Sunday, February 23, 2014

Awake My Soul

When my first child was placed in my arms (after a lot of hard work I might add), I was completely smitten with this pint-size being who looked a lot like my husband. He wrapped his little finger around my heart and has never let go.   

As I watched this little man grow, I delighted in . . .

               . . . the way he explored his world.

               . . . the way he was unafraid to try anything new.

               . . . his sweet way of wrapping his chubby little arms around my neck. 

  . . . the way he looked at life – his sorrow over the “broken moon”.

I wanted to know everything I could about this little boy who had invaded our home and turned our world upside down.

In Psalm 37.4, God makes a promise. 

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.  (NLT)

There’s a condition to the promise.  Do you see it?  In order to get our heart’s desires, we must delight in our God.

Unreserved.  Outrageous.  Audacious.  Delight. 

Can you really take delight in someone you don’t know?  Delight comes in the Knowing.  

How can we delight in a God we do not know?  "Sure," you might say, "I know about God!"  BUT . . . There's a huge difference between knowing ABOUT God and KNOWING God.

Long ago God invaded my life, turning my world upside down and I've discovered something in this journey:   

The more I spend time with Him, the more I know Him, the easier it is to take pleasure in Him,  to delight in . . .

               . . . the way He knows me best and loves me most.

               . . . the way He cares for me in my brokenness.

               . . . the way He reveals Himself to me.

               . . . the way He satisfies my deepest longings.

And the more I delight in Him the more my desires become His desires.  I want what He wants.  I can’t seem to get enough of Him. 

But when I neglect keeping company with God, justifying that hearing a sermon, or being in my Bible study group covers my alone time with God and me, when I let busyness steal away my moments with Him, I delight in Him less.  

Instead of hungering for more of Him, I discover even a little of God is too much to take and my heart’s desires begin to change.  I crave an In-and-Out burger more than I desire my Savior.  I value people’s opinions of me more than I value God’s.

And before I know it I have all sorts of overwhelming desires clamoring for my attention.  Each calling out in their own way, claiming to feed my need for identity, worth and importance.  Each promising satisfaction that never seems to satisfy.

Why do I choose the temporal over the eternal?  Why do I delight more in a ballgame than in my Creator?

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes . . .  

. . . AWAKE MY SOUL . . . 

 (Mumford and Sons)

Awake my soul, O LORD!  Teach me to follow hard after You. Let me delight in Your presence more than anything else.  May my desires become Your desires for You are the One who Satisfies Fully . . . Loves Completely . . . and Never lets go.   Amen. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Father is Thinking of You . . .

I see you . . .  
I know you . . .   
I love you . . .
You are the apple of my eye, the center of My Being.

I remember the day you were a blotch of nothing waiting to be a something.  A lifeless form awaiting the Hand of the Designer.   I took my time as I molded each part of you.  Your hands and heart, your legs and ears, your mind and personality, your temperament.  I put a part of Me in you.  Everywhere you are I Am. 


My thoughts of you are as endless as the sand on the seashore.  You are my child, my creation, my design.  You are my bright, shining star and my love for you is everlasting. 

How I long for you to know Me.

I see how you turn away from Me to other things.  I watch you seek love in loveless, fickle beings instead of me.  I see you searching the garbage dump for hidden treasures, trading beauty for filth.  My heart breaks each time I see you wander from one empty moment to another.

Do you know that from the beginning of time I knew you would irreversibly turn away from me?  But that didn’t stop me from devising the most unbelievable and shocking plan the heavens have ever seen.  No one was more astounded than the angels at My grand design - the God of the Universe laying down His life for the ones He created.  And I did it - without reservation - for you! 

Why?  Because I’m crazy about you.  I’m smitten with you.  I want you as My own.  This love I have for you has no bounds and knows no limits.  The depth and breadth and height of my love is beyond your comprehension.  The only other love you have ever experienced has been limited, minute and insignificant but my love transcends all other love.

But it is your choice to accept or deny. 

You may know about this extravagant gift of love.  You may have even have accepted my gift.  But I feel you holding back.   Afraid.   Apprehensive.   Unsure.  What will this God ask of me, you wonder?  What will He require?

I see you comparing, judging, holding me up to the light of others who have loved you and let you down, who’ve broken their promises and abandoned you. 

Remember . . .

I love you with an everlasting love.

You are My most treasured possession.

I will not let you go, abandon you or break my promises to you, that’s not who I AM.

I long for you to Want Me.  Know Me.  Come to Me.  Surrender your very being to Me. For in the surrendering you will find life and in the knowing you will discover freedom.

Will you open the door of your heart to my love?  Will you step into an intimate, take-your–breath-away love relationship with the One who knows you best and loves you most?

I’m waiting.

. . . But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.   Luke 15.20 

Psalm 17.8 | Philippians 2.15 | Jeremiah 31.3 | Malachi 3.17 | Genesis 1.26 | Psalm 139.13-14, 17-18 | Jeremiah 9.23-24 | Revelation 3.20 | Ephesians 3.18-19


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Breathtaking Grace

Grace . . .


One word.  But oh the power of that word.  It sets the captive free.  Breathes life into the lifeless.  Gives hope to the hopeless.   Restores the parched and weary soul.


In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.  Ephesians 1.7-8


Just a tiny drop of grace can lift a soul out of the pit of despair, pull them from a wasteland of disillusionment, and set them free.


But God didn’t give us just a little bit of grace.  No.  He poured it out lavishly, carelessly, extravagantly. 


He didn’t just forgive a few sins.  He forgave them all.  Past.  Present. Future.  Our slate is clean, our record pristine, our salvation secure.  Our forgiveness is directly connected to His extravagant grace. 


He doesn’t dole out His grace in tiny increments.  He doesn’t demand holiness before He gives grace. God’s grace is Unconditional.  Undeserved.  Unearned.  Unmerited.


He redeemed us.  Bought us from the slave auction.  Searched for us in the garbage dump.  Found us in the rubble of our own making and chose us. The price was enormous!  The cost exorbitant but it was a plan He designed in the annals of time.


Rich.  Lavish.  Glorious.  Grace.  


Amazing Grace

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost

But now I’m found

Was blind but now I see.  Amen.