Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why I LOVE God: Because He Loved Me First Part 1

All the World is a Coloring Book!

My kids have a book that we’ve read for years now. Our last, a 7 year-old boy, is the one enjoying it now. It’s called, God Thought of It First. It tells about all kinds of things that are common to us that God thought of first (i.e. helicopters – hummingbirds).

I was thinking about all the things I love about God. The main one is that He thought of it first. He thought of loving us before we ever knew how to love. One of the ways he shows us this amazing love is through nature. For the next few months, I want to focus on a certain way that God illustrates His love for us. These are great things to share with our kids to show them that God loves us through the details of life and nature. Is reminds us that - He loved us first.

One of the things I love about God: He gave us color.

Everything could have been black and white…not nearly as interesting as lime-green and fuchsia! At the Autry house, we’ve been watching old TV shows on DVD, some of which are in black and white. Though the lack of color can make people more attractive, the lack of it causes everything in the background to be – well – in the background. Things go unnoticed.

If God had made only black and white, flowers, birds, hair, eye and skin color, wouldn’t be nearly as interesting or enjoyable. But if you think about how long it takes to actually color a picture, black and white would have been much easier. The only explanation, then, is that God loves us enough to make the world an interesting, beautiful place to be.

Why not grab a black and white crayon for each of your family members (even your teens – coloring is therapeutic!) and sit down to color. When they ask for the rest of the box of crayons you’ll have a great opportunity to share that God loved us enough to make color. What would we miss if color were eliminated from our world?

“For all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him..” Colossians 1:16 (NET)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Because He First Loved Us...

Valentine’s is less than a month away! Normally I (Sharon) think about how I can show my husband and children that I love them. But, I was just thinking about why I love Jesus. Sometimes I forget to tell Him. Here are a few of my thoughts:

I love Jesus because...

...He gave us color. Everything could have been black and white…not nearly as interesting as lime-green and fuchsia! I love that He didn’t just give us one kind of bird but more than I’ll ever see! I love all the different kinds of flowers. “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” Col. 1:16

...He gets glory when I serve my family. “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matt. 25:40 (Matt. 25:31-46 tells the whole story and fits moms so perfectly.)

...He won’t stop loving me (even when I don’t like myself very much.) “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:38-39 (NIV)

...He has a plan for today when I don’t have a clue what will happen.
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart, don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” Prov. 3:5-6 (The Message)

...When I don’t have a clue about how to raise my kids, I can ask Him rather than “Google”. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 (NIV)

...No matter what time I want to talk, He is ready to listen. “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” Isaiah 40:28

...When I am tired and overwhelmed by all the responsibility of being a grown-up, He gives me strength. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)

...He forgives and forgets. “As far as sunrise is from sunset, He has separated us from our sins.” (What a gracious God!) Ps. 103:12 (The Message)

...He gave me children. Loving them gives me a glimpse of how much He loves me. “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11 (NIV)

...He tells me to give Him ALL my cares because He cares for me. Even though Jesus dying for my sin would have been enough, He didn’t stop there. He wants to be a part of my days, hours, and minutes, too. He really, really cares for me! “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

...He is not surprised by anything. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Ps. 139:16b (NIV)

...This world is not my home. “In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

...No matter what the circumstances, I always have hope. “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. Ps. 62:5 “He puts poor people on their feet again; he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope, restoring dignity and respect to their lives-- a place in the sun! For the very structures of earth are GOD's; he has laid out his operations on a firm foundation.” I Samuel 2:8

You are amazing. I love you!!

Mom Tip:
1. If you aren’t currently in a study of some sort, you might try reading one of the verses listed above each day and really thinking about it. Ask God to let the truths go deep into your heart. Life is at its best when our eyes are focused on Him.
2. Don't miss the great Valentine's idea in our Junk Drawer. It's a simple, inexpensive way to remember your hubby or a friend. ~Thanks to Theresa (who is celebrating her first Valentine's as a married woman) for the idea!