Monday, October 15, 2012

Confession #26 - Guess How Much I Love You

John 21:15-17 Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”  Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”  The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

My daughter has this cute little book, "Guess How Much I Love You."  Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare measure how much they love one another.  My daughter and I love this book.  As a matter of fact we always used to say, "I love you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much!" and hold our arms out as wide as humanly possible.  Each time we'd try to stretch farther and farther, until finally she figured out she could simply say, "I love you infinity, mom."  My reply of course is always, "I love you to infinity and beyond."  Most parents agree that we love our children infinitely and somehow with each new day infinity grows.  Now I know that's how much Jesus loves us too.  There's no end to His love for us, how do I know?  The Bible tells me so.  But just how much do I love Him back?
 
I've been pondering this....How much do I love Him?  I tell Him I love Him ever day, but is saying it enough?  How do I really know that I love Him?  See God's been asking me this question lately, not sure maybe He's got me confused with Peter.  LOL!  I do love Him; don't I? 

Then I got convicted.  Saturday, I started cleaning house and gave up my quiet time.  I also passed up a great opportunity to serve His people too.  I've been grumbling a lot lately about my problems.  I've been worried about money again.  I've neglected to tithe on my last two paychecks.  I've lied to my husband.  I've screamed at my child for no good reason and I've spent money I didn't need to spend.   I've also been eating very badly.  And I took His name in vein a few times. 

If I were still a Catholic confessing to the priest, he'd probably tell me to say a few "Hail Marys, with an Apostle's Creed and that be the end of it.  Perhaps your thinking, well that doesn't mean that you don't love The Lord, it just means you've sinned.  And that is true I am a sinner, hence the name of my blog dirty christian woman.  However, I think there's a pattern here that runs below the surface and that just may be why He's asking, "Do you love me?"

See God has brought to my attention, that I've been excusing myself as just a general sinner rather than realizing that I'm really worshipping idols. My love of money, food, and lack of faith, and my self absorption are the ugly images I've been focused on instead of God's infinite love, grace and mercy.  My focus has shifted from serving Him, to serving myself.  Consequently, my eyes are on a herd of golden calf idols.

I keep praying to the Lord to take me to the next level in my walk but if I'm not truly loving Him how can I grow?  It was this thought that came to mind the other night when I decided to make an I love you list to God.  It went something like this, I love you Lord more than:

I love food.
I love money
I love my dreams for the future
I love Disney World
I love my house
I love my friends
I love my job
I love my sleep
I love you more than my free time
I love than shopping (for clothes and shoes)
I love to watch television
I love to blog
I love to teach
I love my church
I love my pets
I love my child
I love my husband
I love my life

So here it is, I Love God.  And I asked Him to remind me when I'm not showing Him my love and when my eyes get out of focus and all I'm seeing are those nasty idols again. 

What are your eyes focused on?  Do you have double vision?  Are you you focused on God or on yourself.  Do you seek Him first or your own golden calf idols? 

Leviticus 19:4 "Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God."   Deuteronomy 28:13-14  "The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.  Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them."

"Dear Heavenly Father please keep my eyes focused on you.  Give me the desire to put you first always.  Lord I don't ever want to have to guess how much I love you, but to know it as I know how much you love me."  "And dear Lord for my sisters in Christ who wrestle with idols of their own, please give them the desire to break them into little pieces, before you have to do it for them." "In Jesus Precious name I pray." AMEN!
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