daily devotional

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”

This is our prayer today: Where is my heart wrong? Where have I become hardened? Where have I become cynical? Where have I lost the heart you created me to have? Over time and through life experiences, we learn to be cautious. If you give money to him, he’ll just buy alcohol. If you give an inch to her, she’ll take a mile. If you open the door to them, they’ll never leave. And all of this may be true. You’ve been taken advantage of in the past. Maybe you’ve been used and run over and as a result you are one guarded gal with some big walls.

It all makes sense. I get it because I too have taken bricks thrown at me and built walls. But what if that’s never what God wanted us to do? What if all this time instead of building walls with those brick we were supposed to be climbing up on them? What if those bricks thrown at us were nothing more than an offer of a new, higher perspective on life. What if on our climb up we were supposed to be reaching out a hand and helping the very people who threw bricks, to climb on up too?

And here comes our guarded hearts with scars from the last time we stuck our hand out saying “noooooo … they’ll just do it again!”

I wonder what God has to say about this? I wonder what his perspective is on loving anyway? I wonder what he would instruct us to do when there’s a strong chance of being taken advantage of? Well look no further than his son Jesus. I mean think about it, Jesus stretched out his hands to help some people who would be pretty crappy to him. And he knew it. Yet, he did it any way. Jesus gave his life for some who would never acknowledge him in return. Yet, he did it any way.

It’s easy for us to wear the label of Christian and sit on our high horse, looking down our nose at these people, pointing our fingers and shaking our heads with disbelief. But honestly, we’re not a whole lot better on most days. We receive the gift of a new day of life and we complain it’s a little too cold for our liking. We are the recipients of the tremendous blessing of children, and we complain about their messes and all the work they require. We’re a bunch of ungrateful brats, given all these blessings and freedom and we act as if we’re entitled to it somehow. WRONG.

But here’s the beautiful thing, God knew you would be a little bratty, but he gave you those blessings anyway. He knew on most days you would completely miss the sheer miracle that you’re alive, but he decided to give you another day of life anyway. He knew you would fail to say thank you and acknowledge it was him that has provided every single opportunity you’ve ever received, but guess what … he still decided to line up more opportunities for you today.

Why? Because LOVE is his nature. It’s who he is.

And it’s who you were created to be. You were made in the image of God. You were created to give and love, and when the world has taught you it’s not safe to love and give, you’ve turned from the very person you were created to be. While we can disguise it as being street smart and realistic, the truth is, we’ve lost who we really are in the process. We’ve become judgmental and cynical with a list of qualifications for our love.

Oh Lord, create in me a clean heart. Help wash away all this crud that has built up. Remove the dark stains of hurt. Clean out the build up of rejection. Clear out the layers of disappointment. Remove the expectations, cut the strings, and help me to love again as you intended me to.

At the end of each episode, you hear me say it … maybe you’ve caught on … it’s my thing. I say “I love you wildly.” And here’s what I mean by that. I love you without expectations or restrictions. There’s not a thing in the world you need to do for me in return. My love for you is not limited or contained. It’s a wild love. It’s natural. It’s unleashed. It’s unconstrained. And it’s completely free. Free for you to receive. Free to love you just as you are. I love you wildly.

This is the kind of love God unleashed on us. A wild love that made no sense then and still makes no sense today. Here, give your one and only son for people who may NEVER accept him. Give him as a sacrifice for some who will never appreciate it, never understand it, never change their ways because of it. Yet he did. Why? Because he loves you wildly.

And God is calling us to this wild love. A love that will do things that make no sense. A love that will take the bricks thrown at you and instead of building walls, climb up on those bricks and help others to climb up too. A love that will show up in the face of rejection. A love that will keep giving when it may never be appreciated. A love from a cleaned out heart that knows this is exactly what God wants me to do. He just wants me to love as he has loved. Wildly.

Renew a loyal spirit within me. Loyal to the life you created me for. Loyal to the love you have called me to give.