Thursday, December 29, 2005

Can you take the first step?

The heart is a perplexing thing!

God was so great to give us emotions to be able to connect with those around us and to love them through shared experiences and the ability to relate.

  • Romans 12:10 - Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
  • Romans 13:8 - Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

Have you ever found that you have to do something incredibly hard because you love someone and need to take a step opposite of what you hoped and longed for and find it so hard to move? The first step is the hardest. Just lift your gaze to Christ, and lift your foot to follow Him.

  • Ephesians 4:2 - Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
  • Hebrews 10:24 - And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
  • 1 Peter 1:22 - Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

Have you ever loved someone so much that you are uncertain how to move on? I know that I have loved so much that I physically hurt. I am no where close to understanding the physical hurt that Jesus felt for us. God gave us a great gift in sending His Son to die for our sins so that we can spend an eternity with Him free from the pain that love can cause as we will be able to love wholly and be loved back completely.

  • Romans 15:5 – 6 - May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

None of us knows what tomorrow looks like, but we don't have to. We only have to take the next step to follow God. He will not lead us astray. We will not understand what He is doing, but we are not asked to understand.

  • Psalm 111:10 - The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
  • Matthew 16:24 - Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

God is the God of knowledge, understanding, love, peace, perseverance, faith and so much more. He will show all of these characteristics to you if you want to see them. He loves you more than anyone. It is hard to imagine this.

  • Ephesians 2: 4-10 - But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
  • 1 John 3:1 - How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
  • 1 John 4:10 - This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Can you hear His voice? Do you follow Him without giving thought to what you think you may give up? If you can’t hear His voice, you are not listening. He wants to speak with you, He wants to walk with you, He wants to love you. Quiet your life and listen to Him.

  • John 10:4 - When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
  • John 8:12 - When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

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