love

love has been on my mind.  it’s patient and it’s kind.  it never fails.  never judges.  looks you right in the eye and says “i don’t care what or who you are”.   God is love. 

i was listening to the Michael Gungor song named “Glory is here”.  the song is obviously about the glory of God being among us–how we want more and more–but i have failed to listen to the first verse—and it slapped me in the face yesterday.    i always put the song in the “church” context of  God’s glory being in a sanctuary while we worship Him.  but the verse says “awaiting the day–   searching for more–  while all along you are found with the poor–   help me to see–  you’re all around me.”  

what does this mean!  this was such a kick in the head for me.  i’ve spent my life going to church and wanting the “glory” of God to “show up”.  trying to sing the right song or do the right thing— while all along He is found with the poor.  that rocked me.  it is still rocking me.  are we spending too much time (talking to me now)  loving and fixing each other when broken people need us?  broken and hopeless people.  Is He dwelling among those that need Him instead of with those that take Him for granted.  as i type this tears of  anger and confusion stream down my cheeks—because i’ve always wanted to be where He is.  Is He in places that i would never consider going?  is He with people i would never consider loving?

i know that when 2 or 3 agree there He will be— but i’m digging for MORE love.

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14 Responses to “love”

  1. Rose Says:

    Hey- Jacob- The tears you experienced is what I experience out on the mission field and then coming back. It sometimes hurts to walk into churches and hear people talking about new sanctuaries with theater seating and drink holders when I know that everyday people are hurting, dying without God.

    Last month when I went to Peru and preached in a church we planted, I felt God’s presence so strongly. They had no light, no heat and it was cold. When I said what Scripture I was going to read, everyone of them pulled out their Bible, their candles and helped each other find the verses. Everytime I quoted a Scripture, they pulled out their Bibles and went through the process of finding the Scripture. They were all new to the Lord, many didn’t know how to read. They had nothing in the material sense, but they had a hunger and a love that magnified God’s presence.

  2. lance Says:

    Yes. I feel your heart. I firmly believe that God is calling us to abandon our four walls, and find His presence in our relationships with others. I think the church landscape is changing.

  3. danette Says:

    Glory~~The presence of the Divine Being; the manifestations of the divine nature and favor to the blessed in heaven; celestial honor; heaven.

    Listened the past 2 mornings to Dr Dobson with the families of the killing in Colorado Springs about a year ago at a church and mission. How the shooter and the victims’ family gathered and the Presece of the Lord was there and enabled them to forgive and love one another. Then, again they’re in studio sharing again.

    I could NOT imagine how these people could do this save Jesus holding me up. I think that this is the GLORY of the Lord showing up and allowing human beings to forgive the unthinkable. Do I really want the GLORY of the Lord?

    Yes, the GLORY of the Lord in church is great but it is so MUCH bigger in the life we live daily if we let HIM into that daily life and recognize HIM. Way out of my box.

  4. Steve Sensenig Says:

    Great thoughts, Jake. You wrote: “i’ve spent my life going to church and wanting the ‘glory’ of God to ‘show up’.”

    I have found so much more of Jesus since leaving “church” 5 years ago. It dawned on me that he “showed up” 2000 years ago, and has never left us since. That glory that we were always seeking is right here in us, thanks to Jesus living in us.

    And yes, you’re right (and so Gunger). He is with the poor, and all those other places that we never wanted to go to. Think about where Jesus spent his time. He had little good to say for the “religious” and spent his time with the people the “religious” folk were convinced were straight from the devil. Yet he said that the religious leaders were “of [their] father, the devil” because they put their trust in their religion, not in him.

    Bottom line, you don’t have to FIND him. He’s in you, bro. You don’t need to go to the poor to find him. But if you let him live through you, you’ll eventually end up going to those places you think you don’t want to go to because that’s where he likes to hang out 😉

  5. Shelli Merino Says:

    Good thoughts Jacob. You know…for about the past 5 years (like Steve) God has been pulling me deeper…stretching…even making me “leave the nest.” As I’ve gone my way, walked God’s walk, I’ve come to know how just incredible His love is. I’ve come to see that the spirit of religion plays such a heavy role in the lack of Christian love in the church today. I mean look at the church as a whole and what you said about how you’ve been in church all your life…worshipping, praising…waiting for God to show up. Also like Steve said, “you don’t have to find him. He’s in you.” This is so true….sometimes we just have to forget everything we know about God and allow Him to lead us to a place that is truly HIM…unavoidably, unabashadley, unreservedly HIM. That place is LOVE…the pure kind of love that radiates from you. John Ragsdale preached a sermon some years back about “relationship evangelism.” This concept applies so beautifully here…because living for God isn’t about walking around and handing out tracts, or even inviting people to church. Real love, God, is about living love everyday, going to a place where you are truly “walking in the spirit.” A lot of people feel that spiritual perfection is unattainable, or even undesireable, but Jesus calls us to walk the walk, talk the talk…to live and walk in the spirit. Have you ever met someone you thought was just too nice? Or someone who people thought just did the right thing all the time…never seemed to have a bad day…ever? Many people criticize or ridicule these people because the believe one of two things: 1. They are fake, or 2. They are goody two-shoes. Neither one of those things do people really want to be around or open up to. However, maybe if we stopped and thought about it for a minute…maybe, just maybe these are the people that have had it right all along. I’m not saying people don’t have problems…and I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be real. But sometimes there are those people that we meet from time to time who have just got it right…even though they don’t fall into the categories we think or believe to be “true.” Maybe it’s time to take the lenses of “religion” off and see the world through God’s eyes…I’m sure we’d have a whole new perspective on life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Thanks for your thoughts Jacob…keep digging. 🙂

