The Privilege of an Inclined Ear

I love the Lord because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.  Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.

Psalm 116:1-2 (ESV)

7.5 Billion people on planet earth, and the Lord, who created and sustains it all, inclines His ear to hear me when I pray.  When I pray, it is as if the God of all Creation leans forward and whispers, “Come on in, let’s talk for a while.”

When we recognize the magnitude of such a privilege that has been given to us as a gift, (we certainly haven’t earned it) it should stir us to say with the Psalmist, “I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my supplications.”

Pray today! Spend time with Him in His Word and prayer.  It is the greatest privilege afforded to man, and we so often neglect it.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Advent Devotion 18 – Family Gatherings…a Shadow

Today’s Reading – John 1-3

John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Christmas is the season where extended family and friends gather together to celebrate the birth of Christ.  For some, Christmas is the only time of year you see your extended family.  Living seven hours from our hometown, this is true for us.  These opportunities to fellowship with those we don’t see very often is part of what makes Christmas so special.  We enjoy being together during this time of year.  Though our fellowship with family and friends is sweet, John 1:14 declares a truth that is far sweeter.

At the time of Jesus’ birth, it had been 400 years since the world had heard from God.  Though God had promised to send a redeemer, the lack of contact from God had to make it difficult to believe it would ever happen.  And yet, when it was least expected, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”  For those who have trusted in Christ as their Lord and Savior, we understand the significance of this event.  We understand the hope and joy that is found by acknowledging Him and what this season represents.  As sweet as our time with family can be during this season, it is a mere shadow of the true joy and sweetness we can know through faith in Christ.  So, as you gather in the coming days with family and friends and experience the happiness and excitement of those gatherings, remember they are but a taste of what it will be like when we truly see Him face to face.

Prayer of Reflection: Father, thank you that Jesus has come to dwell among us.  Thank you for the experiences you give of time with family and friends during this time of year as we celebrate Christmas.  As sweet as these times can be Lord, I look forward to the time when the full reality of your presence will be known. AMEN

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Learning from Laurel!

As I was getting dressed this morning, I saw a picture on my dresser of my daughter Laurel and I on a bicycle when she was a baby.  She is laughing, and at that moment I felt such a weight of love in my heart that i wanted to go find her, give her a big hug and kiss, and express my deep love for her.  I did just that!  I didn’t realize that I was about to learn something!

We enjoyed a sweet time of having breakfast together and taking her to school.  Later this morning as I was spending some time praying through a set of prayer cards I created, and came to the card for my children.  The same feelings I had experienced this morning came rushing back, but this time God spoke to my heart and said, “That’s how I feel when I look at you.”  Can you believe that!!?!  But then the thought came to my mind…”how would I have felt if after having seen Laurel’s picture I was stirred to find her to express my love, and she was “too busy” or simply “didn’t care”.  My heart would have been broken, and yet how often is this my response toward my Heavenly Father?  I am guilty of breaking His heart over and over again as I allow the busyness of life and distractions to pull me from Him.  And yet, He continues to love and pursue me.

God allowed me to learn something today through Laurel.  I learned the way I should respond to the love God has for me.  She was excited to hug her daddy’s neck, color a picture, eat a bowl of cereal, and some cinnamon toast and then ride to school.  Not once did she say, “I don’t have time for this daddy.”  She simply wanted to be with me.

Oh God, create in me an understanding of how to enjoy relationship with you through intimate times of prayer and the reading of your Word.  Teach me how to simply “be with you”.