So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. Deuteronomy 11:13-14
It is difficult for me to believe that I have walked in ministry for nearly 30 years.I have trusted God for my financial provision in addition to so many other things.I have followed his lead to China, Mongolia, Tibet, Israel, California, and Colorado.I have lived in plenty and have lived through some tremendous tests and challenges.I have watched him turn hard hearts soft.I have experienced his firm hand when evil was given more power than he could tolerate.I have been on my knees, in prayer, in worship, in multiple languages, and in multiple countries.I have seen beauty from ashes, even in my own wounded soul.I have known God’s glory passing by in so many ways and times and experiences. This is a reminder for me today ... and perhaps for you as well!
Love him with your whole heart.
Let him come in to the dark, difficult, sinful ravages and bring his tender touch.
Hold nothing back from his holiness.
Love him with your whole mind.
Ponder the wonders of who he is.
Engage deeply and grapple to understand his message.
Instead of pouring energy into devising self-focused plans, give your best energy to devising ways to love bigger, wider, deeper, and freely.
Love him with all your soul.
Leave room for nothing else in the deepest core of your being.
Trust that God will fill every need, meet every request, touch every hurt, love more passionately than any other, and hold you for all eternity.
Love him with all your strength.
In this life there are many, many battles.
It is so easy to turn some of the best energy and strength toward others.
It is possible to engage in skirmishes that seem righteous, but in the end are distractions from the One you love.
Pour every bit of strength and power and effort into loving the God of the universe who loves you enough to rip open time and space to provide an eternal answer to the age-old question of sin. His name is Jesus. He died, was buried, and rose again. But then, oh, but then, he ascended into heaven and sits there on the throne with his Father, knowing his life was given for yours.
Lean on him.
Surround yourself with him.
Drink in his word so that you may be living water to others.
Keep on believing him when you cannot see evidence of the truth you know.
Keep on believing.
He will see you through. He will bring rain to the desert. He will give you the new grain, the new wine, and the new oil.
Thirty years you’ve held me tight.
Thirty years with all your might.
Never have you left my side
Still I’m learning to abide.
Faithful is all I want to be
Because you have been so faithful to me.
Thank you, holy God.
Originally written to celebrate 20 years of ministry in 2007.