Ladders And Love

Dear Friends,


“Be Careful”. That was the phrase written across the brochure I received in the mail at church today. It was an advertisement for a company that provides safety training for businesses. The picture covering the brochure was a cartoon drawing of a man falling off of a ladder - which made perfect sense because we usually associate the words “be careful” with the need to avoid danger, or unwise actions. In other words, “be careful” is usually a warning to stay away from potential harm.


This is a truth we also see in the Bible, in the frequent warnings given about the dangers of sin and ungodly behavior. However, as I thought about it, I was reminded that the Bible also gives us strong challenges about what TO do.  For example, Joshua 23:11 tells us:  “Be very careful to love the LORD your God.” So in this command, we’re not told to stay away from something. Instead, we’re told to be careful that we DO something. And that “something” is love the Lord our God.


This is actually a really good reminder for us because, if we have given our lives to Christ, then we are in a relationship with God. And one of the most important aspects of that relationship is love - both God’s love for us, which is eternal and unchanging, and our love for Him. Unfortunately, our love for God is not always steadfast and unchanging. Instead, it needs work. This is one of the reasons Joshua warned the people to “be very careful” to maintain it. And it’s a challenge that applies to us as well.


Which brings us to the question of how. How do we “be careful to love God”? Well, I think first of all we have to remember that love is not just about feelings - it’s also about choices and decisions. So if we want to “be careful to love God”, then we need to keep making choices that will put Him first in our lives, rather than whatever might sound more pleasurable to us in the moment. Jesus puts it this way in John 14:21:  “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me.” So if we want to “be careful to love God”, we need to be careful to obey - and not just in the major issues of life, but in the daily choices we make as well.


Then secondly, if we want to "be careful to love God", we need to be very careful to spend quality time with Him. Any relationship needs time spent together, and that’s especially true in our relationship with God. It’s easy to let busyness or tiredness crowd out quality time spent in His presence. So one of the ways we can “be careful to love” Him is to protect our time with Him.


So today, let’s commit to being careful to love the LORD our God. Let’s be obedient in our choices today, both big and small. And as we move through the day, let’s be intentional about spending time with Him. Let’s use our lives to show the world Who we truly love.


Amen?


Daniel


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