Ezekiel 43:1-10. This message was presented this morning by Pastor Mark and I heard it and was convicted. I thought it was worth repeating. Read the passage. The Sheep are God’s people. God was upset at leaders who were in charge of tending His people (Shepherds) because they were getting fat off of them and living well but many sheep were sick and not cared for, lost and not searched for, wandered off and not looked after, hurt by other sheep, hurt by a wild animal and not looked after, weak and not lovingly spoonfed and so on. We who are God’s people are co-leaders of His people. We are responsible for loving people, checking in on them, talking to them, visiting, helping, anything we can do to show love to them. That is on us. He wants us to do that work and humbly serve. We are responsible and will be held accountable. That hit me hard because I help but I could help a lot more. I serve my family and those who ask for it but don’t volunteer more or just visit. I need to start. What a change we could make to grow God’s kingdom if each of us just love on one soul and their family, visit, reach out, call, check in. What a change and revival would come across America and the world! “Just love one for God!” Would be a great revival theme and motto, would it not?? 🙂 So “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Hope you do and share this around the world. Not for me, but for God, and He will bless you and help. He always does. He is so good!!
When you have no energy, it is very difficult to show love. Love is service, attention, time, action, sometimes financial. Smiling and sitting with someone takes little energy and praying takes mental and spiritual energy, so that is a huge invisible way to show love. But other than these few huge exceptions, most other ways of showing love require energy. Always, love requires intention and purpose. So my point in these words is that we have to love ourselves and allow God to love us and heal us enough to increase our own energy before we can heap love on other people. And this is our goal. For some people, they want a relationship to heal them. But if you have no energy to contribute to the mutual love, you become a drain, a selfish heal me, serve me, love me better person. And it is as toxic situation for both really. God heals. People cannot do what He does without Him doing it. God loves. People cannot truly love purely and morally without God’s involvement. So, we must be sound peraonally and whole and have energy enough to show love to others before entering a mutual love relationship. Otherwise it does not last. So breath in deep of God’s love and grow strong in His love and care first. Then you have the means to do the work of love and thus worship to God that we are called to do. And I can and treat to this. I had no energy left so stopped most things I was doing and spent much time in prayer and the Bible and with family and supportive friends only. And the last two days brought renewed energy and a strong desire to give back love to those loving me and others who need love. And exercising has given me increased energy also and serves to provide additional health and support so that I may serve love. It is and beautiful system when it works as designed!
My kids and I stopped swimming and got out of the pool because something interesting caught our eye and we investigate such interesting things in nature. Well, we saw a large wasp being unable to get away being attacked by a large number of ants. It was incredible. These tiny ants, probably about 1/20th the size of this wasp were working together to prevent this large flying wasp from leaving the ground. They were attacking together and beat down and killed that giant as we watched. It was incredible. And I thought, the power of the ant is not his size, obviously. Yes, they are individually strongish when considering thier size but not strong enough to compare with a wasp normally. So, how could this happen? The strength of a tiny ant taking down a giant is numbers and teamwork. Ants work together and there are a lot of them doing it. How do cities develop? Lots of people working together. How are corrupt governments overthrown? Lots of people working together. How do bullies get defeated? Lots of people working together. The giants are brought down by teamwork among lots of people for the good of the people. One other note: Ants are not hotheads or selfish or narcissistic. They serve the colony. Our early forefathers were like that, many people working together to benefit everyone. They benefitted too of course because when everyone is pitching in and working together for everyone else, there are always opportunities to rise up and prosper, as long as the colony isn’t harmed by it in any way. So, we could learn a lot from the ants.
Whenever I say how busy life is my older friends tell me to appreciate it because later I will be lonely when the kids are gone, dad is gone, and so on. I love having work to do. I don’t believe at all that I will be an old woman sitting alone in a room staring at the walls or even an entertainment box for that matter. I love people. I love helping people, serving them, worshipping with them, playing music for them, anything. There is always something to do, some great or small work to accomplish. What I men is that sometimes this busy business often is the way to belp, serve, worship, play, etc right now but I would maybe prefer a vacation on occason. Lol once in a while, you have to let your hair down and travel, take a break, take a road trip, be alone or with one person you love and trust and just play that piano, wrong notes and all, write that song, write that letter, paint that painting. Many things on hold. Sometimes you need to break away and do them. Life is complex and will not usually give back to you so it is merit I’ve to demand some time to yourself to just be and have quiet conversations with God and loud conversations with a friend and play! Close to my birthday now, this is when I set my goals for the year and one is to play more. Sounds silly but that is exactly why. Sometimes silly revives the soul. Doing what God has gifted you to do is important to prepare for His work for us on earth. So many things keep us from who we were made to be. We need to be. Freedom!
A party’s climax is the cake. People can say it is the presents or the fellowship or the food or drinking. But it is the cake. Once the cake is cut, the guests are served and there it is, sugar heaven and everything that should be done is. There may be dancing after but that is really extra. All expectations have been met. The cake is the thing. To leave before the cake is cut is rude. However,sometimes you should, say if an emergency arises or you have a prior commitment that is more important. Is this a lecture about manners? No, I am about to make a point. Sometimes it is more rude to stay for the cake if you should be somewhere else. Like a family member is ill. You don’t go out and stay for cake when you should be nursing a loved one back to health. Or say someone in the family died. Out of respect, you don’t traipse off looking to have cake when loved ones are mourning. Cake metaphorically could be anything very special and delightful that you treat yourself with. When others are hurting, you be with them. You help them and comfort them rather than treating yourself to selfish indulgences. If people need you, you don’t go soothe yourself, you help. If you do, I suggest that you are still eating the cake of feeling good about doing the right thing. In a world of highs readily available to you, I am suggesting that you get a natural high, more subtle but no less real, from helping people than just from temporarily gratifying yourself. It would be a beautiful world if people looked around (rather than down at their tech) and helped where there was a need. The world wouldn’t need temporary fixes, it would have a permanent feeling of well being and goodness. And one person can decide to do just that. Help someone. Look around,step away from the entertainment and seek to notice any of the many hurting souls that need a lift- a smile, a listening ear, some time, a little energy. Even if they aren’t immediately grateful, it still is a great helping of cake for your soul and bam, you have created your own magnificent party complete with the more meaningful lasting cake.
“Serve only the Lord your God. Respect him, keep his commands, and obey him. Serve him and be loyal to him.” – Deuteronomy 13:4
When in a stump or when finding yourself a little less happy with your life in any way, perhaps time to take a break from normal routine and step out to serve someone. There seems to be no end of options, from cleaning a shut in’s house to walking a sick neighbor’s do to feeding homeless people to things that cost minimal money (like handing out inexpensive rain ponchos or umbrellas to homeless people) to helping someone in with their groceries. There is no end to the good you can do. And the very very cool thing about it is that when you help someone else with anything, God helps you with things in your life too and your relationship with Him blossoms. God loves it when we put Him and His other people before ourselves because it shows love to Him and thankfulness and humility which puts you in the right frame of mind to pray. It is yet another way to walk in a lifestyle of worship to our Maker. And each time you serve, even if unappreciated or unasked, we grow in our maturity as a spiritual human being. And isn’t that always a good thing? What an amazing thing to exemplify for little beings who may be watching!