January 21, 2018

Do I Trust You, Lord

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Sometimes my little heart can’t understand
What’s in Your will, what’s in Your plan
So many times I’m tempted to ask You why
But I can never forget it for long
Lord, what You do could not be wrong
So I believe You, even when I must cry

Do I trust You, Lord
Does the river flow
Do I trust You, Lord
Does the north wind blow
You can see my heart
You can read my mind
And You got to know
That I would rather die
Than to lose my faith
In the One I love
Do I trust You, Lord
Do I trust You

I know the answers, I’ve given them all
But suddenly now, I feel so small
Shaken down to the cavity in my soul
I know the doctrine and theology
But right now they don’t mean much to me
This time there’s only one thing I’ve got to know

Do I trust You, Lord
Does the robin sing
Do I trust You, Lord
Does it rain in spring
You can see my heart
You can read my mind
And You got to know
That I would rather die
Than to lose my faith
In the One I love
Do I trust You, Lord
Do I trust You

I will trust You, Lord, when I don’t know why
I will trust You, Lord, ’til the day I die
I will trust You, Lord, when I’m blind with pain
You were God before, and You’ll never change
I will trust You
I will trust You
I will trust You, Lord

Twila Paris, singer / songwriter
*   ~   ♥   ~    ✞    ~   ♥   ~   *
I am trusting (a tiny pun!) that it is not just my heart that is stirred up thinking about this trust issue…yes?  But here is where I stand and I am not moving:  God is absolutely worthy of my completely and totally trusting Him with my life.  I sing this song, often, when I am tempted to doubt and to waffle in my trust in my God.  It encourages me and spurs me on to stand on His promises. And choose to continue to trust Him Who is absolutely trustworthy.

Throughout the Scriptures, we find promise after promise as well as testimony upon testimony directing us to see His faithfulness and trustworthiness.  God’s people throughout time have shown incredible faith and trust in their God.  The psalmist gives praise time and time again to the One to Whom he trusted with his life.  Here in Psalm 40 are some of my most favorite words of confession acknowledging my trust in our great God.

I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord;
and He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay,
and set my feet upon a rock,
steadying my steps and establishing my goings.
And He has put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many shall see and fear
and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord.
Blessed is the {wo}man who makes the Lord {her} refuge and trust….
Psalms 40:1-4

As we read the Scriptures, they relate to us the confessions (both the praises and the struggles) of others who have gone before us and made the choice to trust in God.

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace
whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You,
because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.
So trust in the Lord
(commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever;
for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].
Isaiah 26:3 and 4 AMP

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And I have no delight or desire on earth besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the Rock and firm Strength of my heart and my Portion forever.
But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord God
and made Him my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.
Psalms 73:25-26, 28

Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails.
Do not hide Your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.
Psalms 143:7-9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him,
and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5 and 6

Psalm 56

As Holy Spirit-led women, we strongly desire to obey God and put our hope/trust in Him.   We follow the example given to us in 1 Peter 3 of women who trust God:

Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart
with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is very valuable in God’s eyes.
For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God
also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands,
just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.
You have become her children when you do what is good
and are not frightened by anything alarming.
verses 4-6

In closing, here’s something to ask ourselves…

When others think of me, am I a woman whose life reflects a heart that trusts God?  Is there an outer beauty reflecting the inner beauty of a submitted, grateful, yielded, trusting spirit that shows on my face? Or are there  ‘worry lines’ and chapped, bitten lips or nails that might show the lack of resting/trusting in my God?

*   ~   ♥   ~    ✞    ~   ♥   ~   *

Dear Lord, You are…You AREYOU ARE trustworthy!  Please help us, Lord, to ‘trust in the Lord with all <our> heart…and in all <our> ways acknowledge Him, and He will make <our> paths straight.”  We want to be known as women whose trust is in the Almighty God…not to bring attention to ourselves but to bring honor, glory, majesty to You!  May You be pleased, Father, by our sacrifice and our obedience—it is You and You alone Whom we trust with all that we are.  We will trust You, Lord…You never change!  Praise You, Lord!  Amen.

