(I want to say a quick thank-you
to all of you who wrote to me about last month’s controversial subject
concerning how the topic of cannabis should be handled inside the
Christian inspirational fiction we write. After cannabis was legalized
in Washington state—where I live—it seemed appropriate to start the
discussion. I cannot reveal any opinions, but I can say that they were
across to board. It is not too late to join the discussion. Please
write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an opinion.)
In Revelation 2:1–7, the Lord
delivers a heart-wrenching message to the church of Ephesus. First, the
Lord praises their strengths, their hard work, and their perseverance
keeping themselves pure. Then, Jesus warned them that they had fallen
from a great height in their love for Him and His people. The spirit of
the Lord revealed that His devoted servants had neglected what was most
important: true love for God and man.
I don’t make New Year’s
resolutions. January has, for me, become a time of evaluating my walk
with God and my relationships with His people. In computer terms, it is
time for a fresh reboot of my walk with the Lord. I ask God to shake up
my life and rekindle my love for Him. I take for granted that I am in
need of a tune-up in my walk with the Lord.
God promises that we will be
fruitful in our place of ministry, which for us is writing, but only if
we have surrendered our hearts to the love of God. In John 15:9–17, the
Lord shared His last words with His disciples before being taken from
told them that He loved them and commanded them to love one
another. I believe that these last words were dearest to the heart of
Jesus. The closest comparison I can come up with are my last
conversations with my oldest son each time he left for another tour in
the Middle East. I saved my most important words for those last
minutes. I wanted him to know I loved him and most of all to take care
of his relationship with Jesus.
Inside these verses in John, the
Lord gave us the key to fruitfulness: to remain in His love. That means
to keep our minds in sync with the mind of Christ. It also means that
we need to take special care of all the relationships we have. That
especially goes for those relationships that are most difficult for us.
What better gift could we
receive as inspirational novelists than to learn firsthand what it
means to work through those hardest of relationships as God commands
us? Moreover, how can we hope to show readers the path to a healthy
walk with God? The answer is that we can’t. We can take others only to
places we have been ourselves.
I would encourage you to spend
some time alone with the Lord. Ask the Lord to reveal those areas where
you need to grow in your love for Him and His people.
Until next month, may God bless
all you write for Him.