Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bask in God's Shining Love!

Okay, I signed up to write a devotion for Abiding Love's Lenten Devotion booklet. Choosing by the themes listed, I thought it would be pretty simple... but when I read the entire passage of 5 or 6 verses I became overwehlmed. Instead of staying up late searching my brain, I prayed about it and went to bed. Sure enough, some ideas came to my head in the shower the next morning. So here it is.

“Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.”
(NKJV) --Psalm 31:16

In our early morning Bible study group, “Women Alive!” on Tuesday mornings, we are reading through the two-year plan of the Chronological Study Bible. We’re in the second year of reading assignments and meet weekly to discuss what we have read. It has been a long and cumbersome list of scripture passages through kings and more kings, and now the many prophets. The prophets warned the people and the kings to turn from their idols and their bad habits. God asked the kings to turn from their actions that were “evil in the sight of the Lord”, and to reach out to the one true God who loved them so much that He always wanted the best for them.

The more we read about some of the horrible things that many of the kings did, we wonder how God could ever still love them and want them back in God’s fold. We perceive some of the actions as unforgivable. Over and over again we read about God giving the people another chance to turn to back to our God of great mercy, to bask in forgiveness, and to shine with God’s love. Always and forever God had a passion for His flock. God wanted to be with the people to guide them, comfort them, and love them.

So, I wonder… How can we show God that we want to change our hearts? How can we turn our bad habits into good habits? How can we show our love for God? How can we trust God with all that He has given us? How can we share God’s love with others? How do we proclaim God’s love in the mundane daily tasks of driving to and from work, shopping groceries, washing dishes, mowing the grass, answering the phone, walking the dog, folding laundry…?

We can start by giving thanks for God’s incredible love for each one of us!
We can attend Sunday school classes.

We can be kind to everyone we encounter.
We can participate in Bible study groups.
We can pray often.
We can read our Bibles to learn more about this great God of love.

We can show respect even when our opinion is different.
We can sing praises to God.
We can write letters of encouragement.

We can help feed the hungry.
We can share what we have with those who have less than we do.
We can invite others to come to church with us.
We can ask God to show us what to do…

Great and mighty God, You are so good to us. You give us infinite second chances to turn to You for help and guidance and forgiveness. That takes a lot of love-- a lot of unconditional love. Thank you for your great mercy and love!