I have been on the road full-time with my special needs ministry dogs for some years now whereby they are very accustomed to all the different hotels and my coming in and out of the room. So imagine my surprise when one day I was gone from the hotel room for about 10 minutes and returned to find them so excited it was as though I had returned after 10 years instead. They were so thrilled to see me and to lavish their sweet love upon me as I crouched down beside them that it was a wonder I could come up for air amid their ecstatic behavior.
Now mind you my ministry lifestyle is such that they get to spend loads of time with me day and night, but they still couldn’t hold back their extreme love and excitement. Beautiful dogs story, isn’t it? But this message isn’t about me and my ministry dogs. It’s about you and I and the Lord God almighty – and what I now share with you.
Dear friend, when we turn from our sins, believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and in His death and resurrection, turning our hearts and lives over to God and His ways and His will for us, we are forgiven, enter into a forever relationship with Him instead of spending forever in hell and the lake of fire in torment, and are indwelt by His glorious Holy Spirit. Our sins are washed away, we are born again spiritually and given a fresh start in life, we enter God’s forever family, and we now have 24-7 access to God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son of God that we would not otherwise have because of our sins that separate us from God.
My dogs were over-the-top thrilled to see me and love me and receive my love and enjoy my company after just minutes apart from me, but I am concerned that many of us who believe in and follow Jesus may take for granted the indescribable gift God has given us to be in His forever presence. I am concerned we may consider spending time alone with God praying, praising Him, seeking Him, worshiping Him, singing to Him, hearing Him, communing with Him, learning from and of Him, etc. as nothing more than an obligation we put on our to-do lists. As though it’s a nuisance. As though it’s a bother. As though it’s something to get over-with. Or something getting in the way of us and our wanting to get on with our lives. Or perhaps we are simply lukewarm about it all.
I am concerned we may not comprehend the amazingness and awesomeness that through Jesus’ death and resurrection and our repentance and turning to Him that we now belong to God forever and can experience His gloriousness and glory day and night.
I am concerned we may neglect to see the phenomenal-ness of being God’s sheep who can hear our Good Shepherd through the Bible and by His Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts personally always in line with the Bible.
I am concerned we may think of God’s love as though it’s nothing more than something we have in our lives to experience and enjoy if and when we’re in the mood or perhaps we’ll just focus on other things and people we consider more valuable.
I am concerned we may think of personal fellowship with God almighty as trivial, insignificant, unimportant, and nothing more than something else in our lives we can wave aside if something more enjoyable, interesting, exciting, tempting, etc. comes along.
I am concerned that my dogs’ expression of their love for me that day may have been far greater than the excitement and love we find ourselves showing God when we come alone into His presence to spend time with Him. Even writing this, I am convicted of how terribly far short I can fall when it comes to being thankful for my relationship with the Lord, His love, the time I can spend with Him day and night, His blessed fellowship, etc.
I am concerned most of all not about all that we are missing if we in fact take for granted our everlasting relationship with God. But I am most concerned with how we must break the heart of God when He is not our first love, our greatest priority, our number one desire. And when we don’t continually demonstrate our love to Him whether it be with praise, adoration, worship, etc., whether it be with our obedience to Him, whether it be with our thoughts and feelings, whether it be with how excitedly we tell others about Him, etc.
What a tragedy it would be to think my precious special needs ministry dogs might be more excited to see me after 10 minutes of my absence from the hotel room than we who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord are excited to be called, chosen, and blessed with being promised eternal life with God almighty and than have an everlasting relationship with Him. A relationship with Him here on this earth – and forever in heaven.
Perhaps you are as inspired, encouraged, challenged and perhaps even convicted and chastened with this message as I am in writing it. My intention is to go forth loving and serving the Lord with every single ounce of my heart in the strength of Christ for the glory of Christ, hallelujah, AMEN? You, too?
Oh, Father, forgive every single one of your followers for every single way in which we fall short. Create in us a desire, oh Lord, and a yearning and longing and thirst, dear Lord, to love and follow you with every single ounce of our hearts. Give us passion, give us zeal, give us fervency in our relationships with you. Create in us a fire for you, a fire to love and adore you, to serve and glorify you. Oh, God, have mercy upon us all.
Help us to please you in all ways. Dear God, should someone reading this message not already have a relationship with you, please, God, draw them to yourself, lead them to repentance, give them the faith to believe in you Jesus as Lord and in your death and resurrection, cause them to turn their lives over to you, save them and give them everlasting life with you, have mercy upon them and fill them with your Holy Spirit, and lead them in your will and ways forevermore, AMEN!
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” Psalms 42:1 KJV
“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:” Psalms 63:1-5 KJV
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16 KJV