Thursday, June 25, 2015

love expressed

NOTE: I am still with our teens who are at camp this week, and I am sharing devotions from great people who inspire me.  Today’s come from Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church.  The original can be found at THIS LINK.

Do you ever look around and think to yourself, “Is this all there is to life?” Do you ever feel a hunger, a discontent, a yearning for something else? An intense longing for more?

There’s a reason for that. It’s because you were created for something more. You were created for a greater purpose. You were created to be a worshipper.

It’s not a question of whether or not you’re a worshipper, because every single person on earth is a worshipper. The question is: “Whom or what are you worshipping?”

But what exactly is worship? The simplest and most accurate definition of worship is “love expressed.”

In order to worship God, you must first have love in your heart, but you also have to express that love. If it’s not expressed, it’s not worship. Deuteronomy 11:1 (NKJV) instructs us to: “love the Lord your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always.” So many times we think we’re supposed to serve God and do a bunch of stuff for Him. The truth is, however, the greatest thing you can do is love God.

When Jesus was asked what the first and greatest commandment is, He said it’s to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:28–30). Why? Because if you don’t love God, you won’t serve Him. But if you do love God, you’ll serve Him.

Have you ever looked at someone else and thought: I just don’t love God as much as he does. I wish I loved God like he does. For many years, I felt that way about my wife, Debbie. Right after I got saved, I’d look at her and think: Debbie just loves God more than I do. I want to love God as much as she does.

Let me tell you two things about why some people love God and express their love for Him more than others. Number one is: love grows. I got saved when I was 19, and Debbie got saved when she was 9. She’d already been walking and talking with God 10 years before I got saved! She’d already gotten to know Him as a person, and I had just met Him. I’ve come to learn that the longer you know God, the more you’re going to love Him—your love will grow.

For those of you who have children, did you love your baby the first time you held him or her in your arms? Of course! As the years have gone by, do you love your child less, the same or more? More, right? You don’t think you could possibly love them any more, but with each day you do. Why? Because love grows. The more time you spend with someone—the more you get to know them—the better able you are to communicate heart-to-heart.

The second thing about love is: love leaks. Ephesians 6 tells us Satan is always trying to shoot arrows at us. He tries to shoot arrows through your heart so that he can get your heart discouraged, depressed, hard or bitter. He does everything he can to shoot an arrow through your heart so your love for God leaks. If your heart is going after something other than God, you’re in trouble! Are you looking at someone else and thinking: Gosh, that person really loves God. I don’t love God that much. If so, check your heart. It’s not that you have a bad heart—because God has given you a new heart—it’s that you’ve allowed other things to steal your love for God.

If you’re married and you never express your love, your marriage will wind up in trouble. But if you regularly tell your spouse: “I love you, and I’m so in love with you,” and then you express your love—not only through things you say but through things you do—you’ll have a strong marriage. You can’t say to your wife: “You know, I told you I loved you 40 years ago. If it ever changes, I’ll let you know.” That’s not good enough. You have to express that love. You have to consistently keep that love alive. And the way you keep it alive is by expressing it. This applies to your relationship with God as well.

Worship is simply communicating your love to God and God communicating His love to you. You were created for more—to love and be loved. The angels weren’t created for that purpose; we are the only ones God created to receive His love and give His love back to Him.

So express your love today and worship!


So what can I say, what can I do, but offer this heart, O God, completely to You. -- JOEL HOUSTON

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happy birthday, Julie

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