May 29, 2017

Who Am I

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Over time You’ve healed so much in me, and I am living proof
That although my darkest hour had come
Your light could still shine through

Though at times it’s just enough to cast a shadow on the wall
I am grateful that You’ve shined Your light on me at all

Who am I, that You would love me so gently
Who am I, that You would recognize my name
Who am I, that You would speak to me so softly
Conversation with the Lord Most High…who am I

Oh, “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see”
And the more I sing that sweet old song, the more I understand
That I do not comprehend this love that’s coming from Your hand

Grace, grace; God’s grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace; God’s great grace
Grace that is greater than all my sin

Lord, Who am I, who am I
Lord Who am I, who am I

Point Of Grace
written by Nathan and Christy Nockels

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In Jeremiah 31:3 we hear God tell us of His love.

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore with lovingingkindness I have drawn you.

We also are reminded of God’s love in Psalm 36.

How precious is Your steadfast love, O God!
The children of men take refuge
and put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.

As well as in 1 John 4:9-10.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us,
that God sent His only Son into the world,
so that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Oh, the incomparable, unconditional, amazing LOVE that God has for us!  Throughout the Scriptures we are reminded over and over of God’s love for us!

And, in spite of our actions at times, God is always faithful and keeps His promises. Whether we ever believe them or not. Think about the children of Israel…they knew of God’s promise to lead them, protect them, guide them, feed them, guard them. But they were so often disobedient to His simple commands.  As such, because of His compassionate and abiding love for them, God had to help them to learn…as He will with us, too.

You must carefully follow every command I am giving you today,
so that you may live and increase,
and may enter and take possession of the land the Lord swore to your fathers.
Remember that the Lord your God led you on the entire journey
these 40 years in the wilderness,
so that He might humble you and test you
to know what was in your heart,
whether or not you would keep His commands.
Deuteronomy 8:1 and 2

“As we hear and believe all that God tells us—as we intentionally think these truths and begin to act accordingly—He unfolds the true personality He designed us to be.”

ChristLife, Mrs. Ruth Myers, page 60

(Oh! Don’t you just love that!)  And so we learn more of the Truth as we begin to believe what God says about us. And as we trust Him and take Him at His Word, we will begin to be freed from lies and misconceptions we have held in our hearts.

But the fact remains that we need to be diligent in reminding ourselves constantly of these Truths and promises.  One would think that, with all the many, many, many examples and proofs that God so graciously shows us about how very much He loves us, we would be convinced.  However God is equally as patient with us as He loves us. The negative images that we have allowed into our hearts can be replaced by the Truth of just “Who we ARE” in Christ.  But it takes work and effort on our part. Thankfully, we are not left to do this on our own. God can and will help us through His Holy Spirit! Remember to pray, pray, pray!

Friends, I hope that the beautiful lyrics of this song can be a tool for you to use to pray and sing your heart out to God. Your heavenly Father has MUCH to say to you…MUCH to remind you of…MUCH healing and deliverance and blessing to give to you as you seek Him!

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Breath Of Heaven

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I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy Father, You have come
And chosen me now to carry Your Son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me now, be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven

Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness
For You are holy
Breath of heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of Your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be…Help me

Sara Groves
written by Chris Eaton and Amy Grant

* ♥ ~ ✝ ~ ★ *
This song—a depiction of Mary’s heart as she prepares to give birth to God’s Son—is such a simple prayer, too… Can’t you just imagine Mary singing it under her own breath?  No one really could ever fully understand Mary’s heart as she gives birth to her Son, Who is her Savior, her Redeemer, Emmanuel.  Perhaps in a small way (especially those who have also labored and delivered a baby) we can empathize a bit with her feelings.  But I do believe we can (we DO!) at times also sing/plead this same prayer.  How about you…been there?  Me, too.

Breath of heaven, hold me together!
Be forever near me, Breath of heaven!
Breath of heaven, 
lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness…for You are holy!

This is a prayer I know He will answer…the Scriptures assure us that it is so.

