Love

The Love Month is here!! The bible is filled with examples and verses on how to love others. Of course, it begins with the fact that “God is love.” It’s who he is. It is not just a character quality. We are able to love because he first loved us and because he lives in us.

Love lives in us!! This makes our capacity to love unending because God is eternal and love is who he is! As we focus on God in us, we can love others the way he does. Let’s look at some ways the word of God tells us to love others.

 First Jesus tells us to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then he says to love our neighbor as ourselves. I’m going to assume you love God. If you don’t, I encourage you to make Jesus the Lord of your life. That’s where loving God begins. We are unable to truly love ourselves if we don’t love God because we are made in his image and likeness.

Second on the list is to love yourself. We can’t love others if we don’t love ourselves. When we don’t love ourselves is when we react negatively.

After loving God and loving ourselves, we are able to love people. Here are some verses that tell us how to do that.

Jesus tells us to love our enemies in Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:27 & 35. In these verses, he encourages us to bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who use or persecute you. In our flesh that is the last thing we may want to do, but it’s what God does all the time. He sent Jesus before anyone accepted him. After we accept him, many times we do things that are contrary to what he wants. He never stops loving. One of the last things Jesus did before he died was to ask God to forgive the people for what they did.

In Matthew 5:46 Jesus asks, “If you only love those who love you what good is that?” It’s easy to love people who are kind to you or who love you. The difficulty we have in loving people who do not love us is dealing with the fear of rejection. We don’t want to put ourselves in a position where we might get hurt. God has a different idea. He put himself in a place of huge vulnerability when he sent Jesus to the earth. It was a gamble, but the gamble paid off in spite of all the people who have not received him. We have the same capacity because he lives in us.

Most of us are aware of the statement Jesus made about laying down our lives for our friends. He said this is the greatest love. It’s what he did. Most of us won’t be required to die for anyone, but we can lay down our lives for others. We do it by not insisting on our own way, by giving of our time and resources, by thinking of others and putting them first….

1 Corinthians 14:1 states, “Let love be your highest goal.” Wow! Most of us do not put loving people as a goal, but the bible tells us to make it our highest goal. When we love others, that’s what real success is all about. 

Let February be the beginning of your quest to love God, love yourself, and love others and you’ll have a very successful life.

Generosity

kira-auf-der-heide-475631-unsplash.jpg

What is something God cannot do without? According to 2 Corinthians 9:7 in the Amplified translation, he can’t do without “a cheerful, joyous, prompt-to-do-it giver whose heart is in their giving.”

Christmas is a time for giving, as we all know. Sometimes the purpose of our heart is not to give. Sometimes we give because we have to. Have you ever given somebody something because they gave you something? Many times I’ve heard people say they needed to send someone a Christmas card because one was sent to them. OR how about buying someone a gift because they bought you one?

God’s not looking for us to give without having heart. 2 Corinthians 9 talks about allowing giving to be the purpose of our heart. It exhorts us to give not because we have to and not to give reluctantly, half-heartedly, or unwillingly. It should be a main part of the purpose for living.

God’s nature is to give and if you are a Christian, it’s your nature too. John 3:16 is the most familiar verse in the world. What does it say about God? It says because he loved, he gave. This doesn’t mean we only give to people we love. God gave to us while we were in a vile state, as sinners. God didn’t love that about us, but he loved us and wanted us to be part of his family. The only requirement for it was to receive his son, Jesus as the Lord of our lives. It was to receive his gift.

When someone is given a gift, they can receive or not. They can decide to use it or let it sit on a shelf. It’s the same with the free gift of God in Jesus Christ. We can receive him and allow him to make a difference in our lives, or hear the truth and let it sit dormant somewhere, or say “No, I don’t want this gift.” It seems crazy for us to do either of these things, but we do.

When my husband, Robb, first received the Lord, I said, “No thanks. I’m a good, religious person. I’m not like you.” Then I saw the change God made in Robb’s life. He was a completely different man. It was faith in God that changed him. I realized I needed what he had. He had a relationship with God that I did not have, although I was religious.

