The telephone is ringing: Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Ring Ring.
I answer in song: "Hellooooo?"
You say: "Oh Hey, Victoria. How's it going, girl?"
I respond: "So great! How are you doing, sweetie?"
You say: "I'm good... good.... except, I need your advise. You see, I'm going to be throwing this party. It will last... oh, let's say my whole lifetime, and I'm certain it will spill over into eternity also. It really is more of a time to honor someone special to me... well, the ONE who means everything to me... JESUS. You know Him, right?"
I say: "Oh YES! He is THE BEST!!! He would love it if you had a party on His behalf! But don't bother trying to surprise Him... He's always onto me whenever I try that." (Wink)
You say: "Yeah, but here's the thing....I'm stumped. You see, as part of my honoring Him, I want to give Him the perfect gift that let's Him know how much I appreciate Him and all He has done for me... you know, the whole dying on the cross and saving me from eternal death and all that. But I just don't know what to do...? What do you give the God who has everything? Any ideas?"
OK, you may laugh at my little "phone call" above, but it does bring up an interesting question. The whole earth is God's. He created it. He owns it. Every living creature, every mineral, every gas and every liquid was created by His voice. From the grandest thunderstorm to the smallest microbes, he created a variety of splendors for us to enjoy and behold as His workmanship. Above all these things, however, God tells us that we are His priceless treasure. So much so, that we were actually made by God's hands... not just spoken into existence, but formed by Him physically. He proclaims us to be more valuable than any other thing He created. We are cherished and loved by God over all other creatures in Heaven and on earth! So, how are we to respond to this magnificent, powerful, all-knowing, perfect Creator who not only created everything and everyone we know, but chose to lovingly redeem us even when mankind was forsaking Him? It seems like a tall order, doesn't it?
What do you give the God who has everything?
The answer can only be one thing... DEVOTION!
Our Wonderful Father truly wanted us to enjoy all the beauties He had made. He wanted us to savor all the tastes and sounds and noises and colors. He wanted us to enjoy everything that is lovely and pure and good. He made us the sunrise and sunset. He gave us the beautiful flowers and the summer breeze. He provided us seasons of change and variety. He made this earth especially for us to enjoy and have dominion over. How cool is that? He made us our very own universe while generously providing everything we could ever think to need.
But before enjoying our surroundings and planetary habitat, God made us to first need Him to survive. We could not live without His breath of life being breathed into our nostrils. We are made to be the most healthy when we are closest to Him - in His presence. In contrast, it is unhealthy for us to look away or be apart from Him. (Thus the result of man's sinful fall and the outcome leading to death.) God made us to enjoy all the beauty and benefits of this earth, and He did it with the mindset that we would relate together with Him in this setting while enjoying a complete, unwavering devotion for one another.
So, what is devotion? It is 100% allegiance... intense attachment... aggressive fervor... earnest pursuit... passionate adoration.... it is LOVE. Our Master made us to live as healthy human beings by loving Him and remaining in His presence. We were not made to be damaged and broken. We were made to love Him and each other. (Even in mankind's most sinful state today, we still long for that kind of love.) Inasmuch as God loves us, He also created mankind with the option to grant or deny Him our love in return. Why? What is true love if it is not allowed to be a choice? Sure, it wasn't a healthy choice to turn away from our perfect God... but it was a choice.
Unfortunately, mankind chose to look away from God and separate himself by choosing to sin against his Maker. Ugh, how heartbroken God must have been when Adam and Eve turned their eyes away from Him. Mankind chose to believe the deadly deceiver over our life-giving Creator. Yet even at our darkest moment - God still remained devoted to His people.
Since the beginning of time, His love has never changed... His affections for us remain the same. His love was so great that even after our mistake, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross. Jesus' perfect life was His solution to our sinful, polluted, corrupted choice. And now, by His grace - we are able to be restored to full health as we again seek His presence... in Jesus Precious and Holy and Perfect Name. How marvelous... how wonderful!!! He has given every person a second chance to be with Him and receive LIFE!
So how should we respond to our Savior? What one thing can we possibly offer to our King as we accept this incomprehensible gift? There is only one response that is appropriate... complete, sincere, obedient, unending DEVOTION. Just as He has remained devoted to us, we must be devoted to Him. It is the way that He will be able to know those who truly love Him... who accept His unbelievable gift that offers the merciful opportunity to turn back to a healthy life in His presence.
Let's be clear about this.... God does not NEED us to love Him. He is complete in Himself. But as the lover of our soul, He truly and intimately WANTS us to love Him. He desires and longs to be reunited together with His people - like a Bridegroom anxiously awaiting His bride.
Ladies, let's remember that we should never again let anything distract us away from His love and devotion. He is that special... that precious... that perfect. We are free from sin because of His love. And because He sees us as His treasure... we must give our lives back to Him and let our bodies serve as His temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and change us.
Worship Him with your whole self and love Him with your whole heart. It is the most beautiful, fulfilling and loving relationship you will ever know. It is mutual devotion between the Bridegroom and the bride and it will last FOREVER AND EVER!
"And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work." (1 Chronicles 28:9-10)
P.S. I'm so glad you called! Hee Hee!