Sunday, August 20, 2006

Falling in love with Him.

"Once upon a time a woman was married to a perfectionist husband. No matter what his wife did for him, it was never enough. At the beginning of each day, he would make out his list of chores for her to do, and at the end of each day, he would scrutinize it to make sure she had done all that she was supposed to do. The best compliment she ever received was a disinterested grunt if she finished everything. She grew to hate her husband. When he died unexpectedly, she was embarrassed to admit to herself that she was relieved."

Is this the way we see God? Do we see Him as a God that gets delight in creating and enforcing rules on his creation? Do we think that the heart of what pleases him is our obedience to his set of rules?

If so, then maybe we only view God as a strict husband who scrutinizes us. "If you love me, obey my commandments."

I've been rethinking. I've placed the stress in that verse in the wrong spot too many times. It would be better as, "If you love me, obey my commmandments." The reason for this, is that it puts things in the order of importance. Love comes first, then obedience.

"Within a year of her husband’s death, she met a warm and loving man who was everything her former husband was not. They fell deeply in love with each other and were married. Every day they spent together seemed better than the day before.

One afternoon, as she was cleaning out boxes in the attic, a crumpled piece of paper caught her eye. It was one of the old chore lists that her first husband used to make out for her. In spite of her chagrin, she couldn’t help reading it again. To her shock and amazement she discovered that, without even thinking about it, she was now doing for her new husband all the things she used to hate to do for her old husband. Her new husband never once suggested that she do any of these things. But she was doing them anyway—because she loved him."


I believe the heart of what pleases God is when we fall in love with him and want nothing more than to be with Him. It is out of our great love for God that we “obey” him. He doesn’t condemn our failures or withhold his affections. He is patient, accepting, warm, kind...safe. And we end up doing so much more because of who He is.

God is working in me to never paint Him as a cold and demanding husband. He does not want our obedience without our love, obligated and hollow. Our God is a passionate God. He does not settle for what he can get, but he goes after all of us. He is like a love stricken youth pursuing that special person.

His love for you is white hot. He’s crazy about you. He wants you to be able to say that every day gets sweeter when you’re with Him.

This song is dedicated to all the old timers out there that remember singing it...

I keep falling in love with Him,
over and over and,
over and over again.
I keep falling in love with Him,
over and over and,
over and over again.
It gets sweeter and sweeter
as the days go by,
Oh, the love,
between my Lord and I.
I keep falling in love with Him,
over and over and,
over and over again.

7 comments:

sandy said...

Hey Pastor James. It is sandy from NJ. I am reading a book for a book club about fighting for joy. I am only on chapter 3, but it kind of reminds me of what you are talking about. sandy

JimmyBob said...

Sandy! What a privilege to hear from you! Hope all is well with you and your family.

So, what's your book telling you?

Hey, Carmen's never made out a list of chores for you do has he?

ruthrap said...

hey, jimmybob, just wanted to drop by and say hi! what you said about love and obedience was so true..when you love someone, it is so much easier to obey them. but you have to know that they love you also. no-one loves us more than our Creator--------- very good post, something we all needed to hear!

Katie Bailey said...

Hi!

JimmyBob said...

Ruthrap and Katie, "Hi!" Thanks for stopping by!

Sandy, where'd you go? You didn't get shy on me did ya? Well, maybe a little at a time.

By the way everyone, please pray for me, I'm preaching this Sunday morning. Our pastor is on a missions trip to El Salvador.

Take care!

Shieldsy said...

Read that article years back. Good to be reminded of it.

There's a little bit of the 'chicken-and-egg' about it though don't you think?

Maybe she found herself doing all the things on the list for her 2nd husband because someone had once written them all down for her ... does that make sense?

If love comes 1st then we might ask someone to write down their desires. If they are written down before we love them don't we just see them as demands? But Jesus does use the word "Obey" which is the language of demand not desires!? Which is where I end up getting confused :oP

JimmyBob said...

Shieldsy, thanks for visiting and commenting. That's funny! I had all those same thoughts too when I posted this. I understand your thinking, because there are many passages that seem to "demand" our obedience.

I thought about this alot. I guess my intention is that it is not enough to simply obey rules without relationship. I think Jesus is more concerned with our relationship with him than our ability to not sin.

Kind of like I am with my daughter. Sometimes, in the middle of her attitude, I want to just squeeze her in a bear hug and kiss her, even though I should be in discipline mode.

That ever happen to you?