In love after 30 years

My current daily Bible reading plan. Search for “A Passion to Serve” on the Bible App (YouVersion).

My heart leaped this morning when I saw what was next in my Bible reading plan!

I’m currently working through the “A Passion to Serve” plan on the YouVersion Bible app, focusing on places in Scripture that detail what it means to serve God and serve others. I’m on Day 305! 🙂 Yesterday I finished the book of Genesis and the life and legacy of Joseph. Today, I opened up the app, and I’m diving into the book of Acts next!! This is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I was almost giddy when I saw it!

In that moment of silly joy over Scripture, it hit me all over that this is what it means to be in love with Jesus.

God saved me 30 years ago. It really blows my mind that we have been in relationship for three decades!! The God of the Universe has chosen to walk by my side for all these years, putting up with my faults and annoyances, my failures and fears. He’s seen my best and my worst, and His love has never changed. He’s never left my side. He’s carried me through the darkest moments, shouldered my burdens, and held my heart through unbearable loss. He’s invited me on mission, imparted the words and the courage to share the Greatest News, and given me the precious privilege of seeing my children come to know Him. He’s blessed beyond what I’ve ever deserved! His patience astounds me, His compassion overwhelms me, and knowing He will never give up on me makes me love Him even more.

So when my heart beats a little faster opening up God’s letter to me, it makes me smile. Not everyday is like that. There are times I read and pray because I should, and not because I want to. Yet, God’s faithfulness isn’t determined by mine. I’m in a love relationship with the God who created me, with the Savior who sacrificed everything for me, with the Spirit who has chosen to dwell within me.

When God redeemed my life, it was for keeps. I can think of nothing better than growing old with Jesus. After 30 years, He still makes me smile.

 


**I do realize that many of us have and are walking roads where our faith has been stretched across the painful realities of life, and our love relationship with God has been strained. Our hearts don’t match with our heads. We may be asking hard questions, struggling to see where God is in the midst of a difficult situation, or perhaps we’ve just grown apathetic over time without meaning to be. Our desire is gone. I raise my hand and confess to all of these scenarios over the course of my relationship with Christ, even recently. Please know in those moments, God’s love does not change. He has not left you, and He is continually choosing to love you. There has never been a time He has regretted dying on the cross for you. Pray for God to renew that love and joy in your heart. Pray over Psalm 51:12.  There is no distance that God’s grace cannot reach. I’m praying for you today.

Journey to the Manger: Innkeeper

The kids created comfy beds in the living room to think about what it would be like to trade comfort to serve Christ.

The kids created comfy beds in the living room to think about what it would be like to trade our comfort to serve Christ.

The innkeeper told us there was no room at the inn today on our Journey to the Manger.

When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem, they could not find a place to stay. Then Mary went into labor, and Joseph did what he had to do by delivering the Son of God in a stable.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

– Luke 2:7

Innkeeper

Innkeeper

Though we don’t know if an innkeeper turned Joseph and Mary away, Scripture tells us there wasn’t room. That means someone wasn’t willing to give up their sleeping space so a very pregnant woman could find comfort for the night. No one intervened when Mary went into labor to let her in so her child could enter the world in a more sanitary space. Joseph and Mary ended up in a dirty barn and placed their newborn son in a trough where the animals ate.

Why didn’t someone speak up? Where was the compassion that night, as a girl on the verge of having a baby was turned away?

Our hearts are much like that inn. We fill it with relationships, busy schedules, activities and agendas, until there is no room left for the Savior. We place our comfort, our desires and our priorities ahead of submitting to and serving the God who gave us life.

This Christmas, let’s evaluate the real estate of our heart. What fills our attention, captures our emotions, and takes priority in our life? God wants our whole heart, not just the corners or the space left over.

We may talk a good Christian game, but our actions show our heart. What conveniences and comforts are we willing to set aside to pursue Christ?

Make room for Jesus.

 

Click here to learn more about celebrating Advent with your family this Christmas, including access to a Scripture plan, free downloads and activity ideas. For more on Journey to the Manger, an advent experience from Focus on the Family, visit the Thriving Family website.