A fickle bunch...

A goal again... to read through the Bible in 2016.  This is about the time when I get bogged down in that decision because the books of the law, once you get past creation and the exciting journey out of Egypt, are many many words... rules, laws, possible scenarios.  If I had kept up with ideal reading plan, I would be reading 3 chapters a day and should be finishing the book of Numbers today... Thirty-one days in January + twenty days in February = 153 chapters -

Genesis =      50 chapters
Exodus =       40 chapters
Leviticus =    27 chapters
Numbers =    36 chapters
                     153 total

So today I read Exodus 23-25...  I'm a little behind.  God has just given Moses the ten commandments and three additional chapters of laws.

One verse has enveloped me:  chapter 24 verse 7.  "Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people.  They responded, "We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey."

They were committed - no doubt about; they were all in; they pledged obedience; they were fully engaged...

Intrigued by this commitment,  I read on.  Remembering the next scene, it unfolded the same way it did the last time I read it - Moses was called back to the mountain by God.  Less than 40 days later, these committed, all in, no doubt about it, fully engaged folks uttered to Aaron - who was left in charge, "As for this fellow Moses who bought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him.  Come, make us gods."

Don't forget commandment #1 back in chapter 20 just a few days earlier... You shall have no others gods before ME..

I find myself wanting to shake my fist at these children of Israel, and bring them to their knees with a a bit of gentle conviction like... HE was there with you; you saw His glory on that mountain; you couldn't be patient for 40 days; you said you would obey; you are SO fickle!

And in the next breath, I hear myself sigh... Where would I have landed?  Would I have relied on my own experience, my fears, my feelings, the words and ideas of others?

Jesus asks us simply to believe that He is the son of God, that He was born, died for all sin, was resurrected from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.  To confess our absolute need for His saving grace.  To come asking forgiveness.  To humble ourselves.  To follow Him with everything.

Every day we decide if we are committed, if we pledge obedience, if we will choose to do what He asks us to do.  We must go back again and again to His commandment:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength
Love your neighbor as yourself.

Why do we seem to make it so difficult?  Choose obedience - choose HIS word to live by!

Fickle or faithful   - the choice really is ours...

You. Are. Loved.

Today is February 14th - a beautiful snowy Sunday!  Love is in the air...  Today is the 32nd Valentine's Day I've celebrated with my Frank.  He loves me so well with patience and kindness and selflessness...

Today, though my focus seems to fall on our children, and how tenderly their dad loves them.  Our three daughters know beyond any shadow of a doubt, that their father lives by the song, "you just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I'll come running..."  He has come running in the snow for a stalled car, in the rain for a wrecked car (or two or three of those), and in the sunshine for whatever they need.  Not just for the challenges, but he runs for the joyful moments, too.  He never minded to watch just one more cheerleading competition or just one more dance recital, or just one more volleyball, softball, basketball... game.

  Clay, our only son, has absolute assurance that his dad would also come running for him... Just ask Frank about Clay's coming graduation from high school, and he will tell you that our strongest consideration right now is how to convince Clay to do "home college"!  

Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call to me and I will answer..."  Do any of us really fathom how much our Heavenly Father loves us?  As I think about how much Frank adores our children, I have no doubt that he would give his life to save any of theirs, but to willingly sacrifice Clay for our girls or for someone isn't in his opinion even 'lovable' - don't think so...

So how do we begin to understand the love God has for us?  I've spent some time this week just searching His word to hear His heart and the reality of how much He loves us.  Would you just hear a few verses?  Take your time - Read them all - just listen... and know that you can Just call out His name ...

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  1 John 3:1

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  Romans 5:8

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”  Zephaniah 3:17

How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.  Psalm 36:7

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.   Psalm 42:8

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  Ephesians 3:18

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.  Deuteronomy 7:9

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  Romans 8:38

In him we have redemption through his blood,the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us... Ephesians 1:7-8

Remember when Jesus was asked to name the greatest commandment?   His answer was so simple in Matthew 22:36-39..

Love the Lord your God 
with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 
This is the first and greatest commandment.  
And the second is like it: 
Love your neighbor as yourself.

For today... just love...