“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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 trusts, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV
Love is God and love is perfect because God is perfect. How far do we fall short in this area? I know I try very hard to show love but cannot help but think bad thoughts when someone does or says something I don’t like or that isn’t correct. I live in a nursing home so most people just can’t help the way they act. They don’t always remember things either. But no one is perfect but God. He is the inventor and creator of pure love and that is how he loves everyone. I know he has shown me such perfect complete love. He once told me he loved me like his son David and David was a man after Gods heart. But he loves everyone that way, unconditionally. Not just me, but everyone, everywhere, each and every day for thousands of years. Now that’s billions. We’re all his favorites. I watched a show last night about different women who overcame hard pasts to become courageous women of God. It was that overpowering great love of God that accepts us right where we are and showers us with love that we could never get anywhere else. But a love that is so strong that it can completely transform lives. A love that you can trust so much and want so much to be like. I don’t know if you have ever been a parent but there is no greater love than for that little life you helped bring into the world. As your child grows it just grows deeper. You would die for that life. Don’t mess with one of my kids or you will pay. A mother is like a bear protecting her cubs. With a fierce love. Our God’s love can not be equaled. Just look at the awesome world he gave us. The many different wonders we can only begin to explore. I know when I was married my husband felt safe if he never had to leave this country. I’ve missed so much. The fact that he let his one and only son go through so much at the hands of humans. Just so we could spend forever with him in paradise. It was the only way but what love. Lately I have been so blessed financially. I have very minimal money for disability so I am very cautious in my spending. My supplies like shampoo and soap just keep multiplying and I have used it for months. Or I will get a gift of something I really need. I wanted to buy a baby gift for a friend and I found out I had a large credit in my account so everything I needed was free. God always amazes me how all my needs are met. I am not the only one. I hear others tell me how he miraculously helped them and I get all choked up. Man he must be busy. I wish everyone could know the love I have found.
Have you felt that love?
“The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:10 NIV
Once we have accepted Christ as our savior we are just beginning. We are no longer powerless and weak. The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in our hearts and will be with us always. He is there to help us and to guide us. With his help you can do anything. You should join a good church, start reading the Bible, and pray regularly. These all help us get to know the God we serve. You want to grow your relationship. Any relationship takes work. Spending time getting to know Christ and his characteristics. When you get to know him you will want to keep his commands. While you are keeping his commands you will grow character and you will see fruit in your life. Fruit is: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and Faithfulness. If we don’t have fruit then we really aren’t changed. If there is no fruit then are we really saved? So many people say they are Christians but there is no fruit in there lives. Zero. But Christian means follower of Christ. Christ taught us to love and do good or show fruit. So to be a Christian you need to love and bear fruit. No fruit, no Jesus. It’s plain and simple. So do all you can to genuinely love others. Helping them in all their needs and encouraging them to be better people. This kind of fruit keeps growing in us and then in others. It never ends. Don’t be like the Pharisees. They knew the law and even made up some of their own but did not know Christ personally. They were not followers but wanted to be followed for who they were. They did not keep many of the laws themselves. They certainly did not love the less fortunate like Jesus did. He came to serve and they were too good to serve. A real servant serves not just those they like but serves those that can’t give anything in return. That’s true service.
Do you want to have fruit in your life?
“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act.” Malachi 4:2 NIV
The word of God has so much for us and I am always seeing new truths in whatever I read. This is a picture of joy and abundance. I want to be right there. If you are a Christ follower then this is talking about you. It is good to know how God thinks about you. The sun does rise on us every day and we need to embrace that truth. It is going to be a great day. This is an attitude you should have every morning when you wake up. If you say, oh no another day. Well, the day probably won’t be great. Do you want to frolic like well-fed calves? Picture it, fat and sassy and romping around the pasture. Yah they are penned in and meant to do whatever is expected of them but they are living life fully. It is all in their attitude. You will trample on the wicked. Evil is all around us but it won’t harm us if we just believe. How many bad people have you wanted to stomp on? And crush under your foot. It’s a promise. We should not want evil for anyone because they don’t really know what they are doing. Christ even forgave the ones who murdered him. Saying, “they know not what they do.” The day the Lord acts is every day. He doesn’t procrastinate like we do. He is always working on behalf of his children. He loves us much and desires to give us much but you need to believe it and receive it. Imagine it all the time and it will prove true in your life. If you want anything bad enough, then focus doing all you can to get it. Tell God what you want and why. If it is good for you he probably wants it for you. Go for it. It may not be his timing yet but you have to try. I love to do all I do in a frolicking, joyful attitude. If it is worth doing it is worth doing the best and happiest you can. I just decided I need to exercise my arms. Exercising is not really fun so I listen to music or a book while I work out and the time zips by. I’m getting stronger and having a good time.
