Just today one of my friends made a comment about being angry and someone commented that he should "breathe in Jesus and breathe out Satan" and his reply was that makes Jesus sound like a cigarette. Not long after the thought occurred to me that we should be more addicted to Jesus than we are to our vices…whatever those may be: Pepsi, chocolate, shopping, tv, facebook, etc… How many days can you go without drinking a pop or watching your favorite show? On the other hand how many days do we go without spending quiet time with God? Reading His word? Praying? When we are having a busy day what is the first thing to be "pushed out" of our schedule? Do you still make time for checking your email or facebook account? Or are you sure to check those while saying you’ll find time later to read your Bible? "Breathe" by Michael W. Smith came to mind when I was thinking about this. Here are the lyrics:

This is the air I breathe

This is the air I breathe

Your Holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread

This is my daily bread

Your very word spoken to me

And I, I’m desperate for You

And I, I’m lost without You

Are we honestly desperate for Him? Is having His spirit in us really as important to us as the air we breathe? Or have we gotten so sidetracked by life and doing good things for Him that we’ve forgotten our first love?

"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love…Repent and do the things you did at first." Revelation 2:4, 5b

The church in Ephesus had once been commended by Paul for their love for God and others (Ephesians 1:15) but they had lost their passion for God! They were a busy church and did much to benefit themselves and others in the community but it was no longer motivated by a love for God. Is this what we look like? Is this what I look like? Have I become so busy doing things for God that good works is my "addiction" instead of having a passionate love for my Saviour? When many of us first began our relationship with Jesus, we were excited about reading our Bibles and praying, but over time, if we let it, that fades away under the pressures of the world. I think it’s time that when I am running behind and something needs to be cut from my schedule that it’s NOT my time with my Saviour and instead the things of the world! How about you?
Are you as desperate for Jesus as you are for _______?
You fill in the blank!

Have you ever had one of those relationships where you feel like you put way more effort into it than the other person? You’re the one doing all the giving and the other person all the taking…or at least that the other person isn’t near as interested in building/maintaining the relationship as you are. I’ve had a few of those. It’s so frustrating when the relationship is all one-sided! I recently realized that I have a few "friendships" that I am investing more in than the other person is and I prayed that God will cushion my heart to the hurt that I feel will be inevitable. I really feel lead to pursue those relationships, but know there is potential for heartache in the end. It then occurred to me that this is the way God must feel with us many times. He WANTS a relationship with every one of His children, but not everyone wants a relationship with Him…or even when we say we do, we get sidetracked, distracted or just plain lazy in maintaining that relationship. How heartbreaking that must be for Him! I know how it breaks my heart when I want to spend time with a friend, but they don’t seem to have time to spend with me and that is just a small taste of how God must feel! The following verse really has been speaking to me when I think of these types of friendships:

Proverbs 17:17 says: "A friend loves at all times"

Now this does not mean that you allow someone to abuse you, but it does mean that we should love each other through thick and thin…through the close times and the distant times in our friendships. Too many times we are quick to pull back because of the fear of being hurt. The reality of relationships is that at some point we will be hurt…usually NOT intentionally! But as I think back over all the people who have come and gone in my life, I realize that I would not trade those relationships for anything. They have made me who I am today and God has been able to work through each and every relationship and teach me things that I might not have known otherwise!

"I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love" ~ Mother Theresa

So I will continue to pursue friendships even when I know my heart will be hurt at some point…because God loves us so abundantly even when we break His heart and I know He wants us to follow His example.