For in Him all things were created…
all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:16 and 17

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Psalms 139:1-6

You know me inside and out, You hold me together
Psalm 41:12

Don’t the lyrics of this chorus just capture so much what we feel—our total dependence on the Lord for everything we need.  And because Emmanuel has come, our Help is here.

Just like Mary, we also recognize our great need for hope to cling to.  She grew up knowing and believing the promises made throughout the Old Testament of a Redeemer, a Savior.  She clung to the words spoken by the Angel Gabriel telling her of the greatness of this baby she was carrying.

For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.
Luke 1:37

We also know and believe this same Truth as well as the promises that God has made to us…not only of our Lord’s Coming but also of His second Coming!

Mary, I am sure, had moments of fear and worry and despair, but she had been given a promise and she knew that holding on to that promise was ultimately not only all she had but all she needed.  We, too, should follow Mary’s example.  For nothing shall be impossible with God!  We, too, have the hope of being blessed by God’s goodness and faithfulness and grace to cling to!

Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering,
for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His Word]…
Hebrews 10:23

Knowing of the great love that God has for mankind (for you…and for me!), we have faith and hope and trust in His ability to ‘hold us together’ and to ‘be forever near me’.  I am praying and asking God to encourage you, my friend, and remind you that He loves you.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39

Pass It On

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It only takes a spark
To get a fire going
And soon all those around
Can warm up to its glowing
That’s how it is with God’s love
Once you’ve experienced it
You spread your love to everyone
You want to pass it on

What a wondrous time is spring
When all the trees are budding
The birds begin to sing,
The flowers start their blooming
That’s how it is with God’s love
Once you’ve experienced it
You want to sing, it’s fresh like spring
You want to pass it on

I wish for you my friend,
This happiness that I’ve found
You can come join in,
It matters not where you’re bound
I’ll shout it from the mountain tops
I want the world to know
The joy of friends has come to me
I want to pass it on

Composed by Kurt Kaiser ~ Sung by Evie Tournquist (Karlsson)

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As I start this new year of 2015, I must force myself to take a few moments to review what my past year has been, and to reflect on what I want in my new year.  It’s very easy for me to just keep running from December 31, 2014 right into January 1, 2015 without even thinking about it.

This past year I have grown more in love with Jesus.  There have been good times when the flame of His love has burned brightly for all to see.  And then there were the tough times when it seemed to be only a spark hidden in the ashes.  It could only be seen when I looked closely and stirred the ashes around.  In the hardest of times…in the darkest of moments…I’ve known deep in my heart that He was still with me and my family and my friends.  I just needed to stir the ashes to find the spark and get the fire going again.

That’s how it is with God’s love.  His love is always with us through all that we go through.  It may seem that our circumstances (ashes) have suffocated it but, thank God, that is impossible.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?
Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity,
or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?
(As the Scriptures say, “For Your sake we are killed every day;
we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, Who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—
not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—
indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God
that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35-39 NLT

In this new year with this wonderful promise, I pray that the light of God’s love will shine through me and that the warmth from the flame of His love will touch the hearts of others.  I want to pass on ‘this happiness that I’ve found’ in Christ to those around me—friend and stranger alike.  Is this your desire and prayer for 2015?

With great love, I pray this over my grandchildren…and now I pray this over each of you:

…I pray to our Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.  Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.  Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  Now all glory to God, Who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Glory to Him in the Church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever!  Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT

If you have the light of Christ’s love in you—pass it on in 2015.

This Week…LOVE (Advent, week four)

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Merry, blessed Christmas to each of you!  How encouraging it has been to read the Seeking Him devotionals each day during this Advent season focused on the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.  The Scriptures and the encouragement shared have reminded me of God’s goodness and helped me to prepare my heart for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

We all know how easy it is amidst all the hubbub—the list-making, and shopping, and baking, and caroling, and visiting, and wrapping—to be distracted from the true importance of the season.  Jesus’ birth changed EVERYTHING.  His first coming as Emmanuel, God With Us, redeemed the past, gave purpose for that present time, and hope for the future.

…while we wait for the blessed Hope—the glorious appearing
of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness
and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.
Titus 2:13-14

This week, Ahmee, Ann, Cynda, Laura, and Tina have helped us to keep our focus on the love that Jesus’ birth showed to mankind.