Do you want to live abundantly?
“Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Exodus 33:18-19 NIV
The glory of the Lord is an awesome and powerful thing but not everyone can see it. I know I was 50 before my eyes were really opened to how awesome God is. It wasn’t till I really searched for all of him that my eyes were opened fully and I was in awe. Before then I did know of the Lord but, only Bible stories not personally. There was no power or awe in my life and it was a struggle to do the right things. Now that my eyes are opened I am so in love and amazed by his goodness and mercy. I get so emotional in a second when people are talking about him. My heart yells.”Ya, that’s my God, isn’t he awesome!” It’s like the proud feeling you get when someone is bragging about your child or spouse, someone you love dearly. But God is unbelievably good. I see him do special things in my life every day, and I am just one of his billions of kids. Wow. Another thing he tells us is that not everyone sees his mercy and compassion in their lives. He is God and he will do what he will do and there is no one or nobody who can question his motives. But if you read his words and believe in Jesus Christ as your savior, then you know just like I do that he shows favor to his true children. If you are one of his family you know he blesses all the time. He watches over us all the time and enjoys doting over us. The more time I spend with him in prayer, reading his word and meditating on it, singing praises, and all the other things I do to get to know him better, the more I fall in love with him. It brings so much peace and joy knowing him and how much he loves me. I am so glad that I was born into such a good Christian family and got to know him while I was young. But not so many people are so lucky. I did not have some of the struggles and difficulties that others have had. I had a very good life so far. That is why I have a desire to let everyone know how easy it can be to find the true and lasting peace I’ve found.
Don’t you want to be one of his kids and be doted over?
“Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” 1 Chronicles 29:11 NIV
Lord you are so wonderful. Your ways are so good. I am just so grateful that you have blessed me so for all my 60 years. I look at the world around me and it does shout of your glory. You made us a masterpiece for us to enjoy every day and I will never take that for granted. I love that you plucked me down in beautiful Arizona. From the beautiful sunsets to the cool tall pines. I could never see it all. Yesterday I got to enjoy our Botanical gardens and it was a perfect 72 degree and sunny day. I saw so many different cacti all different and unique. Small to large and some really weird prehistoric looking plants. Nothing average or boring. You are creative. They had a wonderful butterfly exhibit. I really enjoyed going through this enclosure. I saw thousands of butterflies everywhere. Up close they are so delicate and so lovely. They were flying all around me a landing on me. To a huge monarch to tiny little ones. So much to enjoy in this world. The people you have sent into my life, I choose to enjoy each and every one. Friends and family and some that I don’t know yet but want to get to know. You have helped me learn the importance of being grateful. Every morning, even before I open my eyes, I can come to you and say thanks. A bright new day, maybe cool, warm, rainy, windy or snowy (which I miss so much). So much goes into the upkeep of this planet but you do it effortlessly because you designed it so well. You thought of absolutely everything. Scientists try to know things, and they have come a long way, thanks only to you. They will never begin to discover all that you know. Your plans for us are so good. I’m really glad that you sent me to a church that I just love. It is beautiful and it is so good at finding needs and making sure they are taken care of. I am right in the center of what you are doing and you do use me though I am nothing special, just your daughter, and that’s more than enough. I have seen so many answers to prayer and you work in some awesome ways. I want to touch every one in a special way. Use me to make a difference. Everyone I meet is made in your image and I know you love them and gave your life for them. Help me to see them with your eyes. Thank you so very much.
