You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Love’ category.

2 Corinthians 12:19
New King James Version (NKJV)

“Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification.”

Thus says the Lord,

“There are many who, when I speak, turn away from My teachings. They despise My correction. They blaspheme My laws. There are many, when I speak, who think I am too harsh, too strict, too unwavering. But it is not so. Am I not perfect and you not flawed? Or is it I who am flawed and you perfect? Tell Me, if you know.

“Do I say this to boast? People boast to impress. Who is greater than I, to whom I should flaunt Myself? So if not to boast, why then do I remind that I am perfect and you flawed? Because so many despise My teachings. And if not the teachings, they despise the vessel through which I choose to express those teachings. And if not the vessel, then they despise the means through which the vessel is led to teach.

“Do I waste My Breath for the sole intention of discouraging your life? Are My motives to keep your from your whims and desires? Are My motives to be strict and unrelenting? No. But I teach for your instruction, your uplifting, your protection, your care. If I am Love, don’t you think that when I speak, and correct, and chastise, that I do so out of love? I certainly do not chastise out of jealousy, or anger, or frustration.

“Don’t you see, precious ones? I rebuke because I love. I teach because I love. I correct because I love. And to reject My teachings and the means through which I choose to teach, is to reject My love. Do not be so blind that you would walk away from love for the sake of pride or selfishness.

“For in My Love is My protection. In My Love is the gift of hope. In My Love is salvation. In My Love is provision. In My Love is joy. In My Love. In My Love. In My love.

“And nowhere else.”

God’s love is marvelous to an extent that we cannot comprehend. We try. We dream. We hope. But take my word. We. Do. Not. Understand. Amazing love; salvation’s motivation, suffering’s soothing ointment. Amazing love. Too vast to comprehend.

Christ’s suffering was apparent but unrelateable. We wonder. We think. We ponder. But take my word. We. Are. Not. Aware. Amazing suffering; a gift to us, sin’s only redemption. Amazing suffering. Too deep to relate.

The Spirit’s touch is sweetly undescribeable. We seek. We breathe. We coax. But take my word. We. Can. Not. Express. Amazing touch; exhilarating to the soul, delight of the spirit. Amazing touch. Too precious to let go.

Do we know that the extent of our love equals the extent of our commitment? For if we do not love, how then can we be devoted? And if we are not devoted, where comes the commitment? So I ask, if we do not truly love God, then can we be surprised when we struggle with committing to Him? Most likely, it’d be more a battle than we would like.

You see, I believe that the trouble with commitment has more to do with our awareness of God than our actual willpower. What do I mean by awareness? I mean, if we know God as a distant, unforgiving God whom we are not sure we can trust, then we will struggle with committing to Him. However, if we know God, truly know God, as a savior, a friend, a provider, a healer, a deliverer, a redeemer, then our admiration of Him will skyrocket. Our adoration of Him will grow. And our love for Him has no choice but to follow in tow.

Our commitment to Him will rise.

In my experience, I have found five different types of God-followers in this world:

  •          The Forgiven –the ones who have been forgiven of such a depth of sin that their devotion to their Forgiver is quite substantial.
  •          The Delivered –those whom God has healed from such a world of pain (emotional, physical, mental) that they can’t stop singing His praises.
  •          The Dedicated – they live a sound and content life, find God to be faithful through the normal life trials, and they are willing to stand by Him because He has proven Himself faithful.
  •          The Luke-warm – they who have found God to be a pretty cool dude and they are willing to put up a good face for the salvation of their souls.
  •          The Backslider – the ones who once followed God with passion but for whatever reason, they have turned their backs on His tender mercy but are not truly content with their decision to leave Him.

 

The first two tend to be real hot in their love-walk. Why? Because their awareness of God is hot. They know Him in an intensely personal, appliceable way and He has become important to them. The dedicated do know God on a personal level, they love Him, and are dedicated to Him. But though their passion is hot, it’s not always as fiery as the Forgiven and Delivered tend to be. The luke-warm followers are weak in their love-walk. They don’t know God personally enough to really develop passion for His ways. And the backslider is one who harbored misconceptions of God, and when life took a turn those misconceptions failed to sustain their committmet to Him.

So if we find ourselves among luke-warm or backsider status but we don’t want to stay there, what do we do? Look at the last paragraph and see if you see a pattern. The more God is able to prove Himself to His people, the more dedicated those people become. Why? Because with every answered prayer, every provision, deliverance, healing, etc, God is revealing Himself to His people. And as He reveals Himself, we see more and more of just how awesome He is. And the more we see, the more impressed we become, the more devoted we become, the more love we extend, and the more committed we grow.

In other words, the first step to grow in commitment to God is to decide to become more committed. And when we bring that desire into our prayer life, God begins to open our eyes to His glory.

