A Love-Fest Day With Jesus
My word for today is “Love-Fest” — when two or more people indulge in expressing their love for each other in such a way that it never ends. It is the ultimate expression of deep, true love and respect for each other, usually manifested by an outburst of love expressions that make all involved feel warm, acknowledged and cared for.
Last Saturday, precious women from my church headed to Bowie, TX for a one day “get-away-with-God” retreat before we serve 40 women at our ACTS Retreat, March 15-18 and it turned out more glorious than could have been expected. There’s just something about women getting together for time away with God that sets the mood to be vulnerable and open to receive an outpouring of His love to His girls. The wonderful presenters of the retreat called the day “A LOVE-FEST Day With Jesus”. Indeed, the definition above was proven to be true! Notice our “doo-rags”? We were heart-cleaning!
No wonder those gals in the Bible wanted to hang out with Jesus. He always seemed to have a little band of women with Him, and He embraced it. In so many places in this world, women are marginalized and ostracized – simply because they are women. If only our world used Jesus’ example of how He loved and respected us. He “upset the apple cart” in His culture in the way He related to women. In Luke 8 we see there were women followers who traveled with Jesus and His 12 disciples as He ministered all around Galilee. Those women came from all walks of life, they were single, married, and some had questionable backgrounds, but here’s the common thread – each of them experienced healing through their encounter with Christ. He loved them, taught them and could have cared less about what the pious religious folk thought.
The women that Jesus touched and loved is a mighty indicator of His love for us. The women at the foot of the cross and at the tomb held a tiny flame of faith that He would rise as He promised. That flame never went out, and their faith was rewarded.
That’s the way we felt, when, after a sweet time of unbridled openness to each other in small groups, we resumed altogether with candid moments of sharing, giving, encouraging and building each other up in the awareness of God’s love for us.
Each of us felt that compassion and love from Jesus and we expressed our love back to him as we each wrote Him a love letter. We all poured our love out to Him — He Who loves us unconditionally, without judgment or condemnation, and like the woman in the Bible who was caught in the act of adultery, He lovingly wraps His arms around us and says….”You can do better. Go sin no more.” No wonder our innermost love for Him poured out in our love letters.
I know it’s absurd of me to think God ordered this LOVE-FEST day just for me, but I did. I like to think that I’m so special to Him, that He orders up special gifts and treats…..just for me. The Apostle John thought the same thing. Remember how he kept referring to himself as the “one that Jesus loved”? Those words are found six times in the Gospel of John. Sounds a little cocky, but, NO, he knew he was tight with his Master. Each and and every one of us can say that. “I am the one that Jesus loves,” because He does. Today is another day when duty will call and this team will regroup and finish up our preparations for our upcoming big retreat and 80 women will come together for a weekend of encounters with Christ, but for this day, there was a special, loving, devoted group of servant-women that it was all about the “want to’s,” Our LOVE-FEST with Jesus will continue.
At the end of the retreat and we were saying our good-byes, I went to my car to load up to go home with my passengers and couldn’t find my keys. I realized, in my haste to get out of the down-pouring rain earlier in the morning, I must have dropped them on the floorboard when I was getting my umbrella. Fortunately, I carry AAA auto insurance and was able to call a locksmith. While waiting for him, I had one on one time with the hosts who, I learned that we have so much in common that pertains to our faith walk and we had mutual time of encouraging each other in the Lord. When I made it home, one of my gals that was a passenger going out called to check on me, and she, too, felt the same about the “interruption” as she had never been able to get to know her driver very well and she did on that trip home. Of course God would “work things for our good” because, after all, we had spent the day talking about His Son, writing love letters to His Son, and celebrating His goodness to us.
When I returned home and while I was basking in His love for me, I realized that daily, Jesus writes a love letters to me telling me “You’re my girl. I’m with you. I’m for you. I love you.” He gave us so many love letters in the Bible, and with each sunrise, each raindrop, each sweet smile and “I love you” from others to us, and even, each morning — just waking up — is His love letter to us. He says “I love you. I love you. I love you.” When we make our Lord our highest priority, then EVERYDAY becomes a LOVE-FEST with Him.