“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22: 37-39
When you love someone they are continually in your thoughts and you do things to please them. Think about the light in your child’s eyes when you surprise them with a new toy or how they snuggle into your arms. Think about the loving embrace of your spouse. The loving relationships we have with our family and friends are beautiful examples of the loving relationship that God wants to have with us, but they don’t really even compare to the amazing love that God has given us and the pure delight that awaits us when we love Him.
God’s love is limitless. His power is untameable. He is the almighty – our creator – and we were made to worship HIM. There is a longing in my heart that is not filled by any other occupation than pouring out my love for Him.
I ignore it regularly and find myself miserable. I am easily frustrated by the pressures of daily life, the behavior of my children. I am exhausted by the physical, mental and emotional demands thrown onto me hour by hour. And then I compound my frustration by scrolling social media & being outraged by the conflicts in our society. I listen to the lie that a bath, a quiet walk, a funny tv show, a good drink will grant me some reprieve. But my heart is only recharged doing what it was made to do- worshiping my savior.
Only when I spend each day, hour by hour, breath by breath, in His presence do I fully possess the strength I need to manage my household, job, children, and relationships. On my own I fail miserably and wallow in it.
But when I set my mind on Jesus. When I serve my family because in doing so I serve my God He gives me joy in the dishes and laundry… When His praises are on my lips I have HOPE.
Trust me, I’ve read the headlines. 2020 is getting worse by the minute. Yes, I see the two hurricanes in the gulf and the political conflicts getting hotter by the minute. I have sat frozen-overwhelmed in this “new normal” that demands more of me than I can even pretend to be able to do… But in that moment when I cry out to Jesus – He is there. When I give him my whole heart there is no room for worry, frustration, selfishness, anger, or discontentment. When my whole heart is set on Him fears evaporate. His presence is too much for them. My daddy God, my savior, my LOVE is in control. He is with me and will not leave me or forsake me.
He is not surprised by the difficulties we have seen this year. I have no authority to say that God is chastising us or that the end times are near. I will not even pretend to understand why He allows disasters, and I am mourning along with most of you. But I know that God’s desire is for us to seek Him with our whole heart. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
Nothing I have to share with you today is new or profound. But It is the pressing reminder I desperately needed today, and you might too.
Ladies, put down your phone and get on your knees. Turn off the TV and start singing praises. Stop focusing on the challenges and open your eyes to the blessings and provisions God has surrounded you with. You will not have the JOY and PEACE He has promised you ‘till you do. Don’t fall for the lies that we will find rest in selfishness. You will find invigorating joy in serving your saviour. He will give you the strength you need when you are fully relying on HIM.
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40: 31
My sisters, I hope you experience His presence today. “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you , says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity;” Jeremiah 29:12-14a
We are not captives in Babylon, but we allow our hearts to be captives to sin along with mental & emotional darkness. Seek the Lord with all your heart. He is faithful. His word is true, and my sister, you will find Him. “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
I listened in to my son’s remote kindergarten class this week. I took his headphones off so that maybe he wouldn’t yell so loudly at the i-pad (it didn’t work). But I did get to hear the “bucket book.” read aloud. It is a sweet story about how when we do kind things for others it fills their buckets… But ladies, we can’t rely on others to fill our buckets. Even the people we love the most will flip our buckets upside down, empty them out and kick them!
Our world desperately needs the love of God and we are commissioned to pour it out. Our buckets are only filled in God’s presence through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. As we praise God for who He is and all He has done- He fills us up. We can face the day with confidence knowing that our Father – the Creator has made this day – and we can rejoice! That is the kind of joy that will change the world. That is what our spouses and children need, what our co-workers will marvel at; that is how we shine a bright light into this dark world even in 2020.