The Rising of the Sun

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8'10 WEB.

One night, we watched a movie where the people made a sacrifice every day so the sun would come up the following morning. They did this daily, and the tradition was passed down through the generations. Then one day, everything went horribly wrong. It was a perfect storm, and they failed to make the daily sacrifice. The people were terrified and thought the world was going to end. Yet, the following morning, the sun came up anyway.

The people learned that the sun came up on its own, whether they made the daily sacrifice or not. They had been practicing a ritual they thought was making a difference, but it was just a tradition that had been passed down through the generations. So it can be with us.

When I came to the Lord, I read the Bible about eight hours a day. I was so hungry to learn more about God. I fasted more than I ate, went through bible college, and gave all I had in the offering plate. Yet, there was no intimacy in my relationship with Him. He seemed distant while I was trying to earn His love, trying hard to measure up.

Oh, I knew a lot about God. I just didn't know Him. When I prayed, I talked too much and listened too little. Of course, He loved me the whole time. He understood, maybe even appreciated my zeal. But His love was already there every day while I was busy trying to earn it. I completely ignored His presence while focusing hard on my performance.

There is certainly nothing wrong with fervently seeking God. I still do, but remember that He is also seeking you. You already have His approval. "We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?" (Luke 15:4).

So relax. Be yourself. Talk to God as you would your best friend. Share the things going on in your life with Him. Invite Him to be a part of what you are doing today. He already loves you, and you will not increase this love through your works. Of course, you should try and live right. Faith without works is dead, but works without the relationship are a waste of your life, time, and resources. So remember, if you miss the mark today, God will still love you, just as the sun managed to come up without the daily sacrifice.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please bring balance to my life and help me know You better. Fill my mind with Your thoughts and guide me today. I want to live my life with You at the center of it and to have a relationship with You like Jesus did. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

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