NOTE: We live in a cruel world--I have seen how men are cruel to one another, but we can also be cruel to ourselves. I have learned that as we journey through life as Christians that we go on three stages: we go from loving ourselves to loving God to loving ourselves for God’s sake.

Love is choosing unselfishly for someone else’s highest good. And in our case, because we know the Lord and know that He is the most valuable and important person in the universe, we know that if we are wise then we will choose for His highest good and for the highest good of His Kingdom.

I know many of you deal with yourselves everyday as I have to deal with myself, and I have seen so many people who I know Love the Lord fall into the lie of condemnation. So when one of the students sent me this essay of his, I thought that he hit the nail right on the head on this subject and so I though I would put it up in the Lions Den.

If you really love God then you will learn how to give to Him. In Psalm 116:12-13 KJV there is a question…What shall I gave to the Lord? The next verse says I will take. So in order to be unselfish toward God you must receive first, learn to receive His forgiveness. One of my friends who is a student wrote this essay that I thought would be a help to you. Remember that if we are going to love God we must choose what is best ….for Him….from the cave

Vision So Blurred
When we let serving Him replace knowing Him…
Matthew 6:33
By: Simeon Hughes

I just recently went through a different kind of spiritual dry spell – I was consistent in all the motions of a good Christian walk, but I was missing something… I seemed numb and dead on the inside, like I was all alone. This confused me because I knew that I was reading my bible often, I knew that I was praying, I knew that I was going to church, and I knew that I was living a great example to those around me. What was missing? God finally showed me after I fell apart emotionally and became depressed for a short time; I had let serving him and living a blameless life replace the intimacy and passion of knowing him.

“and I will give them a heart to know me…” - Jeremiah 24:7 –

Jeremiah, a servant of God, had a vision one day where he saw two baskets of figs, one good and ripe, and one that was bad and rotten. God told him that the good basket was like his people who he would build up and who he would give a heart to know him, and that the bad ones were like those who were not his children who he would plague and destroy. Anyway, the point was that God was giving his people a heart to know him, and that knowing would be through a savior, Jesus, who would make us blameless in his sight. You see, God created us for fellowship with him. Before Adam fell to sin he and God would take walks through the Garden of Eden just to talk and enjoy each other’s company. Then because of sin we were eternally separated from God’s presence and the only way we could know him was through obeying a strict code of laws. Then, praise God, he sent his son to make atonement for our sins so that through him we could become the righteousness of God and have communion with him, continuing on with God where Adam left off.

“we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vein.” - 2 Corinthians 6:1b -

I had received God’s grace in vain. God’s grace, love, and mercy were no longer my reality, instead I had reverted to living my life by the way of the law. I had become so concerned with the example I was showing others that I had lost sight of what being a Christian was all about – knowing and loving Him. I think that as Christians, especially for those of us who have been in service for most of our lives, we often lose the simplicity of the joy of our salvation. We become too smart for the venerability of having a loving relationship with Jesus and get burned out trying to impress those around us with our knowledge of the Word or our righteous life. Paul asked us not to receive God’s grace in vain, but to embrace the love of Christ and to walk in the gift of grace from God and not the actions of hopeless works of kindness.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” - Matthew 6:33 –

Friends, when we focus our lives in knowing Him everything else just seems to fall into place. I know that it is a scary thing to depend upon someone else when society trains us to have the attitude of independence, but when you put your life in the hands of God Almighty you will always be in the right place at the right time and your life will be anything but a disaster. When you are seeking God, and you are in a loving relationship with him everything else seems to fade into the background. This is where your burden becomes light and your yoke is easy. When you are focused upon the cross and not the services of the cross, life is full of joy and everything just seems simple.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

Don’t get caught up in being perfect, you’re not. Let God’s grace be your portion and move on quickly after you fall. God’s Word says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Don’t be concerned with past mistakes, repent, and then learn from that mistake so that the next time you will be victorious in that same battle. Remember in that past section where we talked about seeking first his righteousness, well that is the only way you will be full of the fruits of the spirit. When you are enduring in the struggle of self-righteousness having these fruits in your life can be stressful and they can be an impossible feat. But, when your heart is near to God your life will be overflowing in all kinds of good things. You will not be able to help but being full and running over of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, !
and you will be amazed at the things that God will do in you and through you.

Don’t let serving Him replace the joy of knowing Him.

There is simply no way around it, knowing God is the most exciting and joyful thing in my life. It is an adventure that is surpassed by no other. There is something new to discover every day, and neither you nor I will ever be able to know the depths and the riches of his amazing love for us. So, don’t be discouraged, be encouraged to know that living a victorious life is not something you have to struggle to do, it comes through surrendering your life to Jesus Christ and living that abundant life he has for you through his grace and continual mercy. I hope that you have received this message from God and that you too will refuse to let serving him replace the joy of knowing him.