Love is in the air – Part three

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

In the last 2 articles that I wrote about love, I focused on God’s love for us, which is wonderful, but we need to have a look at how we are too love one another. Here is a list of some great scriptures about how we are to love one another.

 I pray that you as you read through these scriptures, that the Lord will speak to your heart through them and that you will be able to apply it to your daily walk with the Lord.

 1Peter 1:22

 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

 1Peter 4:8

 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

 1John 3:1

 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

 1John 3:11

This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

 1John 3:14, 16

 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers

 1John 3:18

 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

 1John 3:23

 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

 1John 4:7

 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

 1John 4:8

 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

 1John 4:9

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

 1John 4:10

 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

 1John 4:11 – 12

 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

 1John 4:16 – 21

 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us.

If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

 1John 5:2

This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.

 Romans 12: 9-21 –  What does Love look like?

  • Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 
  •  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 
  •  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 
  •  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 
  •  Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
  •  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 
  •  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
  •  Live in harmony with one another.
  •  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.
  •  Do not be conceited.
  •  Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
  •  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 
  •  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 
  •  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 
  • On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I pray that you are challenged by the lord to show his kind of love to those around you, I know that I am.

I pray that He will bless you indeed as you are his hands and feet to our love starved world

To read the second part of this article click here

Love is in the air – part two

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

 To continue our look at what the bible says real love is, here are some more verses on the topic, I can never even begin to write anything that would remotely stand up to the word of God so I will let it speak for itself.  I pray that you will take a moment before reading these verses and pray a simple prayer asking the lord to open up your heart to receive his amazing words.

 (Dear heavenly father, I pray that you will open up the eyes of my heart, and open my ears to hear the wonders of what your word has to say to me today, teach me more about what you say love is, and how I need to walk in love in my own life. Thank you heavenly father, Amen.)

 Please take the time and have a look at the verses that surround the verses that I have given you, that will help you to understand the full scope of what the verses mean. I pray that you will be blessed as you read through this list of verses on what love is according to the Holy Bible.

 Psalm 100:5

 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations

Psalm  103:8

 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Psalm 103:11

 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

Psalm 103:17

 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—

Psalm  106:1

Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

John 3:16-18

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 

John 14:21

 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.

 John 15:9

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love

John 15:12

 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Romans 5:5

 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 5:8

 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8:28

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:35 – 39

 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved 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.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8 – The love chapter

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
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, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails

1Corinthians 16:14

 Do everything in love.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
gentleness and self–control. Against such things there is no law.

Ephesians 3: 14-19

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 5:1-2

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Philippians 1:9 -11

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self‑discipline.

 Brothers and Sisters, as you can see God’s expression of love to us, and our expression of his love to others is vastly different to how our culture thinks love should be like. We all long for this kind of love, we try really hard to manufacture this kind of love with cheap imitations, but in reality, Love starts with God, then when we accept him as our Lord and Savior he takes up residence within our hearts. When he does that, he enables us to love others with His love.

 All other imitations of love will never satisfy us, it will never fulfill that deep longing that we have within our hearts. I pray that you will study these verses, that they will become a part of the fabric of who you are and that you will start to not only love God with your whole heart, but yourself and others too.

 The bible teaches us that as Christians we have to continually renew our minds and thinking, so that we line up with the word of God and his teachings, I believe that when you start to study these verses I have listed above and apply them to your mind and heart, it will revolutionize your life.

To read part one of this great article click here

Love is in the air – part one

 Yes you guessed it is Valentines day, a day to stop and reflect and express your love to your sweetheart and others around you. The media would have us believe that love is, all about red hearts, gifts and candies. It is about liking someone, so that you sleep with him/her. They would have us believe that love is just about sex, music and really anything that makes us happy. The truth of the matter is that is not what the bible says that love is.

 Please take a journey with me through scripture and read what the bible says about love.

 I ask that you will take a few moments and get your bible out and read all of the surrounding verses that accompany the scriptures that I will list. Be sure to take a moment and pray and ask the Holy Spirit to open up your understanding of God’s great love for us his children.

 (Dear lord Jesus, as I read these scriptures today, please open up the eyes of my heart that I may know and understand the depth of your love for me. I pray that you will help me to hide these truths in my heart and that I will take them into my belief system. I pray that I will live my life with the knowledge that you love me and that I am to love you with my whole heart. I thank you dear Jesus,

Amen.)

