A Journal Entry

"I'm not entirely sure I even know where to begin. How can I doubt that there is a God Who cares infinitely about the most finite details of my life, when most of my convictions have to do with the fact that I don't know, love, and honor Him enough? That's what He's wanted all this time. I think I've finally discovered what I've been missing, and that is what Jesus referred to as the greatest commandment - to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength - with all my emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical life...God wants my heart - my whole heart - before He wants my good deeds and even my life choices. I've spent more time on the transformation without trying to develop my relationship with God as much as I should have, and a lot of my studying and praying has focused on what the application is for me. Isn't that just a little selfish when the Bible isn't the story of me loving God, but of God loving me? Maybe I should be getting to know Him better instead of focusing so much on what I can do for Him. Maybe instead of all this 'doing for Him', it needs to be more about being with Him'..."

"It hit me that 1 Corinthians 13 [the love chapter] may also have to do with the relationship we cultivate with God. For example, when it says I can do all these things 'for' God, but if I have the wrong motivations - if I'm doing it out of surface piety rather than from a heart overflowing with love for Him - is it worth anything? The text [of 1 Cor. 13] says, 'I am a resounding gong or clanging cymbal' (not too much of a joyful noise!), 'I am nothing', 'I gain nothing.' So it sounds like 'doing stuff for God' is not going to get us anywhere in our spiritual walk with God; only learning how to love Him better and deepening our relationship with Him will. And what kind of love loves in the way it wants to, rather than in the way its recipient needs to be loved? As Sacred Pathways [by Gary Thomas] says, no one can give God the type of love and devotion that I can; it's not something He can find anywhere else. My heart is unique and He wants all of it. The way He wants to be loved is me giving Him every part of myself, not just my 'good works' (which are like filthy rags anyway) and my exterior. Those are the things that man looks at, but God looks at the heart. It was, for example, Abraham's faith  - not his obedience - that was credited to him as righteousness. His obedience was a natural outpouring of his faith...

The way I express love is unique, and that's what God desires most to receive: my individuality. Of all His vast and beautiful creation, He chose the human race; and out of the human race, my name went through Christ's mind on the cross; God planted a seed of interest and desire in my heart to come to Christ; God speaks to me every day so that He can have more of me...so that I leave more and more of my old self behind as He brings me closer to the abundant life He wants to give me. For some reason, He chose me. And I can't think of any other response than to give Him my heart as a prelude to everything I am."