GOT MY HEART GOING

(Re-published by: Lilly Hobbs)

Some of you may recognize the title of this post, as we published it one year ago now! It is one that certainly encourages me, and so I thought we would re-publish it again today. Happy Thursday!

Each evening, before I go to sleep, I have been reading through some of C .S. Lewis’ books. Why I choose to do this at night I have yet to figure out, as his words are extremely thought-provoking and make my mind wander to very deep places.

On Sunday evening, however, a good friend texted me (on accident actually) as I was reading, and we just started talking about Jesus and the great things we’d been studying recently, because we’re going through the same devotional book. So, I told her about this C. S. Lewis book that I’m reading, and I sent her a picture of the page I was on when she texted.

This is the part of the book that I sent her… “But creatures are not thus separate from their Creator, nor can He misunderstand them. The place for which He designs them in His scheme of things is the place they are made for. When they reach it, their nature is fulfilled and their happiness attained: a broken bone in the universe has been set, the anguish is over.

When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact, will not make us happy. Those Divine demands which sound to our natural ears most like those of a despot and least like those of a lover, in fact marshal us where we should want to go if we knew what we wanted. He demands our worship, our obedience, our prostration. Do we suppose that they can do Him any good, or fear, like the chorus in Milton, that human irrelevance can bring about ‘His glory’s diminution’?

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of His cell. But God wills our good, and our good is to love Him (with that responsive love proper to creatures) and to love Him we must know Him: and if we know Him, we shall in fact fall on our faces.”

My friend’s response was this, “It’s so good! You got my heart going.” I was struck by her words. Not because I thought she wouldn’t like it, but I was struck by how she said that it “got her heart going”.

Whenever I read something about Christ’s love for me and how He wants to have this intimate relationship with me, I have this natural longing to love Him more deeply. I really don’t even have to think about it; it’s just natural.

But it got me thinking, how many people would read something like what I sent my friend from a book, and not think a second thought about it? Or, allow me to go even farther than that, how many Christians have heard about God’s love so many times and think that the last thing they should do is fall on their faces before Him?

Lewis finishes this section of the book by saying, “If we do not (fall on our faces), that only shows that what we are trying to love is not yet God – though it may be the nearest approximation to God which our thought and fantasy can attain.”

You know, we can get so caught up in trying to understand everything about having a relationship with Christ, and yet keep ourselves from actually having a relationship with Christ! Listen, I don’t care if you’re not an emotional person. If you don’t weep over your sin, over the fact that Jesus was willing to be brutally killed because He wanted to win you, then perhaps nothing is going on inside!

Proverbs 3:3 says, “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Guys, are you getting this?! The Gospel should get your heart going! It should change your attitude, your tone of voice, how you drive, how you treat fellow classmates, co-workers etc.

Very few people allow that kind of love in. A love that will change your heart forever. One that doesn’t make sense, one that we’ll never comprehend. Many are scared to take that risk, but what an adventure it is if you are only willing.

Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

If Jesus doesn’t get your heart going today, then let me challenge you to make Him your first love. I want to challenge you to let Jesus end that anguish and to set that bone in your life that has been broken for way too long. Take the risk and let Him love you.

He is a God who will never, ever, misunderstand you because He is the only one who knows without a doubt, where you’re really meant to be.

“Other than heaven, the only place where one’s heart is completely safe from the dangers of love is hell.”   (C. S. Lewis)

SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

= Is there evidence in your life that you love Jesus because He first loved you?

= Does the thought of love scare you?

= What are you going to do differently?

1,000 YEARS FROM RIGHT NOW (BLOGMAS DAY TWENTY-SEVEN)

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

It’s so crazy to me how easily we can get caught up on materialistic items as humans. Whether it’s money, cars, or just the little things we buy that we don’t really need; it all fights for our attention constantly.

As we have just experienced Christmas day, I want us all to ask ourselves a simple question. Presents or presence? Which of those two options are more valuable to you?

Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

I think that as Christians, we should want to get to a place where God’s presence is so much better to us than presents or anything else. The reason I want us to ask ourselves this question is because it’s a reality check for our hearts.

You can identify what your priorities are pretty quick.   

A couple years ago, we were having a 24 hour prayer vigil at my church. I invited some of the girls from our Bible Study group to come and hang out with us to pray and talk. We ended up watching the movie “Passion of the Christ” later that night, and afterwards we went into our church sanctuary to pray.

God started to show up in a crazy amazing and powerful way as we sat in a tight circle in the sanctuary together. Each of us just poured out our hearts before the Lord. I don’t think that I had ever before experienced Jesus like I did that night.

Have you ever had a time where you realized something new, and it all starts to sink in and feel real? That’s exactly what happened as we prayed. We all got what believing in Jesus really means.