Let’s get back to allowing giving to be the purpose of our heart. When we have God’s nature in us, we can give to people we don’t want to because it’s the purpose of God’s heart to be a giver. Our purpose should be to give, not because we have to, but because we get to. What a joy and privilege it is to give to others! 

During this Christmas season allow God’s love to control you so the purpose of your heart is to be a giver like he is.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Shame

Shame.png

All of us have experienced shame of one form or another. It may have been in a minor way (which actually is embarrassment), like having your pants split in public, or in a major way, like something really bad you did from your past. NO matter what, we all deal with it.

The truth is Jesus bore our shame. He wiped our slate. He made us righteous in him. We are his masterpiece. As we embrace what God’s word says about us, it enables us to stand tall knowing who we are in Christ and whose child we are.

Romans 10:11 is a powerful affirmation of this.

Rom. 10:11 “NO ONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL HAVE REASON TO FEEL ASHAMED.” Weymouth

Rom. 10:11 Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be ashamed.” God’s Word Translation

Colossians 1:22 says that we are blameless in God’s sight because of the blood of Jesus. This means we are innocent of wrongdoing, without guilt, faultless, above reproach. With this there is nothing to be ashamed of. When God looks at us he sees Jesus.

Recently, I saw a movie about a girl who was a little chunky and did not like herself. She fell and hit her head. As a result of the fall, she began to think she was pretty. She walked confidently, faced people and challenges, and went after her dreams as a result of the change.

When we come into a relationship with the Lord, we change our thinking. We renew our mind to what God says about us in his word. Shame leaves because we embrace what God says.

Shame keeps us from walking confidently.

Shame keeps us from pursuing our dreams.

Shame makes us shrink back.

In Christ the shame is gone. It’s been lifted.

We can do all things through Christ which strengthens us.

We are more than conquerors because of God’s love for us.

We are without fault.

We are blameless.

We are God’s masterpiece created in Christ.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

We are made in God’s image and likeness.

No matter what kind of shame tries to come our way, we have the antidote. It is a Father who loves us and has written many wonderful things about who he created us to be. We look and act just like him.

We have the ability to stand with confidence before shame or any negative thought that comes our way and declare,

“NO SHAME FOR ME. I AM FREE.”

 My prayer is that we would believe what God says about us so we can walk free from any shame.

God Loves Me

 
 

February, the month of LOVE!!!! Of course, we focus on our love for our loved ones,  but in order to really love them it takes meditation on God’s love to do it best. Recently, while meditating on God’s love, I realized I do not believe what I say I do. I am growing in the knowledge of God’s love for me and know I will throughout eternity because God is love and He is eternal. I’ve come to a new place of revelation that was eye-opening for me. We sing songs from the bible that say, “God’s love is better than life” or “A day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else.” If I truly believed this, then I wouldn’t get so upset when things don’t go my way in a relationship because my relationship with God would mean more to me than anything. 

Over the years I have allowed the rejections I have experienced to get to me.

There were times I felt paralyzed. I would fight with myself about reaching out to others because I did not want to experience another rejection. I knew the right things to tell myself, but wasn’t believing them in my heart. This was causing a downward spiral that was getting the best of me. I knew the right things to do, but wasn’t acting on them the way I should. It takes a lot of diligence to move upstream, but the river is taking you downstream. I allowed the negative thoughts to be in the forefront of my mind.

I did Dr. Caroline Leaf’s Brain Detox Program.

It gave me the practical tools to do what I needed. Each day as I did the program, the Holy Spirit would minister different scriptures to help bring healing. Scriptures concerning God’s love for me flooded my mind. I began to meditate on them. Some of them were scriptures I meditated on years ago, but wasn’t using them the way I did in the past. The truth of God’s word really does set us free.

Knowing God’s love for me in a deeper way has helped me tremendously.

