So I, Ty, was chosen to give a devotional while on our trip to Peru. I started working on what I would say and prayed about it. I chose a subject and that was it. However, the night before I would speak God pressed deeply upon my heart that I was going to give a different devotional than the one I had picked. It is what God is teaching all of us down here. God is changing and challenging our hearts to grow. A lot of us feel this way. I wrote my devotional out in words and here it is.
Love, god’s love. It is absolutely perfect. It is unfathomable and I have experienced a glimpse of the holy of holiest, Christ’s love. I had a lot of preconceived notions before I came on this trip and along with those preconceived notions I was not right with God. I have been walking the “answers” without my heart desiring those answers. So I am changing my devotional from abiding in God a little. I had already planned what I was going to do for my devotional but God has placed something much stronger on my heart.
On the flight down here Karlene said something along these lines with great enthusiasm, “I love the Peruvians.” She said it with such enthusiasm and integrity that I believe her. She loves them. Not just knows them and misses them but cares greatly for them and every aspect of their lives and their walks with God. God broke my heart and taught me to love all. God’s love broke through me in such a way that I saw the Peruvians as she does, and I can say I love them; all of God’s people. My heart weep for the pain of God’s children. The pain they experience of so many not knowing God. The pain of a sinful world amongst Peru. The pain and suffering that we, all of us, have caused. It is a sinful world and as God said in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” We put God on the cross, our sins have nailed Jesus, our savior, to the cross. In his infinite wisdom Jesus choice to love us (1 John 4:19). He chose us first. Grace is so beautiful and we only comprehend such a small part of His love.
I have just recently started to feel in my heart the pain of God. The hurt that His children cause Him by disobeying and sinning against Him. It was about two months ago as my friend was going through a divorce a marriage of just 4 years. I was doing dishes (which I really really don’t like to do) and God pressed on my heart the terrible loss and pain that He was experiencing by my friends actions. I sobbed because of the pain they were causing God, of the knowledge not known by them, of the destruction that they were causing on themselves. It was overwhelming and I wept. Today I understood Karlene’s statement. Karlene deeply cares for the Peruvians. They are not just Peruvians. They are in truth God’s children. There is no race. There are no nationalities. We are God’s children. We are of one church and of one people and it saddens me that not everyone shares this view. I am troubled that we cause God so much sorrow and pain. That His heart bleeds because He loves us so much and we disobey Him. God, awesome creator of the universe sent His Son to die for us; I cannot fathom having a son, only a parent would know, and then sending Him to die for children who disobey, inflict pain upon one another, and cause innumerous strife and problems amongst each other. Why would you send your Son to die for us, to die for me, a lonely sinner, one who is not worthy to think of being known by God, much less of being an inheritor to the Kingdom of Heaven, the sacred sinless perfect existence.
I know that I do not truthfully love the Peruvians. Ignore that statement, I know that I do not truthfully fully know and live and give my life to love all of God’s people, but I have experienced a little of what God desires; what God longs for. For us to understand that there is only one people in the world. There are only one people and they are no different from each other in the eyes of God because He calls us to surrender our lives for Him and for each other. I am reminded of a song by Brandon Heath here is the chorus.
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the once forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
We are not different from all of the other peoples of the world. We have no more right, no more significance than any other single human being, than any other of the billions of God’s children whom He loves beyond our comprehension. I deeply long that God would change me so that He would open me up to seeing His people how He views us. The amazing spectacular creation that God created with the choice to hurt Him or to please Him. Let us be completely transformed and Lord change our eyes, ears, minds, and being to become the men and women, the children, that He desires us to be.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38
This is the first and greatest commandment. 39
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
So let us be forever changed, let us pray fervently that God would open us and that the Holy Spirit would work through us that we could Love & know God deeper and greater than any of us has ever done before and that we would see people only as God sees us; Children of God.