We have been using this book as a family devotional at dinner time. We love reading the Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by the same author. The devotionals in this book are short, child friendly, yet deep and thoughtful enough for the adults too. The illustrations are beautiful.
Last night we read this:
“[Treasure] these words of mine in your heart and in your soul.” Deuteronomy 11:18 (ESV)
What words does God want you to treasure in the deepest part of you?
“Be good”? “Do it better”? “Try harder”? Are those the words God wrote in the Bible for us, to rescue and free us?
No. Those words only show us what we can’t do.
The words God wants us to remember are just three small ones: “I love you!”
They are the words that stop the Terrible Lie that Satan whispered to Eve in the garden: “God doesn’t love you!” They are the words that heal the poison in our hearts that stops us from trusting God.
They are the words that Jesus came to tell us with his whole life.
They are the words he died to prove.
What words will you treasure today?
–From “Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing” by Sally Lloyd-Jones & Jago (page 24)
The past few mornings I have been waking up feeling anxious. I usually like the solitude and quiet of my early morning wake up time but lately I have been waking up with a churning stomach and anxious thoughts. I immediately start thinking of all the ways I am going to fall short today. This morning I began praying and the devotional came to mind.
What words will I treasure today?
Will I chose to believe the lie that God wants me to try harder and do better? Will I let my attitude today be determined by thinking of God as a task master with a checklist who shakes his head in disappointment when I don’t do something right? Do I choose to believe that somehow God is less than satisfied with me at the end of the day because I didn’t give enough, wasn’t radical enough? What is enough?
God loves me!
Right now, with nothing I can do or not do, God loves me. He rejoices over me. He made me. He knows me. I bring him joy. Right now.
I know this because he sent his Son. I used to know this theoretically but I am seeing more and more the beauty and wonder of Christ coming as man to this earth. The enormity of him bearing the wrath for my sin. So that, right now, I am seen as righteous before God and can come before him without fear or condemnation. That’s how much God loves me, he wanted me to be able to come before him without fear or condemnation.
As I was contemplating these things and praying that I would feel and live the truth of his love, two little blonde headed boys climbed sleepily into my bed. They snuggled up to me, one on each side. I asked them, “What three words does God want us to remember?” and without a moments hesitation they replied, “I love you!” So we made a deal that today we would be on the lookout for ways that God is telling us he loves us.