Give It Everything You've Got!
"Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His Mercy endures forever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? Who can declare all His praise?" Psalm 106: 1-2
We hear it a lot in Christian circles and church, "God is good." Have you ever really taken the time to contemplate how good he is to you? I went to church last Sunday. During the worship time I had my eyes closed, my heart focusing on the lyrics to the song and I actively directed the meditation of heart and words of my lips as a prayer devoted to God. As we sang I began to break away from the crowd with my thoughts and heart and began to talk to God, it was just He and I.
I told him how much I loved him. How I adored him. I told him about how deep my devotion runs and this is my sole motivator for obedience and willingness to do and pursue all that He calls me to, even though it has cost me a lot. I don't care the cost, because I run to Him anew every day, wanting and expecting like the greatest romance story ever written. But then my prayer turned a different way. I began to recognize how big God is and how much love he has to offer. My pitiful contribution to his love tank was so minuscule compared to the depth and breadth of what He can offer, yet he accepts my offering as though it were as great as his. Wow. Think about that. Talk about grace! I began to weep (as I usually do when I sing songs to my God. Not because I am super Christian and more righteous, but because it humbles me to think how the Creator of EVERYTHING would find delight in spending time with me. I love it!). Then, He began to lead my heart and respond to me. God reminded me that just as my love is nothing compared to his and he does delight in it anyway, He desires me to be the same toward others. When people are giving all the love, care and consideration they have to offer, even if it doesn't seem like much or it doesn't come close to meeting a need I have, I can be grateful and accept the offering just like God accepts mine. That, my friends, is beautiful and the absolute heartbeat of God.
I have a facebook account and I choose to use it to encourage and edify people. I am blessed that most all my facebook connections are very positive and uplifting. However, in the last week I noticed two different posts referring to how they cannot tolerate stupidity of others or lack of thoughtfulness. I understand that people can be frustrating. Relationships on all levels require patience, diligence, care and time invested. However, we need to apply all that I have just shared with others. What may seem lack of thoughtfulness to us, we need to graciously understand that the other person may be offering all of the thoughtfulness their mind and heart can muster. They may be offering their best, so we need to be careful to not write their best off as "not good enough". I'm not trying to issue judgement. I am merely offering persective. We need to meet others where they are at and act accordingly. This is the best way we can effectively accept, love and genuinely care for others. The world will know us by how we love each other. If we are spending our free time running people down with our mouth we are only making an offering of how we truly are within our own heart. For out of the heart the mouth speaks.
Take some time this week to challenge yourself to love on someone who maybe challenges you a bit. For me, the best thing I do is remember that there are others who are challenged by me. We are all in this thing together. If the Body of Christ is truly going to look, taste, feel like Jesus to a hurting world, then there is no better way to exemplify it than to meet each other where we are at. We are all at a different place on the path to God and we all grow and different rates.
Let us encourage each other along.
God is good and He loves you very much.
Come on now...GIVE IT EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT...and that's A LOT!
We have within us the power to overcome and together we can get it done.
The best is yet to be.