I’m reaching out to people even when the temptation is there not to. I feel like I have new life and I do because he gives us life abundantly!!! God’s mercies are new every morning! Great is his faithfulness!

I hope as you read this you are encouraged. As you meditate on the weekly scriptures, they will give you greater revelation of God’s love for you. Always keep in mind that “the Father himself tenderly loves and cares for you.” John 16:27

 
 

CONFESSION 

GOD’S LOVE IS BETTER TO ME THAN LIFE!

Psa. 63:3 Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you! 


If you would like to receive a weekly confession, click the button below!

God First

 
 

ANY OF US AT A GIVEN MOMENT CAN FEEL GUILTY & CONDEMNED WHEN SOMEONE SHARES GOD’S WORD. ALWAYS LISTEN & THINK...

WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE?

WHAT CAN I TAKE AWAY FROM THIS MESSAGE?

DON’T THINK…I’LL NEVER MEASURE UP.

DON’T THINK….I CAN’T DO IT.

DON’T THINK…I’LL NEVER MAKE IT.

DON’T THINK WHOEVER IS SPEAKING HAS IT ALL TOGETHER. MOST OF THE TIME THEY ARE SPEAKING TO THEMSELVES.

THOSE KINDS OF THOUGHTS WON’T GET US ANYWHERE. 

SOMETIMES PEOPLE TELL ME WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME OR HOW I MISSED IT. SOMETIMES THEY ARE RIGHT & OTHER TIMES THEY ARE MOSTLY WRONG. INSTEAD OF DEFENDING MYSELF, I WOULD THANK THEM FOR TELLING ME AND ASK THE LORD TO SHOW ME WHAT I NEEDED TO CHANGE OR IMPROVE ON CONCERNING THESE THINGS, INSTEAD OF BEING CONDEMNED.

WE ARE ALL AT DIFFERENT STAGES OF LIFE AND SHOULD LOOK TO OTHERS THAT ARE BETTER THAN US AT SOMETHING TO SEE HOW WE CAN IMPROVE & HELP THOSE WHO WANT IT TO GET BETTER, BUT NEVER TO CONDEMN OURSELVES OR OTHERS FOR WHERE WE ARE NOT.

WITH ALL THAT BEING SAID, WE CAN TALK ABOUT PUTTING GOD FIRST.

SOME OF US THINK GOD IS FIRST IN OUR LIVES AND SOME REALIZE HE IS NOT. MY OPINION IS THAT IT’S A LIFELONG QUEST. EVERYDAY OF OUR LIVES AS WE PUT MORE AND MORE TRUST IN HIM WE MAKE GOD FIRST PLACE IN OUR LIVES.

PUTTING GOD FIRST ISN’T ABOUT GETTING UP AND PRAYING, ALTHOUGH IT HELPS.

PUTTING GOD FIRST, ISN’T ABOUT GOING TO CHURCH, ALTHOUGH IT HELPS.

PUTTING GOD FIRST, ISN’T ABOUT DOING GOOD THINGS FOR OTHERS, ALTHOUGH IT HELPS.

IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING BAPTIZED, OR PRAYING IN TONGUES, OR SEEING MIRACLES HAPPEN WHEN WE PRAY FOR PEOPLE, OR GETTING PRAYERS ANSWERED.

IT’S ALL ABOUT HEART. HEART ISN’T SOMETHING THAT CAN BE TAUGHT, BUT IT CAN BE CAUGHT. IT’S HAVING AN INCREASING APPETITE FOR GOD AND EVERYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH HIM.

WE DEVELOP A HUNGER & THIRST FOR GOD.

Matt. 5:6 - Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,   For they shall be filled.
Psa. 42:1 - As the deer pants for streams of water,   so my soul pants for you, O God. 

HOW DO WE DEVELOP THIS HUNGER AND THIRST FOR GOD?

