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Friday Inspiration

Love, is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others especially in times of suffering and loss.

John Piper at Generous Giving’s 2017 Celebration of Generosity

Check the video out here: https://generousgiving.org/media/videos/piper-2017

gap

Love Gap

When Jesus was asked “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:28b-31).

Seems simple – love God with all my heart, mind and soul and then love my neighbors as myself.  So how are we doing with the “Great Commandment”?

When people think of us as Christians do they think we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and that we love our neighbors as ourselves  — I would say probably no, at least not all of the time.

Could we be suffering a “love gap” that is the distance between how we are loving and how God created us to love?

Maybe we are failing to manage the time (calendar) God has entrusted to us in the manner in which God created? For me to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself it takes less time wasted and more time with God, reading His Bible, praying to Him and being in a listening posture. I still struggle with all of this because of the pull of the world is constantly telling me I have to do this and that and be busy, busy. Why all this busyness? Perhaps because most everyone else I know is doing it and busyness seems like the natural thing to do.

But I fear that we are quenching the Spirit when we are too busy with the things of this world and not focusing on things above and instead focusing on things below.  My focus too often is on what is right in front of me instead of heavenly things.

I need to remember that God is awesome and that He knows best and that is why I need to spend as much time possible with Him and Jesus.

I need to be reminded that I should not feel obligated to do my quiet time but instead be super excited to know our God more, to fall deeper in love with Him so He can be my everything including my most, by far, important relationship. I also must be reminded that when I do not live up to these goals, I should not feel shame or guilt but know that God loves me greatly and for Him there is no love gap.

What will we give up today, to close this love gap?

marvel

Marveled at

We all want to be marveled at, don’t we? Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to chase after adoration from strangers and friends alike. We put ourselves out there on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and every social media outlet you can think of—including blogs! Our goal is to be marveled at—for people to think we are special.

I’m guilty of this, and it’s a battle I fight daily.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines “marvel” as “one that evokes surprise, admiration, or wonder.” That doesn’t sound like such a bad thing. We want to be admired and “liked.” Isn’t that one of the main drivers getting us to these social media sites so often?

But what if we had a different mindset? What if everything we did, we did with the goal of being marveled at by Jesus?

Think of the centurion who inspired Jesus to say these words:

“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith” (Luke 7:9).

Jesus was really impressed by the Centurions faith; so much so that He wanted to tell others. Jesus even added emphasis, using the equivalent of “I’m telling you!” Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith.

I want so badly for Jesus to be impressed with my faith and with all of my actions. But I fall short. I still care more about what others think than what Jesus thinks.

This is changing! I’m headed in the right direction, but it’s a fight every day.

How about you? How are you doing when it comes to being marveled at by Jesus and others?