When I was a kid my mother always made a big deal about birthdays. Birthdays were never just another day or brushed over. A cake and a few birthday wishes would be considered just the beginning at my house. I had epic birthday celebrations growing up. These celebrations taught me the importance of celebrating life and those we love. They taught me the value of enjoying life just because you’re blessed to be alive.
John 10:10 NLT says,
My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Jesus came that we may have and enjoy an abundant life (John 10:10 AMPC). His desire is that we walk joyfully through our days with gratitude and peace in our hearts.
I must admit that I have not always understood this or believed this to be true. Because of some the teaching I grew up under I did not believe that God cared if I enjoyed life. I felt His chief and maybe only concern was that I be obedient and pious. My enjoyment? Inconsequential.
What is helping me get over this incorrect theology is truly embracing God’s love for me. If I truly believe God loves me why would I think He wouldn’t want me to enjoy the life He died to give me? I love my children a great deal. I definitely want them to be obedient and respectful, but it is just as important to me that they enjoy their lives. It is just as important that they enjoy the things I am able to give them and they have joy and peace in their little hearts. Why?
Because I love them.
This morning in my quiet time I heard, “Celebrate God’s love.’ The latin root of the word celebrate means frequented or honored. How do we honor God’s love?
- We acknowledge it and embrace it. We cannot celebrate something that we don’t truly believe is there. We must not just say that we believe God loves us, we must receive that love in our hearts. I believe to truly do that, we must spend time in His presence and bask in it. That way, it’s no longer heresay. We experience it for ourselves right there ins HIs presence where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
- We obey Him. John 14:15 says, If ye love me, keep my commandments. In order to truly celebrate and honor God’s love we must respond to His love in obedience. This obedience is not out of fear of consequences or even out of duty, but out of love and devotion.
- We confess it and tell others about it. When I celebrate something I am loud about it. I speak it out of my mouth. I post on social media about it. I think about it and I’m happy about it. We should do this and more in light of His unfailing, everlasting love for us.
Have you celebrated God’s love for you recently? Not in an abstract way, but have you really thought about it? Take some time this week to meditate on His love for you and on the provision, protection, grace and mercy that has flown out of that love directly into your life. Think about how that love led Him to the cross and compelled Him to endure great sorrow, pain, torture and separation from God for us. Thank Him for His heart for you. A heart that sacrificed everything so that you and I could have and enjoy abundant life.
Awesome God. Thank you. There are no words to express our gratitude for your great love, your graciousness, and your kindness. Please continue to draw us to you with your lovingkindness according to Jeremiah 31:3. Lord please give us moldable hearts and teachable spirits so that we can promptly respond to your love with devoted obedience. Help us God. We cannot do it on our own. Thank you for your love and patience toward us. Helps us to walk uprightly before you today and everyday.
In Jesus name,
PS If you don’t know Jesus as your personal savior He longs to come into your heart and have a personal relationship with you. Romans 10:9 says,
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. NLT
Pray this prayer:
Lord Jesus, I come to you humbly asking you to forgive my sins. I believe that you died and rose again three days later to pay for my sins. Thank you for dying for me. Please Lord, come into my heart. I give control of my life over to you. Please God, from this moment forward help me to live for you and do your will. Thank you Lord, that now I am saved. I no longer have to fear death. Please help me be all you made me to be.
In Jesus name,