Friday, September 28, 2012

What is Love?

This afternoon someone had a splinter in their foot.  They ask me to take a look.  It was so deep and had been in there so long it was dark all around the area.  I had to take a needle and dig it out.  It hurt for a little while but then it was so much better.  Now it could heal.

So are our relationships.  We may go on for a while trying to love someone but when there is unresolved sin in the relationship it will never flourish.  When there is anger in the heart, caused by not forgiving.  God, in His mercy, digs the sin out of our hearts and our relationships.  It is so very painful in the process.  But hopefully,  the relationship will be healed and restored.  You cannot fix the relationship.  It takes God and two humble people to restore a sick relationship.

I feel like I have never loved anyone with the real love of Jesus.  I tried to keep the peace at all cost.  Saying what people, not God, wanted to hear.  Doing what they wanted me to do.  I couldn't even make a decision and make it stick for being afraid I would make someone unhappy.  I thought everything was my fault.  I even suffered from depression because I could not control pleasing everyone.

Then there's the opposite of this.  Doing what you want to no matter what God or anyone else says.  Pushing others or rejecting them when they don't do what you want them to do.  You might have outburst of anger when things get out of your control to bring everyone back to where you want them.  Using your anger to manipulate people and the situation through fear.  You have to cover up your own sin to feel justified in your need to fix everyone else.

Neither one of these are love.  Neither heart has been grasp by the love of the Father for them.  They are very self serving at the cost of the relationship and others.  Jesus laid down His life for us.  When you go against your sinful natures inclination to love someone it feels like you are dying.  You are not getting what feels good to your flesh.  Instead you are most interested in the well being of the other person.

 Jesus entered into our world.  He moved into the other persons story.  He listened.  He felt their pain because of the cross.  He would love them right where they were. He let them know they were valuable.  He told them the truth about themselves and their sin.  Even if it wasn't what they wanted to hear.  He got them to see their need for a Savior.  He desired their whole hearts.  He wanted them to be all they could be.  To have a life of peace and joy.  He longed for them to be free to love.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. ...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Father Loves ME!

For the past two years I have been asking my Father to show me His love for me.  I grew in knowledge that He loved me but I hadn't received the truth in my heart.  I would disciple myself with verses like...you have the perfect record of Christ put in you.  It is not you.  It is Christ living in and through you.  Die to yourself.  Surrender to God.  When God looks at you He sees Jesus.  These are wonderful truths but to me they were religious talk.  And I was writing them over and over trying to get them to sink into my soul.  Somehow in these verses alone I was not getting that God loved me.  I felt like yelling, "I know He loves Jesus but does He love me"?  I have to know that deeper and wider than I have ever known it before.

My life was not reflecting what I was saying.  If I was completely honest my heart was condemning me.  I was down on myself all the time.  Talking or thinking about my faults more than how much my Daddy loves me.  I could cave in with criticism.  It would paralyze me.  I would want to go to sleep or run away to something to make me feel no pain.  Oh I would go to Jesus for comfort but I didn't know how to receive that comfort from Him or my Father.  I realized I was consumed with fears.  Going to God with them He began to work in my heart to give me a fearless heart.  I got courage because I knew from my past God would see me through anything.

But I still felt worthless.  I would hear you are not worthy but because of Jesus you are worthy.  I knew what Jesus had done for me on the cross.  I was full of love and gratitude for Jesus.   But I wanted to know God loved me for me.

 People began to pray for me.  I listened to people talk and sermons about grace.  Then I began to think about scriptures that said He loved me so much He sent His one and only Son.  That before time He said, Jesus you see that one.  I want you to go get her.  I want her in our family.  I want her as my child.  That even if I never changed He would not love me any less.  Nothing was going to separate me from His radical love for me.  That He liked me.  My personality.  What made me me.  Not only that but He was going to make me the very best me I can be.  I am a sweet smelling aroma to Him.  When this thing is over and I see Him face to face, I will be in full bloom.   The tears streamed down my cheeks as I read how I was fearfully and wonderfully made.  And how His works are wonderful.  That He searches my heart and He knows me deep within who I am.  And that He delights and sings over me.  And that love will endure forever.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Why Does God Bless Us?

