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Aug 26, 2018

Staying in Love with God, Part 2

Staying in Love with God, Part 2

Passage: Ephesians 3:14-21

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Series: 3 Simple Rules

Category: Faith, Love

Keywords: kindness, love

Staying in Love with God means willingly giving up something whether through fasting, bible study or prayer.

Keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.- Jude 1:21

Devotional

If I could encourage everyone in the universe to read Reuben Job’s little book Three Simple Rules, I would do so. Except, I would clarify that these rules are anything but “simple.” In fact, I do believe the last rule “Stay in love with God” is the hardest one! I share with you a few reasons why it is not easy to nurture and cultivate a relationship with God along with a few reasons why I try my very best to stay in love with God.

On Sunday, we learned that one way we can stay in love with God is through prayer.  How easy is it for me to pray daily? It is pretty easy as long as I do not wake up thinking about all of the events that need my coordinating and planning. If that distraction invades my mind so early in the morning, I do not begin my day with prayer. Another means of staying in love with God is by reading and studying Scripture. How easy is it to read and study Scripture? Not too difficult as long as I can fit it in to a hectic schedule that begins at 6am and does not end until 6pm….oh and don’t forget about dinner!

I have learned that in order to stay in love with God, I must “do something” to maintain and sustain my relationship with God. Staying in love with God requires an action rather than describing a quality within me. This is what makes staying in love with God so difficult. However, I feel a sense of wholeness through my prayer life and through my study of Scripture. When I do not make time for prayer or time with the Word of God, oddly enough, my relationships with others begin to change, and I generally feel anxiety and worry settle in. When my life pulls apart in these ways because I forget my disciplines, I can recognize the mindset that I can navigate life on my own without God’s help. Inevitably I discover sooner or later that I need God.

When I consider the importance of staying in love with God, I reflect on the story of Mary and Martha. This story so adequately describes us today. We are so very busy and wrapped up in all of the busyness of life and here in Scripture we find Martha at the feet of Jesus in the midst of the busyness. This story causes me to ponder why I keep busy at times. Sometimes I choose to be busy because I think I am justifying myself to others. Sometimes it is the pressure of being considered “good enough” by others. Yet, when I am in the presence of God and I take the time to receive my affirmations from God, God assures me I am good enough as I am.

What are the bigger take-aways from realizing the importance of choosing to stay in love with God? When I am in tune with God, I notice the work of God going on around me. Why would I want to miss my God moments and revelations for the sake of busyness? When I stay in love with God, there is a greater sense of inward peace because I am grounded in my understanding and hope in eternal life, just as Jude 1: 21 speaks to. It doesn’t get any better than that. Hallelujah and Amen! 

Prayer:

Holy God, keep my eyes, my heart, and my mind fixed upon You daily. I give You thanks for always loving me despite my busyness. Give me the wisdom and the means to stay in love with You so that I may be love to a world that so desperately needs to be loved.  Amen.

P.S. Arcola Church offers a variety of ways for each and every person to nurture a relationship with God. I encourage you to take a few moments to look up the Arcola Church website, or take home this week’s bulletin, or read the church newsletter-WOW! It is PACKED with ideas and suggestions along with leaders who will welcome your participation.

Written by Tianna Durbin. Tianna is the Minister of Worship and Arts at Arcola Church. She recently and joyfully completed a Master of Arts at Wesley Theological Seminary. Outside her work at Arcola she and her husband Chris stay busy keeping up with their two teenagers.