Did you all love that story about her bed? Incredible!!! I have to say I was completely humbled by the idea of her in tears over sharing time with the Lord. I can't honestly say I have this emotion, but boy do I want to. Do you know people like this? I would love to hear some of your stories if you do, because I am inspired by such deep affection for God.
Let's jump to page 101, where Francis says, "Personal experience has taught me that actions driven by fear and guilt are not an antidote to lukewarm, selfish, comfortable living. I hope you realize instead that the answer is love."
God doesn't want us to do things because they make us feel better about ourselves. He wants us to be completely motivated by love. And do you think you can love others well without loving Him? I don't. Not the way He desires us to. I bet Clara was great at loving others out of the overflow of love that came from the Lord.
Let's hop to 102, where this question comes up: "Do you feel free in your Christian life?" I think this is an important place to camp out for a bit, because so many of us feel like we need to do, do, do, do in order to be in the grace of God, and that feeling of being chained is not from the Lord. If we love Him, our actions will flow freely from that love. It's a good barometer of our faith, isn't it?
I think it's natural to get caught up in what we need to be doing to be right with God, and it seems too easy to just "love" Him. Anyone who has a great relationship with the Lord will tell you that it makes sense when you're in it. He didn't mean for it to be as complicated as we have made it!!! I really believe that we are commanded to help others and to live lives that edify Jesus, but the only way we can do this genuinely is out of true, deep love for the Father we serve.
He alludes to this on page 108, and I thought it was one of the most powerful paragraphs so far. When we look at our relationship with the Lord as a chore, we are getting the glory, not God! Wow. So true. If I am constantly walking around dropping stories about the soup kitchen I volunteer at, how much I have tithed to overseas missions, all the amazing things I have done, do you really think people are going to be convinced that I love God? Or maybe, that I need some credit for all my good deeds. I love when he talked about David Livingston giving the speech at Cambridge and explaining that he had never made a sacrifice.
Also, if you haven't done the exercise on page 111, you should...it's good.
Okay, over to you all now...thoughts?!?!?!?!