How full is your love meter these days? Have you been loving others in the way that God loves you? Love means not being critical, judgmental, and bitter towards others. Love means putting on the fullness of Christ and walking out the righteousness we’ve been called to daily. Let’s check in with the Apostle John and see just how well we’re doing with this whole Love thing!
John starts out this passage of Scripture with an appeal in brotherly love. “Dear friends…” We are all in this journey of life together, now let us do the one thing that will make this journey go well… Let us love one another! “Let us…” There is an opportunity that is awaiting us in this passage of Scripture, an opportunity to love and soon we will find out why we have been given such an extraordinary experience!
“Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them–
the Lord, who remains faithful forever.”
Lately, I have come across a few people who are hurting in many ways. There are a lot of tough things going on in people’s lives. One common theme is a desire to see God
come through. A desire to be victorious! I think it’s so important to stop for a moment and look at God’s record of faithfulness. I want to explore how faithful He has been and how faithful He will be. God has a record of being faithful at least a Gazillion times. More times than we will ever be able to count. It’s hard to see His faithfulness at work in our lives at times because we see things from our perspective. We see things unfinished, full of pain, agony, often bewildered by circumstances, and just frustrated by the lack of control we have. We need to take our eyes off of the circumstances and put our eyes on the One who is in control! The One who never steps off the throne, never says He’s too busy, never calls it quits, never says He’s having a bad day, so He can’t help us. He is always there! We just have to stop and become available. Stop and listen! Stop and allow Him to work! Stop and get a new perspective on the current situation! Let’s look at God’s record of faithfulness and compare it to our lives. Let’s see how He has been faithful!
Today is my son’s 6 month birthday! I look back at these 6 months and find tremendous joy in the gift God has given me. I’m still blown away that God entrusted me with such a sweet blessing. I look at Zion and watch him grow. I treasure each moment that I’ve been given with him. I continue to hear from those around me that this time goes too fast. But I’m thinking I want it to go just right… I want to enjoy the moments I’ve been given with Zion. I want to celebrate every little thing he does, every little grimace he makes, every sound he speaks, every little giggle, all the little movements, each new first, and every smile.
1 Praise the Lord.
I will extol the Lord with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
This verse reminds us that there is no place for inflated pride in the believer’s life. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in who we are when we compare ourselves to others. We love to come out ahead and think that at least we are a little better than so and so. But the truth is, it’s only by the grace of God that anyone of us has anything good to show for. We must compare ourselves to Jesus and not to each other. Jesus is the perfect standard! And I can tell you, that every time I compare myself to Him…. I am humbled! I have a long ways to go!
When we decide to take Romans 12:1 serious and become Instruments of Worship, then we can follow Romans 12:2 fairly easily. When we learn to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God, wholly devoted to His purpose… then we find ourselves less and less conforming to this world. We start to look a little different. Our hearts long for God and His purpose. We start to see the world a little differently and somehow it doesn’t ensnare us quite as easily.
As our love for God increases, our love for this world should decrease.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy,
to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,
holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.”
Romans 12 begins with a call to worship. A call to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice before the Lord. We are dying to ourselves daily, so God can be glorified through us. We are called to worship God with everything we have.
I am called to be an instrument for the Lord. My thoughts, actions, steps, and words are to flow from a life of worship. A life surrendered to God and His purpose. My body is an instrument. I choose to glorify God with each thought I think, each action I take, every step I make, and every word that proceeds from my mouth. I want the Lord to make sweet music with my life.
Do you know that the word joy is mentioned over a hundred times in the Bible? Wow, there must be something to this. So let’s take a look at some of these Scriptures and see how we can live a life of joy.
“…Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
We don’t have to spend our time grieving about the mistakes of yesterday or worrying about what tomorrow holds. The strength that the Lord provides is enough to carry us through each day that we face. The joy that He provides can help us face each moment as it comes. May the joy of the Lord continue to strengthen you each and every day!