I would like to share a personal Word that the Lord gave me Monday night. I was deeply upset and not really sure why. Just emotional, possibly. But I was questioning love in my life. I was questioning whether I was loved, whether I loved myself. (Btw, I just finished watching a movie that dealt with this issue and no doubt triggered these emotions).

Anyway, I was crying and I couldn’t stop. I felt weak, pathetic. I wondered, how could anyone love me? I have so many problems. I’m an emotional wreck.

And God told me, “I love you.”

I became angry and lashed out at Him: “You love everyone, Lord! What’s so great about You loving me? You love murderers for goodness sake. Of course you love me. But how is that special? To be loved as one out of so many others. There is nothing unique in that love.”

He said, “Your family loves you.”

So I snarl, “Of course they do. They’re stuck with me. I’m blood.”

Then He said, “Your church family loves you. Your apostle, your first lady, your friends love you.”

“Humph! Apostle’s like you. He loves everyone. They’re all like that. They love me cause they’re supposed to. That’s Your command, after all.”

(Boy, was I feeling a little cranky or what?)

So I settled down in my bed, where my dog was knocked out from his park adventure. God said, “Your dog loves you. You are his closest friend.”

Finally, I agree. Yup, Bastian does love me. So I pick him up, and cradle and pet him. Now, normally, petting is his favorite past-time. That night? Poor boy climbs right back out of my lap, drops back onto my blankets, and resumes his Zzzzz’s. I start crying again. Bastian hates me. Completely hates me.

And in that moment, I finally realized I hated myself. I didn’t feel important to anyone. I didn’t feel needed. I didn’t feel wanted. I didn’t feel anybody loved me so why should I love me? Something must be wrong with me, hideous about me, unwanteable about me. And because of that, I hated myself.

So finally, when I was proceeding  with my intent to cry myself to sleep, God must have become fed up with my pity party. He said, “Daughter, get up and get your notebook.”

“Why?” I sob.

“I have something to say to you and I want you to write it down because I don’t want you to forget it.”

So I get up and grab my notebook. And God said, “When you are finished, I want you to tear out the paper and keep it with you. And whenever you doubt that you are loved, I want you to read it and remember how I feel. I also want you to share it, because you are not the only one who feels this way.”

This is the Word He gave me:

The Word of the Lord to His beloved,

“Think you that I do not love you? Dearest, you are my heart and soul. Whenever I gaze upon you, my soul longs after you, to comfort you and bring delight to you. Just because there are many doesn’t mean that my love for you is not special. It is special. It is unique. A very special love for a very special you.

I adore you, sweetest one. Do not ever doubt that. You are my sun and moon. When you smile, you light my heavens and I am enchanted. You are special to me. Very special. One in billions. There is no one like you.

You ask does anybody love me? Beloved, I love you. I love you so much it causes me pain. I love you. I love you. I love you.

Now you must learn to love yourself.”

Needless to say, I did not cry myself to sleep that night. I drifted off quite contentedly.

Who loves the Lord the way that He loves us? Who honors the Lord the way that He honors us? Who treasures the Lord the way that He treasures us?

Oh children of the earth, can we think beyond you and me? They and I? Can we move beyond our own desires, fears, and dreams? Can we care for God the way that He cares for us?

Harken to my voice, sinners and saints. We think ourselves rulers of this world. Content in our houses. Driving our cars. Raising our families. We think ourselves accomplished with degrees beneath our belt. We think ourselves seasoned with experience to share.

But I say, look beyond the simple bubble wherein lives your universe. I say think about the Lord who has blessed you with the house, cars, and children. Do we have time for Him when we have no need? Do we have love for Him when prayers go unanswered? Do we have devotion for Him when earthquakes ravage our nations?

But our time is limited. Our love is conditional. Our devotion is variable.

And when we walk content, Jesus weeps. When we judge each other, we rend the heart of God. And when we ignore the beggar in the street, the prostitute walking to that car, the teenager selling drugs, the druggy manipulating for money, the rapist fleeing the scene, and the murderer serving his time, we ignore the Christ who suffered and died for them, you, and I.

Because it’s not just about you. It’s not just about me. It’s not just about them.

It’s about our King of kings. Can I love Him the way that He loves me?

I say, if the fruit of our lives is any indication, the answer is no. If the grieving of His Spirit troubling my soul is any indication, the answer is no. I say, if the emptiness of our churches in a Christian nation is any indication, the answer is no.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Brother and sisters, beloved and friends, there is still time to change.

I plead. I plead. There is still time to change.

But not much.

One day, I asked God, “Lord, we ask so much of you. It’s always about what we want. What we need. But Lord, what do you want? What is your greatest desire?”