For God loved the world in this way:
He gave His One and Only Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him
will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

*    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Laura wrote in God’s Love Abounds that “If we love God then we should show that same love to our neighbors. We should be helping our neighbors when trouble hits as well as during the good times. This is showing godly love.

Loving God means knowing God.
Knowing God means showing it through prayer and service to others.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

In God’s Banner Over Us is Love, Ann reminded us of the truth about LOVE.

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, 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.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Jesus gave us the commandment to love one another as He had loved us. And for us to show that we are His disciples we must love one another.

Christmas is also a season of love—a season to give and a season to care. Therefore choose someone you can bless with food items, clothes, etc., as an act of love. God freely gave us His Son. We should also freely give what we are blessed with!

Cynda shared in Love Is Action of God and Jesus’ proven love for us.  She wrote, “Christ made the ultimate sacrifice, knowing all the while we were not worthy.  He came for us because He loved us.  Romans 5:8 (NLT) makes that clear – ‘But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.’ And 1 John 3:16a (NLT) ties it up in a neat little bow: ‘We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us.’

This year for Christmas I want to focus not only on the miraculous birth but also on the love that was made real in a tiny manger in Bethlehem. I want that real love to flow through me to those around me. I want His love and His light to shine through me.

That’s the reason He came.
That’s the reason for Christmas.
To put love in action.

Ahmee wrote in Love Is A Choice the following.  “Love is—and will always be—an action. Therefore, since love is a verb and requires us to do something—it is a choice. Love will always be a choice. You choose to love your coworkers when they annoy you. You choose to love your boyfriend or your spouse, even when you don’t agree. I fear the day our actions are no longer something we choose to do, and are simply things that happen. Until that day, though, you choose.

As John said in 1 John 3:18:

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other;
let us show the truth by our actions.

And Tina reminded us of Jesus’ perfect example of love in No Greater Love.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13 NIV

Ponder those words. Do you have a friend that would do that for you? You know that you do. If you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, He has already paid that price for you. You see, Jesus knew from the Creation of man, that His Father meant for Him to come dwell among us, to be an example of how we should live in this broken world. God knew it would be better for us to see how to live a perfect life. And Jesus is the example of living a selfless life.

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Thank you, ladies, for reminding us and compelling us to be loving as we have been commanded AND enabled to be!  As you have prayed with us this week, may our prayer today continue… 

Father, we thank You for the love that You have for us.  Teach us, Lord, to love one another as Christ has loved us.  Help us also to practice love not only in this season but all the days of our lives, Lord.  Thank You for showing us Your love through the birth and death of Jesus.  Without Him, we would not know You or be able to show Your love to others.
Thank You for sending Your son Jesus to live among us.  Thank You for the many times You give us to live for You.  Please let Your love flow through me each day but especially during this wondrous time of year.
Lord, may we come to understand and embrace love as an action. Let us show Your love to the world.  Let us strive to show this type of love to all. We as the Church are Your example of how love functions. Christ is Your ultimate example of love.  May You receive all the glory and praise!  We love You!!!  And pray these things in Jesus’ name, amen.

God’s Banner Over Us is Love

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He has brought me to His banquet hall,
And His banner over me is love.
Song of Solomon 2:4

There is this song that we used to sing in Sunday school…

  ♫ ♪ ♫ Behold what a manner of love that the Father has given unto us
That we should be called the sons of God   ♫ ♪ ♫

Back then I could not understand what I was singing; but now that I am saved I do understand that God’s love for us is SO great.  He gave us His begotten Son so that we should not perish (John 3:16).  His will for us is to have eternal life.

God’s love is wide enough to embrace all persons (1 Timothy 2:4).  God gave His Son as an offering for sin on the c\Cross.  The atonement proceeds from the loving heart of God.  It was not something forced on Him (Romans 8:32).

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, 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.
1st Corinthians 13:4-8

We see this is the demonstration of God’s love to man, and since we are also created in the image of God let us also exercise it.  Jesus gave us the commandment to love one another as He had loved us.  And for us to show that we are His disciples we must love one another.

