My desire is to spend time in God’s Word every single day. To miss time would be like not hearing from my closest companion, one I am used to conversing with daily. To stay in bed would be nice, but what would be missed is not worth extra sleep. So each morning I get up and have uninterrupted time with the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is a discipline to an extent, but it is so much more. It is life to me. What the Lord reveals, how He answers my questions, hears my prayers, lavishes love in extravagant ways by the way He directs me to specific scriptures and brings peace obtained no other way, is a glimpse into my mornings. He fills my heart up to overflowing and I spend the rest of the day pouring that love out. I mess up plenty, repent, apologize, accept grace and remember what He has taught me and how much He loves me.
Because of the time spent and the heart work that is done, it creates a bit of a challenge. Some mornings I attend Bible studies and when questions begin to be asked, it takes some self-control not to spill out all the morning has held. There are plenty of things that are just between the Lord and I, but insights gained often need to be shared. This has helped change the way I see people and how I interact. Again, I fail plenty, but my eyes are different now. My heart breaks easier because of the lies I see people believing and the truth that some in our world just cannot accept. I wonder why that is so hard?
Yesterday we were running errands and I had an unusual encounter with a salesperson. They had obviously believed something that was not true and dressed accordingly. I was startled at first, but then quickly sad. We talked about makeup and went our separate ways. What should I have said? What questions could I have asked to reach their heart? Throwing scripture would have only confirmed what they probably already believe about followers of Christ. What would have made them want peace, freedom and unconditional love only found in Christ? When we are insecure, live a lie and protect the lie at all costs, is there anything other than love that can break through fortified walls? It is not my job or right to condemn sin, that seat of judgment belongs to God alone. If only there was a way to speak this without defenses rising, but I think this has become a way of life for the broken.
The book of Lamentations is fascinating to me. Such heartache, hope and truth is found on each page. One verse really stuck out to me the other day. “She never considered her end.” (Lamentations 1:9). Our days are numbered, yet we so often live like we have time in abundance. Moses wrote a prayer that says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12). When we set heaven in our hearts as our eternity, we have considered and determined our end if we have confessed and believed Jesus to be our Savior. How many people do we encounter each and everyday who do not have this assurance? What are we doing about it? What am I going to do about the person I encountered? Are they not worth knowing the truth too? It is not reserved for just a few of us.
Look with me at this convicting verse. “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life…”. (John 6:40). I do not see anyone omitted from this bold statement, but simply everyone. Also read this one, “As scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame.” (Romans 10:11). Again we read there are no exclusions, but anyone can believe. Do not miss the next words. Shame is no longer an option for the believer. It is my understanding that satan holds many captive in prisons of shame. What is keeping you from breaking out? The lock opens at the name of Jesus my friend. What Jesus did for you on the cross made this freedom possible. Using my imagination, I see the key to the lock in the shape of the cross. Place this key in the hand of any prisoner and with faith, unlock your cell.
When our eternity is secure, our in-between can be lived with an unexplainable love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and love. Others will take notice and ask why we are different. We make quite a contrast in dark places. I use to fear my kids being in public school big time. We have all heard what is being taught and the activities that come with abandoning truth. However, it is in these dark places that light shines. I will say some of my kids have unbelievable teachers that know and love the Lord. Praise God! For those that do not, I pray they see a difference in the way our children behave. I pray they see a light in their eyes, even on hard days. I pray they feel loved and accepted. This is a great training ground, but makes for much work on our side. Again, praise God! The last time I checked scripture, this was the design from the beginning. What a privilege! When I pick the kids up I try and always ask, “How was your day?”. What I am asking is, “What did the world tell you today?”. We then sort through it all and replace lies with truth if needed.
So, consider your end and consider you present. Consider what the world has told you and hold it up to scripture. Does it match up? Popular belief can still be wrong. What are you doing to share truth, which is quite possibly the most loving thing you can do? Do people around you notice that you are different or do you blend in? Do you have something that others just cannot put their finger on that seems to be missing in their lives? This is not a call to be perfect, I am wanting us to pour out love because it has been given to us to share. We would not keep a cure for cancer in our journal and not share it with those dying would we? Then why do we keep the Good News to ourselves? Friend, do not be afraid. In fact, ask the Lord for help. Be encouraged by this, “You came near whenever I called you; you said, ‘Do not be afraid.” (Lamentations 3:57). He is near when we call and will give you words, eyes and a heart that cannot help but spread the only message that will matter in the end.
When my alarm goes off tomorrow morning, I will rise and grab a necessary cup of coffee. I then will settle into my chair and encounter love. It is the best way to start any day. I will remember these words too, “Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23).