In this first section, notice what the bible teaches us about God and his fierce love to us, and how we are to respond to his love.

Deuteronomy 10:12

 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Psalm 25:6-7

 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.

Psalm 26:3

 for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.

Psalm 31:23

 Love the LORD, all his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full.

Psalm 32:10

Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.

 Psalm 33:5

The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Psalm 33:18

  But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

Psalm 33:22

 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

Psalm36:5

 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

Psalm 36:7

 How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm  36:10

Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.

Psalm 40:11

 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me.

Psalm 40:16

 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “The LORD be exalted!”

Psalm 44:26

 Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love.

Proverbs 21:21

He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.

Psalm 57:10

 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Psalm 59:16

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Psalm 51:1

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

Psalm  57:10

 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Psalm 59:16

 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Psalm 60:5

Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.

Psalm 63:3

 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

Psalm 66:20

Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

Psalm 86:5

You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Psalm 86:13

For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. 

 Psalm 86:15

 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Psalm 89:2

 I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

God love for us is everlasting and faithful, it will never let us down, it will lead us into paths of righteous living, it will protect us from harm, it is compassionate towards us, full of mercy, it rescues us, lifts us out of our sin, it forgives us of our sins. God’s love for us stretches to the heaven and he is gracious to us, and when we respond to his love for us, we have the privilege of experiencing what the above verses describe.

Take a moment and give God thanks for us great love for us, praise him that he will let you down. Praise him that he will always be with you, both now and forever more.

Now, to be honest, that is the kind of love that appeals to me way more than what the media is trying to sell me.

To read part two of this article click here

Displaying God’s great splendor!

 Dear Sisters and Brother in the Lord

 Isaiah 61:1-3

1The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,     
  2to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,     
3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty      instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise      instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

 If ever I was to pick a favorite bible verse, I would have to say that these 3 verses are it. For many reasons, but I think that the biggest reason is that it is the promises that through Christ, I will be restored, that I will have a crown of beauty instead of the ashes that was so typical of my life.

 In Christ I would be given the oil of gladness instead of mourning, as I forever mourned my poor choices. I would wear a garment of praise instead of the despair that threatened to over take my life on a constant basis. Then my favorite part of the verse, that I will be strong in the lord, (an oak of righteousness, I will be planted by the lord and that I will be for the display of his splendor.) I cannot think of anything that could make me happier than to reflect Jesus and what he has done for me in my every day life.

 For many years these things were not true in my life, but as God has brought healing and restoration into my war torn mind, body and spirit I can say with great pleasure that I truly can display Him in every way.

 This brings me to something that I would like to share with you, it happened a few weeks ago as I was walking through our local mall. I was killing time, waiting for my husband and not really paying much attention to my surroundings. I was going from store to store, admiring the clothing.

 When I walked into The Bay, a large department store, I heard the Lord say to me, that I needed to start to dress like I believed that I was beautiful. Now I have always taken care in my appearance, but not overly. (Jeans are my friends)

 Then I heard the lord whisper into my spirit, “My daughters need to reflect My beauty, as they are for the display of My splendor. They need to dress like they believe it.”

 The lord reminded me of a friend who a few weeks ago met me for coffee, when she arrived she had dressed up and looked like a million dollars. She looked amazing.

The lord reminded me that when she did that, she was displaying the beauty of who God made her to be.

He then reminded me of the woman who live in Europe and how they get dressed up each day and parade the streets in the evening. When they do that they are showing off their grandeur. In North America, we tend to be the opposite and don’t dress up or take pride in how we look, weather is a contributing factor, but we as God’s daughters can still look nice.

 I believe that God continued the conversation with me saying “My daughters need to dress like they believe that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords is indeed the Most High God, who lavishes his beauty on His daughters and that he is living within them.

 This is not an issue of pride, but as daughters of the king we need to take joy in reflecting who we are to a broken world. Showing off our true beauty; this beauty is a reflection from the inside, knowing that in Christ we are enough; believing it and then living it.

 This includes your hair, clothing, jewelry, and even adding some make up.

Our inner confidence in Christ needs to be reflected outwardly.