Christmas is also a season of love—a season to give and a season to care.  Therefore choose someone you can bless with food items, clothes, etc., as an act of love.  God freely gave us His Son.  We should also freely give what we are blessed with!

   *    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Father, I thank You for the love that You have for us.  Teach us, Lord, to love one another as Christ has loved us.  Help us also to practice love not only in this season but all the days of our lives, Lord.   This we ask in Jesus name.   Amen.

God’s Love Abounds

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Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

In the last week, many parts of the world have been in turmoil.  Terror has stricken many people in our Allies across the world.  The world is in chaos, and it is going to get even more chaotic as the prophecies of the Bible come true.  However, as the world starts to wither, there are people out there who are still showing love during the thick of the trouble.

When Jesus was born, the world was a whole lot quieter than it is now.  The only real chaos that was facing Mary and Joseph was the fact that they had to report to Bethlehem as Jesus’ birth neared.  They were required to be counted as part of the Roman census.  Just Mary being pregnant by the Holy Spirit had already made life chaotic!  Joseph loved Mary, but he was going to divorce her because of the pregnancy.  However, God’s love and Joseph’s love for Mary saved Mary and Jesus. Jesus was given an earthly father—one that God approved of from the start.

As the world continues to live in chaos, there are people who are following Mary and Joseph’s example.  They are showing God’s love through the turmoil of life in today’s violent and noisy world.  In Australia and across the world, people are praying for and helping those who have been effected by this week’s tragedies.  People here in the United States are trying to help those that are less fortunate through donations and sponsoring families to help them have a good holiday season.

God loved us so much He sent His son to live among us and to die for us. If we love God then we should show that same love to our neighbors. We should be helping our neighbors when trouble hits as well as during the good times. This is showing godly love.

Loving God means knowing God.
Knowing God means showing it through prayer and service to others.

 *    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us Your love through the birth and death of Jesus.  Without Him, we would not know You or be able to show Your love to others.  We would not have the ability to love. In this season of hope, peace, joy, and love, please bless those who need it the most and show Your love in ways that we can’t imagine.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

With Every Act Of Love

phssChristmasgraphic2014

Sitting at the stoplight
He can’t be bothered by the heart-cry
Written on the cardboard in her hand
But when she looks him in the eye
His heart is broken open wide
And he feels the hand of God reach out through him
As Heaven touches earth

Oh – we bring the Kingdom come
Oh – with every act of love
Jesus, help us carry You
Alive in us, Your light shines through
With every act of love
We bring the Kingdom come

There’s silence at the table
He wants to talk but he’s not able
For all the shame that’s locked him deep inside
But her words are the medicine
When she says they can begin again
And forgiveness will set him free tonight
As Heaven touches earth

God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you
I said, God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you

Singer/Songwriter Jason Gray along with Jason Ingram

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *  

As I was listening to these lyrics, I realized that there is one act of love…in my opinion the greatest act of love…that makes all this possible. The one time that Heaven came to earth—the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

Look at the following verses:

Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth,
while Christ, the second man, came from heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:47 NLT

He Who comes from above (heaven) is [far] above all [others];
he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth,
and talks the language of earth [his words are from an earthly standpoint].
He Who comes from heaven is [far] above all others.
John 3:31 AMP

Christ came from Heaven for us.  No other reason.  He brought His Kingdom to earth so that we might join Him one day in Heaven.  Because He did, we who believe have Christ within us.  We can let His light shine through us.  In fact, 1 Corinthians 15:49 (AMP) states:  “And just as we have borne the image [of the man] of dust, so shall we and so let us also bear the image [of the Man] of heaven.”

In Zechariah 7:9 (HCSB) we are given these instructions:

The Lord of Hosts says this: ‘Make fair decisions.
Show faithful love and compassion to one another.

And 2 Thessalonians 3:5a (AMP) says:

May the Lord direct your hearts into [realizing and showing] the love of God….

