Perfect Love

For God so loved the world HE gave His only begotten SON that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life John 3:16

The more I recite this verse SLOWLY meditating on each segment, I can see the action of God’s perfect love for me.  You see a glimpse of this love in Genesis 22:1-24. when Abraham is told to offer his one and only son whom he loved as a burnt offering to God. 

(Did you know this is the first place the word love is used in the Bible?)

To love a child so much.  One who had not done any harm to anyone.  A child of he and Sarah’s senior years.  They had longed for a child for long that it had become humanly impossible for them to conceive. BUT God… God loved Abraham and gave him the desire of his heart.  Not just an heir, but a son whom he loved with every fiber of his being. Can you imagine the bond that must have formed between Abraham and Isaac?  My heart just aches for him in this moment.

But…then…just I think there isn’t anymore to see!  I see a man, Abraham, who loves God so much he was willing to give, sacrifice the best he had to show God that their relationship was his priority. You don’t see him haggle with God, however, you do see his submission, obedience, humility and most of all His love for God 

Fast forwarding, Isaac is now on the altar tied up as the lamb for the burnt offering (Look right here, if you look closely in the scriptures, it shown, although not stated with words.) Isaac loves Abraham so much, he trusts him.  He seems as meek as the lamb that would be sacrificed. Look at the amazing infinite circle of love.  One in which each does their part to grow that love.  As Abraham learns to love God more, he learns to trust him more.  Abrahams level of faith is remarkable to say the least.  It is one which is a product of the love he has for Him.  Great Love = Great Faith (at least in this testimony).

Abraham loved so much he was willing to give, not wanting to withhold anything from Him… Even his son.

Going forward in time, we see another Father who has a love for His Son whom He gave as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.  This sacrifice was the only way to cover the sins of his children and bring them back in to relationship with Him.

We, you and I are the children He pursued.  His actions, which were set in place since the beginning of time, always had us in mind.  What patience and long suffering He displayed waiting for the divine moment.  The perfect time.  He could have just said I love you, but He did not just say it with a tender period at the end.  God shouted it with an exclamation point!   I love you.  He shouted with His only begotten Son hanging on the cross for all the world to see. He demonstrated it by allowing a part of Himself to be sacrificed. And we see a Son who loved His Father and was willing to be the sacrifice the “exclamation point” of His love. The love of mankind is front and center. 

Can you feel this perfect love?  Can you feel a love that runs so deep, the words from John 3:16 seem to be invigorating to you? “For God… so loved… the world… that He gave… His only begotten Son…, that whoever… believes in Him will not perish… but have eternal life.”

A love that is patient, kind, not jealous, bears ALL things, believes ALL things, and endures ALL things (1 Corinthians 13).  A love that provides an eternal life with Him if will come back to His loving arms and walk in His ways. A love that sacrificed ALL FOR ALL.

There is still so much to say, and I know I have left so much out, please forgive me.  I pray that what was laid on my heart will be a blessing to some one else. 

Happy Valentine’s Day Beloved of God

Provision & Perspective

Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.”  
Genesis 22:14

Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.”  Genesis 22:14

Major life decisions are very rarely easy to make.  They stretch your faith and show you what is in you. (Disclaimer: it will also show what is inside of those you seek counsel from.  So, be ready!)  It can be a stressful time.  Feelings of fear, anxiety, restlessness, begin to run rampant.  You realize that you do know how to meditate…on all the wrong things.  Being shifted from your comfort zone to what seems to be a bigger burden (to the natural eye) than where you already are, can cause you to be stagnant.

Well, this is what has been happening to me over the last few weeks.  As I sat in my car talking with the LORD, I shared what was on my heart. Here are a few of them:

  • The frustrations of being in familiar places that were no good for me spiritually.
  • Desire for more but less keeps showing up
  • Peace from inner turmoil that goes back years.  It shows up occasionally, and I am tired of it!
  • Lack of support in ministry.

Once I finished spilling out the cares of my heart, I became quiet and waited for His response.  In a very still small voice I heard “God will provide.”  He reminded me of these things in reference to my concerns.

  • You say you are frustrated with being in familiar places that are not good for you.  Remember you need to be confident that I who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

  • You say you desire more but less keeps showing up.  I never promised you riches, wealth, titles or status here in this temporary place. Nor did I promise you a life of ease. I have not withheld Myself from you. When you sought Me with all of your heart, I let you find Me (Jeremiah 29:13). When you found Me and abided with Me, you were blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1).  Remember, hard times does not always mean bad decisions or poor choices.  They can produce things in you that can not be received any other way. “Exult in your tribulations, knowing tribulations brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope and hope does not disappoint, because God has been poured out in your hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:1-5).

