This past Thursday I had one of those memorable experiences that will be one of those frequently recalled occurrences that bring a flood of emotion; joy, happiness, significance, pride (the good kind like you have of someone that is becoming an upstanding, godly, wonderful person), and mostly love. Love not just towards someone, but love shared. This experience was not something spectacular or life-changing. The time shared was not even something I had not done before (though those other times were just as special), and I am sure we will do it again.
So what is this wonderful experience you ask? I had the distinct honor of taking my son down to San Diego for a sporting event (go Chargers). Now we have done this before, but each time I have the time of my life. Josh and I take in the game, screaming at the top of our lungs for our team (or fantasy players), eating some hot-dogs and garlic fries (boy did we have bad breath), high-fiving the incredible plays, laughing at crazy and slightly obnoxious fans, talking about life on the drive there and the drive home…just sharing an experience together. The great talks while driving were heart warming and I was filled with fatherly-pride to hear the depth of his love for God and the love of his soon to be bride. I just love spending time with my son.
But as he dosed off a little on the way home and I was reflecting on our shared experience, thanking God for allowing Kristi and I to have the wonderful kids He loaned to us and the time Josh and I had, I was given a thought that this must be how God feels when we share experiences with Him! Not just when we have our devotional time of reading the Bible and prayer, or time in church as we are worshiping Him and learning from His Word as a church, but when we go on adventures together.
Adventures?!? Yes, those times where God challenges you to stretch out in faith and do something; anything from inviting a friend to church, to going on a missions trip, to helping someone in need, to serving in a ministry. Our Heavenly Father loves it when we share an experience with Him. See, God loves us deeply. Here are some truths from His very heart:
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.. 1 John 3:1
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession . Exodus 19:5
(This was taken from a handout we had available last week at Cypress Church if you want the whole list, just let us know and we will send you a copy.)
WOW, God has an incredible love for us and truly would love to not just spend time with us, but share an experience. So let me encourage you to share an experience with God. Maybe decide with Him to go and get to know your neighbors better (maybe take over a Christmas treat and at least learn their names), or choose with God to go help a family member or friend in need, or settle on with God who you will invite of your neighbors, friends, family, or people at work to come to Christmas Sunday (this Sunday morning), our Christmas Community Concert (also this Sunday at 4:30pm and 7:00pm), Christmas Eve service (4:30pm and 7:00pm), or our Family Holiday Sunday Service at the usual times of 8:45am or 10:30am, or ask the Lord, “What can we experience together.”
For Josh and I to actually have this wonderful time together it took some planning. Months ago we set the date and made arrangements. So take some time to plan with God and go for it. It will be an incredible time as you share an experience with God. What a great way to show your love for God this Christmas.
Enjoying the Adventure with you,
PS Thanks again to all of you who are using our offsite parking to make room for those who need to park close and for our guests. It is making a great difference and we being more and more people are attending our church services we need to continue even in inclement weather (I know it’s rare in Southern California). Thanks in advance for your sacrifice … hey maybe this could be one of those shared experiences with the Lord?!?