As the season of Lent is upon us, I cannot help but think about all that I need to improve on or be more grateful for. There is just something about my personality that likes to be challenged constantly. That can be a plus and a minus. On the plus side, I am always trying something new and on the minus side of the equation, I do not tend to stick to things long-term. Like all the times I was trying to teach myself the flute, then making soap, then drawing, then making ornaments and crafts and the list goes on. If there was an award for starting new hobbies, I would win a prize.
But you know what? Only by the Lord guiding me, I have, for almost fifty years, stuck with my favorite relationship in the world. I still love to spend time with or talk about Jesus! I did nothing to earn His love and I knew very little about Him at first, but over the years, He and I have honed our relationship. He teaches me what I am doing wrong and I obey His guidance. He gives and I am grateful.
A relationship with Jesus is a lifetime learning process. We never arrive at the ultimate end of all we can learn from Him. He never runs out of things to teach us that we are meant to share with others. I love the tone of these verses as they lay out a syllabus of sorts of what our teacher, Jesus, and our Father God expect from us.
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. 1 John 2: 3-5
Even the simplest reminders like this can spark change in us when our desire is to be all that we can be for Jesus and God. That is what the verse does for me. It sparks a challenge to really “know Him” better “keep His Word” and let God perfect His love in me. What a wonderful focus!
So, as we go through 40 days of Lent, remembering Jesus’ 40 days in the desert alone,maybe we can focus on being alone. With no phone, tv or any distractions nearby, we can give Him our full attention. What if we didn’t ask for anything but just thanked Him for being with us? More time in His presence will change us, change me. It is not about what Jesus can do or give us. He has already done all He can. It is about what we can give Him more of, that we value. ..time and ourselves.
If you happen to be a parent, you know how valuable time is with your grown-up children. You need no gifts or prizes from them. Time with them is the most precious thing they can give you. The Lord is no different! He loves us so much and just wants us to be with Him. We do not need to use fancy words or presents, but in His presence, let Him speak. He just wants us to abide in His love, out of love for Him. How simple but oh, how sweet.
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9
We know You love to be with Your Father, as His child. We love to be with You the same way. We get too busy, though, keeping up with the pace of life. Our hearts are considering all You gave us on the cross and we are so grateful. We want to spend more time in Your loving presence. We want to abide with You.Thank You for always being there. We look forward to being alone with You more and focusing on our greatest and most favorite hobby, coming into Your presence. Amen
Love and prayers to all,
Just me. Just His.