Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

What You Do For Love

   The cheater fell in love. So says Genesis 29:18. Jacob (his name means cheater) fell in love with Rachel and agreed with her father that as a dowry he would work seven years for her. Wonder how many young men and women would do with that as a requirement before marriage. But that was the agreement. And the Bible tells us of the magic of love in these words…So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her (29:20). Without love seven years would seem like an eternity. But with love it seemed so small a price, but a slight delay, for the joy set before him.

   Love is the mightiest force known to mankind. It’s like an avalanche that picks us up and carries us along tossing us head over heels along the way. It opens up a whole new world. It makes us less selfish. It moves us to offer uncounted sacrifices which we would never regard as sacrifices. Work done in love is not burdensome, no matter how difficult it is. Loads are lighter, workdays are shorter, pressures are lessened because of love. Love gives and gives and then gives some more. It’s never finished because it doesn’t want to be.

   The truth about religion is that it is being loved by and loving God. There’s a way of being religious that doesn’t involve love, or, at least, it doesn’t involve that which is worthy to be called love. This kind of religion wants to speak mostly of obligation while love would speak of privilege. It wants to talk of demands, while love gives permission. It makes much of legal requirements while love meets and surpasses all these as a matter of prerogative. Cold religion speaks of contributions while love offers gifts. Those who don’t know love like to address the minimum daily requirement to keep God satisfied and out of the way, while love thrives in the maximum and lives for the very presence of beloved Father God. Lifeless religion wants to hem in and limit, while love longs to liberate. The religion that is mere formality wants everything worked out in advance before a single step is taken, while love exults in trusting.

   I am sixty years old now. The years of my life seem but a few days because of the many, many wonderful people God has allowed me to know and to love (and I count you among that number)…and, most of all, because of the flood of love He unleased upon me in my lifted up and raised up Living Lord

   So, tell me, not about someone else’s religion, tell me about yours…is it a love affair with your Father or is it something else?

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11 thoughts on “What You Do For Love

  1. Doug Jr has a video on his blog and it is called “THATS MY KING” and
    throughout the video the speaker is saying “I wonder do you know Him”. The video just keeps saying one right after the other what My King means to me and all of us if we let him be that to us. I try to listen to this often because it builds me up in my everyday living again and again. I don’t get to go worship much (because I take care of my Mom who is disabled) but I love to worship and hear the word preached and the songs sung and the prayers prayed. I love the communion…remembering what My King did for me there at the Cross. I can shed a tear very easily because I am in Love with My King. Things of My King go way down deep inside of me and usually trigger a tear or even more crying because it touches me so in my heart. I understand more and more, as I grow older, how much he loves me. And I love Him as much as I know how to right now. I know he does understand and accepts me and he cares and loves like no earthly person can. My King is my Friend and “He does walk with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his Own”. I don’t know a love story that can be any better than that. I AM HIS OWN.

    We use to go to church camp when we were younger and in the early morning we were told to each get by ourselves before the day started and have time walking and talking with our God (devotion time). They would play on the speakers thru the camp “I come to the Garden alone while the dew is still on the Roses” and you know the rest. But I did not fully know what that meant when I was young, but as you live longer and start getting older that “walking and talking” really matters. It helps us to know He Is By Our Side thru our Whole Life.
    These kind of Love Things about God help me see how God is bringing us along in Life to understand and know Him better. Oh, How He Loves Me!

    • oakesclan on said:

      They had it right at camp, didn’t they, sis? What better way is there to start each day than in communion with our Father God? And when I say communion, I’m not talking about some technical method of Bible reading or prayer filled with objectives to meet. I’m talking about spending alone time with our God…trying to open ourselves up to Him and let Him in on our lives…coming to look forward to the pleasure of His company.
      Now…I am saying this a whole lot better than I am living this. But this is what I want. I’m thirsting after God…not something from Him…but He Himself. I don’t feel at all satisfied about the quality of my relationship with Him. But, at least I have a relationship with Him. I think we can over-analyze this. How would it be to always be engaging your spouse over the “quality” of your time together, rather than just enjoying it? I know this, in spite of all my failings, there have been those times in my life when I did things for my God that I wouldn’t have done for anyone else. I take some comfort in that, and, like you, sis, I look forward to coming to know Him better and better.

  2. Am I in a love affair with my Father? I don’t think I am.

    I do not feel obsessed with Him. I don’t seek to spend every moment with Him. I don’t think of Him throughout the day and wonder what He’s up to. I don’t always seek His advice first … or seek to tell Him the good and bad. I don’t change my schedule around to make sure He always fits, and I don’t make sure that everyone around me knows just how special He is to me.

