You can mourn, or you can dance. But please do one.

My 8 yr old head was pressed against the school bus window, I was staring at the side of road as it blurred past. Every time the old bus hit a pothole, my head would bounce off the window, only to smack against it again. Over the radio I could hear some sad sounding pop song playing. This particular one, played an awful lot.

“Would you dance, If I asked you to dance?” and later on the singer would ask, “Would you cry, if you saw me crying.”

Smack! The bus hit a pothole again, and my head hit the window. Perhaps I can remember this all so clearly because I had hit my head so much. Maybe it was something else.

I remember thinking, that if I loved someone. I’d cry with them. If I loved someone, I’d dance with them. I would share their pain and their joy. It resonated with me. I could not imagine a close friend for whom I did not ache when they were in pain. And I could not imagine not laughing with them when they had joy.

You share emotion with those you love.

In Matthew 11, Christ is berating those who rejected Him. He says that they are like children who are talking to their friends. The children say,

“We played the flute for you, yet you did not dance; we wailed in mourning, yet you did not weep.” (Mt 11:17 NET)

Christ explains his illustration. When John the Baptist preached without eating usual food or drink, the people said he was possessed. When Christ preached while eating and drinking the people said He was a glutton and a drunk.

God had extended Himself in two very different ways, and yet the people would not hear Him. They had no desire to relate to the truth. They refused to see past their ignorance. And why was that?

They didn’t love God.

They never wanted Him. They refused to hear Him. They refused to hear His solemn message of judgment. They refused to hear His tender message of love. Their hearts would not be moved. They would not be reached.

Christ knew He had been offering a relationship to a people that had no desire for Him. There was nothing for Him to do concerning these people.

Is there something in your life you need to address? Has Christ been calling out to you? Would your heart listen to His?

Would you mourn with Him over your sin? Would you dance with Him because of His love?

You can do either, or both.

But if you close your heart to Him and feel nothing, you will lose much.

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Stepping out lately?

We will always have friends at college or the workplace, or at some other place. Many times we have friends of convenience. Its nice when theyre around, but its no great loss when theyre gone. Successful friendships dont happen by accident.

Marriages do not endure without commitment. Parent-child relationships dont continue after the child is an adult unless an effort is made on both sides. Relationships take work. A good friend of mine likes to sing a song that says, Ill start walkin your way, and you start walkin mine. In truth, thats friendship. Effort that is made on both sides.

So, what about your relationship with God?

Are walkin His way? Or are you walking away? James 4:8 says, Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. As Christians, do we really think about what God did for us. Do we realize? Think about this, God died for you before you were ever born.

He definitely put the effort in. What else is greater than to die for a friend?

Now its your turn.

Will you make the effort? Will you decide to grow closer to God? Hes waiting for you. Hes calling out to you. Hes watching you. Waiting for you to make the slightest move towards Him.

Wont you make an effort to cleanse your life of sin and have an intimate fulfilling relationship with your Creator? The God of the universe loves you. Hes waiting to have a closer relationship with you. How long will you make Him wait?

What do I get anyway?

God created heaven with amazing blessings. Yes, I said bountiful. God made streets of gold, foundations of precious stones, a sea of glass, trees with good fruit. The place is nice. When I was younger, I would always ask, “What are we going to do?” Because honestly, as a kid, I wasn’t impressed with golden streets, I wanted toys and things to play with. I thought I’d be bored.

Just like I did, you might ask, what do I get? I’m serving God. I’m doing His will. What do I get? Yeah, it’s a selfish way to think, but I’m sure we have all been there. What do we get? I mean, even though we know we don’t deserve a piece of the pie, we still want it anyway. We want to know what’s coming to us.

Well, my fellow Christian, let me give you a hint. In Genesis 15, Abraham is talking to God after he refused to take the riches that the king of Sodom offered him. When Abraham refused, God came to Abraham and told him. “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” – Genesis 15:1

I want you to think about this. We are heirs of Abraham. God calls us friends just like he called Abraham His friend.

Let’s realize one more thing. Christ died for us. Christ’s reward for dying for us is us.

Abraham’s reward is God, and we are heirs of Abraham.

So our reward is God, and Christ’s reward is us.

Isn’t that beautiful? When you became a Christian and surrendered your life to Christ, you accepted a reward. A great reward. An exceeding great reward. Fellowship with God for all eternity is your reward for following God.

So maybe I was wrong in my previous post. We do get a piece of the pie. We get the whole pie. God presence and friendship is ours to cherish forever.

Isn’t that the sweetest blessing?

 

 

An Exceeding Joy

Spending time with someone you love is almost always a pleasurable thing to do. Do you remember being little and having that favorite friend you always had fun with? I mean, you had fun even if you were just sitting on the floor doing nothing. Even now, I am sure there are people who you want to be around, simply because it makes you happy to be with them. Well, if we get to know God, we will find that time with Him gives us the greatest pleasure of all.

When we spend time with God, we will find our greatest pleasure from fellowship with Him. But here’s the thing, we never have to stop enjoying our friendship. Think back to your childhood friend, there was always a time when you had to come inside, or do your homework, or something. God is everywhere, and we can keep our fellowship with Him wherever we go.

Christians, I would challenge you, seek to have that intimate relationship with Christ. Get close to Him. Learn to delight in the God who saved you. When we learn to delight in God, we will seek Him as David did. Think about David’s heart as is shown in this verse,

"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;" – Psalm 63:1

In Psalm 43:4 the psalmist calls God his exceeding joy.
"Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God."

Is God your exceeding joy?