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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Love is Always Available

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Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself,~Jeremiah 31:3.

The same words God spoke to Israel He speaks to me and to you! God loves with an everlasting love. According to the dictionary everlasting means.

1. Lasting forever; eternal: everlasting future life.
2. Lasting or continuing for an indefinitely long time.
3. Incessant; constantly recurring.
4. Eternal duration; eternity.

We tend to think of life in relation to time. We live in a realm of time and space. It is challenging to think of eternity; never-ending, ceaseless, infinite, and without any limitation. We are limited. God is not limited by time, space, or anything. He loves every person with a love that is almost incomprehensible.
People spend their lives looking for unconditional love. Searching for someone to bring out the best in them. They search for wholeness, life, hope, encouragement, and for someone to be a witness to their lives. Many search for love in the arms of a person. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be loved by a person. The problem comes when there is an expectation of perfect love from a person. It will not happen. All human beings are limited, and God never intended for people to replace Him. I am convinced God allows people to disappoint us from time to time so we see that He alone can love perfectly.
If love is always available, then why don’t more people feel loved?
Relationship leads to confidence…
When we first encounter someone, we don’t believe they love us either. We grow to understand their love through relationship and experience. We grow to understand their love through relationship. God invites us into relationship with Him through His Son. It’s a personal relationship. It’s not a distant relationship, but a close relationship. Think of it this way. A child never meets their Father. They read about him. They receive letters from him that say he loves them. They listen to other people talk about how great their father is and how much he loves them, but they have never met him and have no personal relationship. It would be highly unlikely the child would have great confidence in the father’s love for them. God invites every person to be in close relationship with Him. It is not like the old testament days where no one but a purified priest could come into His presence. Any person can have access to God through His Son.
  • Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence,~Ephesians 3:12.
  • Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us,~Ephesians 2:18.
  • Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,~John 14:6.
I highly recommend the entire book of Ephesians to read about all Jesus paid for.
What we believe and see can limit what we feel…
Aside from relationship there are so many other things in the world that are aimed at leading us to believe God doesn’t love us. God is blamed for almost every tragedy that happens, and if He is not blamed for causing it, He is often blamed for not stopping the horrible events. There are people who scream, “God is punishing you for your sins.” People teach God is always angry, critical, a cruel task master, or child abuser.
For some, circumstances have made God seem unloving. People say, “If God loved me, then this would not happen, or my life would be better, or this relative would not have died.
I don’t have all the answers why God allows certain things to happen. I can say these verses have helped me along the way with some extremely challenging circumstances.
  • The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,~Jesus (John 10:10).
  • I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,~Jesus (John 16:33).
  • 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 8:28.
If this life here on earth is all there is, then it would seem unfair on so many levels. This life is not all there is. There is eternity which far exceeds the life anyone lives on earth. Most average people will not live to be 100 yrs old. Eternity is forever! God will make wrongs right. There will be justice. There will be no pain, sickness, death, or sin in heaven.
The wonderful thing is also that God sent His Holy Spirit to abide with His people. So He comforts, guides, provides wisdom, delivers, heals, unites believers, speaks, and does wonderful things here and now. Some people have neglected the work of the Holy Spirit, but He is very much alive and at work in the earth. We are not without hope, an Advocate, a Helper, a Sustainer, or Healer. This life is not meant to be suffered through, though there will be suffering. We have Someone, the greatest Someone, who promises to be with us every step of the way.
There is no one and nothing more powerful than God. And God loves His children. If it’s not good yet, He promises to work it for our eventual good.

You are loved sweet friends and pure, unconditional love is always available for you!

P.S For more in-depth study please join me on http://morena242.wordpress.com for an identity in Christ Series.
Love in Christ,
Erin
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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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All That I Have Is Yours

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He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? ~Romans 8:32

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows,~James 1:27.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ,~Ephesians 1:3

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you,~James 1:5.

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus,~Phil 4:19.

There are so many scriptures that speak about the generosity of our Heavenly Father. I challenge you to seek them out and read them aloud. I have Philippians 4:19 written on my bathroom mirror. I recite Jeremiah 29:11 quite often, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, give you hope and a future.” I cling to that verse in good and bad times.

The Father says, “All that I have is yours!” Take a moment to ponder those words. There is an inheritance that comes from relationship with Christ. God has no lack. Not only does He not have lack, He is extremely generous. The Creator of the Universe is inviting you to come to Him with your desires, dreams, hopes, aspirations, and more. He cares about what you care about. He withholds no good thing from us (Psalm 84:11).

Okay so now let’s talk about why you may or may not be feeling the generosity of God.

1. God works through people.

Yes, God can rain down gold from the sky, but most of the time He works through humans. Why? It gives us a chance to partner with Him. It teaches us to give and receive. It teaches us to love. So, when people bless us, we often thank them and not God. I’ve had random people bless me. I know it was God. People who have never met me have reached out at times to offer prayer, support, encouragement, help. God works through people and even people who don’t know Him.

