Love God, spend time in His word
Over these past few weeks and months I have been really challenged about how I love people. Do I really love people? How can I say that I do? I have also been challenged about this in terms of my relationship with God. Can I honestly say I love God? If it was illegal to be a Christian what evidence would a jury find to be able to help them prosecute me? Would the evidence be easy to find or would they really have to dig deep to find any shred of it?
Unfortunately, if we are all honest with ourselves as Christians in western culture, I think we may more often than not be in with a chance of not being prosecuted as a Christian if it were to be illegal. Why? It is because, more often than not, we hide our light under a bushel. We fear to share the love we have inside. We fear man, fear rejection, fear being outcast.
The truth is we fear more about a whole list of things more than we fear not having a deep relationship with God that overflows and spills out into each and every aspect of our life. This should not be so.
We need to never lose the wonder of all that God has done for us. Of the gift of grace He gave through His Son in bringing us Salvation. In redeeming a people who were lost with no hope, in bringing us into a newness of life through His Spirit and Sovereign will. It is when we lose sight of this, become complacent, forget the magnitude and the gravity of all that has been done to purchase us back and set us free from our sin and death and shame, it is then our fears cloud and overshadow the love we should so naturally be showing as a people who are God’s light here on the earth.
So what causes this? How can such a tremendous love be shadowed by fear? We read in the bible “perfect love casts out fear” So if fear is stopping us showing God’s love our love for God cannot be perfect, which it cannot be. We all know our own shortcomings and know we are far from perfect. So knowing this, knowing that it is not our love that can drive away our fears we need to rest on the love that can: The unfailing love of the Father.
It is the perfect love of God which casts out our fear. So the question now is – how can we know this love? The simple answer is to know God, for God is love. The best and only way we can do this is through Jesus. Jesus tells us “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” So it is by looking unto Jesus, the way the truth and the life, by gazing on Him and His beauty, by remembering Him and all He has done is how we can see God and therefore the perfect love which drives away our fears.
The first verses of John tell us how we can look unto Christ. It gives us a clue of the divine role Christ has. It says; “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God” and then later we are told “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” Jesus is the Word of God the Father. Jesus is the reason why everything lives and moves and has it’s being because God used His Word to create the universe, all that is seen and unseen.
So it is through God’s Word we have access to know God and therefore know this love. Over the weekend there I was away at Faskally House, Pitlochry. It is a wonderful, beautiful place. A group of Christians came together for the weekend for some fellowship, discipleship and to take time out and hear from God. We were focusing on worship and what worship is. One of the sessions we focussed on devotions, bible reading and spending time in God’s word.
This is really the secret of knowing God. It is spending time in His Word. And I cant understand how I can claim to love God and not want to be in His Word every opportunity I can get! When you love someone you spend time with them, you make the time for them, you clear your schedule if they need you to. Why are we so different when it comes to sitting down with God’s word? Either we are fooling ourselves saying how much we love God or we simply do not know Him at all. Which is it? If it is the later we need to repent of our Sin, confess our sin, and give Christ the throne of our hearts. Make Him our Saviour, Lord and treasure. If it is just because we are lacking love we need to regain sight of the Father through His word. The Word is key. That is why daily devotions and bible reading is so vastly important.
So I have been challenged about the time I spend with God through His Word. We need to hunger God, and find our hunger satisfied when we come to the Bread of Life, which is Jesus, who is the Word!! Why do we not realize this? And if we do why don’t we do it?
It is hard. I often struggle. But as I have said many times before our calling is a high calling as Christians. Christ never gave any romantic notions about following Him. He told us we were to be disciples, and a key attribute of being a disciple is to develop discipline and that is how we need to be when it comes to our daily devotions – disciplined. It is hard, it will take time. However the time we take will be worth it. We just need to continually know the worth of God, His Son, and the Spirit and all that has been done and that continues to be done through His divine plan and purpose for us.
As Christians we are artists called to make our impression on the canvass God has given to us. His word is what sharpens our pencils, it is the pigments of the paint we use, it is the bristles on the brush we paint with, without His word the impression we make will be mediocre at best. It is only through His word can we make a beautiful canvass revealing God’s love and hope and grace to this world which will make an impact for His kingdom.
We need to get this right. If we want to love as God loves we need to know His love. In knowing this love through His word we can then love others as we ought. Our love will never be complete, effective or lasting towards the people around us until we get our relationship and love of God right. From that everything else flows.