Friday, July 8, 2011

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak,
But He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so.

To be honest, I don't actually remember learning the song "Jesus Loves Me". It was one of those songs I just… knew. I remember singing it as a small child in Sunday School. I was very intrigued with the hand motions, which I would later learn were apart of a language known as American Sign Language.

I have many memories locked up in this beautiful children's song. But it's one of those songs that tends to lose it's core meaning. The tune is simple, the words flow easily, and we tend to sing it in a repetitive, meaningless manner. We forget how profound and life-changing the words of this song are. We forget what they mean.

"Jesus loves me, this I know…"
Jesus--the perfect Son of God--loves. He loves. Who does He love? Me. A poor, wretched sinner. I know this in my heart, beyond the shadow of a doubt. But how do I know this?

"…for the Bible tells me so…"
The Bible--the Holy and True Word of God has told me it is so: Jesus loves me. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen." (2 Corinthians 13:14); "For God so loved the world…" (John 3:16); "…God is love." (1 John 4:8). The Bible is filled with passages like these speaking of God's love for us.

"…little ones to Him belong…"
We are so small compared to God. WE are little one's. Every single one of us. From the newest baby to the oldest adult. We are small. But we belong to Jesus. "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:20

"…they are weak…"
We as humans are weak. When we fall, we cannot pick ourselves up on our own. On our own, we have absolutely no hope. "Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall." Isaiah 40:30

"…but He is strong!"
When we lean on Christ, we are filled with strength that is not of this world. God is bigger and stronger than all of our doubts, fears, trials, and sin. When we place our trust in Him, He will not only pick us up, He will help us to soar. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes! Jesus loves ME.

The Bible tells me so.

help me to never, ever forget the beautiful truths 
held in the simple words of this song. 
In your precious, holy name, Amen.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Matter of the Heart

Those who have been following my blog for quite some time know that last summer was one of huge lessons and hard-earned victories in Christ. One of the biggest obstacles I overcame was that of protecting my heart. This was and has been a constant battle in my life. Ever since I was little, I have dreamed about falling in love. I am in love with the idea of being in love. I have come so far and I am so thankful for God's patience and grace as I learn and grow in Him. But lately God has shown me I still have a ways to go.

With college coming up in little over a month, I find myself entering a new phase of life. One where I will be doing a hundred million things I've never done before. I'll have new freedoms, new rules, and new lessons to learn. I've been blessed with the great opportunity to "meet" and interact with some of my fellow BJU freshman in a Facebook group. I have already made some amazingly wonderful friends. I can't wait for the day I'll be able to meet them in person.

But it was here that God showed me that I still have much to learn in the area of protecting my heart. I knew the guys at BJU were going to be amazing, wonderful Christian guys who would bless ms. But having had the privilege of chatting with and getting to know a few of these guys has made realize just how true this is. Already the are blessing me. It's been wonderful to know that I will have wonderful Christian sisters AND brothers with whom I will form lasting friendships.

But at the same time, I've been stumbling. I've always wondered if I would meet Mr. Right at BJU, and lately this has been seeming more and more possible. Instead of concentrating on falling more and more in love with my Savior, I've been thinking about my Mr. Right. I've been wondering who he is, what he looks like, and how we'll meet. Now, it's okay to wonder these things, but I have been consumed with these thoughts.

Ever since Saturday, God has been pressing on my heart to let it go and let Him have full control. But I've been stubborn. I'll be completely honest, I could easily spend weeks thinking and talking about finding Mr. Right and all that goes with it. But God doesn't want my thoughts to be consumed with that. He wants my thoughts and life to be consumed by Him. Someone recently made an interesting observation to ms. Anytime Christian couples told their love stories, there was one element of them that played over and over again. They did not find each other until they stepped back and said, "Okay, God. I'm not going to worry about finding the one I'm going to marry. It's all up to You. My life is in Your control. I want to fall completely and utterly in love with You.

Last night, I received an e-mail from my best friend who knows all top well about my struggles in this area. She started with this quote:

It is far more appealing, enchanting, and romantic 
to find a Godly woman who is lost in Jesus 
than one who is worried 
about finding the right guy to marry. 
But remember, 
our precious Jesus IS faithful, good, and overflowing with love. 
Trust Him.
written by a guy (Set Apart Girl Mag, May/June 2011)

As the e-mail went on, she pointed out how these thoughts of preoccupation with wondering who my Mr. Right is can become idols. As I read this, God whispered to me, "This is what you've been doing."

I felt so ashamed of myself. God (as He always is) was right. I was letting the idol of earthly love take first place. God should be the only One in the first place position in my life.

So I put Him there. I know it's going to take waking up every single morning and going to bed every single night determining to put God first, but it's the most necessary thing in the world. As each day goes by, I want to fall more and more in love with my Heavenly Savior. He is my One and Only, my All in All, my life, my everything.

Whom have I in Heaven but Thee? 
And there is none upon the earth 
that I desire beside Thee. 
My flesh and my heart faileth: 
but God is the strength of my heart, 
and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26