It seems that I continually need to be reminded. Of what is most important ...
There are so many things that call for our attention. Not just frivolous things, but also good things.
But one of the most important things; in fact, the most important is to ...
Love the Lord your God
with all your heart, all your soul,
and all your mind.
And how do we learn to love someone? For sure, it is by drawing near to them, listening to them, seeking to understand their heart. Giving of our time and energy to enter into their world, giving of ourselves to seek to know them in a deep way.
This is how we learn to love others in our families, in our world, and this is how we learn to love God.
It is all a gift of His grace, as He opens our eyes to Truth, to Him ... and as His Spirit draws our hearts to desire to know Him.
For He tells us ...
Draw near to God,
and He will draw near to you.
But just how can we draw near to this God that we long to know deeper? How is it even possible to love Him deeply when there are so many other things that draw our attention, pulling our thoughts and affections in a million different directions?
I have found that what we focus on, what we listen to, who we listen to ... is key.
What fills our minds is what holds our attention. And what holds our attention determines how we live our days, our moments.
There is a lot of noise in our world. With our constant communication, the notifications, and the instant access to so much information, our minds can be filled up continually, all through the day. It takes a determined effort to pause, and to listen to Him. First, and above all the other voices that call for our attention.
"One of the surest ways to get into the presence of God is to get into the Word of God. If we get into God's Word, God's Word will get into us. It will radically change the way we think, the way we live, the way we love. But it requires more than a casual reading. In fact, the Bible wasn't meant to be read. It was meant to be memorized and meditated on. It was meant to be prayed and practiced. We have to abide in the Word of God and let the Word of God abide in us." (Mark Batterson, Draw the Circle)
There is nothing more important; there is no one who can satisfy us in the deepest places of our being more than Him.
I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to Me
will never be hungry again.
Whoever believes in Me
will never be thirsty.
To love Him is to listen to Him; to listen to Him is to love His Word. And to listen and to love, is to obey His Words.
If you love Me,
obey My commandments.
Thank You, Lord, for reminders to draw near to You, to listen to You, to seek to know You in deeper ways. To love You with our whole heart. And to love You is to obey You, to follow You. Not just to go through the motions of reading Your Words to check off the box each day, but to fully listen with our complete attention, and to fully love and obey with our whole heart.
There are so many resources to help us spend quality, consistent time learning from God in His Word, and two of my favorites right now are:
First5 - an app from Proverbs 31 Ministries. This daily reading through a book of the Bible, together with reading thoughts pertaining to each chapter by a very gifted group of women, is so valuable, and so helpful to consistently be reading through His Word. Right now, we're nearing the end of Exodus, and will soon be starting Leviticus and Hebrews, reading them both together as they each give deeper insight into the other.
She Reads Truth - a very valuable resource (reading from an app or the website) that I use at times, and one of those times is during this season leading up to Easter. Each day, there is a collection of verses to read, calling our hearts to draw near to Him, to refocus on the things of most importance. To draw us to repentance and humility before Him, and to grasp again why Jesus came.