“I love the dried and torn milkweed pods as they burst open in all their seedy and shimmery beauty. Oh, the delights of September!” Joy DeKok
About a year ago, I was delighted by the milkweed seeds, and I almost missed this bug standing his or her ground with so much courage. It was as if this guard bug believed that taking me on would have been no problem.
It’s not the first time I’ve respected a bug, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
In the last year, I’ve thought about this insect who stood motionless but ready often and wondered why. Finally, I asked God, “What are you trying to teach me?”
It came to me today when I read these verses, and this red bug again came to mind.
1 Corinthians 16:13 – 14 (NLT)
13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.14 And do everything with love.
The words that nudged my heart were the last ones. Do everything with love.
These words are heavy with the authority of a God-sized command. The kind that makes me want to stand a little taller or kneel a little lower.
Agape . . . The love that is full of good will, benevolence (unselfish kindness and compassion), pure affection, and brotherly love.
It means at its root “to love dearly.”
In everything. The whole kit and kaboodle, the whole nine yards, and the whole ball of wax. (It says these things in one of the online dictionaries I found!) Merriam-Webster is a bit more proper and says, everything means “In all that exists and is important.”
He wants me to agree and disagree with love. To speak and listen with love. To rejoice and grieve with love. To work and rest with love. To serve and be served with love. And so on. There are no exclusions.
Now, a year later, came this gentle and heart-grabbing reminder: the love in verse 14 is the motivation for the actions in verse 13 and everything action I take in my earthly life as a believer in Jesus Christ.
I love the way He teaches me about Himself and me in these gentle moments. How does He teach you?
Until Next Time,
I’m reading through this devotional – in the updated language. I love it so much I have it in the print copy (rare for me these days!) and on my Kindle so I can read it no matter where I am. I’m thinking about getting the Audible copy too because it blesses me that much!
Click on the book cover to go to Amazon and learn more about this devotional that continues to stand the test of time.
From the Amazon Description: In a barren wilderness, L. B. Cowman long ago discovered a fountain that sustained her, and she shared it with the world, Streams in the Desert ® — her collection of prayerful meditations, Christian writings, and God’s written promises–has become one of the most dearly loved, best-selling devotionals of all time since its first publication in 1925.
Filled with insight into the richness of God’s provision and the purpose of His plan, this enduring classic has encouraged and inspired generations of Christians. I heard the flow of hidden springs; before me palms rose green and fair; The birds were singing; all the air was filled and stirred with angels’ wings.
Now James Reimann, editor of the highly acclaimed updated edition of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, again brings us the wisdom of the past in the language of today, by introducing this updated edition of Streams in the Desert. With fresh, contemporary wording and precise NIV text, the timeless message of the original flows unhindered through these pages, lending guidance and hope to a new generation of believers.
We never know where God has hidden His streams. We see a large stone and have no idea that it covers the source of a spring. We see a rocky area and never imagine that it is hiding a fountain. God leads me into hard and difficult places, and it is there I realize I am where eternal streams abide. Day by day, Streams in the Desert will lead you from life’s dry desolate places to the waters of the River of Life — and beyond, to their very Source.
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