It was gorgeous that weekend in sunny Lake Tahoe! I embarked on my journey to Zephyr Point on the Friday afternoon giddy with excitement (and a little anxiety) to Nevada! Between the packing, the dropping off of the Mancub to Grandma’s, the making of extra keys for my puppy sitter, and the traffic, I barely resembled the B of my normal “controlled” world.
As I weaved through the congestion of surface street traffic, and onto the 50 freeway, I realized that, more than ever, I needed this retreat! The getaway!
Sometimes the world is so busy, so full of noise, responsibilities, worries, and cares that it can pull you far away from God (reminiscent of the little weeds, thorns, and birds in the parable of the sower)! (Luke 8:4)
The Parable of the Sower
Anyway, it was needed!!!!
Miracles occurred and it felt like no less than mountains were moved to get me to the retreat! If it wasn’t for my amazing friends I wouldn’t have gone or had the amazing, God-honoring experience that I did! God wanted me there!
Our theme? Uncharted
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything out of love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
The weekend was incredible, and Our Fusion Pastor, Rosendo, was amazing! He was God’s mouthpiece this weekend!
He probably doesn’t even realize that he demonstrated the practical application of this verse all weekend! Rosendo fought off a virus all weekend that attempted to incapacitate his voice and deplete his energy, but Rosendo didn’t let it stop him from delivering powerful, God-honoring messages all three days! His reliance on Christ’s strength was most evident as he pushed through each message (almost losing his voice) and yet always maintained a loving, patient attitude. I especially loved the last message that focused on 1 Corinthians 16:14 “Do everything out of love.”
To help us understand this message, Rosendo transported us to the book of John, specifically chapter 14 verses 15-27. John 14:15-27
Out of those verses, I was struck with a realization:
LOVE IS OBEDIENCE!
“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.'” (John 14:23-26 NIV)
Amen!!! This hit me! It forced me to examine areas of my life where I’d felt called to serve My Father, and even told by my close friends to serve My Father with my writing, and had yet to comply. I’d felt the pull for atleast a year to write a book of devotionals to help His children on their walk and to bring the lost back to Him. I’d felt the pull to teach what I’d learned about Jesus, to people who don’t yet know His Amazing Grace and Amazing Love for us!
God is sooooo merciful and soooo kind! His love for us is unconditional! And all He requires from us is obedience!
We were given an instruction manual so that we could live in a way that would honor Him; a way that would help identify us as His children. You hear the word “Christian,” and it’s a word with so many contemporary connotations, that we forget the title carries with it specific responsibilities. The most important of which is to OBEY Jesus’ TEACHINGS, to FOLLOW in Christ’s footsteps. To die to our own selfish desires daily, and put others before us. To live intentionally, and to love others as ourselves. We’ve been called to utilize our spiritual gifts, as God didn’t give us gifts to squander.
Father, thank You for our incredible blessing and all of our gifts! Father help is to use these gifts to honor Your Holy Name. Father, I just get SO excited! I love Your Face off! Thank You for giving me life at the cost of Your Son, Jesus. And Father, thank You for raising Him up from the dead to be with us forever. We love you… In Your name I pray. . .