So much to say, so little time. I have so many topics that I would like to discuss here today. I don't want to preach or teach at this moment, however I would love to look each of you, dear readers in the eyes, and tell each you individually of God's love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, power, strength and tenderness. How can I cover all of that - with scriptures included, of course - in the time that I have to write and the time that you have to read?
So what do I say then? I was watching Barry Manilow coach the young "American Idol" hopefuls last night and the thing he kept telling them was that they weren't just singing words but telling a story and that they needed to get into the story. They needed to make the song a part of themselves. Who would you prefer to listen to? A mechanical perfect singer or one who is close to perfect but sings with such emotion and conviction that you just know they have lived what they are singing? I bet most of us would be drawn in to the emotion. There is something about looking into the eyes of someone who really believes in what they say or do that takes us into their world.
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience and of faith unfeigned: (1 Timothy 1:5)
So is it in you? No, not the gatorade, but God's love? Not just the words of God, but the love of God that can burn in you to reach out to others in need to share His love with the life-changing power of His Word. Is it in you? Is your faith real beyond the faith that saved you from a literal hell? Or is your faith a pretend faith, lacking in the power of God's Spirit in you to do change you in marvelous ways? Is it in you?
If you find that you don't have as much of God's love in you as you would like or if you think that your faith is less than it should or could be, you are probably not alone. Ask yourself the following questions:
1) Am I spending daily time alone with God and His Words to me?
2) How is my prayer life...really?
In closing today, I would like to insert a poem that I found while I was cleaning my office last week. The poem was written about friendship, but I read it in a whole new way this time around. So as you read the poem, read it as if you were praying it to your Best Friend EVER...the One that loves you no matter what and who will never leave your side...Jesus. (Note: I have included the caps to reference the "friend" as God, not the author)
The Greatest of Gifts by Andrew Tawney
There are many stars in the sky of friendship
but there are none that shine as brightly for me...as You.
You are the dearest of all, shining high above the rest,
lighting up my life and giving me a wonderful knowledge.
I've got a Friend.
Knowing that You are my friend and always will be, keeps my faith in happiness alive.
Whether You know it or not, You have gotten me over many rough times.
For me, I know that things may go wrong
and the world may treat me unfairly every now and then, but I'll be okay.
I've got a Friend who understands.
Your friendship is one of the things I treasure most in life,
for it gives to me a value beyond wealth, and a wealth beyond words.
I've wanted to express my heart's thanks,
and if the words could be found,
I would tell You this...
...that come what may,
I will always consider Your friendship
as the greatest of gifts.