I Will Trust You, Lord

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Sometimes my little heart can’t understand
What’s in Your will, what’s in Your plan
So many times I’m tempted to ask You why
But I can never forget it for long
Lord, what You do could not be wrong
So I believe You, even when I must cry

Do I trust You, Lord
Does the river flow
Do I trust You, Lord
Does the north wind blow
You can see my heart
You can read my mind
And You got to know
That I would rather die
Than to lose my faith
In the One I love
Do I trust You, Lord
Do I trust You

I know the answers, I’ve given them all
But suddenly now, I feel so small
Shaken down to the cavity in my soul
I know the doctrine and theology
But right now they don’t mean much to me
This time there’s only one thing I’ve got to know

Do I trust You, Lord
Does the robin sing
Do I trust You, Lord
Does it rain in spring
You can see my heart
You can read my mind
And You got to know
That I would rather die
Than to lose my faith
In the One I love
Do I trust You, Lord
Do I trust You

I will trust You, Lord, when I don’t know why
I will trust You, Lord, ’til the day I die
I will trust You, Lord, when I’m blind with pain
You were God before, and You’ll never change
I will trust You
I will trust You
I will trust You, Lord

Twila Paris
singer/songwriter
*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *
I sing this song, often, when I am tempted to doubt and to waffle in my trust in my God.  It encourages me and spurs me on to stand on His promises and choose to continue to trust.  And I trust (a tiny pun!) that it is not just my heart that is stirred up thinking about this trust issue…yes?  But here is where I stand and I am not moving:  God is worthy of my completely and totally trusting Him with my life.  Our God is absolutely trustworthy and He will never let us down!

Throughout the Scriptures, we find promise after promise as well as testimony upon testimony directing us to see His trustworthiness and faithfulness.  God’s people, throughout time, have shown incredible faith and trust in their God.  The psalmist gives praise time and time again to the One Whom he trusted with his life.  Psalm 40 contains some of my most favorite words of confession acknowledging my trust in our great God.

I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord;
and He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay,
and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings.
And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.
Many shall see and fear and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord.
Blessed is the <wo>man who makes the Lord <her> refuge and trust….
Psalms 40:1-4

As you read the following Scriptures, hear the praises and the struggles of others who have gone before us who have made the choice to trust God.

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace
whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You,
because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.
So trust in the Lord
(commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever;
for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].
Isaiah 26:3 and 4 AMP

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And I have no delight or desire on earth besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the Rock
and firm Strength of my heart and my Portion forever.
But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God
and made Him my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.
Psalms 73:25-26, 28

Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails.
Do not hide Your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.
Psalms 143:7-9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5 and 6

When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me?
Psalms 56:3 and 4
click here to read all of Psalm 56

As Holy Spirit-led women, we strongly desire to obey God and put our hope/trust in Him.   We follow the example given to us in 1 Peter 3 of women who trust God:

Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart
with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is very valuable in God’s eyes.
For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God
also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands,
just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.
You have become her children when you do what is good
and are not frightened by anything alarming.
verses 4-6

In closing, here’s something to ask ourselves…
“When others think of me, am I a woman whose life reflects a heart that trusts God?  Is there an outer beauty that is the result of a submitted, grateful, yielded, trusting spirit that shows on my face?  Or is it the ‘worry lines’ and chapped, bitten lips or nails that show the lack of resting/trusting in my God?”
I would love it if you would share your thoughts….

Love Never Fails

SeekingHimLogo

Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
 or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

It does not rejoice about injustice
but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith,
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NLT

Love is patient
Love is kind
Love doesn’t wait to cross over to the other side
Well it’s worth never giving up
It’s worth holding on
Love never fails
And that’s a promise
Love never fails
Help me believe it

Help me to trust that this is truth
Help me to love like You do
Oh, Lord, help me to live like
Love never fails

Love doesn’t strut
It is not proud
Love will make sure to be seeking others out
Love doesn’t try to keep the score
It sides with forgiveness

Love never fails
And that’s a promise
Love never fails
Help me believe it

Love has eyes that see the pain
Love will never run away
It holds out hope
It holds out trust
Love will always be enough

 Singer / Songwriter: Ellie Holcomb

This Week…Love is (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

SeekingHimLogo

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.
Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Such a well-known, oft-quoted passage of Scripture!  But is it well and often lived out in my life?  Have you asked yourself this question, too?