  • You say you have no peace because of the inner turmoil that shows up every once and a while.  Years ago, you were consumed with it and now it comes every once and a while…  You used to relive the same situations every day all day.  See your progress. Do not despise the day of small beginnings.  When the thoughts come Philippians 4:8 them – “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”  Toss out the bad thoughts, then meditate on things you are to dwell on.    BUT BE CAREFUL, your lack of peace reflects a lack of trust in Me and My will for your life.  The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3).  Trust Me so you can rest in Me.

  • You say you have a lack of support in the things I have called you to do.  Not your will, but MY will be done.  I will supply ALL your needs according to My riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Your support doesn’t look the way you think it should look but look through My eyes. (At that point faces and names began to flood my heart and mind).  I sat in awe and began to cry.

His final word on the conversation was, “As long as you remain in ME, in My presence, in the secret place…in the mount, everything will be provided (Genesis 22:14).  Trust Me with all your heart and DO NOT lean on your own understanding.  Acknowledge Me in all your ways and I will direct your path (Proverbs 3:5-6). 

I had to repent and ask Him to forgive me.  The ministry of remembrance is a beautiful one.  He ministered to my needs and pain through scriptures that are already in me.  He already knows what is in us!!!

How many of you have had a similar experience? What effect did it have on the situation you were dealing with?

As I looked at the scriptures, He selected to speak to me through, Philippians showed up a few times.  We (in the Precept Bible Study I attend) started 2019 with studying this book (5 weeks left). I believe He is also telling me to rejoice in all things and I will not find myself “in this space” too long.  I must choose the perspective I take in every situation no matter how it looks.  What a wonderful Father we have.  If you do not know Him,  please get to know Him.  

 I love you God!  Thank you for loving me enough not to leave me to myself.

Thankful for Love

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This week we have set apart to celebrate Thanksgiving. As I sit and meditate on how thankful/grateful I am, my thoughts begin with the Creator of all.  I cannot contain the overflowing joy I feel and have begun to praise Him with the very breath He has given me.

Genesis 2:7 states “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.”  Think about how personal this is.  We were not created from a distance, but every part of us, every quark was formed by Him. God could have spoken breath in us but instead, chose to breathe it into our nostrils.  In this very moment, I see not only Creator but Father.  He did not create us without thought. We were created with careful consideration and formed. We were formed from love, by love and out of love.  Love which overflowed from Love Himself.

Thank you, Father!

On this day, I am thankful for the Creator, my Father, Love, and the breath of life.  This, within itself, is enough to pause and meditate on.  Allow yourself to not only be thankful but also be overwhelmed by the gifts that were manifested because of the Fathers love for each one of us.

10 Reasons to Rejoice

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Today was the most beautiful day, I had ever seen, but I could not see it.  I could only see the dark clouds, feel the chilly wind and light rain…nothing but a gloomy feeling, I was unable to see the new mercies I received for this day despite how hard I tried.  The more I struggled to find the beauty, the faster I sunk in despair.  I ran to Psalm 42 and began reading it aloud a few times.  The tears began to stream down my face. I realized there was no joy and could not think of anything to be joyful about. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16 says we are to rejoice always.  I then went on a journey to rekindle my joy!

Sometimes we take for granted what we know.  ON this day, I went back to the basics as if I was brand spanking new and sought it out.  As I read a few commentaries…(after my study on scriptures pertaining to joy)  I came across this list and wanted to share it with you.

10 Reasons that can “always cause us to be full of joy” (This list is not exhaustive, however, can be used as a good place to begin)

  1. In appreciation for God’s righteous character which even in trouble, He demonstrates faithfully to believers  “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10)..
  2. In appreciation for Christ’s redemptive work.  “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)
  3. In appreciation of the Holy Spirit’s ministry on our behalf.  “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the [j]saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).
  4. The MANY spiritual blessings we have. We are reminded in 2 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” (2 Peter 1:3)”. Can you count them all???? Try 😉
  5. Be joyful in His sovereignty because all He does is for our good. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified”(Romans 8:28-30)
  6. The promise of the glory that is to come  “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;” (Philippians 3:20)
  7. Answered Prayers.  God always responds to our prayers. He hears and answers. “Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor His lovingkindness from me.” (Psalm 66:20)
  8. The gift of His Word.  “Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16)
  9. The Privilege of genuine fellowship with one another.  “ Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that [a]your joy may be made full.” (2 John 12)
  10. True believers cannot help but express their joy at the saving proclamation of the gospel.  “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this, I rejoice.” (Philippians 1:18)

As I carefully considered and meditated on each point, I began to praise God.  By the time I reached #10,  I was overwhelmed and completely in awe of Him.

