Tag Archives: god loves us

Quality Time With God

After my wife and were engaged, my dad bought each of us “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. In the book, we read how people give love and receive love. Each of us typically want to be loved in one to two ways. The book goes through the five love languages (physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts and quality time), and it also gives you an assessment to help you know what your love language is so that you and your spouse can keep your love tanks full.

We know from Genesis that we are made in God’s image. I think what that means is that we have a lot of God’s qualities in us. We know that He shows us love, therefore He wants to be shown love. We know that John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave…” he’s also given us the Gifts of the Spirit. I believe one of God’s major love languages is gifts. Abel showed God love by bringing Him the gift of his best lambs and it made God happy.

I also believe God’s other dominant love language is quality time. He loves to spend time with each of us. That’s why prayer is so important. I love Psalm 27. It’s loaded with good stuff. In verse 8 it says, “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming’” (NLT). I hear God saying, “Come spend some quality time with me,” to each of us. Do we respond like David?

It’s important to note that we often show love in the way we want to receive it. To keep a relationship healthy, we have to learn to show it in the language of the person we are in a relationship with. Quality time and gifts may not come naturally to you, so you’ll have to work at it. Take some time today to spend some quality time with God. I know you’re reading this as a part of that, but take some time to just sit in His presence so you can hear what He has to say. You’ll be surprised by how your relationship with God changes.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

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Proper Behavior

One of the crazy things about having children is not just how much they look like you, but act like you too. I’m convinced that DNA does more than give them the physical traits you have. Often my son will do something and my wife and I will laugh and say, “That’s your child. You do that too!” He often demonstrates mannerisms that he hasn’t seen us do and it’s obvious those have been passed down. There are other times though when he sees how we behave end he mimics it. It’s not always the good behaviors either.

Most children will learn their behavior by watching their parents. If you raise your voice when you’re frustrated, they will too. If you laugh boisterously, they will laugh that way too. They are watching you to see how they should act and react. They even use the same expressions. It’s been said that what parents do in moderation, the children will do in excess. In Ephesians 5:1-2, Paul took this same concept of children copying their parents behavior and told us to mimic what God does since we are His children. 

He wrote, “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (MSG)” Our first step is to watch what our Father God has done and is doing. We learn more about His behavior the more we read the Bible.

I love that Paul wrote, “Mostly what God does is love you.” John wrote that God is love. As believers, we have been called to a life of love. Love for other believers, but also love for the lost. Just like a parent, we don’t always know how to express that love. Sometimes it comes out in doing good deeds for them and in providing for the needs of someone in a desperate situation. Other times it comes out very restrictive. In trying to protect their spiritual security, we do things that they don’t understand. It appears to suffocate them and push them away. We have to be careful in how we love others.

Paul throws in that God didn’t love to get something back. He gave because He loved. That’s huge for each one of us. We need to learn to love others by giving ourselves to them. God held nothing back when He demonstrated His love for us. He didn’t send His highest ranking angel to die on the cross. No, He sent His only son. He didn’t say, “Ok, I gave you my son, now you need to give me more sacrifices and more offerings.” In fact, he required less from us than before. We no longer had to sacrifice our best. We just had to simply accept His gift of love. In return, our love for Him is displayed in giving Him our lives.

Our lives lived for Him should reflect and mimic the love He gave. Spiritual beings should look at the way we behave, look at God and say, “That’s your child. They act just like you!” I’ll go a step further. It shouldn’t just be spiritual beings, but human beings should be able to look at you and recognize you belong to God through your actions. Jesus put it this way, “They’ll know you’re mine by your love.” Go out today and love extravagantly the way God does. Be recognizable to others as His kid because of your actions not just your words.

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God Is Your Refuge

September 11, 2001, was a day that no one who was alive will forget. Since it happened, people have placed blamed on the hijackers, the government, Muslims, George W. Bush and God for the attacks. No matter who you believe was behind it, there is evil in this world and it seeks to destroy. On that day it destroyed lives, buildings, families, people’s sense of security, health, hope and trust.

In John 10:10, Jesus said that it is the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy. It bothers me when people place the blame on God when bad things happen. That is not who God is. In the same sentence, Jesus said that His purpose is to give a rich and satisfying life. He does not cause bad things to happen to you. James 1:17 tells us that whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father.

Why is it that we blame the bad things on God, but not the good things? Somehow we think that we are responsible for anything good that happens in our lives without the help of God, yet we are not responsible for bad things that happen. The Bible is full of scriptures that show consequences for actions: honor your father and mother so that your days may be long (Exodus 20:12), a man who is diligent in his work will stand before kings (Proverbs 22:29), if you are faithful with the small things, God will make you faithful over many (Luke 16:10) and if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains (Luke 17:6).

Too often we associate God as someone in the sky who is waiting for us to mess up so He can crush us. Yes, just like there are consequences for good actions, there are consequences for going against what He says too. The difference in what the reality of who He is and who we think He is in those times is that He doesn’t want us to stay in those consequences. He always provides a way of forgiveness no matter how bad the sin. He doesn’t want to leave us there so He has provided a way out. II Chronicles 7:14 says that if we will humble ourselves, pray and turn from our wrong doing, He will hear from Heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land.

God has no desire to leave you in sin or to destroy your life. He wants you to live freely in Him, overcome evil and to walk in forgiveness. Your life matters to Him. When evil seeks to destroy you, your life, your home, your business or your relationships know that you can run to God for help. He is a strong refuge (Nahum 1:7). He is help in time of need (Psalm 46:1). He raises a standard when he enemy comes in like a flood (Isaiah 59:19). He fights for you (Exodus 14:14). No weapon that is formed against you will prosper (Isaiah 54:17). If He is for you, who can be against you (Romans 8:31)?

If you are under attack today, proclaim those promises that God has given you in scripture. I’m not telling you these things out of faith. I’m one who has lived those promises and has seen God do it in my life. I know His Word is true and He can be trusted. I have seen Him be my refuge and fight for me when I didn’t have the strength to. I’ve had the enemy come in like a flood and try to destroy everything. When that happened, I cried out to God who lifted up a standard and held back that waters before they consumed me too. If He did it for me, He’ll do it for you. Ask Him and trust Him with your life.

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