“My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” (Proverbs 23:26)
Valentine’s Day is coming! It gives us a chance to do something really special for the one we really love, and usually that person also shows some token of love in return. But what if he/she only expected you to shower your love on them and made only a minimal effort to show love back? Would you be happy with a one-sided relationship like that?
Are you in a one-sided love relationship with God? Sure you expect God to love you, but are you showing Him love in return? When you are truly in love, it seems all that is on your mind is that other person, you want to be around him/her constantly, it is all you talk about, and you want to prove your love by doing sweet things.
God wants that kind of love from us as much as we do from Him, as evidenced in Mark 12:30, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”
I believe most people think that by praising Him they are showing that love. But if your sweetheart only said they loved you and never did anything to show it, would you be satisfied?
How do we show God our love? John 14:21 says, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him.” We can first show our love by being obedient and keeping God’s commandments. And that includes, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Do you have other “gods” in your life? Things that actually take top priority over God Himself? What if your sweetheart paid more attention to someone else other than you?
We naturally expect anyone who loves us to be kind to us and do special things for us. In what way can we be kind to God? In Matthew 25:40 we see Jesus saying, “Verily I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” The things you do for others you are actually doing for your Lord.
Most relationships cool down a little with time and get taken for granted. Let’s not take God for granted. Take action and show Him how much you love Him every day.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
I have a friend who recently had been having some issues with her leg. In deciding to get it checked out, it was found she has stage IV melanoma and had to have a good portion of her femur and her knee removed, and then they would do tests to see where else it had spread in her body. It was very unexpected. When I contacted her to tell her I would be praying for her, her attitude surprised me. She told me she would be shaking in her shoes if it weren’t for knowing the Lord was with her. She is most certainly walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
Many of us have or are walking through that same valley, and it is dark and frightening. But it is certain we will also come to the other side of that valley; some to continue living, and some to pass on to their eternal home. There is no guarantee, only God knows what is on the other side. But when we are on that path we, like my friend, should not be “shaking in our shoes,” because God is right there with us, and if we allow Him, he will comfort us on that journey.
Where do you go for your comfort during those times? Your friends and family can only temporarily accompany you, and then they go back to their own path. But Psalm 23 tells us that God IS with us. Cling to Him tightly. He is the only One who will stay with you and get you through to the other side.
“And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” (Matthew 14:29-30)
We recently felt God leading us to downsize our house and move closer to my son. We put our house up for sale and had two full-price offers within 24 hours, so in effect we felt Jesus was telling us to have faith and step out of the boat. But as I confidently left that comfortable little boat with Jesus in my sight, I suddenly noticed wind and waves all around me. There was a potentially serious medical complication to my illness blowing powerfully against me. Waves cresting with the physical challenges of packing and moving when I have no strength. I saw continuous small waves of my mother-in-law and her nursing home issues. A stressful wave of my son’s upcoming wedding. The constant wind of trying to find a house to live in and coming up empty. A huge wave of an unexpected and premature death of a family member. And yet another wave with my son experiencing serious health issues. I tried to keep my eyes on Jesus through all the wind and waves, and to see only Him, but those waves were hard to ignore and I, like Peter, found myself sinking.
Peter started out being courageous and confident in his faith, as many times perhaps we have. But he gave in to his own fears and despair when he saw the wind and the waves. When he knew he was in deep trouble, he cried out three simple words, “Lord save me.” Take note of what happened next, “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Immediately Jesus caught him!
Are you out on the water right now? Are the wind and the waves beating on your faith? Do you feel like you are sinking? Take your eyes off the waves, focus your sight on Jesus and call out to Him. He is right there in the midst of the storm with you, waiting to catch you and keep you from sinking.