Sunday July 19, 2020 – The difference of we ‘have to’ and we ‘get to’…

Joshua 23:11  So be very diligent to love the LORD your God for your own well-being.  (Holman)

One of the things so precious to me is what I typically experience during the worship portion of our Sunday service.  It is a mix of wonder, gratitude, amazement and heartfelt love that Yahweh – our God – is my father and has made me His own.  I am one of His sons!  He is not distant – nor is He aloof.  He is my loving father.

Our four sons, John, Jamie, Andrew and Michael, will hug and kiss me when we see each other.  They will do this anywhere in front of anyone.  And our hugs are not perfunctory or just a little embrace, a little squeeze.  Our hugs are experiences in themselves!  We will embrace and hold each other tightly and just ooze with love and affection and joy in each other.  We then look at each other and smile.  My sons love me – and I love them. (I am in tears sitting here just thinking of my sons and the blessing they are to me).

This is what I experience with our Lord!  At times I want to pinch myself because it is so unbelievable. This is what He wants for all of us!  But this isn’t the end of it.  He gives us a way to respond so that we can experience the joy of giving back to Him.  We love Him in return.  Yes, we are commanded to love Him.  But when we understand how He loves us, our loving response isn’t a ‘have to’ but a ‘get to’.  WE GET TO LOVE HIM IN RETURN!  We GET TO walk in His ways!

But it gets even more amazing!  The more that our lives express genuine love for Him, the more He enables us to experience His limitless love for us!  There is so much of Him that we will not experience if we don’t.  In reality, He’s given us the ‘keys’ to a storehouse of treasure that He wants us to have – if only we choose to use them.


About Don Schmidt

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Don was VP of Operations & Director of Student Life for 2 years at Williamson Christian College in Franklin, TN - a wonderful, accredited 4 year college for adult learners. That is where he started writing the devotionals. The passion of his heart is to love God and to help others learn to love God more and more. He grew up in St. Joseph, MI - Class of '66. Graduated from Michigan State in '70 and Wheaton Grad School in '78. Thunderous conversion October 11, 1968. He and Donna were engaged 2 hrs & 15 minutes after they met August 25, 1969 at a Christian camp in Georgia. They married in '70 and have 4 wonderful sons. Most of his adult career has been in business in NE Ohio. They lived for 20 years in Peninsula, OH. They attended St. Luke's Ministries (Anglican) in Copley, OH for many years. Six years ago they were reassigned by the Lord to attend River of Life Community Church in Hudson, OH. St. Luke's prayerfully sent them off on this new adventure with much love.
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