Welcome back to round two of our bull fighting series.
WARNING MESSAGE: This message is a challenge, one that may step on toes, one that may cause you to feel guilty, and one that will hopefully cause change. I say this because I feel convicted myself while writing it. BUT HEY, if there ever comes a point when we don’t feel a little uncomfortable, then we probably have lost all care. Yikes, talk about a bad spot to be!
Why God loves a bull fighter…
In part one we discussed how the bull fighter demonstrates God’s love for the bull rider, how he protects the bull rider, and also how the bull rider confidently trusts him. As we roll in to the next round, one verse stood out to me the most.
Love one another as I have loved you.
*Whew, I don’t know about you but that verse sure punches me right in the ole’ belly. How am I (a sinner, someone who falls short daily) suppose to love someone the way God loves me? I mean let’s face it. It is HARD to love someone who gossips about you, steals from you, or lies to you. How can we put our best effort into loving someone the way Christ loves us? Easier said than done, but be a bull fighter.
But love your enemies, do good to them and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be the children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
I love how this verse says to lend to them without expecting to get anything back. As a bull fighter dances around the arena, waiting to step in and save someone’s life, he is not thinking of himself. He is on guard, ready to save SOMEONE ELSE. I love how selfless this picture is. He is not in the arena for his glory. He is in the arena to be a life guard & a guardian angel. He is not expecting anything is return.
*Okay, okay. I am guilty here. I am 100% guilty of wanting to write someone off whenever they do me wrong. I have a get me once, shame on you, get me twice, shame on me, kinda attitude. There are times that I lend a helping hand because in the back of my mind I think they I may need something in return someday. That’s not what being a Christ-like friend is. So right now, if you have the same struggle as me, let’s say a quick prayer together:
Dear Heavenly Father, I humbly come to you today asking you to forgive me for not loving my enemies the way you call me to. I ask that you change my heart and attitude. Help me to do good to my enemies and lend to them NOT expecting anything in return. I thank you, Lord, for having mercy on me when I fail you. Help me to express that same mercy to those who do me wrong. I also ask that you will be with them. Only you know their hearts’. Help them through whatever struggle or trial they are going through. I want to be a lamp for you, and I know my selfishness is keeping me from that. I am committing to change, help me and hold my hand in this move. In Christ’s Name, AMEN.
If you prayed this prayer, please join me in praying for one another. Pray for each other to overcome our selfishness and truly do good to others.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see the good works, and glorify your father who is in heaven.
We are instructed to let our light shine before men so that people do not see us but see God. When I think about the bull fighter’s job, I think about how they take hits for the bull fighter. In doing this, they are given their friend protection in the time of need. What can you do to help a friend in the time of need? Maybe send a friend in the hospital flowers, bake a cake for someone who has lost a loved one, or give a hug to a friend who just broke up with their significant other.
Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
A bull fighter certainly does this every time he enters an arena. He selflessly lays down his life for the bull rider. Okay, Okay, I can hear you now…Katie, you really think I am going to step in front of a moving truck because my dumb friend is hanging out in the street?…What I am saying is that God calls us to be merciful, loving, and faithful to our friends. When your friend snaps at you over a miscommunication, forgive them. When they are running late for the rodeo, be patient with them. When your friend needs you to come over because he is sick, drop what you are doing and GO. When your friend is depressed about a lost job, take him or her their favorite candy bar. When your friend’s distant family member passes away, be there for the services. Drop your plans and be there for your friend. God doesn’t tell us, wait Katie, I am entered in the rodeo over at Fort Worth tonight, I can’t listen to your prayer, try again tomorrow. OUCH,**I’ve been belly punched, again… In order to be a Christ-like friend, life can’t always be about me.
So why is it so important to have friends?
Two are better than one for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other person can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
Majority of times, bull fighters work in pairs. That way if one falls down, the other one is able to step in and help both the bull fighter and the bull rider. They work as a team, helping each other succeed in rescuing bull riders. One of the toughest things to go through is feeling like you are alone. It clearly states that TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE. That also tells me that when I am down and out that I need to reach out to someone. I need to reach out to my friends. Someone who I know will listen to me, pray for me, and be an accountable friend. In saying that, I think it’s important to make sure you’re surrounded by “good” friends. Don’t call the one who is going to tell you what you want to hear. Call the friend who is going to hold you accountable to God’s word. If you don’t feel like you have one of those friends, contact me! I’m on facebook “Houlihan Homestead”, shoot me a private message, and we can discuss any issue you have. I will be more than happy to pray for you through WHATEVER it is you’re going through. AND no, I will not expect anything in return..Remember, I already gave that to God, and I am constantly checking my attitude and heart.
God says to “love” as he loved us…But what does “love” really mean?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always hopes, always perseveres.
I believe society has painted quite the different picture of love. Reality check, love is NOT some fuzzy feeling you get inside your belly. LOVE IS A CHOICE!!! You can choose whether or not you’re patient with someone. You can choose whether or not you envy someone’s big truck and fancy trailer. You can choose whether you hang on to the fact that someone spread a lie about you. You can choose whether to lose hope in that new job or you can choose to remember that God plans to give you a future. You can choose to give up on life or you can persevere through the hard times, knowing that God is perfecting you through the trials & using them for good. IT IS YOUR CHOICE how you handle each situation. A bull fighter has the choice whether to step in between the bull and the bull rider. Will you be a bull fighter who chooses love or are you going to let the bull (LIFE) get the best of you?…Your choice.
Thank you for hanging in there with me through this tough message. I know first hand how difficult this is. Although we may not be dealing with the same issues, please know that you are not alone. Everyone falls short. Let’s make a change in our community. Let’s CHOOSE to love, CHOOSE to be a Christ-like friend, and CHOOSE to be a bull fighter for Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father, I want to start off by saying thank you for sending me tough messages. I know that in order for me to grow that I have to accept the areas where I fail you, repent, and truly change. Reveal to me any area of my life that is hindering me from being a good friend. Help me to love others the way you love me. When someone hurts my feelings, lies to me, or gossips about me, help me to forgive them & love them anyway. I know that is what you would do for me. Use me to change the world. Show me how I can be a friend to someone in need. When you reveal that person, please take me out of the equation. I do not want it to be about me. Let it be solely about you so that you can be glorified. Thank you for our horse community and the “bull fighter” type people that make it. Reveal to me the “bull fighters” that I can count on, that will help me, and that will work with me to make change. Thank you for blessing us with horses. Thank you for the passion you put in my heart for those incredible four-legged animals. I love you, and I praise you.
In Christ’s name I pray,
*Hope you all enjoy this message! Go have fun with your friends. Enjoy the good times!