I want to be radiant. When people see me, I want them to know that I am in love with my Lord. In Psalms 34:5 it says, “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” The desire of my life is to be radiant with the love of Christ. I’m not interested in being known as a religious person, concerned simply with the dos and don’ts of Christianity. I want to live in obedience to God’s Word, not because I want to fulfill a requirement of Christianity, but because I am absolutely and completely in love with God.
I have to admit, there are times in my life when I am less than radiant. I believe all of us can lack radiance in our lives. Instead of loving God with our lives, we find ourselves doing things because we think they are good things to do. We become like the Pharisees and the teachers of the law in that we “let go of the commands of God and hold on to the traditions of men,” (Mark 7:8). What do we let go of? For one, we let go of God’s greatest commandment, the one that commands us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Instead of loving God, we end up filling our lives with things we deem significant but which are in fact lacking the presence of God. We begin to resemble Martha, in Luke 10:38-41, who, “was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” She was more interested in completing a task rather than spending time with Jesus. In doing so, she placed more value on the task than on her relationship with Jesus.
Doing religious things that are absent of God is a serious problem because our relationship with God is ultimately affected. In Isaiah 29:13 it says, “. . .These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” Is it possible to go before God and be far from Him? Have you ever said a prayer but not actually prayed to God? Have you ever read the Bible just to fulfill an unspoken requirement for the day? Have you ever done something good only to be acknowledged by man?
It’s easy to get caught up in the familiarity of Christianity. We can get in a routine of doing things and forget why we are doing them. If we are in love with religion, then we will continue to do religious things that are void of God. If we are in love with our Savior, then we will be radiant, as Mary was in Luke 10:39 who, “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said”. We will work hard at cultivating a relationship with God and live obediently to fulfill the purpose He calls us to live.
This week we will begin a four-week study on love. The first week will focus on God's love. Please click here for this week's reading guide. Let's begin by reading Monday's verses.
"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." 1 John 4:10
As you read this verse, consider these questions:
1) What does this verse reveal about our character?
2) What does this verse reveal about God's character?
3) What do you want to praise God for today?
Photo: Jenny Marvin