Monday, June 4, 2012

Green Looks Good On You

In most walks of life, jealousy is not typically a praise-worthy attribute; but in the Christian life, it is paramount!

What do I mean?

Jealousy can be defined as a vigilance in maintaining or guarding something. And when that thing that we are guarding is worthy of defense, a healthy desire to hold onto it at all costs is necessary and good.

Much like righteous anger, something Jesus both spoke of and exhibited himself during his ministry on earth (Matthew 21:12-13, John 2:17, Mark 3:5), a righteous jealousy can be an incredibly powerful catalyst for positive action and change in our lives.

First, let's talk about being the object of someone's obsession. Did you know that the God of the universe, the God who created you and every other person on this planet, is actually jealous for you?! He loves you with an unrelenting passion, and he is jealous for your affection.
... for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. Psalm 103:11  
Talk about extraordinary love! I know that my husband loves me with unmatchable passion and strength. And I know that the love we both feel for our children is unlike anything we ever even dreamed possible, so great that it hurts at times! And yet, those loves pale so drastically in comparison to this LOVE that your God feels for you.

He is JEALOUS for you!

. . .

Are you jealous for Him?

Are you jealous for time with Him? Does it pain you to miss out on spending time reading his word and praying when other things in your life take precedence? 

For me... sometimes, it doesn't. Sometimes I lose that passion for my Savior. Sometimes I'm content to let other gods and other idols take his place. Sometimes, I'm just not that jealous for my God. And quite frankly, sometimes I'm just not that jealous for his ways. Sometimes, I'm content to let my ways and the world's ways and the enemy's ways become the norm. Sometimes, I forget that without a passionate jealousy for His ways, without an unquenchable, active desire to see Him glorified, I simply grow complacent. I stop caring. And I grow calloused. And before I know it, it doesn't even feel wrong anymore. It just feels... normal.

My God deserves so much more! He requires so much more!

He may be jealous for us, for our love and our devotion; but he is also extraordinarily jealous for his own glory. He does not share his praise and his glory with anyone or anything.
You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. Exodus 20:5
The LORD is a jealous God, filled with vengeance and rage. He takes revenge on all who oppose him and continues to rage against his enemies! Nahum 1:2 
We have been called to put on our armor (Ephesians 6:10-17) and fight for our God and for his ways. We have a responsibility to stand up and say, "We will not settle for anything less!" We were never meant to follow Jesus half-heartedly. And we were never meant to do it quietly or privately. 
What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear! Matthew 10:27
I pray that my children would develop a passionate jealousy for the God who loves them and for his ways. I pray that they would never cease to fight with all that they have for their good and His glory. I pray that I would model that strength for them. I pray that, as a family, we would actually effect change in the world around us, that we wouldn't merely aim to survive or "fit in". And I pray these things for you!

This God is YOUR God! Don't ever let anyone or anything steal that truth away from you!

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