Thursday, April 14, 2011

His Delight

I may never have mentioned this before, but I teach private art lessons.  I really enjoy teaching under 2 conditions:  the student desires to learn and the student is teachable.  Any other situation is filled with frustration and dread.  We all know "students" can find themselves in all sorts of classrooms for any number of reasons other than desiring to learn and a heart to be teachable.

Whether I am teaching art, truths about the Word of God or  training my children, my "enjoyment" of teaching depends on those 2 conditions.  When that desire to learn and attitude of being teachable exist, my heart is DELIGHTED.  There is joy.  It is easy.  It grows a bond between teacher and student.

Today as I acknowledged and expressed to God my heartache over a situation and loved ones that are unteachable,  I recognized His heartache and frustration for "unteachable-ness"  as well.  (oh, how much we desire to protect others from pain and suffering from wrong choices...) But, as crazy as it seems, in the very next moment, I sensed His DELIGHT.  My Bible was laying open in front of me as I concluded a day of study.  For whatever reason, in my despair over someone else, He chose to love on me and express His hearty approval for my endless searching of Him.  A moment from our perfect Father in Heaven when He pours undeserved love all over your soul and drenches you with His comfort.  To the extent that God is not pleased with unteachable and un-desiring hearts, He is DELIGHTED by the heart that searches and seeks Him.  What child does not yearn for the delight of their Father?

Do you desire to know God, to be teachable?  Does the time you spend in the Word reflect your desire to know Him and learn from Him?  Ouch!  Yes, our time devoted to "the Word IS God" does reflect our desire to know Him and learn from Him.  Oh Lord, I pray that the amount of time I set aside to genuinely search for You in the Scriptures reflects and validates the desire I profess with my mouth instead of making me a liar.

How are you doing, friends?  Are you DELIGHTING your Father with your desire to know Him and learn?  I pray you are!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Because you love ME

The boys were playing in the living room.  I asked if one of them could carry something to the basement for me.  So, the older one cons the younger one into doing it.  But in doing so, the younger was not without a whole slew of grumbling and complaining about his big brother.

Words came out of my mouth, embedded in my mind since childhood, in response to the complaints, "Don't do it for your brother, do it because you love me."  Do you ever have moments, where the thoughts coming from your mouth nearly slap you in the face?  God often shocks me with my own hypocrisy through parenting.

As I spoke to Zachary, I seemed to receive a life giving "jolt" to my hardening heart as the words, "Do it because you love ME" echoed in my thoughts.  Sometimes, deep down, little sprigs of bitterness or selfish complaint or "that's unfair" thoughts can try and take root in my mind and heart concerning relationships with my brothers/sisters in Christ.  Those relationships can be our spouses, children, family members, friends, church members, neighbors, etc.  I wonder how often I or we withhold, refuse, neglect, grumble, complain because in "our" opinion someone is deemed unworthy, selfish, undeserving or wrong?

We are to love our brother more than ourselves, deserving or not.  But more important, our first command is to love God, who is deserving of ALL our service and obedience. And God, who is deserving of our obedience, commands us to love our brother.

John 14:21 (NASB95)

21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who LOVES Me; and he who LOVES Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

I praise God, that when my rebellious nature wars with my spirit, I can recall the gentle words of my Father in Heaven, "do it because you love ME!"