The new year is here and I have had some awesome things that God has been showing me already in this first few weeks of 2016. God has disturbed my thoughts as if to say what do you desire most? It was if He was saying to me, I desire to spend more time with you. God desires for me to spend quality time with Him. Not just when I feel like it, not just when things are going good, but He wants me to completely be connected with Him. God for me has proven Himself time and time again, but then when I think I have a better understanding of God’s love, I open up my devotional book, and the first thing I read is how much God loves me and wants to spend time with me. So I began to think to myself, God is really trying to get my attention and let me know how much He loves me. The fact is, he is always trying to get our attention and show us His love, but the sad reality is that we are usually to busy to even begin to grasp how much he really loves us, and how deep His desire is for Him to be first in our lives.

My youngest son Brayden and I play a game and it is trying to see who can show the other that they love them more (Sad thing is, I used to play the same game with Peyton, not so much anymore). It is funny to see what things that we do to show it. From stretching our hands out wide and to the sky, to smiling, to giving those big tackle hugs, to the quiet moments that he still snuggles beside me to get the extra minutes to stay up that Mom wouldn’t allow. Wouldn’t you know, I am the softy when it comes to this. But all of this still can’t show Brayden how much I truly love him. So this made me realize one more thing about God, if God who created both of us has allowed me to love so great for my children, how much more then does He love me. Just the thought of being loved by God and knowing that He had also played the game with me, when he sent his Son to earth, who stretched out His arms as far as He could and let me know how much He truly loved me.

John makes it abundantly clear that great spiritual gifts without love is worthless and might as well be like noise pollution and ultimately worthless. The world places value on talents, skills, and what one can do or accomplish. But the Lord showed us humility, patience, and sacrifice – so that His love could be communicated to us. I’m reminded of what a terrible Dad I would be if I measure my worth as a Dad based solely on how well I provide for my sons, yet never spend any time with them or express my love for them through all the various ways of sacrifice, patience, and affection I can show them. My boys still really doesn’t know the difference between $10 and a million dollars, or that I’m the most talented in any areas, nor do they care, but they know that I love them and that I show that they matter so much to me. To them the times we share playing games, playing ball, or simply having movie night with popcorn mean more to them than all the unopened toys they have in their closets.

As a pastor in a very busy church, husband, father, and even coach, it is easy to allow busy schedules and many other things to replace the time I’m supposed to be spending with Him. I can be doing all the things that the Father asks, yet slowly lose sight of why I am living the life I am. Looking back at my life, I know I missed many opportunities to grow because I had been placing worth on my life, on all that I was doing in ministry or even what I was able to offer back to God, and yet failed to just sit in His presence and listen for His voice and desire Him more than the world. That is why it is so essential that I reflect and pray constantly, abide in Him, and truly begin to realize this thing called love. One thing God has taught me in these past few weeks is that actions and time can be one sign of love and therefore I must not merely say the words “I love you” and then not prove it, but I must follow through with all that the word love means. In the same note, it is very easy to say I love God, but then never spend the time with Him. I must, and we must show God, our Heavenly Father, how much we cannot live with out Him, because without Him, our lives are meaningless. We must learn to truly abide with Christ and allow Him to be our center.

Dear God, I know that my attempts to fully understand your love and desire for me and the limitless boundaries that it brings to my life may be impossible for me to ever even come close to understanding. It is my prayer that I can grow closer to you and show you how much I truly love you and desire you. I also pray that my love for my family grows greater than ever before. May I show them the power of love as it comes only from the Father above. To all my extended family and friends, may I be a light that can show each of them the love that You have for each of us and may I continue to serve You until You come. May we as the body of Christ learn to desire You more than we desire the things of the world.