Friday, June 23, 2017

And The Greatest of These......

Love has been on my mind lately.  How easily the word slips off the tongue. How easily we use it for everything in life, but how we really don't understand love's impact.
My thoughts took me to read 1 Corinthians 13. I recommend everyone read it, but here some verses that stood out to me:

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT).

"Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13, NLT).

These verses describe to us unconditional, immovable, agape love, love that comes from the Father. My heart is overwhelmed with that love. It doesn't stop there though. We must love our enemies.

“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.
 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
    I will pay them back,”
    says the Lord.
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
    If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
    burning coals of shame on their heads.”
Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” (Romans 12:14-21, NLT)

Luke 6:32 (NLT) “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!

Wow....tough one huh??  To reflect that kind of love to those who we view as be that Christ-like example. God loves us right where we are....can you find it in you to love those around you right where they are? I'm not saying it's easy, but it can be done when we foster a Christ-centered focus. 
Now in this time, when love seems to be something so misunderstood, let’s reflect God’s character and cultivate a culture of a love that will last forever.  

Just some thoughts.....

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

He Gets Our Mess

The recalling of the immoral woman in Luke 7 wrenches my heart every time I read it. Such a beautiful example of God's compassion as the woman worships the Savior.  I'm so taken back by her love for our Savior, but more so by His love for her.

Have you ever been so deep in the mess you call life that you knew no one would ever be your friend, want to touch you, be with you, or want to be in your life. Have you felt as if you were less than nothing?

As I read these passages I'm overwhelmed by His love in my own life.  I'm overwhelmed by how God sees so much more in us that what the world sees or even cares to see.  I'm overwhelmed by His grace and mercy.

You can find the full recalling of the story in Luke 7 starting at verse 36.  I'm going to share a few of the verses here with you.

"Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them." (Luke 7:38, NLT) 

The first thing to notice here is she knelt at His feet.  Kneeling is a worship stance.  She went to Him with an open heart ready to worship Him.  When you read this you can sense her urgency to worship him with all she was and all she had.

"When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!” (Luke 7:39 NLT)

Jesus didn't care how messy this woman's life was or how many awful things she had done.  He saw her right where she was as she came to him in faith, leaving all of what she carried right there at His feet as she worshiped Him.  

"And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50, NLT).

And that is where her new life began that day.  She reached out and Jesus touched her messy, sinful, horrible life when know one else would!  

None of us are beyond being a "mess" no matter where you are in life.  If you aren't a Christian or if you are, we still have messes, because we aren't perfect. Jesus WANTS to straighten up you mess!!  If you think you are perfect or you need to be perfect in the presence of God you are wrong!  He loved us while we were in our sin.  God sent His only son to die for SINNERS.  He wants us to come to Him in faith, ready to worship and accept His wonder compassionate grace.  His gift of pure love. Salvation.  

I have no doubt that woman's life was completely changed that day.  Do you need a change?  Do you need Jesus to help with your mess today?  All you have to do is reach out to Him.  Here is a prayer for you today....

Jesus, I know you see my mess Lord.  God I need you.  Please forgive me.  Please come into my heart and be the Lord of my life.  Help me through the mess.  I desire a changed life.  God make me whole physically, mentally, and spiritually.  In Jesus name....AMEN.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Get Moving!

Isn't it great when God speaks to you??  Not only does he speak to you, but he speaks to your spouse.  Then you hear the same thing everywhere you go.  Then you finally say, "OK Lord, I get what you're saying".  Now it's time to be obedient.  I was reading in Exodus this week.  Doing my best to pick up on what the Lord had to say to me in His word.

This is the verse that jumped off the page to me, "God said to Moses: “Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving" (Exodus 14:15, MSG). 

God was saying, I have told you what to do.  You know where I need you to go. Now go!  

Prayer is a vital part of a Christians life as it should be.  But how many times do we use the phrase "Let me pray about it" as a means to postpone being obedient to what God has called us to do?  

God was calling the Israelites to action!  We see God and look for direction.  He opens the doors to opportunity and our response is to "pray about it some more"?  

This is something I feel like we (my hubby and I) have had going on in our lives, maybe you have too.  So now God has spoken quite clearly that we need to move.

Then guess what happened? An opportunity to make a difference and put our faith into action has come our way!  After what God has shown me this week, we didn't have to pray about if we wanted to get involved. We knew we had to get involved!!  The prayer now is for the project and all of those involved.  We want to get moving and put our faith into action.  We want to make a difference for Christ.

James 2:21-24  says, "Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham “made right with God by works” when he placed his son Isaac on the sacrificial altar? Isn’t it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are “works of faith”? The full meaning of “believe” in the Scripture sentence, “Abraham believed God and was set right with God,” includes his action. It’s that mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named “God’s friend.” Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works" (MSG).

It's not just about having faith, but it's about having faith and moving forward to fulfill that vision and plan that God is laying out.  

"Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it" (Romans 12:2b, MSG).

I love the words in this "recognize and respond".  Definitely two words I will be practicing as my journey continues.

Let's encourage one another to "recognize and respond".  

These are just some thoughts.  I hope they encourage you today.