The Lord’s Butterfly

“Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken.”~ Rich Mullins

When I was a new Christian, I heard a song by Hillsong United called “Hosanna.” There was one verse that went right to my soul. I felt compassion, and even wept, when I heard the lyrics.

The words, “show me how to love like You have loved me” became a longing of my heart.

Jesus’ love poured over me. It overwhelmed me, urging me to share His love with others. His unconditional love changed me from the inside out. It was as if I had been stuck in a cocoon, a life of loneliness. Jesus, however, brought healing and gave me a renewed hope. I left my former life of emptiness, and became a new person because of His great love. This transformation was much like a caterpillar that morphs into a butterfly. Jesus set me free to fly, like a butterfly. Consequently, I was eager to be more like Him-generous, forgiving, and tender.

I began to pray, “Father God, use me to be a conduit of Your love for others.”

They say “be careful what you ask for” and “they” are right. Asking God to show me how to love like like He does has been a painful lesson to learn. The Lord has stretched me in unimaginable ways. He has had me extend grace into some painful situations and towards those I could consider my “enemies.” I’ve failed Him many times, because the reality is, in my own ability it is impossible to love like Jesus does. He is love (1 John 4:8). You and I can only try our best to model His love which is what He wants from us (John 13:34-35). It’s easy to love those that haven’t hurt you, or those whose character you resonate with, but loving people that you don’t like, or those who offend you, needs supernatural intervention.

Inviting the Holy Spirit to invade our hearts is a key to loving like Jesus does.

So, how do you love those that are different and difficult, the ones that make your life challenging? Caring for others in the way Jesus wants us to requires humility and selflessness. It means putting my feet in someone else’s shoes and attempting to understand why they are the way they are. Instead of looking to fulfill my own desires, I have to think of the needs and struggles of others first.

A passage of Scripture that explains this well is Philippians 2:3-5; “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Loving others in a Christ like manner means I have to drop all my expectations and meet others right where they are.

It is not easy loving those that we don’t feel like loving. Even as I write this I’m being convicted for my hypocrisy. You see, there’s someone very dear to my heart that has hurt me deeply. I haven’t spoken with this person for over a year now. I’ll confess, I’m having a hard time forgiving them for deciding to re-define our friendship (and at a vulnerable time in my life too). The bottom line is, I feel rejected by this friend.

I have to remind myself that Jesus knows what rejection feels like. He was rejected by many. He was abandoned by His community, His family members, those that claimed to love Him and even by His heavenly Father (Matthew 27:46). How in the world did He handle this type of pain, I wonder. I believe the answer lays in the fact that Jesus trusted His Father in Heaven and stayed focused on His divine calling.

God has a divine calling for your life too. You can trust Him to show you the reason you’re here on earth.

Centering your thoughts on God’s purpose for your life will heal your brokenness, and motivate you to be more like Him.

I’m learning that loving like Jesus means putting myself on the altar as a living sacrifice for Christ and His Kingdom here on earth. This means getting my eyes off of myself, my needs, my pain, my hurts, etc. and keeping an eternal perspective. This is how I can love people the way Jesus has loved me. This is what it means to be the Lord’s butterfly. Each one of us has something unique to offer the world. We are all His butterflies, that He has strategically designed and placed to share His majestic love with all those around us.

God help us to live and love in such a way that His glory is put on display for the whole world to see.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.“~ John 13:34-35

(I encourage you to read Romans 12 to go deeper in understanding how to love like Jesus.)

Comments

  1. So many beautiful thoughts. I too like the Lord’s butterfly as a word picture.
    I also agree with the Rich Mullins quote. He is one of my all time favorite musicians.

  2. A great reminder. It is easy to embrace His love, gift, but quite another thing to live out and share that gift with all people in our life. thanks for putting your heart into this!

  3. Hallelujah you’re back!! and with His mighty power.
    Thank you for these amazing words, truths, and sharing your gift. Your words “Centering your thoughts on God’s purpose for your life…” are ringing in my heart – exactly what I need to hear, to do.
    Again, I am moved by how you are always brave in your walk with Jesus. Through your writing, you show me that as believers, we must be willing to go where God calls us even if that is an internal journey.
    Thank you.

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