    When I look at my relationship with Him in those terms it just doesn’t fit.

    When asked if I’m interested in a relationship with someone … I have been known to respond with disgust and say, “I’d rather have a dog.” That is still the way I feel about an earthly relationship with someone. But am I viewing my relationship with Him in the same way? Am I looking at it with the same bad attitude? I think I might be. My actions say that I, at least, view it as having the same potential for pain … and I must stop that.

    I do seek Him and I do seek relationship with Him, but I don’t think I seek it like I would a love affair with the perfect One that He is. My heart has some scars and wounds that may never heal … I can wallow in self-pity about this with the best of ’em. But I don’t want to let that wallowing keep me from seeking to love Him … to let Him love me.

    Thanks for making me take a look at this from an angle that is quite personal for me. Relationships are not my strong suit and I tend to shy away from the “personal”. But this post has opened my eyes to the fact that I need to be careful not to let that negativity ruin my “safest” relationship. He’s not a threat to my heart, and He will never hurt me or break my trust. I absolutely have to seek a relationship with Him … to miss out on it would be devastating.

    • oakesclan on said:

      Paige, you really got me thinking with your comment. Now, please remember to take into account that I live over 1200 miles from Lubbock and that we’ve never really met, unless I met you during that one week in the Fall Rex used to let me come and teach the AIM-ers, so what do I know about you, really? And yet, I still feel I know you in some ways. (So, balance whatever I’m about to say, however you need to, okay?) I’ve got to disagree…I think you are in a love affair with your Father God.
      I’m wondering if what you described in your second paragraph isn’t more like infatuation, than love. You used the word “obsessed.” I am passionately in love with my wife. But my “passion” today (at sixty years old) doesn’t look at all like my “passion” in the days of courtship and early married life. I don’t seek to spend every moment with her. But I love it and am at ease in her presence when we get to spend time together. There are blocks of time during my day when my thinking isn’t focused on her. But if I know she needs something…if she phones me with a need…I’ll re-order my day to try to provide it or get it done, if at all possible. And my thoughts do regularly, if randomly, on any given day, turn to her and what God has done for me, to me, through her. I don’t always seek her advice first, but this is because I know her so well that often I’m nearly certain I know what she would offer. And I don’t often change my schedule around for her (nor she for me), because we are so connected that we feel we are partners in each others’ work even though our work takes us in different directions. But whenever we become aware that we haven’t had much time to “connect” with each other, we begin planning a time to do just that. And I don’t sing her praises to every one I meet, although if I get to spend much time with anyone, they will see that we phone one another just to check in…that we will confer with each other about changes in our schedules…and they will notice that I feel blessed and pleased and completed to have her as my wife.
      I know there are serious limits to using a husband/wife relationship to speak of our relationship with God. But God did it several times in the Bible including Ephesians five, didn’t He?
      Maybe you should toss out what I’m saying here. I won’t be offended, I promise. But maybe you can begin to see that your joy over learning something good about God or about His Word…maybe the pleasure you feel whenever another person decides to go it God’s way…maybe the sense of well-being that flows through you whenever you’re reminded how far God has brought you on your journey to date…maybe the care you are giving others (your dear students or hurting friends) is evidence that you yourself are God’s beloved and what He is giving you is enabling you to bless others…maybe the joy you find in your pups, is part of the joy God finds in you…maybe the peace you have during alone times arises from the peace He’s placed within your heart…and maybe what’s going on in all these things as well as in so many other ways, reflects the beautiful and enduring and maturing love you and your Father share. And it’s enough, isn’t it…what you’ve seen of Him…it’s enough to insure that there is no other rival for the great love of your life…your Father God.

  3. Cemotosnack, I hear what you are saying. You are honest and sincere about what you have lived thru and the pain you have had.
    I have not arrived at all in my relationship to God.
    I am aware all the time he is around and I can talk to him and call on him.
    You think I call on him and pray every time I should? No! Sometimes something happens and I deal with it before asking God to help me have wisdom and answers. I have not had a close male (romance) relationship because I have kept men at a distance because of some examples I saw growing up. I did not ever really think about getting married because I did not see marriage as a good thing. You can turn on talk shows and some people are so miserable being married. Some people are so Happy and Delighted in their marriage.