Do you take time to be grateful?
“Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Exodus 33: 18-19 NIV
The glory of the Lord is a great and powerful thing but not everyone can see it. I know I was 50 before my eyes were actually open so I could see how awesome God is. It wasn’t until I searched for all of him that my eyes were opened fully and I was in awe. Before then I did know the Lord, but I just knew of him. There was no power or awe in my life and it was a real struggle to do the right things. Now that my eyes are opened I am so in love and am in awe of all his attributes. He overwhelms me all the time with how good and merciful he is. I also get so emotional in a minutes time when people tell me something God has done. My heart yells, “Ya, that’s my God, isn’t he awesome.” It’s like the proud feeling you get when someone is bragging about your child or spouse, someone you love so very much. But God is unbelievably good. I see him do special things everyday in my life and I am just one of his kids. Wow. Another thing he tells us is that not everyone gets his grace and mercy and compassion in their lives. He is God and he will do what he will do and there is no one or nothing that has any right to question his motives. But if you read his words and believe in Jesus Christ as your savior. Then you know like I do that he does show favor to his own children. If you are one of his family you know he gives blessings to us all of the time and enjoys doting over us. The more time I spend with him in prayer, reading his word, singing praises and all the other things I do to get to know him better, the more I fall in love with him. It brings so much peace and joy just knowing how much he loves me. I’m so glad I was born into a good Christian family and got to know him while I was young. But not so many people are so lucky. I did not have some of the struggles and difficulties others have had. I had a very good life so far. That is why I have a desire to let others know how easy it is to have that joy and peace I have found.
Don’t you want to be one of his kids he dotes over?
“I know your deeds, they are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were ever one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot or cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15 NIV
We are saved by grace not by deeds and we can not get to heaven by being good. But, that does not mean that we should not do good deeds. The way you can tell you are a Christian is if there is bountiful fruit in your life. Fruit is: Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Goodness, Kindness and Faithfulness. If those branches do not have fruit on them then God will prune them back, which can be hard. So you will produce more fruit. Am I concerned with others needs? Am I willingly thinking of others first? I don’t need to worry about my needs because God already has that covered. We don’t actually need everything we want. So demanding my way is not really important. Some people don’t like what they have so everything seems important. But I see all of the things my father gives me and dwell on that. This has made me a very happy and grateful person. It also makes me want others needs met so they can be happy too. This is why I do good deeds. Also, I want to do all God has for me. I like to think he is happy with me. I also like to think there are blessings waiting for me in heaven. I don’t think there is anything wrong in thinking that way. God is the one who offered rewards for those who advance his kingdom. I am just looking forward to that day. Many people seem to think that once you have asked God into your heart you are all set, able to live however they want from there on out. But I want more. I want all he has for me, I don’t want to miss nothing. I am also willing to go after it. Remember this is a race – and I want a prize. The race only goes to the swift. One day I long to hear, “well done good and faithful servant.”
How well is your race going.?
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name and in your name cast out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly’I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers.” Matthew 7:22-23 NIV
“For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Matthew 7:13 NIV
This world is a terrible place right now. It is easy to see we are in the end times. I hurt that so many people are lost and hurting. But we have been warned. It is not easy to get into heaven. It takes strength and commitment. People think you must be weak to choose Christianity. But I’ll tell you it is much easier to follow the crowd do just what feels good. It may be easier, but not better by far. If you are a Christian people will look down on you and treat you differently. Doing the right thing is not popular. Being a true Christian makes you unique and different. Standing out in a crowd. To be a true Christian you need to follow God’s commands. This is how we show him we love him. He is first in our lives before everything else. Now he has shown us how much he loves us and continues to show us each and every day. He does want the very best for us that is why his commands are there. I can see a lot of violence and hatred in the world. I get that those things won’t end up in heaven, but in the first verse it says Many who say they are Christians and who do great things in the ministry will not be going to heaven. So good deeds don’t necessarily cut it. It’s a heart thing and only God knows our hearts. People can act like a Christian and not be one. It’s not what you do but why you do it that matters. To be a Christian is to be as much like Christ as we can. He was an excellent example for us to follow. No we are not perfect, we make mistakes. But we are forgiven if we really desire to do right and make a difference. Because we are free to be a Christian in America we’ve taken it for granted. We are free to do just what we want. Making many of us selfish. It’s easy to think of numero uno first. But this is not Gods way. He has told us to put others first. Hard to follow maybe, but it’s important. Love always thinks of others first. In other countries where it isn’t free to worship God, there are so many more real Christians. They risk their lives every day that they desire to serve God, but there is a greater passion in what they do because it’s very very important to them. Here, well I’ll get around to it someday. But someday is not promised. You are betting your life in eternity each breath you take. If there is no heaven then we lose nothing, but if there is a hell you lose everything if you have not planned ahead. It’s easy to do the wrong thing, the things everyone else is doing. But remember the road to destruction is wide. It’s difficult to stay on that tiny path and many won’t complete the journey. But it is worth it.
