Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Want To Keep Falling In LOve With Him, Over And Over Again

I believe most of us start our spiritual walk with every intention of giving our all to Jesus. We are inspired by his love, his sacrifice, his compassion. We have a real determination to allow the Holy Spirit to change our character so that we would be like Jesus. After all, that is the Father's desire for all of us, that we would develop the character of his first born Son and represent him in this lost world. Yet, somewhere along the way we start letting go of this purpose for our life. We start taking things back that we let go of. After a while we are the same as we were before, only now we have different friends and a church we attend, but our attitude and perspective are as they were before. Peter addresses this in the fourth chapter of his first epistle. He writes to his fellow believers:

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. (1 Peter 4:1)

Attitude is everything in life. It effects the way we get up in the morning, how we face challenges in our day, how we look at and react to various people in our lives. Attitude is nothing more than a decision we take based on our character and experience. If we have a negative character then our attitude will be negative. If we have a positive character then most things in life will be approached from a positive perspective. Jesus gladly faced sufferings because he knew their purpose and the result. We know the same about our sufferings if we know the Word. When our character is such that we consider the needs of others more important than our own then sacrifice is a natural things, and suffering a means to an end for God. This is exactly what the Holy Spirit was pointing out through Peter:

As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:2)

This is a lot of what we lose over time, the willingness not to pursue happiness for ourselves. Our attitude should be that the joy of the Lord is our strength and is all we need and desire in life. Somehow we need to recapture that willingness to set aside our own happiness for other people and be satisfied with the joy Jesus gives to us. Be honest today; what got you out of bed this morning? Was it the obligation of your job or the anticipation of serving Jesus for another day? Yesterday, were you active in finding new ways to serve other people, looking for the good works God had prepared for you or were you just trying to make it to the end of the day? I am telling you, if you are not vigilant, it does not take much for old attitudes to creep back in. The Spirit reminds us:

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. (1 Peter 4:3)

Don't waste another moment on what you were rescued from. Even if you have not gone this far in your attitude you know it would not take you much to get you there. It is like we fall asleep and become dull to Jesus. We start listening to the old music, go back to TV shows we had given up on, start hanging out with the old crowd again. Then we have less and less time for prayer and the study of the Word. We still find time to make it to church but the church seems to have changed. We attend out of obligation instead of desire. We begin to feel like an empty shell.

Shake yourself out of your slumber and realize where you have been. Jesus deserves more than this from us. He deserves our best. The Father's plan was to have his children spread the good news everywhere:

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (1 Peter 4:6)

The first step to fulfilling our mission is remembering our first love. If we are not madly in love with Jesus then we have lost something from our first days of salvation. Although we do not want to step back into the immaturity of those early days we do want to re-capture our love and passion. There is a world that needs to know Jesus but they will not see him from a people who have forgotten their passion. Let us re-discover his beauty and love and fall in love all over again. Perhaps we should go back to singing the choruses that reminded us of the importance of cultivating such a love daily, such as:

I keep falling in love with Him
Falling in love with Him
Over and over again (2x)

It gets sweeter and sweeter as the days go by
O what a love between the Lord and I
I keep falling in love with Him
Over and over again

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