Written and posted today. 12/02/16
As I reflect on my previous post, I can see how giving in secret is related to the courage of love. God wants us to totally depend on Him for our provision and our strength. He wants us to know in the deepest recesses of our heart that we are loved unconditionally. The courage and strength to reach out to a hurting world comes from this love. No matter how much we love the people around us or how much they love us, it is not the same love as what Jesus gives us–the love that caused Him to be born and to die on the cross for us.
This is why I titled this blog post The Courage of Love. Love and courage go hand in hand. When I think of being courageous which is what the title of today’s devotion is, I think of how the words in Deuteronomy 31:6 couldn’t have been spoken without love. It was centuries before Jesus came, but God still showed His love to Israel.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
God will never leave us. If He spoke these words to His people in the time of Moses, what did sending Jesus mean to Him? He sent everything He had because He loves us unconditionally, and because of that love, He will never leave us.
I’ve had to hang onto that love a lot this year through all of the mess in my life. There were times I didn’t think I had a lot of courage because I thought courage was the absence of fear, but now I realize that courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s having fear and making the choice to go forward anyway. Making the choice to let God stretch me beyond my comfort zone. Making the choice to lay myself bare before my church family. Making the choice to work on healing even when it hurts. Making the choice to let go and let God.
This is also what my church is working through with its capital campaign. It’s not just for the raising of money. We want to love the people who are different from us and introduce them to the One who loves us all. That takes courage–the choice to love someone else even if they are different from you. May we all have that courage today!
God’s blessings on all of you today!