May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, LORD
my Rock and my Redeemer.
To acquire wisdom is to love yourself, people who cherish understanding will prosper Proverbs 19: 8-9 (NLT)
We can not fully love ourselves until we know our full identity in Christ.
We will never know our full identity in Christ until we know the fullness of his love for us.
Jesus lives from a loved position with the father. God’s desire for us is to live from a loved position with him. He wants us to be free of us! Free of our own selfishness and pride.
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”
This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is equally important:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39. (NLT)
What we love, we will treasure. If we are to be like him, then we are to love because He is love.
His greatest desire is for us to love, treasure, and become like Him.
The more time you spend with someone the better you get to know them. Maybe even picking up some of their character traits. That is his desire for us, to pick up his character trait of love, everything else will flow from that place of intimacy with Him. We can not be spoon fed intimacy with the father by others. We must desire it enough to seek after it on our own. Loving Him enough to set aside that time for Him daily.
Are we loving him fully? Are we loving ourselves (His Creation)? How can we love others as we love ourselves when many of us don’t even like ourselves?
News Flash!! Charity begins at home and you can’t give what you don’t have.
We need to stop putting down what God has created and says is his. When others attack someone or something very precious to you, it is as if they are attacking a part of you. God feels the same way, you are precious to Him, and when you attack yourself with words of abuse by putting yourself or others down God feels the pain.
“God created human beings in His own image; in the image of God He created them; male and female.” Genesis 1:27 (NLT). You were made by the hand of God, created in His image and your value begins there. So....Who are you, a mere human being to argue with God? "Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” Romans 9:20 (NLT)
"If I were to speak with eloquence in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels, yet I didn’t express myself with love, my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal. And if I were to have a gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God’s hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains, but have never learned to love, then I am nothing. And if I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr, without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value. Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (TPT)
Just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. Not everyone who calls out to me, “Lord! Lord!” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will cry “Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name. But I will reply, “I never knew you. Matthew 7:20-23 (NLT)
I have to wonder will he also say, Yes, you did all these things but did you do them in love?
Because if it wasn’t done in love then it was just a big waste of time!
Jesus lived, taught and died by example, and that example was love.
Have you ever heard someone say “I hurt from head to toe?” There are times in our life when we may all feel
There was a man many years ago whom I can only imagine the intensity of the pain he must have felt throughout his entire body. He was severely beaten with a whip made of leather straps and embedded with metal. A crown made of thorns was placed on his head and driven deep into his brow as he was repeatedly hit on his head with a reed staff. He was spit on and ridiculed. His hands and feet where nailed to a cross where he hung for hours feeling as though God had abandoned him. Yet all the while feeling only compassion and forgiveness for those who had put him there. Mark 15:15-20
Sometimes when we are hurting or going through the storms of life, its easy to forget who it was that actually carried the most pain and the heaviest cross of all, His name was Jesus and He did it for you.
He was despised and rejected-a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrow that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sin! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. Isaiah 53:3-5 (NLT)
For this is how much God loved the world-He gave His one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it. John 3:16-18 (TPT)
Changing our thought life can be challenging. Many of us go through life feeling unworthy or not good enough, because we have listened to and taken to heart what others may have said or may have thought about us. We base our feelings on the imagination of our own mind. But our worth is not measured by what others think, feel or say about us. Our worth is measured by what God thinks, says and feels about us. He valued you so much that he gave his son! That makes you priceless!
"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone that believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
When we come to know who we are in the heart of God, and his love for us, the way we think will change our destiny.
"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Mark12:30
We can not love God with our whole heart if our heart is continually divided with the cares of the world. One of Satan's greatest tactics is distraction. If he can get us distracted and keep us in that place, then he can keep us from knowing our created value by the father.
We have all been hurt or offended by someone. But taking offense is a choice we make and in many situations we would really like to give them a piece of our mind. When instead we should be giving them the love of Christ in us.
"Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love." Ephesians 4:2
We sometimes wrap offense around our waist and carry it wherever we go. Even though sometimes it is heavy and can cause pain, we carry it as a form of protection. When we take offense, it is impossible to be humble or gentle. You can not produce what you don't have. Don’t let what you’ve been through become your way of life. Learn from it and grow. What is in you will come out of you. A house that is fully occupied has no room for offense. Stop letting all that is going on around you dictate what is going on within you.
People are not our enemy. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the spirit of darkness.
"Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world." Ephesians 6:11-12
There was a woman who was brought to Jesus, she had been caught in the act of adultery. But when Jesus saw her, he said “the one without sin, can be the first to cast a stone.” John 8:3-11. By saying that He not only disqualified them, but he qualified himself. Because He was and still is the only one without sin. Therefore He could have killed her. But he didn’t. Instead He said “I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
If we can’t find it in Jesus we shouldn’t want it in us. Don’t ever let the sin against you, produce sin in you.
Stephen was an example of God’s grace. While he was being stoned to death for doing no wrong he said “Lord do not hold this sin against them.” Acts 7:54-60
When I see the nail scarred hands of Jesus, I think of the pain and suffering, I wonder how could a man that did no wrong, be beaten, abused, spit on, hung on a cross, have so much love that He would say to the Father, “forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 (NLT)
Have you ever felt as if you were in a mud slide, with the cares of life falling down upon you?
I can’t help but think that:
Elijah was feeling that way when he was trying to run away from it all, by hiding in a cave. There was a powerful wind, an earthquake and a fire but God was not speaking to Elijah from the things that surrounded him. God’s voice came in a whisper.
When Danial was in the Lion’s den he wasn’t listening to the lions roar or the chatter of negative people who said he would surly be eaten by the lions. He was listening for the whisper of God’s voice which gave him peace.
When Joseph was in prison, although he was well aware of his surroundings, he wasn’t listening to the other prisoners complain, he was listening for the voice of the God he served.
When Ruth was gleaning in the fields of a foreign land, and others were talking about how she didn’t belong and looking down upon her as less than, she was listening for the whisper of the one true God.
Through out his life, David was continually taken back to the silence of a shepherd’s field or a cave, where he was alone in a secluded place. It was there he could hear the whisper of God.
When life’s challenges seem more than we can bear, we must go back to the place where we first heard the whisper of God and feel the peace of his presence. For me it is impossible to hear what God is saying among the chatter in a mass of people, if I am not first spending time in seclusion with Him in the quiet place, listening for the whisper of His voice. For it is only in that place that I find peace in the midst of the storms of life.
Months ago I had a dream. In the dream a woman was passing out scrolls as she ran. She turned for a brief moment and looked at me and said, I live at 1532. Upon awakening, I began to ponder and ask the Father the meaning of the dream. I discovered that the number 15 means rest and the number 32 means covenant. Rest in the covenant. I must remember where I live, in the place of rest with Him. For it is then and only then I can distribute the scrolls (word of God) which He has put within me.
When Jesus was in the boat, he was sleeping with his head on a pillow in the midst of a storm. He was not focused on the storm raging around him, or the busy chatter of those in fear. Did he care? Yes, he cared but he was resting in the covenant of his fathers peace and love. And when he was awakened to the screams and yelling of those around him, He stood and said. “Peace. Be still.” When we live in Christ, peace is all around us. We only need to command it to be still in Jesus mighty name. It may not change the situation, but it will change the storm within us which we have been focusing on, so we can hear the whisper of His voice and rest in the covenant of his love for us.
Be Still and Know that He is God. Psalm 46:10
He will keep in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on Him. Isaiah 26:3
Rest in the covenant of His love for you.
Whenever I hear the laughter of a child, see sunshine through the clouds, or hear the voice of wisdom coming from the mouth of a child of God who has spent a lifetime serving Him, I can see the fingerprint of God, the signature of His touch. Because an artist always signs their work.
Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:3-5 (NIV)
Each year thousands of sand hill cranes migrate through the state of Nebraska. Hundreds of people from other states come to see this magnificent sight. My husband and I look forward to driving a few hours away to spend the day viewing these beautiful creatures. We recently drove to a nearby lake to see the geese migration. There must have been over one hundred thousand geese of several different breeds landing on the water, circling the area, arriving and departing. They would sometimes fly high in the air so the sun would hit them just right and it looked as if they were diamonds dancing in the sky. It seemed as if each move were choreographed just for us to enjoy. It was breath taking, words could never adequately explain the beauty of it all. But wherever we are, God’s magnificent creation is all around us. Through the rustling of the trees, flowers in bloom, snowflakes on a cold winter day, or in a baby’s smile, the finger print of God is evident in his workmanship.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable then they? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you? Matthew 6:26-30 (NIV)
People can often be found or identified by their finger print. There is no person, fingerprint or snowflake just alike. Because everyone’s finger print is unique, even identical twins have their own fingerprint. God created each of us to be one of a kind, and he made all of creation for us to enjoy.
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us His true word. And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession. James 1: 17-18 (NLT)
Each of us were created for a purpose and a plan in the heart of God. We were each designed specifically according to His blueprint. From the color of your eyes, the shape of your face, the size of your feet, you are a gift to the world from Heaven. No one else can be who God intended you to be; there is only one of you. And you are loved with an everlasting love by the Heavenly Father. Ref. Jeremiah 31:3
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
We sometimes compare ourselves to others. Our looks or abilities may not be the same, we may feel inadequate at times. But God, has a purpose and plan and if we will let Him, He will guide and direct us each step of the way. Sometimes we just need to glide in the freedom of His love for us and allow Him to guide and direct our steps. He loves you so much!! He adores you!! He will make a way where there seems to be no way.
You may not know His love or how special you are to Him, or you maybe seeking a new direction in your life. I invite you to talk to Him today. Just say this prayer with me.
I believe in you and I believe you have a purpose and a plan for my life. Teach me your ways and guide me in your path. Help me to know that you love me in a way I have never known before. Help me to know your voice and to spend time with you and love you with all my heart, soul and strength and with all my mind. Luke 10:27 (NIV) so that I can be who you intended for me to be from the beginning.
“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. I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes.” Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NLT)
As I contemplate what I should write about, I keep seeing the nail scarred hands of Jesus. I think of the pain and suffering, (of the nails that left the cleft in the palm of His hands) I wonder how could a man that did no wrong, be beaten, abused, spit on, hung on a cross, and be sealed in a tomb, have so much love that He would say to the Father, “forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 (NLT)
We have all been hurt or offended by someone. Many of us have a hard time forgiving. But even after we have forgiven we sometimes put a wall up, because no one is ever going to hurt us again! After all, our pain is apparently much worse, than the price Jesus paid when He hung on the cross for us. Really???
When I envision His nail scarred hands I am reminded that He hides us in the cleft of the rock which is right in the palm of His hand, where the nails broke flesh and His blood was shed. “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:16 (NIV)
“I have told you these things, so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart! Because I have over come the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” Psalm 18:2 (NLT)
One touch from the nail scarred hand can change your life.
The more time we spend with someone the better we get to know them. We may even begin to replicate some of their character. What if the world began to look at us and saw not only a reflection of Jesus but they would long for the Jesus in us? Because the more time we spend with Him the more we become like Him.
Some people in Bethsaida, brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged Him to touch the man and heal him. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, He laid His hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?” The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.” Then Jesus placed His hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.”
Mark 8:22-25 (NLT)
I believe there are times when, instead of seeing people for who God created them to be, we see men as trees walking. People judge by the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) We see and judge by the outward appearance because we tend to hear only with our ears and fail to listen to what’s really in the heart. Sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone so that our minds and hearts can become clear. There are times when the touch/revelation from Jesus doesn’t come in the way we expected but it always comes with love.