For a while now I have been thinking and praying about a question.  I want to know what does scripture say.  Does God bless us because we obey?  My thoughts right off were...did anyone, besides Christ, obey more than Paul and look at his life.  He went from suffering to suffering.  Did Paul suffer because he sinned?  No!  We are told... He suffered to identify with the sufferings of Christ.  To know Christ and  and the power of His resurrections.  He suffered to the point of death so that he might not depend on himself but depend on God.  He suffered  a thorn in his flesh that he ask God to remove 3 times.  God said my grace is sufficient for you.  God had revealed so much to Paul, he had a tendency toward pride. God used Paul's suffering to humble him, to work in his heart.  God uses suffering to train us.    Paul suffered for the sake of the spreading of the gospel.  He suffered on behalf of the church.  Christ left suffering for the church to do.  Christ suffered but never disobeyed His Father.

The law protects us to a certain degree in this fallen world.  If you do not kill or steal you will not go to prison for being a murderer or a thief.  If a child does not touch the stove he will not get burned.  The law cannot change a heart. To try to keep the law does not mean you know Jesus.  Being good doesn't save you.   As a matter of fact it shows us how much we need Jesus.  Because without the Spirit we cannot love.

We obey not to gain Gods blessings but because we love God.  God says if you love me you will keep my commandments.   Obedience is a sacrifice of worship and praise.  Trusting Christ brings peace and joy to the believer.  But because you obey Christ does not mean your life will be plentiful financially, in ministry, relationships or physically.  As a matter of fact the Christian is promised suffering.  Our hearts are to follow Christ out of deep gratitude and trust.  What is to obey anyway?  To love period. It is faith that pleases God.

 If you say I will just disobey because I am forgiven you don't understand grace.  You are in rebellion towards God.  To willfully sin is as if you crucify Christ again.  God says He disciplines those He loves. He will pull the rug out from under you.  If you are His, He will come get you and drag you home.  Look at Jonah.

Then why does God bless us?  I cannot possibly know all the reasons God blesses us.   Who can know His mind?  All I know is He blesses me all the time and I don't deserve it.  All I know is what scripture says God blesses the just and the unjust.  I believe it gives God great joy to bless.  He even uses our sin to bless us.  He does not bless us nor love us because we are good.  We may suffer consequences of bad choices.  No doubt we will unless God intervenes.  He makes us more like Jesus.  God blesses to bring Himself glory.  For us to know Him and His character.  God is good.  He uses it to win spiritual battles for us. To bring awe to Himself from the heavenly host.  It brings God great pleasure to bless His children.  Can you relate to that?

 Because we are covered with the blood of Jesus we receive the blessings of God.  When He sees us He sees our sin no more.  He doesn't remember it.  We are righteous and obedient and holy because Jesus has given us His righteousness, His holiness, His obedience.  God blesses us because of Jesus.
 Because of the Cross of Christ God will bless you today.  Thank Him.  Follow Him.  Surrender your will to Him.  Worship Him.  He is worthy to be praised.  Trust Him...miracles happen when we have faith.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Road Less Traveled

Tonight I was with someone riding to their new house.  She was telling me all along where we were and where we were going. Once I drive it I will remember our ride there.  I will remember the things she told me.  But until I find the way myself I will not be able to get there.  I can tell you a lot of what she said.  But I won't understand it until I experience it.

Walking by faith is a little like this to me.  I have heard all my christian life.  Walk by faith not by sight.
I have heard the words but did not see with the eyes of my heart.  We each are on our own journey.  Oh there are similarities.  But we each are pilgrims.  God has an individual plan for each of us.  He is personal.  One thing we all have in common we all are becoming more like the Fathers Son, Jesus.

 It is of my humble opinion that no matter how hard we try we can not rush the process to living by faith.  Believe me I have tried.  God knows what He has to accomplish in each of our lives to move us from a place of self dependence to God dependence.  From oppression to freedom.  From unbelief to trusting. From pain to His comfort.  From fear to resting in His control and His love for us.

He has taken me from the most legalistic slavery, to freedom, from the desert of feeling my pain and worshipping idols by seeking them to comfort me, to facing my giants of the fears in my life, to the Promise Land of on going resting and trusting.  Peace and joy no matter what is going on.  He has not become angry when I ran to other lovers.  He did not fall asleep when I just couldn't move.  When I was so depressed and drugged I couldn't get out of bed. He did not leave me when I ran away.  He did not shame me when I was afraid.  He kept pursuing me as Hosea.  The prostitute who kept trying to find love.

It all makes sense now.  All the years of hearing about living in the unseen not the seen.  We do not reach a point to where we have arrived. But we do move to a place where we have been declared righteous by faith.  Hebrews 11.  Where we live in forgiveness and a clear conscience.  Where God is our constant companion.  Where we depend more on Him than we do ourselves.  Where we worship Him and have no other gods before us.  It is this walk by faith.  It is the Road Less Traveled.