And I heard Him say, “My greatest desire is that my people learn to love each other.”

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18

Thus says the Lord,

“Love must go deeper than the everyday definition of affection. Love often requires discipline to maintain. Have you ever sparked a fire and never took the time to tend it? What happens? It burns out.

“Love is often an extension of self, saying, I will give of me to be of assistance to you. I will sacrifice my very life, if that is the cost of your salvation. Even, I will wake to pray for you, no matter how much sleep it will cost me.

“Love is patient with others’ shortcomings. It doesn’t throw up its hand and quit after a mere couple times requiring forgiveness. It presses on, even when there seems no reward in sight.

“However, sometimes love is required to be so powerful that it will turn away and say, enough. I have extended my hand to you. I have fed you. I have given you affection. I have provided for your needs. I have been patient. I have been kind. And you have taken my love for granted. Therefore I will withdraw the abundance of love’s blessings and I will wait. I will wait, beloved, until you can love me in return.

“That is how I am with my children. My heart is theirs. Do they know that? No. But so great is my love for them, so overflowing is my devotion, that my heart is quite honestly in their hands. Yet instead of holding it with as much tenderness as I do theirs, they are quick to shred it to pieces.

“But this is what I say; I will still be patient. I will still wait. I will still love with the abundance of my tender mercies. I am here, child, waiting. Waiting till the day that you can truly come to love me in return. Amen.”

Love. The. Stranger.

S.T.R.A.N.G.E.R.

So many people whom we’ve never seen,
That struggle with hurts and shattered dreams,
Remembering those without enough food to eat,
And praying for those who’ve lost faith in their King,
Not shooting dark looks at meth addicts and alcoholics,
Giving money – begged, stolen – to gangsters and drug dealers,
Everlasting soul stealers fueled from corruption loosed from Hell’s fire.

That is the stranger. Who are you?

Somebody broken by the bondage of the world,
Tender little sprout barely grown out of the ground,
Ransomed by the blood – perfect, holy, sacred – blood,
Anointed, and perfected, blessed blood of Jesus Christ,
Never to forget the long trek through desert wilderness,
Gathered – naked, trembling, beaten, weeping – into truth,
Everlasting, lovely truth of an everlasting, loving covenant,
Restored from the world, led from the desert, healed by love.

You are a stranger. Brought out of a stranger’s land. Told to love the stranger.

Love one another. Have patience with one another. Care for one another.

FOR SO YOU ARE A STRANGER IN THE WORLD’S STRANGE LAND.

No movie captured my heart and engaged my emotions like the movie, Passion of the Christ. But now I am pleased to review a movie that not only blew my mind, but liquefied the emotions of my heart into tears running down my face as I watched Furious Love. Tears the like of which I haven’t cried since I saw Passion so many years ago. It is fitting, I think, because where the Passion left off (with the resurrection of Christ), Furious Love documents how Christ’s great passion, His mighty love, is continuing to change and save lives today.

Furious Love records Christianity where few believers dare to go. It documents Christians taking the light of God into the most darkest and horrifying places. The stories will astound you and the testimonies will humble you. If you ever heard a song or statement that has the words “Lord, break my heart for the things that break Your heart,” and you prayed that as a prayer, God will answer as you watch this movie.

The documentaries in this movie will take you across the world and into the lives of people delivered from demonic power as well as souls walking the streets and selling their bodies for money they desperately need. Furious Love will take you into the eye-opening story of a young woman delivered from a disturbing cult where she was raised to be (literally) a bride of Satan. Then the movie continues with an amazing account of a few Christians who enter a large gathering of witches and warlocks looking for a “fight” and leave with a powerful lesson about God’s grace, mercy, and incredible love.

Love. How far can it extend? How deep can it reach? The movie begins with this question, and concludes with a most sobering answer.

A Multitude of Blessings by JOSHUA TIMOTHY MCDONALD

A life starts out small and needs others to survive
A precious life that feels what it is to be alive.
A beautiful blue-eyed girl, with a smile so wide
An imaginative mind, even then you couldn’t hide.
Growing into the fine woman you’ve become
Changing the lives of many, shaping the lives of some.
Coming into your life, I was still a little unsure
and unknowing of the wonder that would soon occur.
What a blessing you have been and how dear you have grown
What joy you have brought with the love that was shown.
I am so blessed that God has placed you here
To have you in my life, to have grown so dear.
Don’t rush through the days, remember what they’re for
That to earth God’s son was born, so you could know Him more.
Celebrate His birth as you also celebrate your life
and thank Him for you are an amazing mother, friend and wife.
The joy of seeing all the goodness you possess
and for all the love you allow me to express.
I love you so much, my blessed teacher and friend
My warmth and blessings the Christmas I send.

 

 

This poem BLESSED me!