Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC 

Zephaniah 3:17  (ESV)
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

It started with a well-intentioned list.  “I should read my Bible more, I should pray more, I should volunteer more, I should be more patient, I should be more like this or that person, I should wake up earlier and have a better quiet time with God…”  The list didn’t seem to have an end. I wanted to please God, but my list of “shoulds” soon became a burden rather than joy. I found myself buckling under its weight. Have you been there? Oh how the enemy wants us to feel defeated and unworthy of God’s love and delight.  However, God tells us differently. There’s a tiny Old Testament book with a big message for us today.  

Do you realize that God delights in you just because you are His? Do you know that God actually enjoys and rejoices over His children? He takes great delight in you!  He rejoices over you with singing! Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us that God loves us and wants our heart more than our to-do list. The world often tells us that if we want to be loved, we must do more.  It is refreshing to hear God tell us to do less. 

When I let God’s love and delight emulsify with my heart, an interesting thing happens to my list of “shoulds.” I find that I stop comparing myself to others, and I stop writing mental do-better lists. I find that I actually want to pray more, and want to read my Bible because they are no longer on a list of burden. 

If we are not careful, we can place our worthiness in a completed list rather than in Christ.  There is little joy this way, because instead of giving God our heart, we give Him our to-do list.  And God doesn’t want to be a checklist; He wants to be our God. God wants us to delight in Him the way He delights in us! 

The words penned in Zephaniah speak and soothe as if to say, “shh…hush my child…I love you right where you are…just let my love wash over you today…please hear me rejoicing over you.” Let these words fall into the crevices of your heart today and smooth out the empty places.  God delights in you, and He delights in me. When God sees us, He doesn’t see a hopeless mess; He sees the joy and pleasure we bring Him as His creation and child. When He sees us, God sees His complete and perfect Son, Jesus. So, toss out your endless list of not measuring up and delight in God today.  He already takes great delight in you. Hear God rejoicing over you with singing, and let Him quiet you by His love today.     

Dear Lord, thank you for your loving words to me today.  Help me to live in your love and in your delight today. I humbly praise you that my worth is found in You alone, rather than the things I do.  As I bask in your love, point my heart to seek you and spend time with you. What an incredible privilege it is that I get to have a relationship with you!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Joel 2:25
I will restore to you the years
    that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
   my great army, which I sent among you.