“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 NIV
Do you feel like you are hanging out there and there is no safe place to set your feet? The headlines are inundated with grim headlines and dire outlooks. I have to admit that I have run the gam-it of emotions over the past several weeks, but the past 3 days that has changed. What changed? According to the world, it’s going to get worse before it gets better… much worse.
The bible tells us otherwise and since the entire bible points to the hope that we have for eternal life in Christ, I am not going to attempt to make that case here, but what I can tell you is that I have been reading in 1 Corinthians and 13:13 says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
I have decided that I need to show love. Posting positive messages in social media, buying the order for the car behind me at the drive-thru, randomly texting, emailing or actually picking up the phone and calling people as I think about them. Not surprisingly, it’s easy to catch people these days and they actually have time to talk. The absolute best thing that I started doing is mailing out 3-5 handwritten cards per day to the girlfriends in my life whom I truly miss in this season of social distancing; women I want to encourage and let them know that I am thinking about them and I care about them with my whole heart.
Here is what happened. My heart filled with joy! God is right! Showing love to others and being “others focused” completely transforms your attitude, emotions and whole disposition. Instead of waking up each morning in a place of discouragement, I awaken with thoughts about whose lives I can make a difference for today. I pray in praise, not in fear, and I thank God for all the blessings I am seeing and how alive I am feeling in the arms of his protection and under the promises of His hope.
So girlfriends, if you are discouraged today, I want to encourage you to find ways to be a blessing to others. Spread faith, hope and love. Let the greatest emotion that you have today be love.
Share your creative love sending ideas here so we can extend our love to one another and have a toolbox of more ways we can love even bigger and better together!
Today’s Devotion: Numbers 28-29
In my commentary, Dr. Vernon McGee describes the worship described in Numbers 28-29 best. “Now what does this mean to you and me? We hear a lot today about worship and worship services. But how much is true worship in our services? How much is just aimless activity? Real worship is when we think God’s thoughts after Him. This sweet savor offering which God speaks of as My offering, My bread, My sacrifice, represents what God thinks of Christ. God is satisfied with what Christ did for you and me on the cross. What about you? Are you satisfied with what Christ did for you on the cross? Are you resting in that today? His invitation is “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Have you brought your burden of sin to Him and received Him as your Savior? Are you satisfied with who He is? If He is not the Son of God, then what He did is absolutely meaningless. True worship is a recognition of who He is and an adoration of His Person. In other words, it is thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”
Have you ever thought of worship as being sad? When I think of worship I picture hands lifted, eyes closed, hearts connected and praises sung, but then I search my heart and remember that my most raw, heart-filled, genuine, God-centered worship has been on my knees, tears flowing, eyes puffy, nose running and auditory weeping.
Numbers 28-29 reminds me that sin is ugly and when we truly see ourselves has sinners, we become aware that sin robs us of our fellowship with God; sin is an occasion for mourning. When was the last time you wept over your sins? Have you been before God and wept over your sin, over the failure of your life, over your coldness and indifference? My, how we need to confess that to Him today. It is not because God is high and we are low, or because He is great and weare small, nor because He is infinite and we are finite that we are separated from Him. He says it is our sins that have separated us from Him. That is the occasion for weeping.
I realize it is really our lives that are an act of worship and we don’t want to be wandering depressed souls living aimless lives that is a constant beat down of our inadequacies, but an occasional pause to put things into perspective is not a bad thing. I think that is why much of the book of Leviticus and now a detailed reminder of God’s offerings are reiterated here in Numbers.