Which road are you on?
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NIV
Do you realize how powerful every word that comes out of your mouth is? Every minute of the day we have the ability to bring life and good or death and destruction to our lives and to the lives around us. It is a very small muscle but like the rudder of a ship it may be strong but it controls a lot. After my stroke I could not speak and I never realized how important it was until I could not convey certain needs. Since I could not do much for myself and the people around me did not know me well, most people did not know what I needed. I started using a spelling board but I pointed too quickly for most people to keep up and it was very frustrating. I still have a hard time getting my words out but I am a lot clearer for most people. If it is someone new it takes some time to learn my special lingo. I try to use few and simple words as possible. I spend a lot more time listening and watching those around me. We can learn so much by listening, it also gives us time to think what we are going to say. If it is negative or does not help someone it’s probably better not said. I do however see the importance of not stuffing emotions, but always use tact when venting frustrations. This has helped me see the power other’s words really have. Negative and selfish words are destructive and can hurt. I don’t waste words complaining, arguing and whining. I used to be sarcastic and joking but there is no reason to anymore. People can be very negative and it just ruins their day. Speak words of life and positive words whenever you can. If you are feeling negative think of ten things you are grateful for. Focusing our thoughts on all we have good and not the negative around us helps. There is good all around us and I would rather talk about that. Always say nice things to others whenever you can. Like: I love your dress or hair, or just smile genuinely.
Do you think before you speak?
“The reason why my father loves me is because I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and take it up again. This command I received from my father.” John 10:17&18 NIV
From the beginning they were there together. They knew all and had a plan to save all people and bring them back to themselves to live for eternity. What impresses me so much about this verse was that God put his son in control. Of course Jesus knew his father’s will but he also had final authority to make that decision himself. At any point he could have called for a hundred angels to come save him. So that they could not harm him. But he willingly laid down his life. He looked ahead to eternity and said, “they are worth it.” He kept that and the joy of his father in mind during everything. As he was being beaten and as he hung on the cross in great anguish we were on his mind. Family is so very important. I know as a parent my children came first, there wasn’t anything i wouldn’t do for them or their father. Well he looked at us that very same way and he knew that a perfect lamb had to be sacrificed for our sins for God to be able to be with us, his family forever. He was the only one who could do it. Not only did he go to his death willingly but he put up no objections or arguments. He forgave each and everyone who would do anything to bring about his death. As he hung there dying he saw the remorse and pain in the eyes of the criminal that hung next to him. He had done things worthy of death but he could also see his heart . He knew that he was sorry. He forgave him on the spot and promised him paradise. Even when he could have been thinking of himself he wasn’t. He was thinking of others. He knew they were all a part of God’s great plan. It was a perfect plan and each person’s actions were important to that plan. He saw the big picture. What it would mean to eternity. We see the small view. How could he do this? Why would his father want this? So much pain, hurting and suffering. But it was enough, it was brief compared to forever. I am so glad he made a way for me. A gift so precious that I will never take it for granted. I have so much respect and love for my savior. I get to know him more every day and I love him more and more.
Aren’t you glad for this gift, too?