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What were you created for?  This question must be answered if you are to receive all that God has for you when you read the bible.  If you just read it and rely on your own understanding and perspective you may miss out on God’s deep heart for you.  At that point the bible ends up being limited to disciplines, behaviors and ways to serve.

Do you believe that God created you so that you could practice being disciplined?

Do you believe that you were created so that you could behave well?

Do you believe that you were created to serve?

I would love to tell you that you were created for relationship!  God created us so that we could love Him and be loved by Him.  That is why we are here.  In the beginning there was no one who needed to be saved.  We were created to just be in a beautiful and intimate relationship with Him.

When you read your bible do you read it through God’s perspective of who you are to Him?

Do you read it through a distorted and limited filter, or through the eyes of someone who is deeply and madly in love with you?

I can tell you when my husband sends me a text or an email, I have to be careful that I stop sometimes and really consider first that this is a man who is in love with me.  It can change the whole meaning and tone of the text or email.  It is all the same words but when I believe those words are coming from a man who chose me and loves me deeply it makes a huge difference in how I receive it.  Seriously consider this the next time you pick up your bible.

God cares deeply for your heart.  He sent His Son to come and pay for us.  Jesus not only came for our sin but He came for our hearts….

Isaiah 61

New Living Translation (NLT)

Good News for the Oppressed

61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,     for the Lord has anointed me     to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted     and to proclaim that captives will be released     and prisoners will be freed.[a] 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn     that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,[b]     and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 3 To all who mourn in Israel,[c]     he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning,     festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks     that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

This is the passage that Jesus chose to read in answer to who He is and why He came.  Our hearts matter to God.  He came to restore our hearts and set them free.

As Christians we can put limitations on our own purpose for being here.  We are trying so hard to stay between the lines and get it all right that we miss the splendor of the journey all around us.  Just like the picture above.  You can spend all your efforts and concentration following the arrows and staying between the lines while worrying that everybody else stays in theirs, that you miss seeing the hillltops, prairies, trees and fields.  There is so much more meant for us in this journey of life.  God’s heart for us is good.  It is for us not against us.

So the next time you are about to put in hours of discipline over some noble and praiseworthy thing, stop and ask yourself to step back.  Evaluate first God’s deep heart for you to be in relationship with Him.  Do you require your spouse to be disciplined, or well behaved?  Do you want them to keep their vows to you because they are doing the right thing, or do you want them to keep their vows to you because they are in love with you?

Next time you are tempted to kill your heart in order to serve more, stop and ask yourself to step back.  Treat it as a text, or an email from someone who you know, loves you deeply.  Make sure you do not misunderstand or jump to any conclusions that are not really there.  Make sure you are serving as a response to being loved and also you loving someone well.

When the bible leaves you feeling like you just have to kill your heart, work harder, or just do it right…..I truly believe you are missing the point.  You are missing the chance to be loved, cherished and treasured.  You are missing the chance to receive and respond to such a love.  Don’t miss the beauty of the whole picture because you are trying to follow arrows and stay between the lines.