Saturday, December 20, 2014

He Called Me Stubborn

He called me “stubborn.” I couldn’t believe it! The person who accused me of this wasn’t my husband, it wasn’t my mother or my sister. It was a member of the church who I dearly love. A member who sobbed when he thought I might die of cancer (which is another story that I might share later; obviously, I’m alive and survived the world’s most dreaded disease—all because of God, I might add—but more about that later). This man is, what I like to think of as, my “big brother” in the Lord. He’s as big as a bear, and even talks like a bear with a booming voice that commands attention.

And he called me stubborn.

He’d said it with a smile and a gentle voice, but I stood before him with a broken heart. Crushed in my spirit that he would say such a thing about me. When had I been stubborn? What did I do? When did I do it? I studied him. Was he serious? But the look on his face told me he was. Actually, I should confess this part. He called me stubborn because I’d called one of my kids stubborn. So, maybe he was just getting me back? I don’t know.

So . . . I dared ask, “How am I stubborn?” I bent closer as if he were revealing a big secret, a secret about myself that I was blind to.

With a raised brow, he pointed to his Bible on the table in front of him.

I straightened, trying to remember a time I had a confrontation with him concerning God’s word. I remembered years ago, before cancer, I was at a home Bible study with his wife. She and her friend had showed some denominational video that contradicted God’s word, and when the video was over they didn’t do anything to correct what was falsely stated to point us back to the Word of God. And well, I spoke up about it, quite passionately, I might add. And others were glad I did. Was that what he was referring to? I honestly didn’t know. But I got the distinct feeling that this was not a compliment.

So, I said the first words that came to my mind, not thinking them through or anything like that. “I just want to be pleasing to God,” I whispered.

And he nodded.

Why, oh why, is wanting to please God a “bad thing?” Yes, I can be stubborn, not just about God’s Word. But I know others who are more stubborn than me. I think we’re all guilty of it. But to be accused of being stubborn about God’s Word? Well, I take that as a compliment! After all, David was in LOVE with God’s Word, His precepts, His Laws! Psalm 119:47-48, “For I delight in your commands because I love them. I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees.” This is just a drop in the bucket. If you want to know just how much David loves God’s Word, read ALL of Psalm 119.

We should love God and His word this much too. He is the source of our salvation after all, He pulled me out of a life of sin, He healed me of cancer. I love Him more than words can say, and He says quite often in John 14-15 that if we love Him, we should keep his commandments. I love Him! I want to crawl under His wings and snuggle next to Him. He held me on my sickbed, His chest was my pillow, and His arms were my blankets, and He held me there when I thought I might take my last breath. It’s not wrong to love God with all our heart, strength, soul, and mind. In fact, Jesus commands it.

Mark 12:30, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Deut. 6:5, Mat. 22:37 and Luke 10:27 all say the same thing.

Let’s do this! Let’s love God with EVERYTHING we’ve got! Be bold (Prov. 28:1), be courageous (2 Chronicles 32:7-8), be outspoken (Romans 10:9), and be stubborn (can only find negative verses about being stubborn, so let’s try “perseverance”)!

This one says it all:

1 Timothy 4:16

Watch your life and doctrine closely.
Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

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