Originally published Friday, 01 February 2013.
I seriously can’t believe it’s February.
I've become one of those old people who say "where has the time gone."
But really... where has the time gone? Wasn't yesterday Christmas. Sheesh.
Everywhere I go I'm bombarded with evidence of the upcoming holiday... Valentine's Day.
I can’t even deal with Pinterest right now because of all the pink and red and white. The cards and wreaths and cookies and cake pops and heart-shaped everything.
Don’t get me wrong. I love me some Pinterest. All the crafts and activities. It is absolutely beautiful. But I think I might have washed my hair once this week (maybe?), so heart shaped pancakes aren’t happening.
All this celebrating of love has inspired me.
So I decided to write my own Inspirational (if not Pin-spirational) series of posts leading up to Valentine’s Day. Each day we’ll look at a passage of Scripture celebrating God’s love for us, a passage encouraging our love for one another, and a few suggestions for living it out that day, right away.
14 Days of His Love: filling up on it & pouring it out to those around us
Phew! Here we go:
Filling Up on His Love: Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Oh. This. I just want to bathe in it.
What a description of God's great love! I shall never be in want. He will make sure I have all I need. (So maybe what I want ain't really what I need?)
He makes me lie down and leads me... and He needs to. I don't know myself. I need care. Tender, patient care. Someone who will make me lie down in a place of plenty where I can eat and rest and be filled. Someone who will lead me to a place of quiet where I can drink and be rejuvenated. Someone who will do more than that. Who will reach deep inside me and "restore my soul."
Knowing that, I will "fear no evil, for you are with me." The security of that love blows me away. To be so secure in Him, in His love, His character, that I have no fear, simply because He is near. Comforting me, leading me, making me go where I need to go. Preparing for my every need. Filling my cup to overflowing.
Yes. I long to dwell with You, God, in Your house and know Your love and goodness. Every. single. day.
Pouring His Love out to Others: John 13:34-35
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
How can I pour this love out to others? This Psalm 23 love? This comfort, care, tenderness, gentleness, provision, security?
This is how I will be known as a follower of Christ, in the way that I love others. God's love is so deep, so wide, so faithful.
As Psalm 23 says, "He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
I pray that the Lord will guide me in the path to loving others righteously. So that His name would be great.
I may never love perfectly as He does, but I pray to be a reflection of that love, pointing others to Him. A miraculous reflection to love others in challenging and difficult ways, so that the only answer to the question "How do you love that person? In that circumstance?" the only answer can be... pointing to Him.
Today's challenge... Give someone rest.
Find a friend, neighbor, relative, acquaintance, stranger. Do something that gives them rest. Bring a meal (home-cooked or store bought). Offer to do a chore, run an errand, take their kids off their hands for an hour or two. Buy them a refreshing drink (you even can send someone a Starbucks gift card from the Starbucks App on your iPhone!).
Pray that they will enjoy a time of rest and that God will use it to restore their soul.
How are you completing the challenge today? I'd love to hear your stories, ideas, and commitments to pour out His love today! Please share in the comments below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org