially about my own heart, seeing a portrayal of the Holy Spirit, and the real power of the Holy Spirit, and the early church. What they did, what they gave up, and how they moved through the events after Jesus rose again. I am left wondering what I would have done. Peter makes a speech in one of the episodes right after the Holy Spirit comes and I actually wanted to leap off my couch at 10pm at night and do what he said.
I found myself wondering what I believe about the power of the Holy Spirit in us, and the sacrifices I am willing to make to see Jesus come to people. Over and over I hear Peter (in the show) speak about love, how love was Jesus's way, even talking with other Jews about how they are no longer to fight with each other but just fight. (I have been reading through the old testament recently, and the bloodshed and fighting has been standing out to me too... so this distinction Peter makes of the time before to fight and the time now to love like Jesus did was amazing to me. Really I just needed a place to put all of these thoughts.
Also they set out to rescue and love all those that needed help. Even knowing they may be taken advantage of, and used. That was ok, because that is a risk when we love others. Barnabas giving what he had, they all facing death at any moment, and giving up family etc. Spoke deeply to me too, we have given up a lot to come to Cambodia and have gained a lot. We have made sacrifces but truly nothing in comparison to what those who have gone before us have given up.
I have been struggling in my heart lately to want to love people, all people the way Jesus did, and the way He has asked and created me to. I find myself feeling hardened lately, because it is scary to put yourself out there and love the way Jesus asks us to. But I am confident that it is what we are called to do, and it what our early church roots were based on.
So much of what we should be doing is counter cultural to where we live, to human culture anywhere, because God is not human, and though aspects of human culture reflect who He is, it flawed because it is not fully who God is.
One more thing that struck me was watching a portrayal of the man and wife who held money back from God. I have heard that story over and over again, I recognized the couple as soon as they came on the screen. They gave so much, but they held back. I wonder though if it was worse that they just simply weren't honest about it. They said they gave all they had, but they didn't, they held back. They lied, and thought they had gotten away with it. Then their disobedience, the effect it had on the others, and on church. Here are these people who love God, and Jesus and want to give all, but are scared so they hold back. When they hold back the pretend they don't and all are deceived, then when they are punished people are scared of Peter, but it wasn't Peter who killed them.
How often does our disobedience hurt those in community with us around us, and pull us away from what God is doing? Or make others afraid of what God might do?