WE DO IT JUST LIKE WE DEVELOP A TASTE FOR SOMETHING TO EAT. WHEN ROBB & I GOT MARRIED. I DID NOT LIKE CHOCOLATE AND HE WAS A CHOCOHOLIC. I MADE CHOCOLATE DESSERTS FOR HIM AND KEPT CHOCOLATE AROUND THE HOUSE FOR HIM. EVENTUALLY, I BEGAN TO TASTE IT. I DEVELOPED A TASTE FOR CHOCOLATE. I DON’T EAT IT VERY OFTEN, BUT I DON’T DISLIKE IT THE WAY I USED TO. 

OVER THE HOLIDAYS BUTTER COOKIES ARE EVERYWHERE AND I REALLY LIKE THEM. MOST OF THE TIME, I HARDLY EAT ANY SUGAR, BUT COME DECEMBER I EAT MORE THAN USUAL BECAUSE I LIKE CHRISTMAS COOKIES. I DEVELOP A TASTE FOR SUGAR. WHEN CHRISTMAS IS OVER, I HAVE TO FIGHT MY FLESH TO NOT EAT SOMETHING WITH SUGAR IN IT, IF I’VE BEEN EATING A LOT OF GOODIES. IT’S ALL BECAUSE I DEVELOPED MORE OF A TASTE FOR IT.

CONCERNING OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE, IT’S SIMILAR. THE MORE WE GET TO KNOW SOMEONE BY SPENDING TIME WITH THEM, THE MORE WE LIKE THEM AND THE MORE WE WANT TO BE WITH THEM. WE MISS THEM WHEN WE CAN’T BE WITH THEM.

IT’S THE SAME IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD. THE MORE TIME WE PUT IN TALKING TO HIM AND LEARNING MORE ABOUT HIM AND DOING WHAT HE WANTS, THE MORE WE WANT OF HIM. WE BEGIN TO “HUNGER AND THIRST FOR HIM”. WE DESIRE TO BE WITH HIM. WE LOOK FORWARD TO ANY TIME WE HAVE TOGETHER.

PUTTING GOD FIRST BEGINS WITH GIVING MORE TIME AND THOUGHT TO WHO GOD IS.

IT’S ABOUT GETTING TO KNOW HIM BETTER. IT’S ABOUT BEING TRANSPARENT WITH HIM AND HIM WITH US. IT’S ALLOWING HIM TO CUT AWAY THINGS THAT HINDER OUR RELATIONSHIP. ALWAYS KEEPING IN MIND THAT PUTTING GOD FIRST IS A LIFELONG QUEST. WE GROW IN IT STEP BY STEP.

MY PRAYER IS THAT EACH ONE OF US WOULD TAKE STEPS THAT DRAW US CLOSER TO GOD EACH AND EVERYDAY. I KNOW THAT’S WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE IN MY LIFE…

 
 

If you would like to receive a weekly confession, click the button below!

Love Of The Father

Love Of The Father

In the USA we celebrate Father’s Day the third Sunday of the month. As with Mother’s Day, it can have good and bad connotations. The picture we have of our earthly father normally gives us the picture we have of our heavenly Father. It is important for us to observe what God our Father looks like through the eyes of his word. He is loving, kind and only wants the best for us.

Knowing God's Love

Knowing God's Love

At the beginning of the year, I began meditating on God’s love. I realized I do not believe what I say I do. We sing songs from the bible that say, “God’s love is better than life” or “A day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else.” If I truly believed this, then I wouldn’t get so upset when things don’t go my way in a relationship, because my relationship with God would mean more to me than anything.

Giver Of Life

Giver Of Life

October in America, the month of ghosts, goblins, witches and graveyards. We are obsessed with scaring and death, something I do not understand. Most of Halloween is focused on things that are harmful, even candy if we think about it. But that’s not what God wants us to give our attention to. He is the giver of life.

Power Of The Blessing

Power Of The Blessing

I have been studying what it means to be blessed and came across this article. I hope it ministers to you. So often we think of being blessed as mostly material things and that is the least of it. Being blessed is a mindset and blessing others is powerful.