Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

God's Pleasure

Luke 12:8-34 My life verse is Philippians 2:13: "It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." It was such a joy to have this understanding when I was twenty-six years old. I was at a retreat, and our leader instructed us to go out by the lakeside and be quiet and still before the Lord. We were instructed to ask the Lord questions and then wait for answers. Waiting for an answer when I prayed was a new experience for me, as usually all my prayers were one-way conversations with the Lord. What happened in a twenty-minute span of time changed my whole life.

As I sat on a log by the lakeside, I asked the Lord what was wrong with my life. I was not experiencing the joy other Christian friends seemed to have. He answered in a still quiet voice within my soul. "Linda, what is wrong with your life is you have been trying to earn My love. My love is free. I gave it to you two thousand years ago. Receive My love today; rest in My love and relax. Instead of working for Me, allow Me to work through you. If you did nothing but sit on that log the rest of your life, I would still love you."

When He shared His answer with me, I was bathed not only by the sunlight around me, but also by His love that was so unconditional. I realized I did not have to prove myself to God. No longer would I have to try to emulate the life of Jesus. He now was my life. I could say with Paul, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20, KJV). On that day I was set free from my own efforts to follow Jesus, to a life of yielding to His grace. Paul said, "It is grace that labors through me." On that day I ceased from my own labor and entered what is called the Sabbath rest. The only labor I experienced after that day was prayer, which is our spiritual exercise and obedience, which requires the laying down of my own will and desires. I was set free now to do the good pleasure of God.

What is the good pleasure of God? Today's reading in Luke reveals the answer to this question. "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).

The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. I will be doing God's pleasure when I share with others God's kingdom, which is found in Christ Jesus.

READ: Deuteronomy 31:1-32:29; Luke 12: 8-34; Psalm 78:26-45; Proverbs 12:21-23

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