When we reach out with Christ’s unconditional love we bring a piece of Heaven to earth. It doesn’t have to be a big production. Simple words of kindness and forgiveness can have a huge impact. A small gesture like a smile or a touch could change a life. It is in the acts that come from the heart that others are able to see Christ’s heart. John 13:35 (HCSB) states: “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” And, of course, Matthew 25:40 (HCSB) reminds us:

And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you:
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

I want to carry Jesus alive in me. I want His light to shine through. I want to be the bridge that allows Heaven to touch earth once again.

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *  

Abba, I am so amazed by Your selfless act of unconditional, unfailing love. Let me carry You alive in me, allowing Your light to shine through me. Remind me that with every act of love, Heaven touches earth. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen – IT IS SO!

Waterfall

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Oh God, my God I seek You
I wanna move when You move
You’re more than I could long for
I thirst for You

You’re an ocean to my soul
To my soul

Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Running wild and free
You hear my heart when I call, when I call
Deep calls, too deep
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Raining down on me

Waterfall, waterfall

Oh God, my God I seek You
In this dry and desert land
You lead me to streams of mercy
Once again

You’re an ocean to my soul
To my soul

Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Running wild and free
You hear my heart when I call, when I call
Deep calls, too deep
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Raining down on me

Waterfall, waterfall

It’s coming like a flood
I’m dancing in the rain
Everything I’ve done
Is covered in rivers of grace, amazing

It’s coming like a flood
I’m dancing in the rain
I lift up my hands
Your love never changes, amazing

Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Running wild and free
You hear my heart when I call, when I call
Deep calls, too deep
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Raining down on me

Waterfall, waterfall

 

Songwriters: Chris Tomlin and Ed Cash

May I suggest you play this song as you read this post?

As I am writing this, it is raining outside, water is coming down in sheets, and dripping off the house and palm trees.  It is so peaceful and I am reminded of God’s love.  It washes all over me and so does His grace.  And just like the song says, His ‘love never changes.’  It is the only constant in our lives.

Water is something we thirst for and our bodies are created to need it always. And we need our God and we were created to thirst for more of Him.  He tells us  to come to the water and drink of the cup of eternal life.  You will never be thirsty again.  His love is like a waterfall—always flowing and so deep we cannot see the bottom.  He does hear us when we call and He is so worthy to be praised!  Don’t you just want to lift your hands to Heaven and sing this at the top of your lungs?

And when we are at the end of our rope and we are in the desert, He leads us to the stream to drink of His goodness.  There is always a well for us to drink from.   His love never runs out and His mercy never ends.  So today, let His love wash over you and accept His grace. You are His, therefore you are worthy.  If you are in the valley, there is a creek nearby.  Let God lead you there.  His love is like a waterfall.

Let us pray: Dear God, we thank You for Your love for us that flows so freely. Thank You that You are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Lord, we praise You for Who You are.  You are our Creator and our Father.  You are our Stronghold and our Portion, and You are all we need.  In the times when we feel unworthy, You draw us close and fill us with Your love and peace.  Thank You for letting us feel Your presence.  We lift up our hands today in praise!  We are grateful for everything You give, for all You give is good.  We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

 

Tell Me Why

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~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

Tell me why the ivy twines 
Tell me why the stars do shine 
Tell me why the oceans blue
And then I’ll tell you why I love you
Because God made the ivy twine 
Because God made the the stars to shine
Because God made the ocean blue
Because God loves you…that’s why I love you

~  Author, unknown / Performed by Eddie Cochran  ~

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And that’s the Truth!  I love the questioning…and then the sweet response in this little song!  Y’know…”if you tell me why (the stars shine, the ivy twines, and the oceans blue) THEN I will tell you why I love you!”  And such should always and forever be our determination.  Really, love is all about love…it’s not about the other person <shocking, I know!> or how we feel or how they feel about us.  We love because God loves…simple as that!

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God,
and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us,
that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another,
God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:7-12

And any capacity that a heart would have to truly love—with the love of God—comes from having Christ Jesus living in our hearts. The Scriptures make this clear.  Now that doesn’t make me the bearer of good news…unless…you are ‘born of God’ and Jesus lives in you.  And perhaps the day before we celebrate Valentine’s Day (or Happy Hearts Day, as we like to call it!) isn’t the most convenient time to make these statements. But these are God’s words…His Truth…not mine.

