Thursday, July 14, 2011

God Isn't Just So So

~Falling in Love with God Completely~

There are many things in life that "get in the way" of our relationships with God. Loving isn't always easy. Being on fire for God never stays. Love is work.

Work: Most everyone comes to dread that four-letter word at some time in their life. Since we are all sinful human beings, we always look for the easy way out. Imagine this: One day you are just some unsaved person, but then something happens and your life radically changes. You come to know Christ, and things are looking up. You go on with your normal life, following your normal routine, but a few weeks after your conversion you just can't see why you ever really wanted to do this God-thing. It doesn't make you happy any more. You still pray every night, and God did make a great change in your life, but you just don't seem to be on fire any more. I think every Christian has gone through this struggle. We live in a fallen world. Things bring us down off our 'emotional high' for God. We didn't mean for these distractions to get in the way. But it all comes down to this: relationships are just plain work.

Take this for an example. We all have seen that one couple who are totally distracted by one another. Adoring glances are exchanged, they hang on each other's words, and they are always doing everything together. They can't seem to get enough of each other. This is how we should look at God. James 4:8--"Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded." Loving God more starts with being selfless, willing to give up time just to be with Him or giving up your life to further His word. Being selfless isn't easy. Selfishness is a part of our sinful nature. If you are willing to work on contradicting the sinful nature and give up your time for God, He will come near to you. Just as the verse says we can't be "double minded," we should be serving God whole-heartedly, without casting glances at the things of this world. Selflessness wasn't easy for martyrs, either, yet they are the ones that we can look to in order to see a person who was totally submersed in God's love.

Just like the couple who is totally obsessed with each other, we should have these affections for God, wanting to be with Him all the time, wanting to read His love letter to us (the Bible) over and over again. Naturally, if you're a child of God, you have a feeling of wanting to fall in love with God more. In order to do this we have to seek Him and make time to spend getting to know Him on a deeper level, which includes spending time in His word. It is important to not forget the discipline part of our relationships with God. Even when it gets hard, we have to keep praying and keep reading our Bible and not just skim reading but intimate study of God's word, savoring each sentence.

Our relationship with God cannot be based on our feelings. We always have to keep pushing to get closer to God. No matter if we don't feel like reading our Bible that day. Temptations will come and try to steal the joy that we have in God, but we have to learn to lean on God through these trials. James 1:1-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that we can be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Just like friends getting through a tough spot in life together and becoming better friends as a result, we can have a deeper relationship with God when our faith is tested.

It's for the world to see.

The relationship between the couple that was previously talked about is something that they don't care if the whole world knows about. They are so in love with each other that they don't care who knows and their feelings don't embarrass them one bit. They are willing to stand up to anything before breaking up their relationship. This is just the way that we should be with God in our relationship with Him. It should be something that we can freely talk about all the time, something that makes those around us stop and say, "What do you have that I don't?" All this comes through dedication, discipline, and selflessness. Being willing to give up your life, your time, and whatever else you value in order to fall in love with God more.

Will you give up your time for God? Are you ready for the trials that come and try to break your relationship with Him? Will you lean on the Perfect Savior?

Love of the Scriptures

There are many things missing from the church today. One of which, is a
passionate love for the word of God. In Proverbs 7:1 it says that the word
of God is a treasure. But in perfect honesty, how many people reading this
actually treasure their bibles? If someone were to ask you, “What is your
treasure?” What do you think your response would be? Maybe clothes, shoes,
popularity, friends, family, or even for some of you, boyfriends. Is it wrong to
treasure these things? Well, no. But it becomes wrong if these things get in
the way of our intimate relationship with God and with the time that we
spend in His word.

Matthew 6:21 makes a bold statement, “For where your treasure is, there your
heart will be also.” So if your treasure is in popularity, then your heart
will also be in popularity. When your heart is in something it becomes an
obsession. You begin thinking about it more and more to the point that it
captivates your mind, how you act, and how you think. Therefore, if you were
obsessed with the idea of being popular then you will think about it night
and day. You will breathe it, you will talk about it. But be weary, for
according to Matthew 6:21 whatever captivates your attention will ultimately
be your treasure! If being popular is your treasure, then it's getting in the
way of you and your relationship with God. You’re making it an idol,
something you want more than God. Something that you are so wrapped up in
that you forget to read the scriptures, you forget to meditate on God’s
laws, and you forget the ultimate sacrifice He has given you.

Can YOU honestly say that Jesus captivates your life?

Why or why not?

If you love Jesus, than you will love His words, because Jesus IS the word.
If you love Jesus, He will captivate your life and he will become your
ultimate treasure! You will think about him all the time, you will love His
words, you will praise Him, you will pray, you will spend time in His words
and following his path.

What kind of treasure is the Bible to you?

The Bible is a treasure given freely. The Bible should be the compass of
your life. But if you are the fool so often talked about in Proverbs, than
you will choose to not use the compass. Are you going to be that fool?

When you follow the word of God, you are given love, liberty, and life in
Christ! But when you turn away, thinking that your own way is better, that
you would rather have your boyfriend, or popularity, your idol, then you are
faced with disappointment, depression, disease, Disaster, and ultimately,
death. Which road are YOU going to take? Is the Bible really your treasure? If not,
what needs to change in your life?

You can’t just say “Oh yeah… I read about a chapter every day in my Bible.
When I feel like it. Sometimes I forget.” It doesn’t work that way. You can’t
just read the word of God when you feel like being spiritual, you have to
indulge in it every day. You have to APPLY it. Have you applied the word in
your life?

The Bible is a treasure. It is breathed out by God, Himself, it is the way
we get closest to God, it is the ultimate how-to book. Do you own a Bible?
Then you have a treasure! If you had a treasure would you keep it locked up
in your closet and say with a shrug of your shoulders, “Well, I’ll just look
at this wonderful treasure in a few months or so….” No, no you should be
flipping through the bible multiple times each day. It should be feeding
you, you should be learning something from it every day.

Think about all the people in the world who don’t have a Bible. Why do we
just leave ours on the shelves? Proverbs 2:1-5 says that we should seek, and
search the word with determination. If you look for God’s word as if it is
your personal treasure, you will surely find it. Are you half-hearted when
you search the scriptures? If you are, you won’t find what God has for you
in them. The Bible is like a mine, it is filled with gold and rubies. To
find the gold you have to keep digging. Digging with determination in your
heart. You can never discover everything there is to find in the Bible, no
matter how hard you try and how many times you read through a passage. God
will reveal new things to you. You just need to ask Him.
Do you want to be Christ’s disciple? Do you yearn to be His child? John 8:31
states that “If you abide in my words, you are truly my disciples” But it
doesn’t end there! He continues in verse 32 “and you will know the TRUTH and
the TRUTH will set you free.” Isn’t that just beautiful? By abiding in God’s
words you will become His disciple, you will learn to know him, you will
learn about him, and He will set you free from all sin and bondage. He will
give you the knowledge of the truth. His truth.

Do you want to be Christ’s disciple? Continue in His word, remain in it,
stand by what God has taught you through His word, and pray for His guidance
in your life.
What effects your desire to be in the word of God? What are your idols that
you try and replace God with? Do you desire Him more? What do you dwell in
all the time? What do you think about? Is it God? What is the Bible to you?
Is it really YOUR ultimate treasure?