Sunday Sheep Ponderings – February 12,2017 

Pondering today on love ❤️.
I know of a man who had a near death experience (pronounced dead) about 50 years ago. His account of what happened to him is …well, seriously thought provoking. As he came face to face with the Lord, he was asked one question. “Did you learn to love ❤️? This man was an evangelist and a preacher yet he was asked “Did you learn to love ❤️?”
Have YOU learned to love ❤️? Now, I know you love your spouse, your kids, your family and friends…that’s easy. (Matt 5:46) I spent most of my spiritual journey…”loveless”. Oh, I served God, taught Bible Studies, only listened to Christian music, only watched “Godly” shows, etc. I appeared to be a follower of Christ, a Christian but the truth is, I was more like the Pharisees who loved religion rather than people. I loved my people but was extremely judgmental of those who were not like me. I had a spiritual maturity (arrogance) that was admired in my circles but was far from what Jesus displayed. I was more concerned with “teaching” you the right way to believe than I was with hearing your heart. Thank God for grace and for His gentle patience. 
I wanted to “love others as I loved myself”. 
I wanted to feel that of “faith, hope and love…that the greatest of these is love”.
I wanted “love” to pour out of me, to define me, to genuinely be what I felt…but it wasn’t. The reality was that “condemnation” poured out of me, “being right” defined me, and superior was what I genuinely felt.
Today…I love ❤️. I’m not perfect but my heart is soft, my compassion and kindness are genuine and judgement has almost completely disappeared from my thoughts. What did “I” do to get this way? Nothing. It was ALL Him. He knew the desire of my heart was to be like Him and He did not give up on me. He exposed (and still is) religious lies I had bought in to and He called forth the “real” me that was created in His image. 
It is a journey my friends. A journey of erasing everything the world has painted all over you and finally seeing the real you as you were created. It’s not a journey of “becoming” but a journey of “returning” to what has always been true. A journey that we are ALL on, so be patient with yourself and others. 
So what about the man who died? He came back to his body, lived a long life defined by love ❤️, and died on Valentine’s Day 2014. 
Happy Valentines Day my friends! And may we all live a life like Jesus…a life defined by LOVE ❤️❤️❤️! 

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