Listen, we can say that “Jesus is all we need” and that “only He can satisfy” as much as we want, but until you actually experience God’s presence, you won’t get it.

Of course, all of us girls were emotional as we prayed and as we talked about what God was showing us. However, I noticed that one of the girls kept getting up to go to the restroom, and then she would come back. I could tell that she had been crying each time she would come back, but we all were crying so I didn’t think much of it.

She got up to leave again, and then she texted me and asked if I could meet her in the restroom. As I walked in, I remember looking at her and asking what was wrong Almost immediately she began to weep.

The presence of God was so thick in the atmosphere of that restroom, and we both just started to weep over what Jesus had done for us. I can’t put into words how intimate of a moment that was, not only with the Lord, but also with her.  

I’ve never felt something more real in my life. Oh what I’d do to live that night over again.

With all of that said, here is what I want you to remember… If you really get serious about living for Jesus, and you give Him your soul’s attention, He will show up.

In this time, let’s not focus on the presents we may have received or the busyness of this season. Let’s ask Jesus to show up. Let’s ask to experience Him and His presence.

We should long to be a part of something that can only be explained by the power of God.

Let’s live for what’s going to matter 1,000 years from right now. Jesus is so good, and He is all you’ll ever want after you encounter Him.

“But for me it is good to be near my God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” (Psalm 73:28)

NOEL

Love incarnate, love divine
Star and angels gave the sign
Bow to babe on bended knee
The Savior of humanity
Unto us a Child is born
He shall reign forevermore

WORLDLY WINS OR SPIRITUAL SUCCESSES?

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

Madie and I are frequently asked what The Few Bible Study groups are like, and we both have a difficult time explaining it. Hear me when I say this, it’s absolutely not because of anything we’ve done, but because the Lord is so faithful to work when His people actually make time for Him (which I am incredibly grateful for).

Thursdays are one of my favorite days of the week now, which is when the older girls meet!

Imagine, if you will, teen girls gathering in-person and over zoom to worship, pray, and be challenged through the Word of God together. They don’t have to come; they want to come. They want more of Jesus than they have ever experienced before, and I truly believe God honors that.

Over the last couple of months, we have been discussing Tran-sgen-derism (intentional misspelling) and the specific roles and duties God has created for both males and females to live out. It has been a very powerful time, and we felt the Lord leading us to talk about it on the Podcast as well (A Few Minutes With The Few). So be sure to check out those recent episodes!

Anyway, I gave them a challenge last week, and I want to challenge you with it this week… Don’t just live a Godly life. Build it.

Too often I think we view Christianity as something “to do” instead of “to be”. It’s great to do what the Gospel says, I’m not discounting that. But think of how much better it would be if we were to actually build the Kingdom and follow Jesus’ example because that’s who we are?

You can live it out yourself, but I believe that we were made to build something that will outlive ourselves. We do so by living life with others and teaching them what it looks like.

Where are my fellow workaholics at?! Just being real here, it’s easy for me to get caught up in work that ultimately has no eternal value, and sometimes even keeps me from the work God has for me. A.W. Tozer once said, “The Spirit-taught Christian must look past the multiplicity of incidental things and find the few that really matter. And let it be repeated for our encouragement, they are few in number and surprisingly easy to identify.”

In other words, Jesus wants us to know and be sure of what work really matters. He knows that we are quick to forget the few spiritual essentials that are necessary, just to chase after unimportant things that do nothing more than distract us from Him. Get to work, don’t let it get to you.

I love to get to the root of things, and I’ve had to ask myself time and time again if I’m after worldly wins or spiritual successes? I hope this question will help you determine whether you are simply living or building. You have to be intentional about the work you commit yourself to.

Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

God created us to work. He gave us the authority to subdue the earth and have dominion over every living creature (Gen. 1:28). Which means that all of life, culture, and work is meant to reflect the beauty and glory of God. Whether you’re a student, pastor, construction worker, stay-at-home mom, elementary teacher, or an entrepreneur, work is rooted in God’s good creation and its sole purpose is to reflect His glory.

If we want to be spiritually successful, then we need to have a spiritual mindset instead of a worldly one. I don’t just want to look like Jesus, I want to think like Him too. Jesus came to build a Kingdom, one that He said the gates of Hell would not prevail against (Matthew 16:18).

Do not just work hard for the Lord, be sure to work well with Him.

“Seek, O believer, that every good thing you have may be an abiding thing. May your character not be a writing upon the sand, but an inscription upon the rock.” (Charles Spurgeon)

SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

= Do you struggle to be intentional about the work you commit yourself to?

= What’s something you’re currently chasing after that has no eternal value?

= What are you going to do differently?