I could travel over oceans, cross the deserts, climb the mountains just to share Your story, bring You glory, and win souls for You. Oh, I could succeed at all these things, find favor with peasants and kings, but if I do not love, I am nothing.
—“I am Nothing” by Ginny Owens
The Christian life is not about self-promotion, it’s about self-denial.
Just look at the gifts He has given you. He has sent His angels to care for you, His Holy Spirit to dwell in you, His church to encourage you and His words to guide you. Anytime you speak He listens, make a request and He response. He will never let you be tempted too much or stumble to fall. Let a tear appear on your cheek and He is there to wipe it. Let the love song appear on your lips, and He is there to hear it. As much as you want to see Him, He wants to see you more. He is building a house for you. And every swing of the hammer and cut of the saw, He’s dreaming of the day He carries you over the threshold. “There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am.”
Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should do and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what He has done.
Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). The get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.
No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his place, his throne- everything- to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
You see, the best thing about the Story is - it’s true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his Children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in puzzle- the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
(The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones)
#Dug Down Deep
into His heart…
I was too focused telling God all my dreams, plans, requests, hurts and everything. And I forgot to listen to His heart, His dreams, His plans, His requests, His hurts and everything.
I trained them and made them strong, yet now they plot evil against me. …I myself taught Israel how to walk, leading him along by the hand. But he doesn’t know or even care that it was I who took care of him. I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him…My people are determined to turn from me…Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows. No, I will not unleash my fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you, and I will not come to destroy…For someday the people will follow me.
(Hosea 7:15, 11:3-4,11:7-10)
God saying these things with tears in His eyes…How could the people He saved and loved turned their backs and neglected Him? His heart was breaking yet His love is unfailing…He is really a God of love and forgiveness. He is a God who never gives up on people. He is a God most worthy of praises. Thousand times we fail, still His mercy remains. I don’t know how many tears He cried for us, how many heartaches He endured, how many chances He gave, how many “I forgave you” He uttered…one thing I know, His love endures forever.
When you were born again as a child of God, everything necessary for success, for being the head and not the tail, for being above only and not beneath, and for living the victorious life, was birthed in you. Keep seeing and meditating on your true identity in Christ—a beloved, righteous child of God destined to soar and reign in life. The more you get this into your heart, the more you’ll be able to shut out the voices that try to keep you down and defeated, and live the high life!