Saturday, February 1, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 42: A Relational God

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 42, January 31, 2014
Readings: Psalm 41, Genesis 38, 2 Chronicles 15, Acts 9:1-31

What do you think about when you consider God and how He relates to people? Do you think of a list of rules? Rituals? Traditions that must be followed to appease Him? What does He want from me? What does He want from you?

God desires relationship. He wants you to know Him and His nature. How He loves and cares for His people. But relationships are not a formula. Relationships are not a list of rules to be followed. Any married person knows that even if they followed, to the letter, a list of expectations from their spouse, it wouldn't be any kind of relationship. It would just be following a list of rules. It would be lifeless. Meaningless. And God wants real, meaningful relationships with us. Where we know Him and His character.

Many of the kings of Israel disregarded a relationship with God. But a few understood what it really meant to love Him. To follow Him. To trust God and live a life that honors Him.

For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:3-4, 7-8)

As soon as Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and  from the cities that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the LORD.  

And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul. (2 Chronicles 15:3-4, 7-8, 12a)

 The people of Israel had abandoned their relationship with God. They had followed other gods. It broke God's heart - like an adulterous spouse, Israel had spurned God. But God continued to chase them. God continued to love them. And when they turned to Him, God was delighted.

God's not demanding perfection. God's not wishing that we would follow a list of rules, or live up to expectations. He wants us to love Him. To pursue relationship with Him.

What would you do if you were pursuing a relationship with God? Would you spend time with Him? Would you want to please Him? Tell Him how much you love and appreciate Him? Seek forgiveness when you wrong Him?

Many marriage relationships choose to recite vows as they begin their commitment to each other. Have you considered making vows to God? Perhaps coming back to them when you feel distant? When you need to remember your covenant with Him?


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