What if another touch from Jesus would cause us to see more clearly, so that when we looked at someone we would see them for who God created them to be; not judging someone by the color of their skin, the shape of their body, the language they speak, or clothes that they wear. But instead we would see them through our heavenly Father’s eyes for who He created them to be. Knowing that God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27(NLT). Knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 (NIV). Knowing that we are the clay and He is the potter; and all of us are the work of His hand. Isaiah 64:8 (NIV). Spending time with Jesus can develop His character in you, so that you will no longer see men as trees walking, but you will see them through your heavenly Father’s eyes.
Eyes that find the good in things, when good is not around; Eyes that find the source of help, when help can not be found; Eyes full of compassion, seeing every pain; Knowing what you’re going through and feeling it the same. Just like my father’s eyes. Father’s eyes lyrics by Amy Grant
I pray that as you spend more time with Jesus, you will become more like Him. That others will not only see a reflection of Jesus in you, but they will long for the Jesus in you. And that you will begin to see through the eyes of the Father’s love.
What is Love? What does it look like? Many people have spent most of their life in search of someone to love and accept them. Rejection seems to have saturated our world and our minds.
Perhaps you have felt rejected for most of your life by those around you who were supposed to love and care about you. Perhaps you have spent most of your life looking for love in all the wrong places, only to find disappointment and heartache.
It’s hard to imagine the kind of love that would cause someone to lay his life down for you. John 15:13
It’s hard to love those who do not love you back.
But God loved the world so much that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1
Love is the only language that is universal.
No matter what we do or where we go, God’s love will always be there for us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
But what is love?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
What kind of world would it be if we could all open our hearts to accept the love of a heavenly father who loves us unconditionally? What kind of world would it be if we could all love others and see them through his eyes?
God, help me to accept your love for me and help me to love others as you have loved me.
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5
Some of us haven’t seen morning for a long time. We’re still stuck somewhere between darkness and twilight.
So where is the Joy?
During the hardest journeys of my life there are some passages of the bible I have not liked hearing! I only wanted to make it through the hardships quickly and survive the storm. "When troubles come your way consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow."
James 1:1-3 When I finally realized what this passage was saying I began to grow in the journey. I now know God has a purpose and a plan for everything that happens in my life.
But how can you have joy when the storm is raging all around you?
Joy is in knowing He’s got you and praising him for it. Joy is in walking in the peace of his love. Joy is keeping your eyes on him so you can walk above the circumstances of life and not be overtaken by them.
"He gives strength to the weary and increases power to the weak. Even youth grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:29-31
God’s love does not exempt us from trials but sees us through them with peace.
"After you have suffered a little while he himself will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."1 Peter 5:10
God's love and grace that comes upon our lives is the joy that comes in the morning.
"When times are good, be happy but when times are bad, consider God has made one as well as the other". Ecclesiastes 7:14
"The Lord is close to the broken hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalms 34:18
You were never meant to carry that load so "cast all your cares on him for he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
The Bible talks about one who gave because he loved. God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
God wanted to give you a gift. He gave his only son to die for you because he loved you enough to give you a choice of where to spend eternity. It's not only about eternity but about how you can live today.
Have you accepted the gift God gave, because of his love for you?
If you would like to accept the gift of Jesus then say this prayer with me.
I accept the gift of your Son Jesus. I believe he was born of a virgin, died on a cross and rose again, so that I can have eternal life in heaven with you. I ask you to forgive me of my sin and come live in my heart today.
If you have prayed this prayer we are so excited for you!! Welcome to the family of God!!
Please find someone in your area (pastor, church, friend or family member) who can encourage you and help guide you on your new journey with Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
Virgin birth: Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-38
Died on a cross and rose again: 1 Corinthians 15:14, Romans 4:25, Romans 5:8
Eternal life: John 17:3, Romans 10:9-10
Tell someone: Matthew 10:32 & 33, Luke 9:26
May God richly bless and keep you in his love.