Disclaimer:  This information is listed in The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, 1&2 Thessalonians page 185

Long for the Word

2 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 1 Peter 2:1-3

The phrase “putting aside” speaks of a transformation into the new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Getting rid of (through the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells you, if you are born again) those things that are hindrances in the kingdom of God. As long as we intentionally function in any malice, any deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander, we will not fully desire the Word of God.

As believers, we need the truth of the PURE Word like newborn babies need their mothers’ pure milk. Pure is such an interesting word. It means uncontaminated, unmixed, straight from the source, untainted. Just as the Word of God is to be.

Just as pure milk satisfies a babies hunger, the pure word of God will satisfy our hunger. Just as babies crave, desire, long for milk, so are we to crave, desire, long for the Word of God. Milk is necessary for a babies growth, development, and maturity. Just as the Word of God is necessary for the growth, development, and maturity of EVERY believer in respect to salvation.

When we accepted salvation and received the blessings of the LORD, it was then that we tasted the kindness of the Lord. Just imagine how much sweeter it is to no longer taste but to feast on His Word continually. O taste and see that the Lord is good Psalm 34:8

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Your Adornment

Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3 – 4

The world says beauty is only skin deep. But God challenges us to go deeper than the skin. Our beauty cannot be based on the external things that are seen by all such as fashion, appearance, things we have, etc. It must be connected to who we are at the very core of ourselves. What does He see when looking at our hearts? Are we devoted to beautifying the hidden person of the heart?

The qualities God desires in us are to mimic the trends of fashion… here today … gone tomorrow. They are to be imperishable. Imperishable means uncorrupted, not liable to corruption or decay. In other words, anchored.

In this passage, the qualities we are looking at are those in reference to our spirit that springs from the heart. We are to have a gentle and quiet spirit. Gentle and quiet are defined as a spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting (Blue Letter Bible). (This IS NOT to be confused with being passive.) It is this that is precious in the sight of God (remember He watches and sees, even those things done behind closed doors).

What type of spirit do we accept the will of God for our lives? Do we trust Him as we say we do? Do we truly have an understanding of what SOVEREIGN means in connection with God? Does He see our spirit, is it precious in His sight?

Do not let your adornment be merely external.

Be blessed.

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His Palms

But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
And the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
16 “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands (Isaiah 49:14-16)

Although God is speaking to Isreal, these truths can be and are applicable to all of those who belong to Him today.

Many of us, at some point and time in our spiritual walk, have felt as if God has forsaken us. We have felt left behind… alone… deserted. This feeling of being forsaken can stem from many situations, such as things not going as expected, disobedience, trials, loss, etc. But in this passage, God reassures His children that although they feel forsaken, they are not forsaken by Him. God, although everywhere, is also stationary in each of our lives. We are the ones who move away from Him, from the path He has laid out for us. God states that we may forget, but He does not. The God who remembers all has shown how much He loves us and how important we are to Him.

He has inscribed us in the palm of His hands. Do you see what I see? We are cut into, traced, unable to be removed from the palms of His hands… ON PURPOSE.

But why the palms?

The palms are unable to tan no matter how long they are left in the sun. The skin on the palm is able to withstand pressure, wear, and damage. It is sturdy, long lasting, imperishable, indestructible BUT very sensitive. The sensitivity allows it to feel the slightest change or shift that takes place within it. He can feel everything connected to us. To those, that are inscribed in His palms. WE ARE CONNECTED AND PROTECTED!!!!!

The position of the palm is also important. We are told, an upturned palm signifies receiving while a downturned palm indicates giving. When we think of God extending His hands over His people, it is with His palms down, shielding and giving protection.

Do you feel forsaken? If so, why? Have you talked with God about it? If not, why? When did the feeling of disconnection begin? Were there any instructions given that were not followed?

Seek Him where He can be found… in His Word. Remember, when wanting to talk, take time to listen.

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