Monday, February 17, 2014
For God SO LOVED YOU...
In marriage counseling couples are often asked if they want to reignite their marriage. If one or the other says yes then the counselor tells them to return to the place where you last felt the love for one another. When couples are both willing to do this it usually rekindles the truth – that they do indeed love one another. An evangelist once preached about veering off from God’s plan. “Go back to the last place you felt close to God” he said. Not a literal place, but to remember where you were spiritually when you last felt you were right with God. It is heard often that we should “Go back to our first love”.
It’s easy to let things and circumstances get in the way of the love relationship. Kids, friends, church, work, activities in general all vie for our time. Busy-ness is a robber. It will steal every moment it can. Even in the relationship between Christ and His church the robber will come in and make the busy life look profitable and productive when oftentimes it’s the exact opposite. Couples grow apart when other things crowd out alone time. Christians grow cold when they perceive productivity as godliness.
The first thing that happens when we grow apart from Jesus is we quit believing Him. Just as talk is the first thing to go when marriages are in trouble, so too talk with the Lord is the first to go in our spiritual relationship. We quit talking, we quit praying, we quit believing. Then a couple finds themselves in crisis and they want to go back and fix things. It often works when they go back to that place in their hearts they last felt the love.
Sometimes it’s a crisis of our faith that drives us back to seeking God. But where should we begin? How to we reignite the love and faith we had in the Lord? We have to go back to the beginning. And start there.
For God SO LOVED YOU…John 3:16 personalized. Yes, God loved the world, but it’s a personal thing between you and Him. He so loved you, just as you were, right where you were – just as you are, right where you are now. He loves you apart from performance, demands, and limitations. He loves you so much that He will allow a crisis to motivate you back to your first love. I know that’s hard to swallow, but ask people who have been in crisis.
You may be in crisis right now. Your faith in God may be on the line. You were perfectly content to be busy – whether it was church work or family time or friendships or your vocation. You got very busy and it looked good. You were faithful to the stuff, but God is calling you to greater faithfulness to Him. He calls us all back to our first love – each and every one of us. And each and every time He does this, we grow stronger and more faithful and more knowledgeable of God Himself. Truly many of us can say we are thankful for crisis times for they brought us new awareness of the Lord and His great love.
Oh beloved, today is your day to stop a moment and let God have your first time this morning. While it’s early, before busy-ness tries to rob your day of a real relationship with the Lord. He’s waiting for you to speak to His heart and He’s waiting to speak back into your heart. He wants your first thoughts as you lift all your needs to Him in prayer. He wants to tell you the truth about you, first and then about your situation and your life. Since He loves you, you don’t have to fear that He will speak harshly or tell you He’s done with you. God never walks away, never gives up, never runs out of love for you. Whatever it takes, it is worth it. For God’s great desire is that you get closer and closer to Him in Spirit so that your life looks more and more like His. His purpose for you is love, His call over you is love and His desire for your life is love.
For God so loved you and that’s why you can trust Him and walk in the light of His Word, staying close to Him all the days of your life, walking in blessings, talking blessings and living it all out for His glory.
James 4:8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Deuteronomy 6:5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength
Job 42:5 I had heard of You [only] by the hearing of the ear, but now my [spiritual] eye sees You.
Psalm 9:10 Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for You.