2. We are stingy or have selfish motives.

As a loving Father, God knows when we are asking for things for the wrong reasons or if He gave us what we asked for whether it would be good for us. If He did not love us, He would cave and give us everything we wanted when we wanted it. He’s smart. For example: I love horses. I think they are beautiful. I have been asking God for a horse for years. Here’s the problem. I don’t have the space for a horse, nor do I know how to care for one. Why would God give me something that would be a burden not a blessing? In response to my constant prayers, God had someone give me a horse figurine.

In God’s Kingdom, giving leads to abundance. God blesses us out of the kindness of His heart, and we don’t earn blessings. However, the giver always has more than the stingy person in God’s Kingdom. If God can get it through you, He will get it to you. I read about this pastor who was always giving money away to other churches even when they needed the money to pay their bills. Or He would feed the poor when they needed to eat. This pastor has been blessed tremendously, and God has always met their needs. We can’t out give God. He said whatever we give will be given back in abundance. We don’t give to get, that’s the wrong motive. When we do have a heart to give, God gives back and it’s more than we gave.

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back, Luke 6:38.

3. People are called to bless each other within God’s Body.

We (you and I) are called to bless other people. If I go to church with sister Sally and know her husband is out of work and they can’t pay their bills, I am called to bless them if I can. God said love and care for one another, not just pray for one another. If we are not giving to other people, they are not experiencing the generosity of God. The same goes for the gifts of the Spirit. If everyone comes to church on Sunday to hear a word, then goes home….then the Body of Christ is not functioning at it’s best. We (all God’s children) are called to serve and be generous. It’s not just for pastors, leaders, counselors, and missionaries.

4. Unbelief.

Not believing God is actually sin. It’s challenging to believe God when circumstances have demonstrated something other than the blessing of God. Just read the story of Job. Faith is an important and vital part of relationship with God. Believing leads to seeing. If I don’t believe God wants to bless me or is blessing me, guess what? I don’t see or receive anything. If someone gives you a gift and you say it’s not for you, then you don’t get anything. Unbelief says, “God can’t or God won’t do this.” Doubt says, “I know God can do this, but I am not so sure He will.” God can and will bless us even when we don’t believe Him, however we miss out on so much because we are unwilling to believe God is who He says He is.

Lastly I will say God is continually pouring out blessings on the righteous and unrighteous, it’s not always acknowledged as being from Him. The list above is about our perceptions and possible hindrances to seeing the generosity of God. God is good, kind, loving, and generous.

If God says no to a request, it’s only because He has something better in mind or what we’re asking for is not good for us or another person. He also won’t force us to do His will. So, if you’re praying for something that involves another person, know that God will work in and around them, but won’t force His will or yours on them.

Papa I ask that anything that is hindering us from receiving Your blessings would be uprooted and removed. May we walk in the truth that You’re a great Dad, and You love us. Help us to receive Your blessings and then give them away. Heal past hurts and disappointments. Help us to live lives filled with hope. In Jesus name, Amen.

P.S You are deeply loved.

 

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The Artist

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So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them, Genesis 1:27.

Don’t insult the Artist.

You were made in the image of God. Meaning there is a part of you that represents who He is and His creativity. I love painting. I love every painting I have done, even the one’s with imperfections. I would not make a good professional artist because I don’t like to part with my creations. If I ever give you one, you know it’s true love. God not only painted you.

He created you after His likeness. You are a physical manifestation of who He is. You are. Meaning, when you put yourself down, you are insulting the One who made you. You are insulting the One who you were created to be like. When you put others down, you are insulting the One who made them.

We are not God, but we are His image bearers. This is why insults hurled at us hurt so deep. You were created to be loved, cherished, adored, and amazing.

You are amazing. Say it with me, “I am amazing!” It is not pride to acknowledge the great things God has done in making you. It is pride when we believe we are responsible for being great and amazing. We are only great because we are made in His image.

So, my challenge for you this week, this year, for our lives is to stop insulting the Artist. To stop insulting ourselves and others. Self deprecation is not humility, it’s a subtle form of pride. It’s saying, “God makes junk and my opinion is more valuable than His.” The enemy works diligently to convince us we are not who God says we are. He is a liar.

God never has and never will make junk. Even when we feel less than beautiful (handsome), stellar, and amazing, God says the following…

You are beautiful (handsome)

You are chosen

You are special

You are significant

You are valued

You are intelligent

You have a lot to offer the world

You are a gift to the world

You are a treasure

You are My (God’s) delight

You are a light in a dark world

You have immeasurable value

You are gifted and talented

You can do things that no one else can, because you were born with a divine purpose

You are a world changer

You are made in My (God’s) image

You are creative

You have the mind of Christ

You can do great and mighty things!

You are more than a conqueror

You are victorious

You are the apple of My (God’s) eye

You have a great call on your life

You can do ALL things through Christ who gives you strength

You are My (God’s) friend

You make the world a better place

You are making a difference

You will always be loved; today, every day, and forever with an everlasting love!

Have a blessed and wonderful week. God loves you. You are deeply loved.

