We're living in times where words matter and can make the difference. There is no greater word for me than the Message of Redemption and Hope in Scripture. My journey has not been an easy one, but God's Word has guided and helped me through each step. Maybe, as I share what the Lord has done in my journey, you too will find strength and peace as you go on. May the words I write bless you in some way.
LOVING GOD....DO I?
By Angeline M Duran Santiago
They say trials and tests come to give you a testimony. They also say that during a test, the teacher is always quiet. Perhaps many times this is why it seems God is silent. The things I have witnessed lately and had to see have been at times difficult and I could question God, "Why?" As I search the Word for answers, as I looked for promises to learn and hold on to, I found a pattern repeated so many times.
One thing I've been pointed to that I never really made a big deal about. We carry a cross around, hold a Bible, and say, "Amen." after prayer to publicly identify ourselves as Christians. I realized that maybe this is an outward show for many of us. We walk around speaking Scripture and saying we believe and trust in God's word but when we are placed on the balance to have our hearts and motives weighed, our words just don't add up. The word that stands out to challenge me is LOVE.
So, if I really love God, then I am living by His Word, right? At least that's what is expected of me if I truly love God.
Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." John 14:23-23 Now, I'm expected to obey.
The question here is, "Do I really know what loving God is like?" Am I obeying? Am I hearing? Do I really love or do I just have head knowledge that says I should love God but my heart hasn't even begun to truly know the depths of loving God.
"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name." Psalm 91:14
As I have been looking at Scriptures about love to write in honor of the month of love, wow, are my eyes being opened to seeing promises and blessings differently. Those that truly love Him have the promise of being under His protection. We want to be rescued and protected during the difficult times in our lives, but are we ready and willing to acknowledge Him? Hmmm, something to think about.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.(James 1:12 NLT)
There is an expectation I can have of the promises of God being fulfilled in my life if I am of those who love him. Here I understand that I'm to patiently endure. Again, Lord, have I missed the mark? Have I believed my words and head knowledge to be misinterpreted for loving, truly loving you?
And we know that all things work together for good for them that love God, to them who are called according to His promises.(Romans 8:28 KJV)
For them that love, love, love God. In other words, everything is going to be alright. I can relax and not worry. But there is a condition to being able to live with this confidence. I must be of them that love God.
But the person who loves God is the one God recognizes. (1 Cor 8:3 NLT)
Am I saying God only loves us if we love him. Of course not. I do believe His promises are for those that love him, truly honor him, not just lip confessing believers, but those who love God completely. Difficult days are up ahead. As people of God, we will have to trust Him. If we don't love and trust Him, how can we believe He will be with us? The Lord promises to be with us through all our circumstances. So I ask myself and I wonder, "Do you recognize me, Lord?" "Am I truly one that loves you or do I just say I love you because it has become part of the way Christians talk?" God knows me by name when I love Him.
Give me a heart to love you, Lord. Grant me a heart to truly and without boundaries or limits love you. Remove the stony heart, the dead weight and the coldness within me. I want to truly be filled with such love that there would be no doubt as to Your favor, Your grace and Your presence in my life. Lord empty my life out and pour out love in me, the ability to love greater and love You above all else. I want to boldly hold on to Your promises, those blessings You have promised to them that love You.