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BEHOLD!

Behold, Pay Attention! Listen! As I listened to these words, I could hear those same words from my Dad and Mom, and from the teachers at school.  Of course, some of the teachers added, wash out your ears!  When I was a teen, Mother left the house, after giving me a list of things to do.  I listened, but procrastinated.  She came home earlier than expected and asked about the chores.  I did not obey until too late. I knew I was in trouble. 
Had I contemplated Mom’s words, discerned and not disregarded her request, I would have been in a different place with Mom.  The disappointment in her blue eyes was worse punishment than any other she could have meted out. 
Curiosity made me wonder as I read in I John 3:1 – Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us…how many times that word is used in the Bible?  The answer is 586, in the King James Version. 
But when I read the same words in the scripture, Behold…what manner of love the Father has bestowed (given) to us, I know why.  This bit of scripture, in an easier to read version is, See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! NLT
Suddenly the immensity of God’s love for us strikes me, and you, with incredible force.  From the beginning, He wants a relationship, a fellowship of love, with us.  He wants to talk to us and for us to talk to Him.  We will never be able to love Him as much as He loves us.
While celebrating Mother’s Day, I realize again how much I love my children.  I bestow my love – give as a gift – to them.  Multiply this love by an eternity, and you begin to understand how much God loves you and me.  In Luke, chapter 2, there are four “Beholds” announcing the birth of God’s Son, Jesus!  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid…. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people”… And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him…. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against.”  God wants us to listen and pay attention and BEHOLD his Son!
What happens if cannot hear the voice of God?  What happens if we procrastinate obeying our Lord?  Or ignore God’s voice?  Do we have a plan B while listening to God’s plan A?  Jim Cymbala writes, “Our spiritual ear will never be sensitive to his voice if we have a personal agenda to which we are already committed.  God leads and speaks to the humble who have surrendered their plans and want to do His will.  With an “open heaven” and a surrendered will, we will be able to clearly hear God’s voice in our hearts.
Let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.  James 1:7-8
I often think of the single-minded faith of Abraham in the Lord God.   When Abram was ninety-nine years old, God came to him to make a covenant.  “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them!  Genesis 17:4-6.  God continues… This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.  Then God said to Abraham, “Your responsibility is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility.” Genesis 17:4-9
 God singled out Abraham, just as He has prepared work for each of us.  For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”  Jeremiah 29:9-13
The more I listen to his Word and think on Him, my Lord God teaches me that the manner of His love is beyond comprehension.
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  Ephesians 3:14-19
Today, if you would hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.  Psalm 95:7-8
Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.  Only do as I say and all will be well.
 Jeremiah 7:3-23
I will hurry without lingering, to obey your commands.  Psalm 119:60
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.  Revelation 1:18
I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Revelation 1:18
Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. Revelation 3:11
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  Revelation 3:20

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