May 18, 2015 by maryruwe
I woke up this morning thinking about panda bears, of all things, which brought back some memories. Some years ago when my granddaughters were five and seven, we lived four hours traveling distance from them. I wanted to have a good relationship with them so between our visits I would send them cute little note cards from their Grandma and Grandpa. One of these times I had found cards with cute panda bears on them, so I wrote a short message to each of them. A few weeks later when we were visiting them I asked if they got the cards, and this is how one conversation went with my youngest granddaughter.
Me: Did you get the card I sent you?
Granddaughter: Yes, but Grandma, I don’t like panda bears.
Me: Oh, I’m sorry I thought it was a cute picture.
Granddaughter: Well, I don’t like panda bears.
Me: Okay, but you did like the note I wrote, right?
Granddaughter: Yes, but Grandma, I don’t like panda bears!
At this point I thought it best to change the subject; mainly because I was beginning to laugh so hard I could hardly talk.
Now fast-forward a few months and we are asking what they would like for Christmas. And would you believe, they “want stuffed panda bears”! I asked my daughter why this sudden change and she said they studied about panda bears in school and have decided they like them now. For several years after this hilarious conversation, Grandpa and I bought them gifts with panda bears on them. To this day, they both still love panda bears.
Now you might be wondering what all this has to do with a devotional. I asked the same question and I heard God say; “that’s how some people treat my Word. They enjoy the Grace, the forgiveness and the help I give them but don’t like the My Laws and Commandments that are the basis for that Grace. They think they can just pick what they want from it and ignore or dislike other parts. But if they really read and study My Word they would learn that it is because of My Law and Commandments, that was fulfilled in Jesus, that brings the very blessings they like to receive”. Now I know that the Bible says in Romans 6:15 that we are not under the Law but under Grace. But friends, we still need to obey the Law. We just can’t ignore the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves and expect to have a good relationship with them. We can’t treat our own family with disrespect and still have the respect of others. Not only do our words and actions come into accountability but also our motives behind those words and actions. Just because “down deep” in our heart we have good intentions, doesn’t mean we can just say and behave any way we want. As children of God we are to glorify God in all we do; all the time; not just when we feel like it, or it’s convenient.
One thing I’ve learned is that the more I study the written Word of God, the more I fall in love with Him. John 1:1 and 14 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” This same Word–Jesus –dwells in us and as we walk according to the Word of God, His love and glory shines through us drawing the lost to Him. His love and glory in us is what encourages us and our brothers and sisters to stay faithful to Him. It is His love in us that draws people to Him.
Just as my granddaughters learned to love the panda bears by studying them, we can learn to love the Law, the Commandments, and the Grace of God by studying His Word. My prayer for all of us is that we fall more in love with God, not just His blessings.