give your heart what it wantsWe value life, don’t we?  We live for life.  We bleed, sweat, vomit, purge, and part with possessions for life.  If someone held you up at gunpoint, demanding your wallet, you’d part with it.  Why?  Because “life” is better than possessions.

We would even part with our own limbs in order to preserve our lives.  We’ve heard stories of lumberjacks pinned by trees, using pocket knives to sever their legs so they could get free.  We’ve heard stories of hikers who have been trapped by rocks, only to chop off an arm in order to save their lives.

We’d cut our limbs off, bit by bit, in order to save our lives.  That’s how much we value life.

But there’s a verse in the Bible that has the nerve to say that there is something that’s even better than life.  Can you imagine that?  That’s messed up!  Knowing how much we value life, it’s hard to imagine a more in-your-face statement.  There’s something that outdoes life?  Those are fighting words!

“Your steadfast love is better than life” we read in Psalm 63:3.  Knowing how much we value life—and would part with limbs and possessions to preserve it—we ought to tremble at the prospect of discovering a greater treasure.

God’s love is the greater treasure.

God’s love for you is better than life.

How can we know?  Think about this: if your soul is void of love, then you don’t even want your life anymore.  Have you ever tried to live without it?  We don’t even want to live when our hearts are void of love, when our souls are deserted and empty.  Life seems pointless and you get weary of it when you don’t have love, when your heart is hollow.

Many of us have been weary of life before, even though we’d give up so much to keep it.  But no person on record has ever been weary of the love of God.

Nobody has ever said, “God, please stop giving me so much love!” or “God, please stop showing me so much favor!” or “God, please stop extending so much grace!” or “God, please stop offering so much mercy!” or “God, please stop caring for me and taking interest in me!”  Why?  Because God’s love is better than life.

Even when we grow weary of life, we’ll never grow weary of the love of God.

Think about what this means and give your soul what it wants.  Your soul craves the love of God.  Always.  It will never grow weary of it.  You and I will have times when we’re weary of life, but we will never be weary of God’s steadfast love.

Right now, your soul craves, longs for, and is searching after the love of God.  Your soul will not be satisfied with mere life, when it was built to experience something greater.  God’s steadfast love is greater than your life.

Are you sick of life?  Maybe it’s not because you’ve had too much of life, but because you’ve known too little of the love of God.

grandma_teenDo you need some advice?  Some help?  Some wisdom?  Don’t know where to go?  Then ask your mom.  Or ask someone who is older than you.  Ask a senior citizen, if you really want good advice.  Talk to your dad or your grandfather or your Great Aunt Betty.  They know more.

It’s pretty trendy for younger generations to mock the older.  But it simply doesn’t make any logical sense.  We like to play cool and think, “That older person is so out of touch!  They don’t know what they’re talking about!  They don’t know what works—they just don’t understand!”

But I can prove to you that older people know more than you.  Here’s how: think about all you know right now.  Now, picture yourself 20 years from now.  Let me ask you: do you think you’ll know more than you know now?  (Answer: yes.)  Do you think you’ll be even more able to deal with your life issues? (Answer: yes.)  Who would you trust more, you, now, or you, in 20 years?

Obviously, you in 20 years will know far more.  You’ll have your current knowledge and experience, plus 20 years more—in addition to more maturity.

If you’re trying to make a big decision right now, find someone who has lived a good deal longer than you.  Ask them.  They are a treasury of insight and experience.

I know there are other factors that we could consider, like mental health, but, on balance, I think my logic stands.

Now maybe you don’t buy my argument, and that’s okay with me.  I admit, I could be wrong.  But, if you’re younger than me, maybe you should think twice, maybe I do know more.  On the other hand, if you’re older than me, and disagree with me, maybe I ought to think twice.

Wait—I guess that would prove my point anyways.

Sam is a husband, father, and pastor

Sam is a husband, father, and pastor

What Is a Friend?

Hope Stands —  June 20, 2014 — 1 Comment

friendDo you struggle in the area of friendship?  What is a friend?  Our culture has given us a very shallow definition of what it means to be a friend. This shallow definition is almost sickening, because it causes us to get down on ourselves and overlook some of the special people in our lives.  In today’s radioblog, Sam gives us a fuller meaning for the word “friend.”  You’ll be encouraged at how many more friendships you might have than you thought.  And you’ll also be able to gain some more.  Thanks for listening; this was first heard on the Moody Radio Network.

Click the player below.

layittoyourheartWe allow so many things to touch our hearts each day.  Some of these things, we really have no intention of shoving off.  Like a landfill, we stack up the garbage on our hearts, and let it fester.  This poisons our lives and the lives of those around us.

God says to his people, “Lay it to your heart” (Deuteronomy 4:39).  What does God want us to lay to our hearts?  Mainly, his love.  He wants us to know that he is the only God there is and he has demonstrated his love for us with great sacrifice.

Lay his love on your heart.

We are so very quick to touch other things to our hearts: pride, despair, the urge to give up, envy, jealousy, anger, sorrow, worry, and fear.  We allow these burdens to rest on our hearts for days,

…for weeks

…for months

…even for years.

Our souls get polluted and poisoned.

Rather, expose your heart to the love of God.

When was the last time you laid God’s love on your heart?  And just let it stay there?

We’re so caught up in exposing our hearts to all of these other things, that we don’t take the time to soak in the love of God, the only God there is. 

And God doesn’t love you because you perform better than others, you’re better built than others, you have less sin and do more good than others; rather, he loves you just because he loves you—no strings attached, no conditions to meet and maintain.

Where are you going to find such a rare love as this?

God’s love is the best thing we can lay on our hearts.  It’s the best thing we can allow to touch us.

(Learn more in Soul Tattoo: A Life and Spirit Bearing the Marks of God, available for preorder now.)