I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."
This was the 'daily verse' in one of our Bible programs which I read this AM before church, and when I first read it, I began to sing the song, I guess it's by Don Moen, but I have it on another CD. I think it's way back from Youth Group time in Dallas Texas at CFNI. WOW! Here's a link to the old school song... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_uqZFnrJN4 - by Don Moen
Anyway, then I realized the first line which I never really hear when this verse is referred to. 'The Lord appeared to him from far away'. It got me thinking, God is NEVER far away from us, so the person to whom He is speaking to obviously took steps away from God. Which is important for us to remember... that even when we are NOT faithful, and walking with God, He still loves us with an everlasting love, and He remains faithful to us no matter what.
Sometimes I think of myself as unfaithful, because some days, I certainly don't feel like I deserve this everlasting & unconditional love of the Father. Some days I don't stop to read the Word, or listen for His voice, I do pray through the day, but wonder if He actually listens when we don't do our other parts to stay true to Him. I try to do my 'devotional' daily, but sometimes its just a quick view of words on a page, it doesn't sink in and I don't meditate on it. Other days, its refreshing and I can see God's hand at work in my life. I do know that He is faithful, and He will prove faithful in my life. Times where I feel like I have failed Him, He's just there with open arms reminding me of my worth in His kingdom.
I know that I have had a 'relationship' with him since I was very young and just began to speak and understand the Word of God (this is part of the reason I believe that I have such a strong passion for loving kiddos and teaching/training them in the ways of the Lord). From the young age of 3, I began to seek Him, because I heard of the faithfulness of God in the biblical accounts that my Mom, Pastor & Sunday School teachers shared. In my tweens & teens, I wasn't blessed to be a part of a strong youth group, as we switched churches a lot. I did however join several youth activities, but they weren't really 'experiencing' the true God & His Holy Spirit as I read of in the Bible. When I was 19 & 20, we went back to our Pentecostal church (where I came to know Jesus) and I was basically 'too old' for youth group, but was welcomed in with open arms (as I am very youthful - LOL!) to the youth group at our church. After some AMAZING experiences with Holy Spirit, and a visit to 'Youth for the Nations' at the 'Christ For the Nations Institute' we finally experienced the true God for ourselves. WOW! I was then baptized by water & fire in the same year. What a difference between 'knowing of' (having biblical knowledge) and 'knowing' (having true relationship with) GOD. I'm thankful so much for the teachers who have been in my life since I was that young 3 yr old making the decision to serve JESUS.
Through the years He has certainly proved faithful, and led me through different paths where I have increased my FAITH in Him. I gained a TRUST in Him like no other. I can say that I made it through the many temptations in High School and come out with very few 'scars'. I had friends who were involved in many different things that a 'Christian' wouldn't, and I was the 'solid' one... I am thankful for the Lord's faithfulness in my life. In my college years, I gained more of an understanding of the calling to 'teach' when I graduated from Early Childhood Education. Although it's not a Christian view of things, I stood firm in my beliefs and my faith. However, there were things done in these years that I am not proud of, but I made it through those temptations & sins, and repented of those, because of my Faithful God! It's in desperate times like those, where you are single, and have no children, and hear the promises of God in your ear, where you try to do things on your own... like Abraham and Sarah when she chose to let Abraham sleep with Hagar to get a child. Now, I never did those things... LOL! But sometimes you think you should 'settle' with what is given, instead of pressing forward to the promises that God has for you. We try to do things in our own ways, in our own strength, and try to 'help' God of course, but really those things take us further from God's will.
God's everlasting love has proved faithful, and through that time of 'waiting', God was preparing me for the man of my dreams, and was preparing him for me. Excitedly I moved into a marriage (almost 10 years ago now -- WOW!) and now we are 'waiting' on Him again for the fulfillment of promises.
Because of my love for God, and wanting to prove him faithful to the next generations, I am excited to be a part of our Children's Ministry and Junior Youth programs (and still have a special spot in the hearts of our Sr Youth). It's possible to stay strong, and true and follow Jesus. Even in times when we seem to 'walk away' from Him, His faithfulness stands true, and His love is everlasting! Showing them that He can and will do what He says He will do is an important part of our walk. But even more so, we want others (LIKE YOU) to see that He is faithful. It doesn't depend on whether you believe in evolution, abortion, etc... it depends on your RELATIONSHIP with a God who is real, who has a SON who died for YOU and the sins you did commit, are committing right now, and even the ones you haven't even committed yet. It also is a relationship with Holy Spirit, who is the person with us here on earth. He shows us and guides us into righteousness. He comforts us, disciplines us, rebukes us, corrects us and is there for us. We can LEAN ON HIM, and know that He will ALWAYS be there to catch us! Then Holy Spirit will lead you into the TRUTH on subjects such as evolution or abortion. (No matter what science or the medical field says or rules upon).
GOD does love us with an EVERLASTING love, He will incline to us, He will embrace us, He will prove FAITHFUL in all that He says! No matter how 'bad' you think you are, He has the best plans for you, we just need to accept them.
I apologize to my friends and family for not always shining the light, or diffusing the fragrance of God, or correcting in love, or being the example that I should be. I know I don't do a 'terrible' job, but we all can use some work. Thank You Lord for Your forgiveness and Your Holy Spirit that helps guide us into all TRUTH! :)
THANKS for 'listening' to me... may YOU be blessed beyond belief by the faithful everlasting love of the Father. Even those of YOU who have never experienced a true father's love like I have on earth with my Pops. Choose today to turn back to Him.
Remember, if you don't have this beautiful relationship with God -- Learn your A,B,C's...
ACCEPT, BELIEVE and CONFESS.
**If you have never prayed the 'salvation prayer' before or experienced the peace & EVERLASTING LOVE that is spoken of above, then here's your chance today. The only thing you are giving up is things that aren't going to last long anyway -- which if you don't give up, will only make your own life not last as long as it could (which is eternally). --- You've already made the first step known - admit to God that you are a sinner, because after all - all of us are sinners. (Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God") After that you need to believe that God is God, and that Jesus is His Son. He sent His Son to die for us, so that we as sinners didn't need to be condemned to death. (Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, bu the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus.") Then do as we did above, and Confess your sins to Him and ask for forgiveness -- and then confess aloud that JESUS IS LORD. (Romans 10:9-10 "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.") We need to daily ask for forgiveness, because we are human and we will always mess up in some way or another. God is willing and able to forgive us, and welcome YOU into His family. I don't like to write out a prayer to say word for word, as this important step is something that you need to tell God in your own words. Just tell Him what's in your heart - you're a sinner, you want to believe in Him but it may be hard, you want Him to forgive you of what you've done, and you want to choose life with Him through His Son Jesus. It's as simple as that. **
GOD BLESS YOU!