    I just wanted you to know that I know my part of the relationship between God and me is lacking so much. But deep inside I know he understands me, and I depend on His Great Love.
    I have seen in my life when I look back over things, that he has shown me in so many ways that he LOVES ME. I guess what I am saying to you, Cemotosnack, is that I depend on God’s relationship to me being greater than mine is to Him. But I know he wants me to have a relationship with Him and to grow in that every day.

    I love you and your sincere honesty and I just want things to be what you want them to be with your God.

    I hope you don’t mind me replying to your comments. I very much appreciate your sincere and real way of sharing your heart.

  4. Gail … I appreciate your responses … really. It is good for me to read the words of your heart. Thank you for sharing honestly with me and helping me see things in a different way. You are a good woman … a woman seeking realtionship with God.

  5. You’ve given me lots to think about with your comments … I love when you do that. I wonder sometimes if my experiences as a wife and then my experiences going through divorce have skewed my view of things in ways that mess up my view of me as God’s bride. Is that possible?

    I agree with you about the infatuation thing. I think that description was born of some things that my heart is missing right now and I’m wanting God to be that knight that’s going to save me.

    What I have to remember is that He has saved me … and that He offers everything my heart needs. So if I’m relying on Him and my heart still yearns then maybe I’m expecting Him to offer things I don’t need.

    • oakesclan on said:

      I’m not sure how we can avoid having our perspective skewed by the experiences of our lives…good and bad. I’m just glad to know that the God Who made us understands how we are shaped by what happens to us. One of the many things that uniquely qualifies Him as Judge is that He can do what no other can…He can take everything into account. He knows the hunger in our hearts…He sees the sorrow and pain we have lived with…He knows all of our regrets…all of our failures…how hard we resisted the evil before we gave in…how much we hate ourselves for our stupidity…and all of the other factors that ought to be considered as one measures the life of another. In the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ all our needs are met, including the need for assurance that God can and will work with such flimsy material as ourselves to get glory for Himself and bring blessing to the world. We shouldn’t second guess Him on that, but even when we do, He remains faithful and gracious. You are His beloved. Go in the strength of that truth through every relationship, every task, every quiet time. God bless you.

  6. Email Girl on said:

    My 5 year old son asked me the other day

    “Mommy, what will happen to me if I love too much?”

    I asked him what he loves too much and he put his hands on my face and said it was me.

    This took me a few days to digest because it was perhaps the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me. When I read your post the 1st time, before the conversation with my son, I didn’t know what to think because I don’t feel like I’m in that love affair with God. But after this conversation with my son something struck me. I realized that Gods love is even greater than my son’s love. Could that be so? It has to be, He’s God. I can’t begin to understand love that goes any deeper than the love I have for my children…and yet Gods love surpasses even that.

    One day I hope I learn to accept being loved so intensely. Its strange because I seem to grasp the knowledge of His love but can’t fully allow myself to accept the love He has for me. I want to change that…I hope I do someday.

    • oakesclan on said:

      Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful story. Children are just the greatest. They are truly gifts from God. I could not begin to count the wonderful heart-lessons Father God has taught me and is teaching me through my dear children. Yes…God’s love is even greater than your son’s love and He has ignited that love within your precious child. And, regarding perhaps the greatest of human loves, the love of mother for her baby, God says this in Isaiah 49:15 (MSG) “Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you—never.” He has not forgotten you. He awaits your coming. Prayers continue from hearts so dear.

  7. E-Mail Girl – Keep on keeping on and God will show you more and more how much he loves you. As you live life and grow older and stay as close as you can to God in this life he will reveal things to you that will help you know How Much He Loves You.
    I get frustrated and disturbed sometimes even though my Life is generally Good.
    I know God knows what it is like here. I don’t handle every situation right. But I am going to be 63 soon and even though I know inside I don’t deserve to be loved sometimes by others and I certainly don’t deserve to be Loved By God, He Never Leaves ME or Forsakes me. Humans sometimes do. They don’t always leave but we seem to fail each other at times. I think we have trouble thinking God does not love us very much because we know how we are as human beings and we wonder how in this world he could Love Us So Much.

    All I know is that the older I get (and he has been in my life as long as I can remember) more and more I rely on how HE LOVES ME. Try to believe it and see how things that God Promised us become very real and believable to us.

    That was sweet how your little boy expressed his Love for You.
    It is very sweet how God Loves Us Also, more than we can imagine.

    Don’t think that I don’t get down on myself at times. But I still know he understands us and Loves with a Great Heart that only he can have.
    I have seen the Great Heart for us in the Cross of Our Jesus, His Mercy and Forgiveness always and forever.

    E-Mail girl I like reading your comments also very much.

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