More of You

16 01 2014

The year was 2006, and I had invited some friends to join me in Beth Moore’s study, Beloved Disciple.

It had been a rough 15 months since my mom moved to heaven. It seemed like everything had changed.

One of my last memories with Mom was reading to her from 2 Corinthians 4 in preparation for her departure. Although neither of us said so, we both knew she would be leaving soon.

She ‘graduated’ a short two days later.

Then, I did something interesting. I took the Bible I’d read from and put it on the shelf. I couldn’t say why, but there it was, and there it stayed.

Meanwhile, I continued to listen to sermons on cassette (remember those?). Every Sunday I went to church…without my Bible. I continued to talk to the Lord – just didn’t want to read His Book!

When I decided to do Beth’s study, I had a situation. How does one complete a Bible study without a Bible?

There seemed only one thing to do. I went to the book store and bought a new one.

At that time, I did not feel loved at all. Like I said, it had been a very rough time. Within two months, I would also be bidding my step-father and brother farewell. Because of their own grief, my children did not come home for holidays, which made my mom’s absence that much harder to endure. Other relationship issues had taken their toll as well.

As an act of faith, I had my name engraved on the Bible’s cover. Oh, not that I didn’t know my name; it is what I had written beneath it that was risky.

Later that day, I picked up my new “Friend.” There in gold letters against the black background was the boldest statement I would ever make to the world:

Tami – Beloved of God

I carried it home and set some books on top. I didn’t want anyone to see what I’d done.

At the beginning of the Beloved Disciple Bible study, I told the Lord:

You see what I have written here. I don’t believe it…not even a little. By the end of this study, I want to know in the same way as John did that I am Your beloved child.

God is so faithful!

While I did not have the depth of assurance that I longed for, I began to understand the Lord’s love for me.

For ME!

Meanwhile, whenever I took my Bible with me, I always kept the cover hidden. I was embarrassed, afraid that others would put me down for thinking ‘so highly of myself.’ Or might point out all the reasons why I was unlovable.

It would be two more years before I was able to confidently state that God loved me.

I love that Bible. It became like my Teddy bear – and often I would sleep with it snuggled in my arms. Mind you, it wasn’t the Book itself that captured my heart, but the Lord of the Book.

In the years since that time, my confidence in God’s love has grown to proportions I never dared dream were possible.

Through this, I’ve come to understand that while we state that we want more of God, the truth is that He wants more of us…that’s why He created us!

By the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross – and His resurrection – we have the opportunity to be in communion with our Father in the same way as Adam and Eve did before the Fall. The finished work of Christ opened the way for us to be in relationship with God – something few people of the Old Testament were able to enjoy.

He loves us with everlasting love – and therefore has drawn us with lovingkindness. Do we even begin to comprehend His great love?

Why not make this the year that one of our resolutions will be that God will have more of us? It may take a bit of work; after all, who gives themselves over to a God they don’t trust?

Ask Him to transform you by renewing your mind concerning what you believe to be true about Him. After all, Jesus said that when we know truth, then that truth can set us free!

Eight years later (from what seems like a lifetime ago), I am going through Beloved Disciple again. This time it is with fresh eyes. This time I know in my ‘knower’ that I am loved. I can’t wait to see what He has in store this time through. I know the Lord well enough to know that it will be good!

Lord, 

We always ask for more of you. In this request, we realize that we’ve been a bit one-sided. 

‘Gimme, gimme’ is our cry.  However, in order for a relationship to work well, it must be give and take. 

Sadly, we do not trust you – and so stand at a distance from You. We are happy to receive, but afraid of what You might ask of us if we draw closer.

Help us know You better, to learn what Your heart is like, and to move from dreadful fear to reverential awe and confidence that You are for us – not against us.

May this be the year that we give You more of ourselves as we receive fresh revelation of Your nature.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

\o/ 

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11 responses

17 01 2014
cshowers

Amen Tami! This post was so inspiring and refreshing. I’m just coming through a faith crisis, and in the midst of that terrible time, the Lord heard my cry to help my unbelief and increase my faith, and He has done so and is continuing to do so… Praise God for your timely and encouraging post and God bless you, beloved friend!

Love,
Cheryl

17 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Yay, Lord! Thanks for encouraging us all!

\o/

16 01 2014
sf

I’ve had a Bible study with one of Beth Moore’s book before, but it wasn’t Beloved Disciple. But now I’ll try to remember to make that my next one.

By God’s grace, both of my parents are still alive by God’s grace to me. But last year was such a tough year for me, where I had argued with them the most ever, due to business and family issues. I ended up moving afterwards, which the Lord had enabled me to be blessed also, by my being able to go back to college after the move. But I still often think about how I will react when either of my parents pass away. I’m sure I’ll be like you, in deep grief. When I used to tell a friend of mine years ago about how I had fought with my Dad, I’ll never forget what she had said to me: “I wish I still had a Dad to fight with” (her Dad had passed away some years ago).

Thanks for sharing your story and writing this blessed post!

16 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Beloved Disciple is a great study. Do put it on your “to do” list!

I’d love to have my mom to fight with. 😉 I often see people dragging their elderly parents through the grocery store with a sense of frustration. I usually stop and tell them that I’d give just about anything to have my mom to drag through the store!

It sounds like you’re on the young side. Sometimes a bit of strife serves to move us out of the nest where we learn to depend upon God alone. Don’t let too much water go under that bridge, though. Seek God’s healing. He is good at that!

\o/

16 01 2014
Lisa Haven

Give me more of Jesus indeed!

16 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Yeah, me too!

\o/

16 01 2014
Mel Wild

“Through this, I’ve come to understand that while we state that we want more of God, the truth is that He wants more of us…that’s why He created us!” Amen and amen. That’s what God wants, more of us! He’s already done everything on His side of the relationship.

When John was stating that he was the “disciple that Jesus loved” he was stating his identity. It took me a long time to figure that one out. But isn’t it strange that we would think it’s arrogant for someone to say what God believes. But I was an orphan believer all those years, not accepting God’s assessment of me. But He sets us free of those lies we believe that contradict His view of us. Hallelujah! I’m God’s favorite, and so are you! And God is the only Father who can do this.

Great post, Tami. Blessings, beloved favorite daughter of God!

16 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Mel. You always add greater depth to the topic.

It took a trip to Nicaragua to have my identity extracted from my ministry. I’m content to just *be* these days – which is a good thing for I’m currently not serving in any ministry.

This happened suddenly when God invited us to follow Him away from our church of 14 years right after Christmas.

We’re excited and wondering what He’s up to, but since we’re in His hands, we’re in a good place!

In the meantime, I’m content to rest here with Him.

\o/

16 01 2014
Mel Wild

You’re in a good place. 🙂 Until your next assignment, may this season bring you refreshing and rest and some amazing encounters in the Father’s heart. Blessings.

16 01 2014
Timothy Murray

Great post Tami! Beloved of God, amazing grace!

16 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Amazing, indeed!

\o/

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