God never ceases to amaze me in the way he orchestrates my life. So often, I see the same messages related over and over in my Bible studies, devotionals, and sermons I hear. This Sunday was no exception. I read my devotional in the morning, but didn’t realize until this morning that the devotional was very closely tied to our sermon. When I opened my iPad, yesterday’s devotional was opened, which was odd because that’s not the last thing I looked at before closing it the night before.
“If we don’t embrace the mystery of who God is, we won’t know how to approach Him. Some of the ways God speaks are through His Word, His creation, His servants, in visions and dreams, and through related members of His body. God is ever speaking. The question is are we listening for Him or limiting Him? It is essential that we embrace this God of incomparable, limitless wonder and believe that He wants to communicate with us personally.”— Lisa Bevere
We can know the Bible inside and out, but that doesn’t mean that we know who God is or that we love him like we should. We read the Bible and study it so that we know more about Him. But, is that enough? It’s needed, but I don’t think it’s enough.
“God, help me to love you more?” Is that something you’ve prayed?— Pastor Jon Porter
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever prayed that. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I was too worried about knowing who he was and that he loved me. Oh, I’ve prayed for him to help me know him more. Why didn’t it occur to me to pray for him to help me love him more?
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.Psalm 37:4
This was our scripture for the day. God does care about our innermost desires, but we often need his help to shape our desires. We are often caught up in our own wants and desires, not even thinking much about His. What we need to do is develop our desires into Holy desires.
Are we living now in a way that shows people we love God?
Many of us have been hurt by plenty of people that know theology, know a lot about the Bible, but not so much about love. It reminds me of the teachers of the law that judged Jesus! They knew the laws, but they didn’t know God’s heart or they would have been opened to see who Jesus really was.
Our desires are central to our human identity. We need to reform our identity to something godly. We are creatures made to love, so we must learn to love what is most deserving of that love…Jesus Christ.
We are pushed by our desires to see an ending. Beliefs don’t change behavior. Desire changes behavior.
Even the Scriptures warn of the demons’ accurate theology. ”You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.”James 2:19
We need more that knowledge to convert our hearts. We need to pray for the conversion of our desires..praying to love God.
It would be sad for us to spend a lifetime amassing knowledge about the Bible and miss the point that loving God is the answer.
”This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me,”Matthew 15:8
The challenge from Pastor Porter for this week:
- As I study and read and learn…
- I recognize my own heart still falls short in loving the God who loves me
- ”God, help me to love you more.”
- A restless and reckless sinner, I continue to pray this prayer
- And when I do, I find steadying grace
- My challenge to you this week is to set aside a part of each day to simply pray, ”God, help me to love you more.”
For me, a new spin on my prayer time. Studying, praying, and listening to the God who loves me. Asking that he’ll help me love him more. I feel that my love for him is dismally lacking. Always something new I can take away from my Sunday mornings. Thanks, Pastor, for caring enough to point out the ways that we can continue to grow.