Lenten Journey Day 37 – In Love, He Claims All

Admittedly, I had to read this devotional a few times as well as the reference book used by Lewis and still I was missing something. It wasn’t until I went to see a movie that my thoughts found common ground and understanding. The movie was not for reference material but God often shows us truth in the most amazing ways. The movie was “Enough” starring Christian Comedian Chonda Pierce. I had ask my friends from my church to go with me and three of them joined me for a wonderful experience. I encourage you to check her out on YouTube or FB! I knew before seeing the movie that Chonda had experienced some major issues in her life and she wanted to share what God has and is doing in her life. She spoke about grief, depression, death, family, friends, children, and loss to name a few…all these things culminating to never feeling she was “enough.” It wasn’t until I arrived home after the movie and I began my evening devotions and writing when i saw a connection from the movie to my writing about this devotional that says, “In Love, He Claims All.” Please bear with me especially if I just completely got you lost by connecting “Enough” and “God Claiming All in Love.” I instantly saw these words in my mind “competition” and “selfishness” a kind of a tug-a-war between God and Myself. Not a proud moment at all, I had not even noticed that, that was even happening. I certainly wasn’t trying to be in a tug-a-war with God, if anything I thought I was arm wrestling the devil. I.was thinking I’m helping God, I’m trying to do my part but in reality all I was doing was keeping pieces of myself from God. God wants all of me (and you). How stupid of me to think that God needs any help, let alone my help. God’s plans for me and you are not even remotely close to anything you or I could imagine. By giving ourselves completely to God, no holding back opens life up to experiences that are beyond our wildest dreams. When we give ourselves to Christ the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” This may not be the best analogy but try to see if it works for you…you’re at a restaurant and you ask for a glass of cold water with ice, the waitress looks around and the table next to you has a glass half filled with ice and something, she grabs it, fills it with ice water from a pitcher and hands it to you…”. None of us would accept this…this is precisely what happens when we don’t give all of ourselves to God, God wants to make us new, all of the old out and filled with His Holy and perfect love. He doesn’t take away who you are, He removes all the “gunk” that keeps us from receiving all the blessings God has for us and being completely the person He created us to be. “Out with the old, in with the new!” Remember and trust in the promises of God, He will always be with you. Matthew 28:20 “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Life will sometimes be difficult and God will be with you. The Bible tells us in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” And in Matthew 7:13-14 we read, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  Lewis’s words at the end of the devotional are very powerful, “For he claims all, because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him.” Lewis also quotes John 3:30 “He must become greater; I must become less.” Full surrender to God or not at all. God loves you and is waiting with open arms, just ask Him to fill you with His love. Thank you for reading this blog entry and my prayer is that God will bless you in a special way today and that you will feel His presence in your life. ~Peace~

Luke 9:21-26 “Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

Psalm 86:1-7 “Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.”~Blessings and Peace~

References:
Preparing for Easter by C.S.Lewis
The Weight of Glory by C.S.Lewis