He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

God lifts us up



God does not promise to remove us from our circumstances.  But to lift us out of them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

God Speaks

A few years ago I did a study called Experiencing God.  He talked about the different ways God speaks to us.  We all want to hear Gods voice.  It may not be through a burning bush but no less God communicates with His people.

We all know that God speaks to us through His word, Jesus and the Bible.  But He speaks to us so many different ways.  He is a still small voice we are told.  He speaks to us throughout our day.  It is an impressing of the heart and mind.  He promises to lead us.  To direct our path.  We are to have a personal relationship with Him speaking and listening.  Through meditation and worship.

He speaks to us through prayer.  Through others.  Through His creation, songs, music, His creation, His beauty.  Gifts He gives others.  Movies, art, blogs, articles, books our works and service to others.  In every way man expresses himself God is there.  We are all created in the image of God.  He speaks to us through non christians as well as christians.

Ask God to reveal Himself to you in new and exciting ways.  Listen for His voice.  Look for His glory.  His desire is for intimacy with you.

Face Book

Don't know if you are on fb but I post there on Desperate Delight several times a day.  Here only about once a week.

Remembering 9-ll and those who lost their lives and their loved ones.  Also those that so diligently and faithfully serve our country in so many ways.  My prayers go to you and your family.

I want to thank you for being so faithful to read.  I want to serve you and God.  If there is something you would like for me to write on I will do my best.

Blessings to you all.  Praying for you and yours now.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gods Grace To Me Tonight


Gods Calling

When I use to think of God's calling on my life, I use to think of some wonderful ministry.  When the kids were young I felt I was called to be their godly mother.  I never thought of God calling me to do something I didn't want to do.  Oh I had been through suffering before.  That isn't really what I am talking about.

Since what I wanted was a good thing God wanted it too.  Do you know what I mean?  Like me being mentally well, maybe a blessing from your parent, obedient children, a christian marriage, maybe even a job making enough to provide for your family.  These are good things.  But good things can be idols in our life.  The can take over our every thought, our joy, our peace.  They can be the driving force in our lives.  We may even think, without saying it, God owes me this.  I deserve this.  Or I am just trying to do what I know God wants in my life.  Or without this in my life I am a failure as a christian.  I have failed God.

When we don't get these things it exposes our hearts.  Who or what is first in my life.  Is it God or is it what I think I have got to have to make me valuable?  Have I convinced myself that only then, when I get what I am working and praying for, will He be glorified.  Am I so looking for a miracle I miss the miracle Worker.  So looking to the creation I miss the Creator.

As you let these things rest in Gods control and in His plan for you.  It will undoubtedly be the hardest thing you will ever do.  It maybe the most frightening thing to think of going through life without.  It will feel like you are going to die. But He is with you and you are His.  It will not consume you.

He is using not getting what I want to rescue my heart.  He is more interested in being first in my life because He knows that is my ultimate good.  The question is can I quit beating my head against the wall in a slow death?  And go live a life in faith and worship unto God and God alone.  Yes I can because God is faithful to me even when I am not.  The whole 43 chapter of Isaiah speaks of God's faithfulness and love to His people.

         Is. 43:1  "Fear not, for I have redeemed you
                       I have summoned you by name and you are mine.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Billy Gilman - There's A Hero

Voices

Is God calling you to do something you just don't feel you can do.  Maybe it is a ministry.  Maybe it is to love someone unloveable.  Maybe you don't even want to do it.  But more than anything you want to love and follow Christ.

What are the voices saying to you today?  Are they telling you are unworthy?  That you will never amount to anything?  The voices maybe coming from someone you love.  Or someone right where you are today.  They could come from your past.  Or just in your head.

Where ever the voices are coming from they are a lie straight from the pit of hell.  When these voices of unworthiness come tell yourself the truth.  In and of yourself you are unworthy.  We are sinners saved by grace.  It is Jesus coming to get us and make us the Fathers own that make us worthy.

You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you willing if you are not. He takes the little that you have and multiplies it 10 fold.  Like the loaves and fishes he fed the thousands.  Give Him your very heart.  He has taken your heart of stone and given you a heart of flesh.  He thinks you are pretty wonderful.  Trust Him with you fears and your doubts.  Go to Him and give what you have.  And watch Him work miracles upon miracles.