God IS love.  And every single person ever born or who ever will be born has been loved by God.  And being loved by God makes them accepted and gives them value and worth.

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that
He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son,
so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
John 3:16 AMP

When Jesus knew the time was quickly approaching that He would be tortured and crucified, He so loved those closest to Him and wanted them to be well-equipped to continue on together.  By His example and His words, He encouraged and admonished them.  Here are His words from John, the Apostle He loved best.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,
even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:34 and 35

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love,
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
John 15:9-10

Jesus had tried to make it clear to them all along that love was a requirement. They might not have understood at the time but surely they did within a very short period of time.

John also reminded the believers later on in the First Century Church of what Jesus (and the Apostles) had taught them. They, just like us, have the command to love one another. As the song goes, ‘Because God loves you…that’s why I love you.’

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning,
that we should love one another.
And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ,
and to love one another as He <Jesus> commanded us.
1 John 3:11, 23

So, y’know, the Beatles were correct (at least about this!): All you need is love! I’m just sayin’!

CHRISTLife – Week Three

christlife graphic 2

A recurring theme this upcoming week in our study CHRISTLife: Embracing Your True and Deepest Identity will be the incomparable, unconditional, amazing LOVE that God has for us! Our author reminds us over and over of God’s love for us!

In Jeremiah 31:3 we hear God tell us of His love.

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore with lovingingkindness I have drawn you.

We also are reminded of God’s love in Psalm 36.

How precious is Your steadfast love, O God!
The children of men take refuge
and put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.

As well as in 1 John 4:9-10.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us,
that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Along with this, Mrs. Myers puts in front of us the Truth that, in spite of our actions at times, God is always faithful and keeps His promises. Whether we ever believe them or not. Think about the children of Israel. They knew of God’s promise to lead them, protect them, guide them, feed them, guard them. But they were often disobedient to His simple commands. As such, because of His love for them, God had to help them to learn…as He will with us, too.

You must carefully follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase, and may enter and take possession of the land the Lord swore to your fathers. Remember that the Lord your God led you on the entire journey these 40 years in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.

Deuteronomy 8:1 and 2

During this week, we also make the transition from ‘Part 1: Who You Really Are…At First’ TO ‘Part 2: Your Life IS Christ.’ Listen to the following statement Mrs. Myers makes.

“As we hear and believe all that God tells us—as we intentionally think these truths and begin to act accordingly—He unfolds the true personality He designed us to be” page 60. (Oh! Don’t you just love that!)

And so we learn more of the Truth as we begin to believe what God says about us. And as we trust Him and take Him at His Word, we will begin to be freed from lies and misconceptions we have held in our hearts.

As we continue our study, the fact remains that we need to be diligent in reminding ourselves constantly of these Truths. One would think that, with all the many many many examples and proofs that God so graciously shows us about how very much He loves us, we would be convinced. However God is equally as patient with us as He loves us. The negative images that we have allowed into our hearts can be replaced by the Truth of just “Who we ARE” in Christ. But it takes work and effort on our part. Thankfully, we are not left to do this on our own. God can and will help us through His Holy Spirit! Remember to pray, pray, pray!

Friends, I hope that the beautiful lyrics of this song can be a tool for you to use to pray and sing your heart out to God. Your heavenly Father has MUCH to say to you…MUCH to remind you of…MUCH healing and deliverance and blessing to give to you as you seek Him!

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Over time You’ve healed so much in me, and I am living proof
That although my darkest hour had come, Your light could still shine through
Though at times it’s just enough to cast a shadow on the wall
I am grateful that You’ve shined Your light on me at all

Who am I, that You would love me so gently?
Who am I, that You would recognize my name?
Who am I, that You would speak to me so softly?
Conversation with the Lord Most High…who am I?

Oh, “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see”
And the more I sing that sweet old song, the more I understand
That I do not comprehend this love that’s coming from Your hand.

Grace, grace; God’s grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace; God’s great grace
Grace that is greater than all my sin

Lord, Who am I? Who am I?
Lord Who am I? Who am I?