Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nothing Compares

How many times do you skip your daily devotion with God because
a)    you’re too tired in the morning
b)   too busy during the day
c)    too tired right before you go to bed, or
d)   rather do something else when you are actually free?

I don’t know how many times I’ve done it so
I’ll simply plead guilty.
And I hate speaking for others
But I’m sure you do too.

God loved us so much
That He died on the cross so that we may live
(Even before we were even born!)
And how do we show our gratitude?
Chan illustrates our actions nicely.
“God gets a scrap or 2 only because we feel guilty for giving Him nothing.”

How ridiculous is that?!
We give Him only what is left of us on a busy day.
Never a full devotion or bible study.
Just a mumbled prayer as we are half asleep.

Because we are greedy.
People are greedy.
We are only interested in what we want.
That’s how it has always been.

When the priests in Malachi’s day were preparing for the offering,
They would pick out the spotless animals
And not sacrifice them to God
But instead keep them for themselves.
The less desirable, or second best, was given to God.
This totally applies to our actions today.

And we’ve got it all wrong.

“God wants our best,
Deserves our best,
And demands our best.”
But do we give him our best?
Sadly, no.

We get caught up so quickly in our worlds.
Sometimes we don’t even notice when it happens
Because we are so engrossed.

Take me for example.
First semester I was miserable and bitter.
Every day I woke up and questioned God
Why He had allowed me to make the decision to come to Southern.
And because of that,
I was missing the point.
By getting caught up in my frustration,
I didn’t allow myself to see or love God.

Thankfully God is a God of grace
“His mercies are new every morning.” Lamentations 3
Because without it,
We would be lost.

So, our mission is to love God.
How important is love you ask?

Well, Paul claims that if “I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:2-3

“According to God, we are here to love. Not much else really matters.

Following Christ isn’t something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side.
It is not a label we can display when it is useful.
It must be central to everything we do and are.
Most of our thoughts are centered on 
the money we want to make,
the school we want to attend,
the body we aspire to have,
the spouse we want to marry,
the kind of person we want to become…
But the fact is that nothing should concern us more than our relationship with God;
It’s about eternity,
And nothing compares with that.”
Crazy Love by Francis Chan

We need to get our priorities straight.
Yes, school is important
But will it guarantee your eternal life?
Your worldly desires and possessions may get you in the “in-crowd”
But will it get you into heaven?

So, our relationship with God is now bumped to the top of our list.
But how do we love?
What does he want from us?

Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8,13 (below)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never end… faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Now, re-read the passage but ever time you read the word “love”,
Replace it with your name.
And that is how we are to love.

When we love God,
When we are truly in love with Him,
Our love will spill over into every aspect of our lives
And people will see that.
They will be drawn to it
And most importantly, drawn to Him.

So now think about this:

“Are you willing to say to God that He can have whatever He wants?
Do you believe that wholehearted commitment to Him is more important than any other thing or person in your life?
Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter,
Unless it is about loving God and loving the people He has made?”

Loving God won’t be easy.
God even admits it.
“The road is narrow and few will find it.”
But He also says,
“What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
Luke 18:27

So, love the Lord with all your heart and soul and strength.
Love with no end
As He has loved you.

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