Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Greatest of These


It was during the final message, before we all left for our various prison ministry hubs throughout the state of Alabama, that the Lord started to work in my heart about my need for a greater love. The pastor who was speaking was talking about compassion, and love, and what it means to have these two rooted in who we are.

"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, 
and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned." 
-1 Timothy 1:5

This message and his text (above verse) touched my heart so deeply. I found myself longing for a love for each of those prisoners, those many souls I would be meeting the coming week.

I wanted more than just an overall feeling of pity. Pity comes easily enough when you enter prison and see people who so desperately wish they could change their circumstances and where they are. These people are at the end of their rope; at the bottom of the bottom, and your heart would have to be made of stone to not feel something for them.

But this day, I felt myself wanting more than that. Wanting to feel more than just pity for the masses. In my heart, I desired to feel an overwhelming love and compassion for each person I met. I wanted to see them as more than just another unfortunate person with a tragic story. I wanted to see each of them as beautiful souls, whom Jesus had placed in my path for me to love.

The next morning, in my quiet time, I read the love chapter, Corinthians 13. The last verse sums up the whole chapter beautifully: 

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

I began asking the Lord, the beginning of that week, to change my heart and give me a deep, genuine love for each person. And He answered. He confirmed through messages, songs, + verses throughout those next few weeks. He confirmed through prisoners who thanked us for bringing love to them, for loving them individually. It was a wonderful thing to see Him direct and bless in this little area of my life.

"Lord, break my heart with compassion, as I see them passing by,
Traveling down the road to nowhere, trying to fill the void inside."
Forgive me when I judge them, when I don't take the time to care,
You have given me this glorious news, yet I neglect to share
I'm guilty, Lord, of focusing, on the little things in life
Forgetting that you put me here to point others to Christ."
-"Through Your View"

I've realized that it's more than just these prisoners for whom I need love. I want love to be the thing that drives me. Love for Jesus, first of all. And love for others, next. The only way to have this true love, is for me to allow Jesus to pour it into my life, so that I can pour it out onto others.

"When God puts love and compassion in your heart towards someone, 
He's offering you an opportunity to make a difference in that person's life. 
You must learn to follow that love. Don't ignore it. Act on it. 
Somebody needs what you have. " 
-unknown

This last quote speaks volumes. So true. God gives us the love, and then calls us to act on it---to follow. This is our call. Will we step out and allow God to fill our lives with this amazing love of His?

Praying this love + compassion will fill YOUR heart today!
-Chels

21 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting, Chelsy! I definitely need God to pour more of His love into my heart because I can not produce love on my own. <3

    - Lilly Shyree (alillyingodsgarden.blogspot.com)

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  2. Thanks so much for this timely reminder! You are such a good example of showing true love to all you meet!
    Denver

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  3. Thank you, Chelsy! "I wanted more than just an overall feeling of pity." Convicting. Yesterday some friends and I were talking through motivations for evangelism in 2 Corinthians 5 and talking about the greatest/weakest motivation for us personally..i.e. that the love of Christ compels us, etc. I was newly convicted on truly caring for EACH person enough to share the truth of the Gospel with them. Miss you!

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  4. Thank you so much for this post, Chelsy! It is exciting to hear of the work your family does in the prisons and spreading Christ to others! My dad disciples guys from the local jail near us, and the Lord has really taught our family a lot about opening up and loving others sacrificially. God has given our family some wonderful opportunities of opening up our home to inmates when they get out and help them get back into a normal life. It's amazing to see the Lord's work even in places like jail and prison!

    And thanks for your openness in sharing with us how the Lord is working in your life!!

    Bethany Pentimone

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    1. Prison ministry is truly SO incredible---so thankful for the opportunities God gives!
      Thanks for your comment!

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing from your heart!! You blessed my evening. The Lord gave two commandments to follow. Love God and love others. May this continue to be the heart cry of our hearts!

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    1. So thankful it could be a blessing to you!

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  6. Beautiful thoughts. We can do wonderful things for God, but if not done in His love, they will be useless and not pleasing to Him.

    Love you my friend! I enjoy reading your blog!

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  7. Thank you for sharing Chels. Really appreciated this post. ❤️

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing this, Chels!!

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing this!! I want to go into JDC (Juvenile Detention Center) work when I am older (I am 16 1/2). To minister to the kids there. ~Faith Metz

    BTW: did you dye your hair black?

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    1. That would be an amazing ministry opportunity---you totally should!
      And yes, I did dye my hair black in December. Its more of a black/brown mix, now. =)

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    2. That's what I thought. :)

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  10. Wonderful blog, really appreciate you and your family being such lights to the world.

    As you and your family continued to grow in the love of God your faith will surely grow.
    For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
    Galatians 5:6

    This is the kind of faith God will truly reward.

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  11. That's amazing! This very subject has been laid upon my heart and mind recently and reading this really clarified some things for me. Compassion is love in action, something I really need to work on. Thank you for the post.

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