Have you ever received a love letter? I have. I cherish them and hold onto them. I read them again and again. The Bible is God's love letter to you. Do you truly view it that way? Do you cherish every word? Do you read it over and over memorizing the words, embracing each nuance and allowing it to impact you right to the core of your being?
I want this to be my experience every time I open that all too familiar book, but I have to admit there are times I read it out of habit, rather than desire. I need to be reminded of the fact that these are God's words of love to me. Even in the midst of the lineages that seem to drone on, God wants to say something to us every day through His word.
Are we truly paying attention? Are we really engaged? Are we allowing the words to invade our hearts and bring correction and conviction? Do we seek out God's comfort here? Do we seek out his purpose for us when we are floundering here? Do we read the Bible in our darkest moment allowing the light to flood in?
I seem to find my way back to love letters when I am feeling lonely or unloved. Reading those words of love flowing from the pages remind me that no matter how I feel, the reality is that I am loved.
God wants us to know we are loved. In the Bible you will find messages of love, peace, and joy. You will find hope, comfort and wisdom in the words. God loves you so much and his love letter to us is precious. The next time you go to read the Bible, just remember God wants to demonstrate his love to you through the words, let this be your filter as you read... God's love letter to you.
This morning while I was doing devotions I was reminded that in order to demonstrate God's love the way He has called me to, I need to become like a love sponge soaking up God's love and letting out a bit at a time throughout the day with every person I encounter. This is not a new revelation, but a great reminder.
In order to be that sponge it means I need to in God's presence allowing His love to soak into me every day. The challenge to all Christians is that we do this every day, for without this we end up with a sponge that is empty and when we want to demonstrate to love to others we are empty. Extended periods of dryness then lead to becoming hard hearted. It is in these times that we lose sight of God's place in our lives and our love for Him.
This was a great reminder for me and I hope for all that read this who love God, it inspires you to want to soak in God's love and become full again, ready to share God's love with everyone you meet.
I have two cats and I have found that they are extremely mysterious creatures. One day they are all snuggly with me, and the next they want nothing to do with me. Is this normal? They are constantly glued to my husband's side. When he sits on the couch they either curl up by his side or crawl up into his lap. When he is cooking they stand at his feet begging for food, attention or both. As a result of the lack of attention I receive I have started to feel like they do not love me as much as they love Walter.
It is interesting how we measure love. With the cats, I have been measuring how much they love me based on whether or not they snuggle with me. In all honesty, there could be many things at play for why they are more distant with me. For one, Walter is usually up before me so he is the one who usually feeds them in the morning. Secondly, both of our cats are female, so they may be upset with me when Walter shows me more attention.
In our lives, we can always be thinking we know what others are thinking through their actions, but in reality do we really know their mind or their heart? Is it possible that it could actually be something going on for them and have absolutely nothing to do with us? Regardless of how that person has been acting if they are a person you love, show them. You may just be surprised by their reaction.
I was doing my devotions today and was struck by how much this world is in need of God's love. I was reading 2 Timothy 3 and verses 1 to 5 could be a snapshot of our society as a whole.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
I know this was a message to Timothy from Paul, however, I believe this is in the Bible as a caution to us as well. I believe we are in the end times and this is what our current society in general looks like. What can we do to make an impact? The thing that keeps echoing through my mind and heart is God's love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is a beautiful picture of God's love and it shows that it can break through pride, dismantle selfishness, and restore peace.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
It is also a challenge to us. If we love people the way God does. If we began to love others the way God loves us, we would not only see our homes changed, but also our communities, and ultimately our world.
The last few weeks have been hard, but in a good way. God has been gently guiding me to this place where I finally feel like I can start experiencing His fullness in my life. So many people in our world are struggling and they bury it so no one else can see into their shattered worlds. We become shattered when we believe lies, when we allow those lies to become our identity verses who God created us to be. God made us unique and special.
Psalm 139:13-18 states "For You formed my innermost parts; You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was being formed in secret, And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were appointed for me, When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape]. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast the sum of them! If I could count them they would outnumber the sand. When I awake I am still with you." AMP
God's love for us is so amazing and so complete, we do not need to hold onto the lies that we are not good enough, that we are not worthy of God's love or forgiveness, that we are not worthy of love, that if we do enough then maybe we can earn back His grace. These are all lies!!!!! The truth is that the only thing that makes us worthy is God, He sent His son to die on the cross so that we are covered by GRACE!!! When God sees us, He sees us as His children that He designed for a special purpose. He does not see the sin and the lies. We need to let go of shame and guilt, we need to confess and we need to repent (this means to ask for forgiveness and not turn back to the things we are asking Him to forgive). Then we need to forgive ourselves and anyone else we are holding back forgiveness for. This process is hard. It breaks us out of the stagnant lives we are in and brings us back to the vibrant life God designed for us.
John 10:10 sums it up quite well. "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]." AMP
God wants us to live lives that are filled with joy, peace and love! He wants us to make the most of every moment and live out this adventure with Him. Those of you who are reading this who feel cocooned in lies or sin or anything else that would hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest, then it may be time to shatter the chains that are holding you back and allow God bring you back into His fullness! Bring you back into enjoying life until it overflows!!!
Join me on my journey through life's joys and difficulties.