Monday, May 14, 2012

First Fruits or Sloppy Seconds

A Relationship"the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected; the state of being connected by blood or marriage." 

Recently I've been listening to a Kari Jobe Worship Preaching that a recorded about a week ago and I have honestly heard it more than 10 times. Every time I listen to it—on my way to school, church, while I'm running errands, and sleeping—I learn something new and feel great having heard a new take on something I really care about. The one topic she covered that really caught my attention was giving God our first fruits. What does this mean? We read His word, spend time talking with Him and seeking Him through prayer; We work hard to build a relationship with the Lord, our Father. After all, how can we talk about someone we do not know? Giving Him our sloppy seconds would be like accepting one or two days of the week as the only time we spend learning about Him. For a hungry and thirsty soul, that's just not enough. He deserves the best and like Kari said, "You give Go the first of you, and God will give you the first of Him." Some might ask, why can't I be die hard crazy in love with God like her or like him? At the same time though, this would be like going out on a blind date with someone who your friends set you up with. Your friends might know the guy, but you have never seen him, heard his voice, or been up close to him. There is no connection. We might do this with God. Someone else talks to us about Him or we see others who just have a beautiful relationship with Him and we become discouraged or feel like we can never touch even the tip of Jesus' garment. And some of know how wonderful it feels to just love our God and wake up filled with His presence yet, the time and the work that we have put into our ministries or our everyday lives have separated us from Him. We've forgotten what it's like to be in love with God. To have a blossoming relationship. (Revelation 2:2-4) "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love."

Mmm...Could it be that we've forgotten who loved us first? Who first wrapped us in His arms and told us that we were special. The one who said that as long as He was around we would never feel alone again. Have we left our first love? This is God sending out a call, crying out for us to return to Him and find peace and joy in His holy presence. How powerful is it that the dictionary defines a relationship as being connected through blood or marriage, when the Bible also tells us this, (2 Corinthians 11:2-4) "For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed." We get tossed around by our circumstances and let our situations define who we are. In losing our first love, we also lose who we are. We just can't seem to find a place where we fit in, a place where we belong. No church will fill the void ad neither will our loved ones. Only Jesus can demonstrate to us the love that we need and He said He did this by dying for us on the cross, while we were still sinners.

(1 John 5:6-9)"And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. So we have these three witnesses—the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree. Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son." This is our connection with Jesus, the fact that He washed our sins away with His precious blood out of love. In this we base our relationship with Him. Out of this, the relationship is born. But as we all know a relationship takes commitment and work through spending time together. We have to get back to this. This is the first part of a three part series that I'm doing called "First Fruits or Sloppy Seconds," which I hope will give you tips on how to remain faithful to God as a bride should to her groom. I make no exception of myself and include myself in what I am saying because giving God the best at all times and putting Him first in a busy and complicated world is not easy.

Challenge: I dare us all to be boldly and radically different. Like Jesus did, lets wake up every morning and kneel and give God our day and lay it in His hands. Every night, I invite you with me to pray and have a chat because God wants to know how we feel and what we need, our goals and dreams. Here's a toughy for some of us, let's pray before every meal and thank God for the fact that while others go hungry we do not. Let's pray for those who do not. God is so good to us and I'm really excited to share with you this long journey I find myself on. Though I too struggle and crave intimate time with the Lord and sometimes misuse the time I do have, I recognize that He is changing me one day at a time. Change hurts...but we all need to let go and let God. He is jealous for us...Let's be jealous for Him. With love in Christ, God bless.

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