Skip to main content

Are you stingy?

What does it mean when we say something is "ours"? As kids, I would hear my little ones struggling to let go of a toy they wanted to play with, declaring loudly, "MINE", and then swiping it away from the other one who was also interested in playing with it. They saw that toy as theirs, if even for a moment, not wanting to let go of it to any other kiddo desirous of a chance to put it into use. It became obvious to me that even though they had just declared it as "theirs", in short order it would be abandoned as they moved on to some other toy in the box. There are times we declare something to be ours without really intending to put whatever it is into constant 'use' in our lives. I have a washing machine and dryer, but they aren't used everyday. I have a dishwasher that I also don't use everyday. I have a hose in the backyard that may get used once a month if that. To 'have' doesn't mean we always 'make use of' the thing. It is quite possible this is how we treat our relationship with God - we have one, but we don't really put much into it by investing in it everyday!

“Listen, people of Israel! The Lord is our God. The Lord is the only God. You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ERV

This 'everyday' kind of relationship with Jesus isn't an on-again / off-again kind of deal. If it is to be living and renewed, it needs constant attention. I don't have plants that require much effort to keep them alive because I don't have much desire to spend hours upon hours tending them. I like how they look, but I need 'easier' ones that look good, but don't require the same effort. The relationship we maintain with Jesus can be hard at times, because it seems like we are making all the right steps, but the 'feelings' of the relationship growing or maturing are just not there. The heart doesn't 'feel it'. You know why God asks us to put our whole heart, soul, and strength into loving him? It is because our 'heart' would get discouraged by 'not feeling it' if it stood all alone!

We need to put our soul into it - our mind, will, and emotions, not just our emotions. We need to put our strength into it - spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional. We might want to compartmentalize Jesus into one part of our lives, but to truly love him, we need to bring him into our emotions, will, thoughts, reasoning, rationalizations, energy, and the list goes on. To 'love him with' means we bring all to the table - we don't limit the investment of ourselves, but rather give all entirely to him. Mind, will, and emotions may help us make huge strides forward, but have you tried to just do things you 'knew' were right? You had the intellect to know the choice was correct, but you lacked the drive to actually do it long term. You need the 'will' to back up your convictions, but even the 'will' alone cannot 'get us to do something' we don't really desire to do!

What we are asked to do is bring what we have to the feet of Jesus. Mind, will, emotions - coupled with strengths and weaknesses - then trust him to help us make the most out of what we have brought to him. The faithfulness of 'coming into his presence' is oftentimes a struggle, but it is where we find our heart, soul, and strength are renewed the best. It is where our emotions are settled, our spirit is lifted, our thoughts are ordered, and our steps are determined. Don't be stingy in loving God - do it with all you've got and see just how much he gives in return! You won't ever be disappointed. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Noticed by grace

Stop and notice life around you from time to time - you might just be surprised by what you observe!
Sometimes we miss the "little things" in life. I guess I am as guilty of "glossing over" stuff as the next person. I wonder how much I really miss out on because I never stop long enough, listen close enough, or draw close enough to really "catch" what is happening? There are times when life passes us by at break-neck speed, or perhaps we are passing it by at that insane speed! Slow down, listen a little, get in touch with things and people around you. Notice stuff - it might just blow your mind!

I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came fro…

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…