So, I've been writing a book for about a decade now. It's a devotional book on the subject of God's love, and it holds a lot of the lessons I've learned (and keep learning) over the years. Part of the delay. I think, is that I gave sway here and there to thoughts like "Um. You spazzed out on X last week. You have no right to be telling people anything about love."
Um, excuse me, stupid thought, but I think people need to know that a real person, with real emotions, has had success with doing things His way—in spite of some moments of stumbling. No one learning a new skill does it perfectly at first!
Starting soon, I'm going to be posting one devotion from the book each day. There are thirty days, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, and I am really excited to share it all with anyone who'll read it. I mean, if you find out about something you think other people who enjoy, you'd text 'em, call 'em, and maybe Facebook post about it, because it's just so cool.
I'll kick stuff off today by posting the intro to the book. Peace!
After too many years passed, I finally realized that the problem was not with the Bible. It was with me (duh). I was hearing what the Bible said, but I was not doing what the Bible said. Real change didn’t come until I decided to take the Word of God seriously and started doing what it says.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:22-25, NLT
This book was written so that you could benefit from all that I’ve learned over the last several years. God wants to move you from being a hearer only into hearing and doing. We, as the Body of Christ have spent far too long “amening” Bible verses, but not experiencing Bible results, and it’s in our power to change that!
Notice in the verses from James above that he says the Word sets you free, and that if you do what it says, God will bless you! I like the idea of being free and blessed. And I am so much more free and blessed than I was just a few short years ago, and it’s all because I made a choice to hear and do.
The purpose of this book is to get your mind renewed (changed) to how God thinks by giving you small chunks of biblical teaching on the subject of love for thirty days. Thirty isn’t a magical number—it’s just a good, solid length of time to spend immersing yourself in what God has to say about love.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2, NLT
I also want you to know right now that I do not walk this “love walk” perfectly. I still mess up, get attitude with people, say and do selfish things, and act like a spoiled brat at times. I can only do what I will advise you to do here in this book—repent and get back to it. I want you to get that this book was not written by some higher-than-y'all Christian (though I am holy–1 Peter 2:9) who is just loving and kind all the time. This is a lifelong adventure, after all.
One more thing before I close this introduction! It’s important for you to realize that you are a being made up of three parts: you are a spirit, that has a soul (consisting of your mind, your will, and your emotions), and lives in a body. Knowing this will help you in so many ways as you progress down this road of following after God.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
I want you to treat this book as though you’re sitting down with a trusted friend over some coffee or tea. Realize that this book was not written to make you feel guilty. It was written to encourage you to start where you are and keep on growing in the things of God.
I believe in you!