Psalm 27:13-14 (NLT)
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Do you love your life? Do you enjoy the days that comprise each week, month and year? Are you happy? Do you live in peace? Have you experienced full satisfaction? God wants us to love our life. He want us to experience His Goodness and Unfailing Love each day no matter what the enemy plans in the course of each hour. Why are there so many unhappy Christians? Psalm 27 is one of my favorite psalms. It reminds me of “one thing” even when my mind is flooded and my heart overwhelmed. The Lord points His Finger to this place and says, “Remember…” I am not idling spinning my wheels or running in circles. Thanks to Jesus Christ, I have a purpose and everything is going according to plan when I decide to seek just one thing and pursue only Him. We must build our confidence in the fact that we will see the Lord’s Goodness while (we) are here in the land of the living. We are supposed to love life after Jesus becomes our Lord and Savior. It will require waiting for Him. Trusting Him. But above all else, we must believe.
Ephesians 3:18-20 (NLT)
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
In order to experience the kind of love that will change your life forever, one must understand how His Power works. It is not something that we attain by hostile takeover but gentle submission. It is an admission that we are unable to do these things for ourselves so we will wait and depend on the Lord to do His Will. The only way to truly love this life is to get to know just how wide, long, high and deep His Love really is. This is not an easy journey because it is human nature to be untrusting and suspect. But the Promise we have been given is that as we discover the parameters of His Love, we will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that “comes from” God. Now if it “comes from” God, it means that it has to get to where we are which means that it is for now AND forever. It is easy to make excuses as to why we are not waiting on the Lord for fulfillment. But the real reason will always be that we do not believe or have our doubts about God’s Ability or Willingness to satisfy this life and forever. God is not only able but willing to do more than we might think or ask. Infinitely more. If we truly believe in the God we claim to serve and the Power that brought Jesus out of the grave – we have no reason not to love this life.
Psalm 138:7-8 (NLT)
Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.
Though I am surrounded by troubles…does this sound familiar? Do these words resonate as true for you? Truth is everyone is surrounded by troubles, sorrows, burdens and more. It is the consequence of the sin that prevails in this world. We are in this world but not of this world so we have a source of hope that will never lead to disappointment. The Lord will work out His Plan for my life. God has a plan and no matter how crazy things are right now, He is working it out always. We must make a choice. It is easier for some than others. Each day we are presented with the option of choosing life or death in our day. Salvation is not one trip to the altar but a daily binding ourselves to the altar giving every aspect of our life to Jesus Christ. There is always more to give. Once saved always saved will only work with faith that creates a commitment to Christ! Grace is not an excuse to live any way you want and rob God of His Blessing. Grace is an opportunity to experience life despite our inability to remain faithful to our first love. Sin will never be completely gone from our life until we meet the Lord. But God made a plan for this life that is a good one containing a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) His Only Requirement is that we seek Him wholeheartedly. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Now before I step on anyone’s toes, remember God deals with me in these words each day that I present them to you. I am not speaking to you. I am simply relaying the message that He spoke to me first. Disclaimer finished. Every single day that someone wakes up breathing, that person is presented with a choice. It is the moment that we choose life or death and perpetuate our day. If we take the schedule of our day and every moment in it creating a summary, we see what our life pursuit really is. How many hours do you spend at work? Not just on the clock, but at home. How much “me” time do you require? Perhaps you are single in search of a spouse, do you seek the Lord with the intensity that you pursue the opposite sex? Do you spend an equal amount of time preparing your insides as you spend on your outward appearance to be attractive to others? Church does not count as personal God time. It is corporate worship. To truly choose life and learn to love this life, we must choose to live for God in each moment of every day. You make this choice by loving God, obeying Him, and committing your life firmly to Him above anything else. This is the key to life. By faith, when trouble comes or things don’t turn out as expect, we still love life because we know that God loves us and is still working His Plan which is full of His Goodness and Unfailing Love. Simply stated – to love life we must want God’s Love more than anything this world has to offer. Most of us have to work, but work doesn’t have to have us. We have responsibilities, but God is the One who is ultimately responsible for our life.
Psalm 63:3 (NLT) Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!
Oh God you are My God! I will earnestly search for you! (Psalm 63:1) This is how we discover God’s Unfailing Love and come to understand that it is better than life. Stubborn human nature only looks for God’s Goodness and Love when things seem to be falling apart. We face many trials in life and they will most certainly draw us closer to God through Jesus Christ. But once you experience the overwhelming unfailing love of God – it will become your passion. “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12) The testing our family has endured over the last few years has allowed us to see the life that we were missing. Through this violent shakeup, God has brought us to our senses using what the enemy meant for our destruction to harvest unseen blessings hidden inside. If you were walking through Walmart last night, you may have encountered my daughter and I crouched together on the floor reading funny Valentine’s cards. I apologize if the ruckus we were making disturbed you as we laughed until we could not breathe with tears running down our faces. I know I don’t know the trouble you are facing, the worries on your mind or the hopelessness you are feeling, but then again – you may not know the God we serve and the Love of His Son Jesus that allows us to laugh through it all loving life again even in the midst of adversity. I wish you would have stopped so we could tell you about Him and His Great Love. Maybe next time…
Proverbs 21:21 (NLT)
Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
Our righteousness is Jesus Christ. His Unfailing Love leads to life, righteousness and honor. We give so little to get so much. What are you pursuing today? Does it lead to life? If you are pursuing anything with greater passion and intensity other than Jesus, you are not going to love life. Full satisfaction and abundant life are found only in the Lord. Put Jesus at the center of your life and everything else must fall into place around Him. Righteousness is not about changing the way you do thing necessarily unless something you are doing doesn’t exemplify your commitment to Christ. Christ wants our love. Everything we do for Him must be motivated by our love for Him. I laughed when we were getting ready for our daughter’s wedding. There was a whole lot of fake stuff going into this production from fake nails, hair extensions and false eye lashes to perfect the look. Sitting with her yesterday in the Emergency Room for a stomach bug, I looked at her husband as he held her hand. The love in his eyes for our daughter so evident despite the disheveled mess laying on the bed – no makeup, hair in a ponytail, face colorless from hours of vomiting and yet he looked at her as if it were their wedding day all over again. That is how Jesus looks at us each day – longing to make our life better. He loves us with the ultimate compassion and tenderness allowed. He died for us to have a better life now AND forever. He loves us in sickness and health, good times and bad, and for richer and poorer! The choice between life and death comes in our ability to love Him the same. We will never be able to love the Lord as much as He loves us. But that is no excuse not to try! I love my husband more than he loves me but I love that he keeps trying. (Wink!) Choose life today. Pursue Christ with all your passion until you desire Him more than anything else. He will work His Way to the center of our life as we begin to clear away all the things we allowed to take His Place until we begin to experience His Love and our life is full just like it is right where we are. Love life today. Just love Jesus more!
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.