Ya’ll know how I love to write about the effects that music has on me, and the many revelations I get through song . . . here’s another . . .
While on my “break” (insert sarcastic LOL here) from school, one song really hit me hard- specifically one line from a song. This line kept popping into my head, ringing in my ear. It first hit me on Christmas Eve service while listening to the ever-amazing “Oh Holy Night”. I have heard this song so many times and know every word, but on this particular night, this one phrase became emblazoned on my heart :
His Law is LOVE, and His Gospel is PEACE
Guys- I have struggled recently, as many of you have I’m sure, with the amount of ugliness that is occurring around us. So many competing views, differing opinions, nasty words, vile actions and reactions. There have been days that I would just sit in deep grief at some of the reactions of people on the news, on my Facebook feed, in my little bubble even. So many hurt feelings, so many offended hearts, so many strong and unapologetic opinions just swirling around. It all just weighed on me so hard. Where do I fit into this mess? What am I contributing? Am I a part of the madness, the goodness, or am I just another person doing nothing? And then this phrase : “His Law is LOVE, and His Gospel is PEACE”
I believe the WHOLE Bible is Truth, not just parts of it. I mean, it’s God’s Word, and we are God’s children. What kind of parental job would God be doing if we just adored and agreed with every word He said? Any good parent will tell you that when your kids are pushing back and disagreeing with you, you’re probably doing the right thing (just a side note- apparently I am ALWAYS doing the right thing! LOL!). So, I think it goes without saying that we aren’t gonna love every word in that Book.
I passionately believe that the greatest commandment given to us is to LOVE. Furthermore, I believe there is a vital reason why that is. None of the truths in that Book (ESPECIALLY the ones we aren’t too fond of) will ever have any impact, if a foundation of TRUE LOVE has not been laid. Once we understand the deep and earnest love that is had for us, we can then begin to TRUST & ACCEPT what He wants for us. Love first. In my opinion, there is no other way.
More than anything else, that Book repeats and depicts the unbelieveable love that God has for His children. Over and over there are stories trying to convey to us the deep, deep adoration that He has for ALL of us. In return, WE are to love as Christ loves. We are NOT to throw stones. So, why?!?! WHY!??! Why are people so damn ugly? Why do people find it necessary to vomit their very strong opinions and views all over the world? It hurts my heart to say that so many Christians have fallen into this category of stone throwers. That is the EXACT OPPOSITE of who we are called to be!
We are all different- God made us that way. There is no way, with all that different goin’ on, that we are always going to see eye to eye and get along. It’s just not going to happen. So why do we get so offended? Why do we get so bent out of shape when people disagree? Why friends, do we feel the need to brutally defend the most powerful thing ever to exist? God doesn’t need OUR counsel- we need His! We need to reevaluate our motives, and look in the mirror at what we are handing out to this world. How much truth? How much love?
“Oh Holy Night” reminds us that His LAW is love. HIS LAW. As in, if you don’t obey it there will be consequences. And you know what those consequences are? Hate. Evil. Walls Up. Hearts Hidden. Lost People. I don’t know about you, but that’s just not a consequence I’d like to face.
Yes, truth is vitally important, and sometimes it’s just no fun. But, we can’t ALL be constantly shoving what we believe as truth down the throats of every person we feel is living in the dark. There are times when we must simply love, stir intrigue, and lead people to Jesus. There are times (not in every circumstance obviously) when we must trust our churches and our pastors with the task of “preaching” – that is what they have been gifted in and called to do. We are the BODY of Christ, and we are all ambassadors to the cross. But within that body, are many different parts serving many different purposes. You can’t be all parts to all people. Know why? BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT GOD!
We can’t ALL assume the role of “Mom and Dad”. Some of us simply need to be the siblings- the brothers and sisters. Some of us simply need to shut our mouths, stop trying to rat on our brothers and sisters, and LOVE THEM. Rather than trying to call out their every weakness, every mis-step, their misguided choices, we need to come alongside them and lift them up. We need to champion their uniqueness, we need to seek out and cheer on their God-given gifts. This world is FULL of critics and know-it-alls. Why do we have to add to it? Why not just put the sibling rivalry to rest and focus on brotherly love?
So, what am I saying here? That you never speak truth, and just live in a hippie-esque euphoria of loooovvvee?! LOL! No. But what I am saying is, move forward in love FIRST. Truly meet people where they are without any hidden agendas. You don’t have to love a person’s choices or their lifestyle, but love the person. Extend Christ’s love to people in ALL circumstances. If you do have an opportunity to share God’s truth, make sure you’re in the right frame of mind to do so- NOT a defensive one, NOT an angry one, NOT an “I’m right, you’re wrong” one. Come from a posture of love, and seek Godly counsel if you’re unsure- use your resources, not your feelings.
“His Law is Love and His Gospel is Peace”
. . . and Folks, His way works.
This verse from James 3:17-18 perfectly depicts our place in love :
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
**BONUS! If, like me, you find a connection to the Lord in music, and can really relate to some of my posts referencing music, PLEASE check out my friend Michelle Nezat’s site and podcasts! She is inspirational and does an incredible job blending song and scripture! CLICK HERE to get to her page:)