I heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit say,

“The offense is not towards you. I can handle the offense. I handled the offense on the cross. Give it to me. Love them and forgive them.”

If I’m honest, it hurts deeply to hear my Shepherd mocked. Like Peter, with the sword, I sometimes want to jump in and protect!

Jesus knows this hurt on an unimaginable scale, as he suffered and died bearing the weight of every one of my sins and the sins of others because of his unending love for me and you, and what did He say,

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Yes, there is a cost to being His disciple.

He didn’t say it wouldn’t sometimes hurt. He told us, “you will have trouble in this world, but take heart I have overcome the world.”

Jesus didn’t say “protect me.”

He said, “Follow me.”

Love is the only response.

This is not a shallow, fuzzy feeling.

It is weighty.

It is exactly the opposite of what the world defines as love.

It requires deep conviction with unshakable faith.

It requires endurance and patience.

It requires truth yet bathed in compassion.

It requires unwavering courage.

It requires a denial and death of self. Yes, all self interests are put to the side.

It’s love that results in faithful obedience.

Jesus lived and loved like this perfectly.

We cannot, but as we submit to Him and allow the Lord to work in our hearts and minds, we are promised the Holy Spirit to help us.

It is only through Jesus that we are capable of this radical love.

If you think, you’re too weak for this radical love, you are the prime candidate. The Holy Spirit only gives strength to the poor in spirit.

The Holy Spirit fills us when we have emptied ourselves.

It is not about YOU!

It is ALL HIM.

When we surrender to Him, holding nothing back from His great love, God then takes our shattered lives and makes a beautiful mosaic that shines for His glory.

Jesus doesn’t want to hear, “I’ll protect you Lord.” He wants to hear, “I love you. I will follow you Lord!”

God is the One protecting us!

We can’t even protect ourselves.

Who is the keeper and protector of our hearts, souls and minds?

OUR FATHER GOD! He is our keeper! And He has promised to never forsake us.

The next time we feel the need to protect God, take a look in the mirror, there may be pride showing it’s head. We may have for a brief moment forgotten who does the keeping.

Remember it is God protecting you even from yourself.

Give Him praise and love and share this love of Jesus with someone else even the one that hurt you.

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

Ephesians 5:1-2

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