Daily Walking with God

February 2016
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Walking in the Word

Plant City's First Baptist Church

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Daily Archives: February 25, 2016

love in sandI often remember a conversation a “seasoned” relative of mine and I had when I was a little girl. We were standing at the sink washing dishes (I was standing on a stool, that’s how small I was), looking out over the back acreage engulfed with pecan trees through the enormous window above the sink, and having a chat about the trivial things in life. When surprisingly she mentioned, “Stephanie, I don’t like you.” The look on my face was puzzling, as I kept washing dishes, but glanced at her with concern. Then a smirk came across her face as she followed her first sentence with, “Because I love you.” Whew! Relief washed over me, and a joy filled my heart and was revealed on my face.

On occasion I’ve reiterated that conversation with my own children. I have even turned it around a bit for when I may not be pleased when something that they’ve done, I’ll inform them that I do not like the choice they’ve made, but I will always love them.

Sometimes, isn’t it difficult to really “like” someone? Even someone you genuinely love? Maybe they’ve hurt you or someone else, and liking them isn’t very easy at that moment. But truly…you still love them.

I imagine that could be how God sees me (us) intermittently. He may not like the choices that I’ve made, but He continues to display His unconditional love towards me.

Well, He is God. God is unchanging, unshakeable, and loves us unconditionally. We, on the other hand, are human. Our emotions are like a rollercoaster of life. However, can I let you in on a little “love” secret?

I have discovered in life, and it is a continual course, that if I do as we were told in Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:7, Mark 12:30-31, and Luke 10:27, everything else falls into place. Really! Okay, so there may be times when “I” don’t think that “everything has fallen into place”, but I later discover that they do/have according to God’s plan.

It is also in my daily prayers. I pray this for my children, self, family, and others 365 days a year.

This command is, and has to be, my primary focus. Am I 100% of the time faithful to it? I wish. That’s the human-nature part in me. But I sure strive to do so.

So what is the secret to having “everything fall into place”?

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

I do. I do love God! But it’s the ALL part that is a persistent process.

I googled, “What does it mean to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?” It took me to a familiar website, gotquestions.org. While reading, a sentence jumped out at me. It reads, “We cannot love someone we don’t know, so knowing Him should be our first priority.”

So, if we get to know God by reading His word, talking to Him, listening to Him, observing and learning from life’s lessons He throws our way, fill our minds with His goodness, fellowshipping with other believers, etc. we will fall deeper in love with Him. It’s about a relationship. God is real.

Think about the relationship you have between your loved one. The more you communicate and spend time with them, the more you fall in love with them, and the deeper your relationship grows.

I want to encourage you to read 1 John 4:7-21. Don’t just read it once, but again and again. Allow it to marinate in your soul. It’s all about love. Seriously! It mentions the word “love” twenty-seen times within these fifteen verse.

God’s Love and Ours

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

I hope that by knowing how much God loves you that you feel relief washing over you, and a joy filling your heart and being revealed on your face.

I pray that you will enjoy soaking up The Son every moment of each day. Go fall in LOVE with Jesus more and more each day.–Stephanie

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