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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Things my father taught me about God

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In thinking about Papa (father God), I have been pondering my earthly father and what he taught me about God. My dad is one of those people who can’t go anywhere (I mean anywhere) without reaching out to love someone, offer to pray for someone, or sharing the Gospel. I watch him in awe because he is the opposite of timid. I spent most of my youth following him around. He was a Chaplin. So, when he went to the hospital to pray for the sick, I went too. Our home was always open to strangers. My parents visited and welcomed in the poor, sick, orphaned, widows, the hated, and even their enemies. Before I was born they lost their oldest son. He was murdered by his best friend. The man who killed him never served a day in jail. I saw my parents love the man who took their son away. I saw my dad offer him not just the opportunity to know God, but love.

My dad doesn’t just preach the Gospel, he tries to live it. He is not perfect, but here are some things he did and does that are exactly what God the Father has done.

Adopted into a new family. I was adopted. My dad gave me his name. I have all the same rights and privileges of the other children. He treats me no differently. He honors, respects, loves, and adores me. I am his child. God adopts us into His family.

Bragging rights. My dad embarrasses me at times with his constant bragging and campaigning for what I do. If I do something, he tells all his friends, the people at the bank, and sometimes strangers. He is my biggest cheerleader. God is our biggest cheerleader.

Merciful, forgiving, and kind. I watched my dad love the man who stole from him. I watched him extend love to people who hated him. He is merciful and kind to all people. God is merciful and kind to all people.

Faithful. My family’s motto was this, “Your word is your bond.” My dad (though not perfect) attempts to keep his word. He was faithful to my mom and family. He was faithful to his job while working. He has been a faithful pastor for over 43 years. He has been faithful through hard times, and I’ve never heard him complain. God is 100% faithful. He keeps His word.

Generous. If you were ever to visit my dad, you would leave with something. He cannot help himself. He will find something to cook for you. He will give to you even when he needs it more. When I go visit, I don’t have to beg him to do something or have something. All he has, he offers to me. And if you ask him, he will tell you, “Take what you want.” He is not just generous to those who are related to him, he’s generous to everyone. God is even more generous.

Protector and provider. This goes along with being generous, but my dad has always been a protector and provider. He cares for his own and the rights of others. God is a Protector and Provider. No good thing will He withhold from those who love Him.

Cares for the sick, widows, and orphans. I went to visit my dad last Christmas, and I was exhausted by the time I got home. He had to visit the sick, orphans, widows,etc…I am not sure how I am more tired than he is. God gives each person the grace to do what He has called them to do. God cares about the poor, sick, widows, and orphans.

Every single detail. My dad cares about every single detail of my life. He wants to talk every day if he can. I hate talking on the phone, but he is the exception. He is interested in my life. He has kept every single drawing I did in school. Every single one, all the way back to kindergarten. God is even more interested in your life. He cares about everything! God has your life recorded in His heart.

Loving sinners. My dad is an evangelist. He will share the Gospel with anyone. His motives are to love people. He loves sinners. He wants to see people reconciled to God. Our heavenly Father is the same way. He is actively pursuing the lost. He is looking for the prodigal to come home. Our Dad (Papa) loves sinners.

Loved despite behavior. I only remember one time getting in trouble with my dad. He did not stop loving me. He did not stop caring for me. His love did not change based on my behavior. God’s love for us is not based on our behavior. It’s who He is.

Prays for you. Every morning at 6 am (normally) my dad is up praying for his family. I know because when I visit I hear him get up and I can sometimes hear him talking to God. Jesus lives to intercede for us. He is praying for us all the time. We have an Advocate who does not sleep.

I spoke last time about how a lack of human examples can cause us to doubt God’s love. I am sharing one of my examples with you in hopes that you may be able to see God is better than any human being. My dad taught me so much about God, the reason being, he was in love with the One who is love. Any good I saw or see in my dad, came from Jesus. I honor my dad for his commitment to God. I thank him for living a life that glorified Jesus. He does not use computers so he will not see this post, but I do hope he knows the great impact he’s had on this life for Jesus.

God loves you friends, more than my dad loves me. He loves you more than your parents love you or anyone else. God is LOVE! You are loved…loved…loved…If you are in Christ you have been adopted and chosen. Great things are in store for you! If you are not in Christ, I invite you to join the family. It’s more than saying a prayer, it’s an invitation into a relationship. You are cordially invited into a lifelong commitment of love with Someone who loves you more than you can imagine!

For those who do not know God:

Salvation is a gift based on faith. Believing God is who He says He is. Believing that all have sinned and fallen short of His standard. We acknowledge to God that we need Him, that we have sinned, and we ask for forgiveness. We believe that Jesus is the son of God, born of a virgin, crucified for our sins, and raised from the dead. We accept that Jesus died for our sins and receive His righteousness as our own. We choose to follow Jesus. It’s more than saying a prayer to invite God into our hearts, Jesus did not lead people in prayer. He told people, “Pick up your cross and follow Me.” God invites us to join in relationship with Him….so the invitation goes out to you…will you come?

 

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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