Abiding In His Love
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guests: Carole Nelson, Julie and Jennifer Wentzel
(Carole) As John was talking, and as we were going through this time of confession, the Lord reminded me of the words that are from a song that Julie sent me yesterday. And it’s done on the YouTube, which is just phenomenal, but it’s David Crowder, and it’s, “Oh How He Loves Us,” or “How He loves Me.” But it says, verse one is: “He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy. When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions, eclipsed by glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are, and how great Your affections are for me. Oh how He loves us, oh how He loves us. We are His portion and He is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace of His eyes. If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking, so heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss, and my heart turns violently inside my chest. I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves me.”
(Julie) Lately I have been just in love with 1John 4 and 5. And then for weeks I can’t get out of those two chapters. And I’ve been fascinated by the references, especially in 1 John 4, about ‘God dwells’, and ‘God abides’, those words. And I just got on this thing about finding out, ok, what are the condition’s that causes God to abide; that’s so exciting. And several of them talk about ‘if we love one another, then God abides, God dwells’. And it even says at one point, “He who dwells, continues in love, dwells and continues in God.” But it says, “He who does not love, hasn’t even met God.” Doesn’t, doesn’t understand Him at all. And, somehow as we were going through this time of confession, it just hit me, because it’s not me, because I’ve never loved anyone in my entire life, quite frankly. But the scripture where He said of the woman that washed His feet in Simon’s home, and He said, “He who has been forgiven much, loves much.” And I just think about how, it’s just, I don’t have the right words to put it, but when you have come under that tsunami wave of God’s forgiveness, it’s like it just destroys everything in the path of His own love coming through you, you know? And so today, it’s, I mean it’s just so… we have walked through so much together. I’ve never experienced this anywhere else. And I don’t, it would be hard to know what it’s like if you haven’t been through it. I’ve been so touched by when Jen, several weeks ago, said in the podcast, “It’s such a privilege to be in a living Body of Christ.” And Carole talks about it a lot; that blood flowing. But for all of us, we have been through a lot together, and we have all been through a lot of forgiveness, all of us. And it just is amazing, it’s like it just, the force of His forgiveness comes through and just, like a torrent it just wipes everything out of the way. And what comes behind it is His love, free flowing. I mean it was, it’s joy to extend his blood when you have been forgiven. It is such joy; that’s just so striking me this morning. But everyone who has been forgiven much loves much. I don’t think there’s any other way. I don’t know…
(M) I just wanted to read this accurately in 1 John. “If we walk in the light, as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesusm His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” And you know, the thing that is so amazing is that in a Body where we are real and honest, ah… I’m struggling to say it. So much of Christianity is filled with falseness and hiding, and it’s so wonderful when you can just be you. And I remember someone that I was discipling said in great frustration, “What do you want from me Martha?” And I said I just want the truth, that’s all, just be honest. I don’t care how bad it is, I don’t care how ugly it is, just be truthful with me and you’ll be fine, because you can be forgiven. And that’s, that is the essence of what makes a relationship with God and what makes the Body; it’s being transparent and real. So, we don’t know that, we’re afraid to be wrong, we’re afraid to be in wretched condition, we’re afraid to admit it, we’re afraid that we’ll be rejected, when the opposite is true. We’ll be accepted, if we… And I’ve said to, I have a saying that probably put it on my tombstone, unless I go in the rapture, (Martha laughs) and it is, “Come on down here with the rest of us and ‘be human’.” And human is needy, to say the least. So… But we come together to the light, then we have fellowship, then we have the blood, and then we have the fellowship with the Father. So, it’s worth it. It’s really worth it to be just yourself.
(Julie) I had started out that morning in John fifteen, which I know is one of Martha’s favorite passages, and we’ve been called to memorize that. And John fifteen is all about our abiding in Him, but when you go to First John four, it’s God’s initiation, it’s God abiding, it’s God dwelling, and somehow I just got so excited about the whole… I want that, I want to be there. (Julie laughs.) The conditions, and there’s really only two, one is that we love one another, and I just, I can’t even put it into words yet, but First John four is just talking about that that is Who God is; if you, if you don’t love, if you don’t, and that in a sense… It’s kind of like what you’re talking about. It’s opening yourself up to the love He is, which is vulnerability, and it’s going to be light, and it’s going to be, you know, you’re going to need forgiveness. You open yourself up to love, you’re going to need a whole lot of forgiveness. But that is how He then comes in. That’s Who He is as love, and abides and dwells. I don’t know; it’s just such a shelter, such a great place to be. And the other, the only other condition mentioned in that chapter of God abiding is that you understand that Jesus is the Son of God, which you have to have. I mean it’s like those are the two things you have to have. We have to know that Jesus is the Son of God or we’ll never make it. We have to understand all of it. That means that He’s the Son of God; that He’s the absolute Savior, beginning to end, there’s nothing the light will ever expose that He can’t handle, that He can’t take care of. Then you can be open to the love of God, because it’s terrifying. It’s terrifying to open yourself up to love when you understand all that love is, and all that love means.
(Jennifer) Well I’m going to take a little bit from everybody, because as I’ve been sitting here, uhmm, 2011 for me was the year I met Him, really. And uhmm, you know, that’s a, that to me makes it a pretty unbelievable and unforgettable year. Ah, and of course I’ve talked about this before and my process of salvation, like my life, did not go smoothly. And uhmm, (Martha laughs) you know I wanted a Savior, I wanted to be saved, but on my terms, I wasn’t looking for a King. I didn’t meet Him until I was willing for Him. And I didn’t see the depths of me and how much I needed saving until I was willing for that. I don’t know, it’s just the strangest thing, the willingness to surrender and the wide open terrifying seeing of how desperate you are, not just for a Savior, but for a Sovereign, for Someone Who could come in and do what you can’t do, which is live your life, really. And of course in meeting Him I met everybody in this Body; because without His life in me I didn’t see all of you, I didn’t see Him in you, I didn’t know you anymore than I knew Him. And so this year has been just an awesome adventure of getting to know each of you and your hearts and ah, that’s been part of me getting to know Him. And learning that not only, as John was saying about grace, it made me laugh because the biggest part of my coming to Him has been, you know, terrible fear that He’s had to overcome; fear that I won’t be safe with Him, that it won’t be safe to be honest about who I really am and my deficits, that it’s not ok to fail. And every time I meet Him in my burnouts and my (Jennifer snivel-laughs) meltdown, and my complete and total failures. I don’t usually fail on my own, I tend to take out a couple of people along the way, like wreckage, a plane crashing on a runway and a poor dog standing there and gets hit with shrapnel, that sort of thing. (Laughter in background.) But He is ah, He’s always right there, and He’s always bigger and kinder and more full-some than I ever thought He would be. And, (Jennifer laughs) the depths of His love I haven’t even begun to experience. And I can’t wait. Everyday is (Jennifer laughs) something new, ah, for Him, and that has been the beginning of a, a pattern set in this year. The new creation, a new way of walking and, and new courage that’s entirely from Him. But also because He’s there every single time, I’m never dropped, and I’m never left in my own mess. And ah, that lets in more of Him, which means that the next time maybe that courage comes a little bit quicker for me to go before Him. And that’s been an amazing experience of Him.