“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me” Song of Solomon 7:10 (nasb).
My life was filled with busyness leading into the Christmas season. So busy that the meaning and purpose of life, let alone Christmas, was being lost! Life requires us to give so much throughout the year, and the thought of spending more time, energy and money for another brief season in time was overwhelming. I was so overwhelmed, that I just wanted to rebel from the whole Christmas and giving thing this year. I thought, maybe I can just take a year off! I know these are not the greatest thoughts for a father, husband, employee and pastor to have, but they were mine none-the-less.
Then I read Brennan Manning’s book, “The furious longing of God.” I was reminded of some simple truths that were a gift to me and set my heart free to enjoy life and Christmas again this year. I hope they are a gift to you as well.
First, God is crazy in love with you! He not only loves you, he likes you, too! We focus so much on ourselves and our own shortcomings, that we forget this. Many people acknowledge God loves them, but live their lives as if He does not like them! The Song of Solomon 7:10 reads, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.” The book of the Song of Solomon is an amazing book about God’s love for you and me. This verse says His “desire” is for you! Meaning he likes you a lot and wants to spend every moment of His day with you. He is concerned about everything that concerns you! God spends all his time and energy on seeing that you and I understand, believe and receive this love. I encourage you to spend the next few weeks quoting this verse to yourself. Make this verse your life’s motto! “I am my beloved’s and his desire is for ME!” If we truly believe and receive it, it will change our lives.
Second, life is just as much about receiving, as it is about giving. I have been taught, as a Christian, this life is not about me. That is true. So, I have spent all my Christian life giving to the needs of others. I have taught my children and my church this valuable truth. Yet God has made His focus all about us! My greatest challenge has been to receive it. I love giving to others and encouraging them to receive what God has for them. But, I am not very good at receiving it myself. God has reminded me that if I fail to receive, then I have very little to give. Christmas, God sending His son into the world as our Saviour, is more about receiving than giving. John 1:12 states, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God…”(KJV). For if we fail to receive Him, we miss the purpose of the gift. Learn to receive from God. God is in a giving mood all the time. Try to be a better receiver. Commit to God and others that you will learn to receive from Him all he has for you!
Pastor Craig Carter
North Kent Community Church
1480 Indian Lakes Rd. N.E.
Sparta, MI 49345