Tuesday, August 16, 2005

#7 Because I Love Him

Because I Love Him
#7 August 16, 2005
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind {strength}." (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37)

I made up my mind a long time ago that there would be no pets in my house. After many bad experiences with cats and dogs, we decided that if it didn't walk upright on two legs (at all times, mind you!), it wouldn't live in our home. Well, as I'm writing this, the most adorable little dog, named Silly, is lying next to me. My daughter somehow convinced me over the last week or so that she needed to get a dog. After MUCH prayer, we agreed and here she is. Why did I change my mind? Because I love my daughter.

What we won't do for those we love! We will drive any distance, work any hours, pay any price, make any sacrifice, if we truly love someone.

Our verse today is very familiar to us yet I believe it's more important than we realize. We find the words first in the Old Testament as Moses is declaring them to Israel at God's command. They come right on the heels of the Ten Commandments. Jesus repeats them later when asked by an expert in the law what the greatest commandment is. He says it is the First and the Greatest!

If we truly love God, what are we willing to do for Him? Remember what He has done for us because He loves us. He gave His all, His everything, His very life because He loves us. And if that weren't enough - He continues to give, day in and day out. If Jesus never did one more thing for us, never answered one more prayer we've prayed, never sent us one more blessing - what He did on the Cross for us would be enough to keep praising Him until He comes again! But He didn't stop with the Cross! He's "the energizer". He keeps giving and giving and giving. His grace, His mercy, His compassion, His strength, His forgiveness, His blessings, His intercession for us - there are no bounds to what He has and will do for us!

If we could ever really "grasp how wide and long and deep is the love of Christ" (Ephesians 3:18) for us, we would be willing to give our all for Him. I don't think our finite minds can ever understand it completely until we get to Glory, but if we meditate on it enough, and really believe it, we should be compelled to do more than just our Christian "duty" to please Him.

What we do for those we love is BECAUSE we love them, not to get them to love us more. Jesus will never love us more or less than He does, no matter our behavior. But just as an earthly father is proud of and pleased with and smiles on his child, I want my Heavenly Father to smile everyday because I have done all to please Him.

I want Him to be my first thought when my eyes open in the morning - Because I Love Him!
I want His word to be my spiritual breakfast each morning no matter how I need to arrange or rearrange my time to make it happen - Because I Love Him!
I want to follow His instruction on what kind of wife I should be and His manual for my marriage success - Because I Love Him!
I want to be the kind of mom He wants me to be and have the courage to stand firm on tough issues and follow His commands at the risk of my children not thinking I'm "cool". They'll respect me later - Because I Love Him!
I want to be quick to see when I've sinned and just as quickly repent and be forgiven, keeping a short list with God. I always want to be right with Him, nothing between us - Because I Love Him!
I want to forgive those who have hurt me, not be offended easily and not let anger get the best of me - Because I Love Him!
I want to live my life following His call. To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, seek justice for the oppressed and lead others to Him and then to guide them in living for Him - Because I Love Him!
I want to love the unlovely, bless the ungrateful, pray for those who don't give Him a second thought - Because I Love Him!
I want to do things that He tells me to do that I would not do for anyone else but Him - Because I Love Him!
I want to grow so close to Him that I see what He sees, hear what He hears and to crawl into His lap as He tells me "unsearchable things that I do not know". (Jeremiah 33:3) - Because I Love Him!

As Paul says, "not that I have already obtained all this or have already been made perfect (far from it (mine)), but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." ) Philippians 3:12). Because I Love Him!

I submit this question to you. What are you willing to do for Jesus because you love Him? Time? Sacrifice? Obedience? Money? Submission? Jesus says "Love with ALL..." Not some - not most - not just enough to squeek into Heaven. ALL! Take the first step. Sit in His presence and make some decisions. Pray. Repent. Submit. Taking that step will cause Him to smile - your Daddy will be proud - Because He loves you!

I write because I love Him,

Donna Schultz

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