With All My Heart

“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.

Battling Doubts

“Art Thou He that should come, or do we look for another?” Matthew 11:3

I like to read from “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. Although he died at the young age of 43, he had amazing insight into and comprehension of God’s Word. I have to admit, I am older than he was when he passed, but even with all of the years I have been a Christian, I feel like a relative baby when it comes to his spiritual discernment. And even though I live in an age where I can glean knowledge from numerous spiritual giants, doubts still creep into my thinking.

Having a chronic illness compounds matters. Doubts of God’s goodness periodically assail us. This can make us feel unspiritual for even having such thoughts. But those thoughts are put in our minds by the enemy. It is what you DO with those thoughts that matters.

Remember John the Baptist proclaiming Christ to the world? In John 1:34 he says, “I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” At that time, he had no doubt Jesus was the Son of God. But later John was thrown into prison, and we find him asking “Art Thou He that should come, or do we look for another?” John had been separated from Jesus for a time. He was also most probably discouraged. John knew that God could deliver him from prison. So why didn’t He? Just as you know that God could deliver you from your illness, when He doesn’t, does that discourage you?

Oswald Chambers did write about battling doubts, which leads me to believe he and other great Christians had the same struggles but overcame them. John consulted Jesus when he had those doubts, which is the example we should follow.

When you are overwhelmed with feelings of doubt, remember that God is aware of your doubts and wants to help. He promised never to leave you, and He will not make you go through it alone. You cannot trust your feelings, but you can always trust God.

The Real Jesus

“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, ‘Fear not; I am the First and the Last.'” (Revelation 1:17)

As Christmas approaches, we as Christians think a bit more about the babe in the manger, our Wonderful Savior who came to this earth to free us from sin. But do we really have a grasp on how awesome and mighty He really is?

Virtually all the major religions of the world acknowledge Jesus as an important figure. In Islam, Jesus is considered one of the highest-ranked prophets. In the Baha’i faith, Jesus is considered to be one of the manifestations of God. Many Hindus regard Christ as a god-man. The Dalai Lama (Buddhist) believes that Jesus had lived previous lives and had reached a high state. But none of these religions regard Jesus as who He really is, God in the flesh.

One of Satan’s objectives is to reduce Jesus’ status to the level of a mere man. He tries to convince the world that although He was a good person, even perhaps a great man, He was not God himself.

Even some professed Christians minimize Jesus’ godhead by making Him their buddy, or simply someone to pattern their lives after. For example, on the day specifically designated as the Lord’s Day, I am a bit disappointed to see people in church proudly wearing their favorite sports’ team apparel. Who are they really honoring?  That may seem as though I am being a bit critical, but when you really think of who we are there to worship, the God of the universe, doesn’t He deserve all the glory?

On the island of Patmos, the glorified Christ was revealed to John. He had served with Christ and had known Him personally, but even in all that time of closeness with Him, John wasn’t ready for the vision of Jesus in all His glory. As we see from the verse, when John saw Him, he fell at His feet as though dead!

Our Lord, our Savior, that baby in the manger, is exceedingly more than a mere man. He came to us in the form of a man, but He is more awesome and wonderful than we can possibly conceive in our limited imaginations. This Christmas, let us ponder the greatness of our Lord.