"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."~from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

APOLOGY to READERS who followed a SEARCH to HERE & didn't find it

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging, rather than edit each one. So if you clicked here from somewhere else and ended up with the post unavailable or error, I am sorry but this is why. It'd be too much work for me to go back and fix them. There's an explanation on 7/19/17 as I'm still learning.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

"Fully Devoted" RELATIONSHIP

In this mid-June, when the One Good Word for the Day was "DEVOTED", I came upon this 9-part devotional reading plan provided by Life Church at You Version and decided to save it to do based on the 1st question I read in the Introduction: 

"...Are you wanting to grow in your RELATIONSHIP with God, understand the Bible better, and learn how to faithfully follow Jesus in our world today? ..."

And of course, the word 'RELATIONSHIP' just pops out at me so how could I not say :

Followed by, on that same day, the reading I had in "The Divine Romance" from the Song of Songs:

"... I’ve made up my mind
Until the darkness disappears and the dawn has fully come,
in spite of shadows and fears,
I will go to the mountaintop with you—
the mountain of suffering love 4:6 Literally “the mountain of myrrh”—the emblem of suffering love. To become the bride, she must experience Calvary, as did her Lord. We must be his co-crucified partner who will embrace the fellowship of his sufferings. See Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:10.
and the hill of burning incense.
Yes, I will be your bride .." Song of Songs 4:6 TPT(Solomon) 

Clearly, God was speaking to me ... and as my last post long ago shared: 

... although I never really mentioned how or updated about Enjoying Our RELATIONSHIP, I find myself truly trying to avoid 'doing things out of duty ..." by checking this or that off of a list-of To-Do's, and seeking to walk and talk with Him more in 'pure bliss simply' because of our RELATIONSHIP and His love for me & mine for Him, wanting to draw much closer every day this year & every year until we actually meet! So clearly, I need to be and become more FULLY DEVOTED and dive deeply into pursuing God in my RELATIONSHIP as He pursues and has since our beginning, with Him as my First Love. So I will learn & re-learn how I can be FULLY DEVOTED in our RELATIONSHIP (as He always has & is & will be faithful), I too need to be & will be better at this. 

Since I also started an online study of Ann Voskamp's book "WayMaker - Finding the Way to the Life You've Always Dreamed Of ..." at this time, I am seeing a correlation of this with our LOVE RELATIONSHIP and my desire for being DEVOTED! I don't think I can come close to explaining the connection as beautifully as Ann does (so I recommend highly reading her book) however, I sense God clearly saying "Come Let Me Love You" (chapter 3 in Ann's book also), a God-incidence, that allows me to see how intimately God continues to weave my winding life journey and show me the Way - His Way, the Way He Makes for me - He will also Make a Way for you to come closer and closer, no matter how many detours or repairs are needed, He delights when we let Him make our wrong direction right; our expectations His and even bring our thoughts & hearts in line with His. 

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 
There is no commandment greater than these.” 
Mark 12:30-31 NIV
[which actually comes from Deuteronomy 6:5]

"What Is a Fully Devoted Follower of Christ? 

A fully devoted follower of Christ is a student of Jesus. It’s someone who loves God with all that they are—heart, soul, mind, and strength—and loves others the same way that Jesus loves us. 

Loving God with all our heart means desiring God over the things of this world. 

Loving God with all our soul means trusting God more than we trust ourselves. 

Loving God with all our mind means knowing God personally, intimately, and deeply. 

Loving God with all our strength means serving God with our very best. 

Loving others the same way that Jesus loves us means loving sacrificially, selflessly, and unconditionally. The most perfect picture of Jesus’ love is His voluntary death on a Roman cross for the sake of the world. He sacrificed Himself for the good of others when we didn’t deserve it. And that is a beautiful picture of how we’ve been called to love others. 

Becoming fully devoted doesn’t happen overnight. It happens over time as we commit ourselves to the ways and words of Jesus every moment of every day. This journey has traditionally been called discipleship." (day 2)

I recall that the first time I decided to commit my life to following Jesus and devote my entire life to Him (and that), my prayer (of salvation, in my own mind) had those exact words from the scriptures of Deuteronomy 6:5 & Mark 12:30-31 perhaps with a small influence of the song "Day by Day": "O dear Lord, 3 things I pray: to see You more clearly, love You more dearly, follow You more nearly ... day by day". At that time and understanding in my spiritual life, I would need to do this by becoming a religious Sister (a nun) and dedicate my life to teaching, like a missionary (Sister). Although I never did take the 3 vows of a religious Sister, in many other ways, I eventually did much of this, as a sister in Christ, and now I want to be more FULLY DEVOTED to this verse to finish my life; my commitment to Jesus Christ and His Word; so after reading this day 2, it seems like the call is discipleship. I think most of my life has been, in part, a journey of discipleship in many facets and outreaches or involvement; yet I'm sure I need to develop and further my discipleship. It's a continual process in our life journey, like much of our spiritual journey is ... the Way is to follow Jesus' Way, Jesus' Truth and Jesus' Life "Day by Day" ... {sort of a "Godspell"} fixed on Jesus/God/and Holy Spirit. I want to start learning to "Be Still" and Know God (which actually is where Ann V. starts in her book, demonstrating a compass with points to show us a 'practical and transformative way of life' that is S.A.C.R.E.D. with the "S" being the Stillness to Know God. Yes, that's where I need to start and learn as I hope to live a better life DEVOTED to our WayMaker, Jesus Christ. 

Perhaps as I complete the "WayMaker" online study (book & study guide), I will know better what I will proceed to do as a FULLY DEVOTED follower of Jesus, which I've been, but at this point, I hope to deepen my RELATIONSHIP and enjoy it more completely, rather than simply checking off stuff on a to-do list. Although having a routine or discipline daily, is really part of discipleship (at least there seems to be the same root in both words of disciple). Much to do ... but remember, I am starting with STILLNESS to know God. My actual first prayer included words to God that "I truly want to know You, God, by loving, learning and living a life that serves You more and more each day from this day forward." And now, more than 50 years later, I still intend to devote myself to this, God willing, I will come closer to Jesus through renewing to my initial first love & commitment. 

{the above was a complete post, but I wanted to add that when I received RELATIONSHIPS for the One Word for 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deal with my earthly RELATIONSHIPS, however, so far I have found that my focus has been with my RELATIONSHIP with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I realize that God plays a major role in my daily life RELATIONSHIPS and has a great influence on me and thus, on them (I hope). So you can't do one without the other - or better said; since God is in control but not physically here, it is how we relate with all our earthly RELATIONSHIPS that indicates how much we love God & respect the heavenly RELATIONSHIP by how we live and love those earthly RELATIONSHIPS, which is backed up by the OT & NT scripture verses (also above) and explained well in the FULLY DEVOTED box of day 2 - Loving Others is how we tangibly show our love for God!} 

So this Father's Day, tell your heavenly Father how much He means to you & you love Him as you remember your earthly father(s) & be blessed. I know I will! Happy Father's Day, to my dad (in heaven) & yours (or the fatherly men in your life)! whether your earthly father was in your life or not, good or bad; your Heavenly Father has been there all the time, waiting for you to have a good RELATIONSHIP with Him & know Him (perhaps to help you heal any other RELATIONSHIP and forgive) - it's a good place to start! God, our Father, loves us perfectly, even if our human fathers might have failed or erred, God will not. The truth is, none of us had a perfect father. Even the best dads in the world mess up. But our Heavenly Father will never make a mistake or fail us, even if it feels that way sometimes. Your relationship with your Heavenly Father will always outshine even the best RELATIONSHIP with an earthly father."

To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!