Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002

Subject: First Things First

Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002

Subject: First Things First

Good Morning Ethan & Emily:

Just a word of clarification from yesterday:  the “Experiencing God” series is both in workbook and book form.  I can’t remember which I gave you.  The book is a little more convenient for carrying around, but the workbook is my favorite as it gives you opportunity for response and is broken up into convenient blocks of material by subject.  Other materials on other subjects have come from this original series by these authors but this original offering is a “must” for every Christian who really wants to know and experience God daily.  Do give this a priority and you will be blessed.

This morning I am reading again in the Old Testament….which I love to do.  For most of my Christian life, I thought the O.T. was something “old,” “hard to understand,” and not worth much attention since we had the New Testament.  But when I started a habit of reading through the entire Bible each year several years ago, I was simply amazed and “taken back” with how “real” and “practical” the Old Testament was.  And one of the best formats I found in doing these “reads” thru the Bible was with the One Year Bible formats where you daily have passages not only from the New Testament but the Old as well as Psalm and Proverbs….a good balance and it always amazed me how very often what I was reading in the O.T. “coincided” perfectly with what I was reading in the N.T.

I am going to share only one verse with you this morning.  It is short but sums up so well the topic of “obedience.”  In talking about the future kingdom and Millennium reign of Jesus Christ as Messiah, Isaiah said of Him:  “He will delight in obeying the Lord.” (Isaiah 11: 3 NLT).  

Using Jesus as our model, we should each ask ourselves:  Do I delight in obeying God? 

If you do not, you do not have an “obedience” problem, you have a “love” problem.  Be honest with God and tell Him how you feel and ask Him to give you a fresh awareness of all that Jesus did for you on Calvary.  Returning to that “first love” we mentioned yesterday will take care of any difficulties you might have with “obedience.”

And, in addition, when you get the “love” issue resolved, this will also solve any problem you might have with having a “quiet time” alone with God on a regular basis.  I do not want to be legalistic here and try to specify what time or when…or what type of format this has to be…as we are all individuals with different makeups…BUT as Blackaby and King say in the chapter on “Walking with God”: 

“I keep…time alone with God, not in order to have a relationship, but because I have a relationship.  Because I have that love relationship with the Lord, I want to meet with Him in my quiet time.  I want to spend the time there.  Time with Him enriches and deepens the relationship I have with Him. 

I hear many persons say, ‘I really struggle trying to have that time alone with God.’  If that is a problem you face, let me suggest something to you.  Make the priority in your life to come to love Him with all your heart.  That will solve most of your problem with your quiet time.  Your quiet time is because you know Him and, therefore, love Him, not only in order to learn about Him.  The Apostle Paul said it was ‘Christ’s love’ that compelled or constrained him (2 Cor. 5: 14)”

There are so many wonderful things in life to delight in.  My prayer is that you will come to experience “obedience” in such a way…

Have a great day,

Always my love…