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Theme of the Week: Bring Joy to the Heart of God
Friday, July 4, 2014

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Key Bible Verses: Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. … Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (Romans 12:9-10)

Dig Deeper: 1 John 4:7-21

What do you have of immense value? Is there someone who is more valuable than anything else? That person or those persons are God's personal creation. Not yours. Even if you [fathered] the child you hold most precious, all are first God's creatures. He graciously entrusts that little child to you. Or your spouse, sibling, best friend, or parent.

Our spouses, children, parents, siblings, neighbors, friends, baristas, mechanics, doctors, coworkers, and whomever we walk with on our unique path every day—these are the individuals entrusted to our care.

Sometimes I imagine that God asks me, "Rob, I've entrusted into your presence some of my most valuable creations. How are they doing in your care?"

I intentionally invest love through listening, encouraging, helping, or any other way that I can. And because I know this brings joy to God, it brings value to what I'm investing in.

I translate love and investment as the "sweet aroma" God is looking for. It's not the rules we follow, nor the desperate attempts to do everything correctly. No. It's his creation loving his creation.

It is what I believe makes God say, "And that's why I created people."

—Rob Strong in The Big Guy Upstairs

My Response: How should knowing that God has entrusted certain people in my care impact how I interact with them?

Thought to Apply: Joy is magnified when shared.—Tim Hansel (Christian writer, speaker)

Excerpted from the book The Big Guys Upstairs: You, Him, and How It All Works by Rob Strong. Copyright © 2013 by Rob Strong. Reprinted by permission of Jericho Books. All rights reserved.

Prayer for the Week
Lord, help me to carefully consider how I live my life before a watching world. Most of all, may the way I relate to family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers bring joy to your heart.

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