Extravagant Whispers

As you start your day today, there’s a very kind and loving note awaiting you. But this isn’t just any note. No, this one has been left for you especially, and it’s been written by someone very special. In fact, this note was written with passion and with care, and was penned by your First Love. Maybe you’ve seen this note before. Maybe its pages are well-worn and show the signs of repeated reading, and yet, it’s new this morning. Sure, some simply refer to it as The Bible, but when you see it, your pulse quickens, your breathing changes, and your eyes moisten. This is no dry book for you. This testament is part of you, and it was written by the Author and Finisher of your faith.

Today your First Love is calling to you in that still, small voice. Don’t let the busyness of this day keep you away. Put down the cell phone. Put down the laptop or tablet. Get away from the distractions and find that quiet place. His gentle hands and spirit are reaching out to you, ready to embrace you like no one else can. Don’t let this day pass by before letting him whisper your name in the secret place. He knows your heart, your thoughts and your dreams and hurts. No one can reach the depths of your being like your Savior, and he’s waiting right now for time with you. Take time to be with him, and take time to hear those extravagant whispers.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”
–Psalm 91:1-2 (NKJV)


Psalm 9:10

Here’s a followup verse to Tuesday’s post, talking about letting God have the whole package in our lives:

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
–Psalm 9:10 (ESV)


The Whole Package

"But I'm good at this!" "But God made me this way, so I have no choice." "But this is how I've made a name for myself." Any of these sound familiar? I've said some of these things myself before, and I've also gotten into heated debates over some of these statements. So they're not new to me. Maybe you've never said these exact phrases before, but maybe you've had thoughts that are similar. At any rate, it all comes down to where we place things in life. Sure, we say God is our Father and that he comes first. But I've been guilty of allowing my musical gifts and career to eclipse his importance in my life. And when I've gotten into disagreements with others about lifestyle and orientation, the most heated moments have had to do with where God fits into things. But please understand. I'm not judging anyone today. I'm simply asking a few questions only you can answer for yourself.

If I say God is most important in my life, then my words and actions should reflect that, right? But I need reminders now and then, so that my passions and pursuits don't take God's place on top. And if I agree with scriptures that say I am identified with Christ, then he must rule and reign over every part of my life, including things I'm drawn to, good or bad. I hope you're seeing that I really do care when I remind us all that every part of our lives belongs to him, and must submit to his Lordship in our hearts. This means my dreams and ambitions, along with my habits and tendencies. And it includes my victories and mistakes.

I'll finish with a friendly encouragement today. Maybe you've heard that God loves us just the way we are, but that he also cares too much to leave us that way. God isn't just wanting to have the parts of us we think are worthy. He wants every part of us. Just as the young boy saw a miracle when he released his basket of fish and bread to Jesus, I ask you today to let God have your whole package, and watch what he will do.

Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come.

–2 Corinthians 5:17 (GNT)

For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.
–Psalm 48:14 (NIV)


A New Day

It was the Spring of 1988. After a couple of years of trying, I had finally succeeded in being accepted into graduate school at the University of Georgia.  And I was now living away from home and on my own, there in my first place in Athens. Having just moved in, I had almost no furniture. There was nothing on the walls or windows. But I was the first one to live in that new duplex, and it seemed so fresh. Soon after I got settled in I began to go to my classes. The chilly Winter air was giving way to the new breezes of Spring. I can still remember so vividly those mornings, waking up on the temporary cot I slept on in that bedroom. The warm sunlight would quietly greet me, lighting up the whole room. Some would have felt sorry for me, seeing me start out with so little in that place. But I didn't feel sorry for me, I was excited! It was a new season in a new place, with new possibilities.

I've shared all that to say this: No one knows how to give you a fresh start like God does. Just like that sun-filled room lit up my days in that new season, God's mercies are new every morning for you too. I encourage you to enjoy this new season God has created for you, and to go make the most of it.

The Lord's unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.
–Lamentations 3:22-23 (GNT)