  6. Hope Says:

    Amen, Steve.
    This makes me think of two scriptures – Isa.6:1 – In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. AND – 1 Cor. 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
    The GLORY is in you – YOU are the temple here on earth. Going to church and trying to come up with the right formula to “get in the spout where the glory comes out” is so where we came from. And while we did what we knew to do at that time in our lives to draw near to His glory and to be in His presence, we thought it could only happen at church. That was the temple. When 1Cor was referenced it was only to make us feel condemned about any mistakes we had made – while it should have been to remind us that His Spirit and Glory resides in us and that we have power to be an overcomer – not that we had defiled the temple. The Glory of God is in you, goes with you, and shines through you.
    I don’t know that we’re spending too much time loving and fixing each other… I’m not sure what you really mean by that. We have so many that we minister to each week that are poor in a financial sense. We have so many more that we minister to that are poor emotionally and physically. We don’t have to go out and look for it.
    anger and confusion? That’s not what He wants you to feel. Yes, He is in places that we may never consider going and while I know that you have love for everyone, He is with the people that you might not consider loving. BUT – He is in YOU – He is with YOU. You are going places where He is and loving people that you don’t even know – maybe not physically, but with music. Don’t let doubt come in your heart and make you think that you’re not doing enough for God. That is so religious!! It’s not in what we do, it’s in what He did. Really, I think I hate religion more than you hate electronic drums.
    You, Jacob Lowery, are an awesome man of God – a provider, husband, father and priest of your home. Don’t spend positive energy on wondering if you’re doing enough – (unless, of course, you can write a great song from the experience) – Live your divine purpose, Give of your gifts – Know that you are reaching and touching in ways that others cannot reach and touch.
    Now, the truth of this matter is that you must not be able to be home alone. The next time Lori and the kids go for a few days with her mom and dad, call for support. I think you had too much time in your house by yourself.
    I love you!

  7. jacob lowery Says:

    it is true. i had a whole day at home alone and went crazy! God was simply dealing with me about doing more. about moving out of my comfort zone. and i’m glad He did.

  8. Elizabeth Wharton Says:

    That’s really good, Jake. It brings to mind a lot of what I read in a couple of Donald Miller books a couple years back. I think if we focus more on “being” who God wants us to be rather than “doing” everything we think we should, then opportunities are going to present themselves in and out of church for us to truly love. 1 Corinthians 13 has shown up so much on wall plaques and bookmarks that I think we can become immune to it. If we start holding that up as our measuring stick for how we deal with people, both saved and lost….wow, imagine what that would be like. Even if we only mastered the first two, love is patient and kind, it would change us completely. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. tony b. Says:

    Jacob, the poor are prophetic. What I mean by that is they tell us who we really are. The way we treat the poor determines if we are disciples are not. Jesus runs to broken people and the one thing that always opens my eyes to God’s glory is when we run to the broken.

    So many churches only reach out to those people that can give back to the church. They are looking for the community to serve the church instead of the church serving the community. This should make us sad.

    In Isa. 6:3 the angels say that the “whole earth is filled with His glory.” The word filled means “drenched.” The word glory means “the significance or the weight of who God is.” The angels tell us that the whole earth is drenched with the significance and the weight of who God is. Creation is dripping with God. Growing up like we did we were taught to pray “God please show up in this service,” but maybe we were the ones that needed to show up and just open our eyes. If everything is drenched with His glroy our prayer should have been God open our eyes to your glory.

    It never fails, when I feel like I can’t sense His presence it is usually because I’m not doing what I need to do to keep my eyes open to His glory. And the one thing that always opens my eyes is when I am serving the poor and broken with no strings attached.

    Good post bro.

    all things new,
    tony

  10. Anne Griffith Says:

    Dear Brother Jacob, I don’t read your blog regularly and found this entry just this morning. After reading several of the responses, this is where our God took me in His word. In this order, John 2:16-17 (I was going for 19 but He stopped me) and then to Psalm 69. I remember when He opened my eyes to the order by which He preached the sermon on the mount, first we must be poor in spirit, meek and mourning, then are we filled and then can we do the works and be worked on. I pray you stay in this place because this is called being under His wing. He is showing you something, birthing a testimony, a message, a song. In Jesus’ name.

  11. Kim McNicholas Says:

    I wasn’t going to post a response but after reading this and ‘robots’, reading the responses to ‘love’, leaving the website and just crying, I want to post…

    I believe that God is to us, what we allow him to be..in fact, he will be everything to us and through us if we just let him…blogs like this stir things up in people, because God is our creator and he placed something deep w/in our core that makes us long for him and his presence…too many times, we exhaust ourselves by covering up that longing w/superficial things that just frustrate us more…then it takes God peeling back the layers one by one, until that longing is revealed again…it’s up to us to keep that vulnerability to his presence exposed…for our own good…

    Jacob, months ago you posted a blog on myspace about helping on the live recording for John…you said one sentence that struck me…not exact, but you said that due to so much time spent in preparation for the music and the recording, that by the time the actual concert/recording took place,you had already used up everything w/in yourself and God was going to have to do the rest that night to bless others…………isn’t that what God wants?…us to let go of ourselves so he can do the only work that we are not capable of with our own ability…God expects us to do the obvious things that are within our human power, then he can do the rest….from that myspace blog comment, I had started writing a song…”let your presence overwhelm me, let your glory flood my soul, let your holy anointing, take full control, Lord I need you to take control”…….sounds like that’s kinda what he’s attempting to do in you….

  12. jacob lowery Says:

    yeah kim—and i want Him to. i’ve messed up His plan plenty of times! so glad to read what you wrote. you’d better copyright that song before i steal it!

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