Patty and I recently celebrated 30 years of marriage and have been reflecting on the journey together. As 21 year olds we were rather naïve about what was ahead but by God’s great grace He has carried us through the challenges along the way. One specific way that has helped us stay focused in in our marriage has been a wedding picture mounted on the wall in our bedroom-this picture has traveled with us to several states and daily greets us. It is a visual reminder of June 26, 1987, where we made a covenant before God, family, and friends that this commitment was to last until “death do us part.” The picture incites in me a variety of emotions, to “wow we were so young,” to “Patty was stunning and still is, and I had hair and it wasn’t gray.”
Last week I shared the first step to intimacy with the Father is to daily HEAR or LISTEN to His voice of love speaking to you as in the Shema (Dt. 6:4):
“Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One….
The next part continues:
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
As I look at my wedding picture it brings me back to the covenant of marriage Patty and I made and awakens my love and affection for her. The same thing happens when I take time to LOOK at God and the “pictures” of His overwhelming love for me it awakens my love for Him. Here are some key visuals to take note of:
- Acts of His Love seen in Redemptive History – As I read His “Love Letter” from Genesis to Revelation I envision His passionate love rescuing His sinful people. Read the book of Hosea for another great example of this.
- Daily reading the Gospels – Everyday I read a portion of the Gospels and as I listen and look to what Jesus has to say I remind myself this is a picture of what God and His transforming love is like.
- Looking at Jesus during times of Communion and Baptism – Recently I got to see Jesus with a group of students in Africa where towards the end of our trip we spiritually ate and drank the love of Jesus. As we reflected back on the cross and His love poured out for us many in the room were brought to tears as His Spirit invaded hearts. Both Baptism and Communion are signs and seals of the Father’s love given to us in visual forms to help our faith to become sight.
- Worshiping in Spirit and Truth – Also during my last trip to Africa while worshiping with the family of God, I was overcome with a vision of the Resurrected Jesus standing next to me-what incredible encouragement and healing love that brought. Worship takes us from the natural into the heavenly realm and opens our spiritual eyes to see His glory.
- Serving the Least – If you want to grow in intimacy with God just start serving the least of these. Read Matthew 25:31-46 and practice it-you will be overwhelmed by the visual of Jesus in orphans, widows, homeless, prisoners, the needy and sick.
I challenge you to use these five points to help you see the Love of your God and incite a passionate love that will bring you deeper into an intimate encounter with Him.