How do your return God’s Love and Favor?

I wrote about the fact that God wants to be your Valentine in my last blog post. He has offered us an incredible gift that we can only enjoy if we accept it. A week later, we went from the romance of Valentine’s Day to the somber reflection that came last week on Ash Wednesday. I had never put the two together until now. Interestingly enough, next year, they will fall on the same day. I was struck how close Valentine’s Day communicating God loves us and wants to be in a relationship with us. Ash Wednesday take us into the Season of Lent which gives us the opportunity to think about how we return that love. So many people look at Lent as a period of time where they give up something that will help them in some way. What if we took the 6 weeks to move into a deeper relationship with The One who created us? As an example, maybe we give up alcohol, chocolate, snacking after dinner, etc. Good for us but do, when we miss it, do we let it remind us how God misses us when we don’t show up and spend time with Him? Joel 2:12 reminds us the purpose of fasting. ““Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” You see, as my friend Tamra Andres reminded me, “just because something is good (giving up x…….) doesn’t mean it is from God. Only when it’s from God can it always be good.” (author unknown) So what are you going to do differently during Lent to show God you are grateful that you are His child?

I think this Season of Lent should be a time where we return the love that God has bestowed upon us. Nothing will bring the Lord more joy than if you make a decision to spend more time with Him as you prepared to celebrate His Son’s death and resurrection. Think about it. You can tell someone you are grateful for their love and that they are special to you but if you can’t find to spend time with them, will they think you mean it? Like the story of the Prodigal Son, the Father is waiting and when you choose to come be with Him, He will run out to meet and embrace you. “When the father saw the son, he did the unthinkable—he received the son back with ecstatic joy and celebration, and he ran to meet his son while he was still at a distance” (Luke 17:17-20).

Another way of returning God’s favor is by leaving behind what you think might be how you want to spend your time and resolve that over these next several weeks you will be intentional about serving others. By spending more time with God and committing to loving/serving others, we will give Him the honor and glory which He so richly deserves and for what he asks of us. Mark 12; 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[There is no commandment greater than these.” Our obedience to Him is our greatest gift to the One who wants to be our Valentine. May Lent be a season where you run to Him who wants nothing more than for you to be in His embrace.

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God wants to be your Valentine! Will you accept His gift?

Valentine’s Day was this week.  I had a thought that had never occurred to me before.  I realized God wants to be my Valentine?  Instead of a gift or flowers, He sent His Son to show me His love.  Like the gifts or cards I received from loved ones, I can’t enjoy what God offers unless I accept them

Revelation 3:20 says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”  An unopened gift in someone’s hand communicates this same concept.  Like Monty Hall used to say on Let’s make a Deal, “You can’t know what is there until you look inside”  What I am trying to unwrap here (pardon the pun) is similar to what I wrote about a month ago.
God loves you so much and is offering you an abundant life. He Loves you and wants to be your Valentine; The One you choose to love.  

Like Monty Hall used to say on Let’s make a Deal, “You can’t know what is behind Curtain #3 without trading what you have to me.”  The problem with the game is you might be hoping for a car but instead you get a goat eating some hay.  The good news is that is not how it works with God.  Yes, you need to trade (surrender) what you have to Him but there is only an abundant and purpose filled life that comes with that trade.  
God wants to be your Valentine not just on February 14th but every day and in every moment.  He wants you to choose Him as the one to love.  Open the card (Bible) and read how He loves you and wants the very best for you.  Open your heart and accept the gift that only He can give.  The gift of His Son Jesus who came so His Father’s joy may be in you and that your joy and life may be made complete.  John 15:11  

Won’t you say yes to God’s request to Be your Valentine?  He is knocking on the door of your heart.  Waiting with a gift in His outstretched hands.  When you do, you become a fellow heir of the grace of life, allowing your prayers to not be hindered.  Once you become His Valentine, you will find yourself wanting to share the gift He has given with everyone around you because everyone needs this type of love, God is the only one who can love you perfectly. When you have a relationship with God and experience His love, it empowers you to love others in the same way God loves you. What more can you ask for a Valentine’s Day wish? 🙂
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