 There is a huge difference between the outward display of beauty because of insecurity, pride and vanity compared to the beauty that is displayed because of an inward security that goes all the way to the inmost part of who you are in Christ.”

 I believe that God is beginning to set the stage as we display him and show the world His lavish love and beauty.

 Dear sisters in Christ, you are more than enough in Him. You are inhabited by the King of Kings and His Spirit is all beauty and love. (Have a look around at all that he has created for us to enjoy)

 I challenge you to love Him enough, to love yourself and show the world the wonders of His Great Majesty.

 It is time to step up Daughters of the King and be clothed in His Garments.

 His garments of praise, righteousness, holiness, love, kindness, compassion, salvation are there for you, clothe yourselves today.

 Know that in Christ Jesus, you are enough, that God wants you to reflect him to the world around you. He wants your confidence to be in him and his abilities through you as you walk in humbled surrender to him today.

 I pray that you will reflect on these words, believing that if God says that you are enough, it is true, all you have to do is keep hiding yourself in him.

You are enough!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

Have you ever felt inadequate, not quite measuring up to the expectations of the people around you, well I most certainly have.

Sometimes it was a careless word spoken to me, that said “You are not enough” or my own thoughts that would torment me into believing that “I was not enough”. It amazes me that after many years of God helping me to change my thinking and behavior from “I am not enough to; you are enough in Me” I still occasionally fall back into old thinking.

Just recently I had another such reminder, that with Christ living within me, I am enough to do all that he has called me to do. I don’t have to wait for another person to bail me out, I don’t have to do anything, but trust that God who lives within me is more than capable of working through me to affect the lives of the people around me.

He in Me makes Me more than enough!

Simple statement but so true and the implications are so vast. Let me start at the beginning,

2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

So here is how God taught me this lesson once again:

A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to minister to a friend of mine who was going through a rough time. Throughout our conversation I know that God was working in her heart, as I could visibly see the peace come into her eyes.

Further on in the conversation I thought to myself that if she wants the kind of freedom that Christ has to offer, I need to get a friend of mine involved in praying for her. I was convinced that this was great idea. I even told her about it, and she agreed.

At the end of our conversation we parted company and all the way home I prayed for her that God would bring the healing and freedom that I knew that he wanted to give her. I rejoiced that I was a part of what God was doing in her life to set her free, and I rejoiced that he was using me to help her along.

Once I got home, I sat down to watch a documentary on TV; it was on the life of a lady named Franny Crosby. She was blinded at birth by a man posing to be a doctor but with the help of very supportive family she went on to lead as normal life as possible.

When she was about 30 (give or take a few years) she gave her heart to the lord. She had a great love for poetry and had many of her poems published already.

When she was about 43 years of age, she began a journey which would lead her to write over 10 000 hymns.

That is when I heard the lord speak into my spirit. I heard him say to me, “you were deflecting” (deflecting means -to bend or turn aside; turn from a true course or straight line; swerve) I was avoiding praying with my friend, because I believed that someone who had more experience should help me to pray with her.

“Huh” I replied, He said “ Just as I gave Franny Crosby everything that she needed to write those songs, I have given you every thing you need to pray with someone, I am more than enough, you don’t need anyone else to pray for someone in hopes that I will heal them. Me in you equals more than enough!”

God was right, at the time of the conversation, all I could think was that I couldn’t pray for her as I did not want to put her into captivity by not praying the right things and leaving things out, or forgetting an important piece of the puzzle.

God says that he is more than capable of delivering the healing through my awkward prayers. He is more than enough to bring the healing and hope to the person that he has called me to minister to.

All I need to do is to trust him and let him work through me and when I do that, no matter the task that he sets before me, I will be able to do in full confidence that it is him at work through me.

 I repented for my deflection and my unbelief in his abilities to work through me. I believe that God needed to teach me a very important lesson and that is, we must only rely on God.

In God alone is where my trust needs to lie, in God alone will I find strength and the ability to do anything. In God alone can people be healed and set free from all that has trapped them in their sin.

In God alone can I minister. It is through is spirit within me, not my abilities, not my strength, not my good words, but with God working through the Holy Spirit within me, I truly can do all that he sets before me to do today.

I pray that you will realize that your strength does not lie in your degree, or job, or pay check or even in another person. Your strength to do anything comes from God alone.

Amen