This week, our devotional writers…Ahmee, Ann, Cynda, Laura, and Tina have shared some insightful points regarding what {Biblical} love is.  There messages have helped me and encouraged me to hold to the Truth regarding what love is.  Here are a few things they have had to say…

In Forgiveness is Love, Tina reminded us of the importance of forgiveness being a part of how we love.

“When we forgive, a weight is lifted from our hearts.  We will feel light, we will feel as if the world is at our fingertips, as when we first believed in Jesus Christ.  We can have that now.  Unforgiveness weighs a ton and sometimes we don’t realize it is piling up.

We need to release those who have wronged us and forgive ourselves.  We need to let God take away everything that holds us from reaching our dreams.  Stop believing the lies Satan has told us.  God wants us to love always, and not hold on to the wrongs in this world.”

In Jesus’ Love IS, Laura shared some examples from her own life and pointed us to our Lord’s love.

Jesus’ love is the same way.  It is patient and kind.  Jesus’ love is slow to anger, and it keeps no record of our wrongdoings because we are forgiven by that love.  We are saved by that love.  It protects us from evil, and it always perseveres.  This is why Jesus’s love will win in the end. ”

 In Imperfect Love, Ahmee reminded us, though we are imperfect, we can strive to love perfectly by being examples of our Lord’s love.

Love is meant to be unconditional.  But, like many other things the human race has gotten it’s hands on, it can be tainted.  And we need to remember this.  We aren’t going to love perfectly.  In a perfect world we would, but we don’t live in a perfect world.  I’m not saying we need to excuse or ignore the fact that we don’t love perfectly, but we need to be kinder to one another.  Some of us have had poor examples of what love actually looks like.  What we know in our minds sometimes does not translate in the real world, because we just don’t know what it’s supposed to be like.

We are imperfect.  Our love will be imperfect.  Together, we can strive for Godly love.  Together we can show one another (and unbelievers) what love truly looks like. We can be examples of the Lord’s love—He loves us, so we can love others. Together, we can get it right.”

In Selfless Love, Ann gave us some great examples of 1st Corinthians-love lived out by men  (Paul, Moses, Joseph…and Jesus) throughout the Bible.  And she wrote…

“As believers let us encourage one another to have selfless love and do as the Word says in the passage (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) we are focusing on this week.  We were made in His own likeness and so we have to show the likeliness of God.  In whatever we do, how we speak, the way we carry ourselves…let those who see us thank God and turn to God. We should not grieve the Spirit with our deeds and cause the name of the Lord to not be worshipped. ”

And in Utterly Unselfish, Cynda gave us a little exercise so that we had some perspective about living out 1 Corinthians 13.  And she also shared,

Utterly unselfish love, possible only with God’s help

Whew!!!  That’s a tall order.  Try reading that passage with your name in place of {Love}.  (Did anyone besides me just say OUCH?!?) I am not all those things yet…but I can continue to work towards them. What I need to remember is that is not important how many times I fail, but how many times I get back up. Perseverance is key. Hebrews 12:1b (NIV) encourages us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us….” James 1:4 tells us we must “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” God will always be there to help if I am willing to persevere and ask Him for help. The neat thing—God has already provided us with everything we need.”

Forgiveness is Love

SeekingHimLogoLove 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.  Love never fails….

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

Wow, Paul sure gave the Church alot to live up to. We are not to hold grudges, not to gossip with others, not to lie about each other, not to  boast about ourselves.  We are to be encouragers—a light to those around us.  We are to show love to each other when we would rather be hateful or angry.

Human nature says ‘an eye for an eye,’ but God tells us we are to love at all times.  When things happen to us we are to seek His counsel first. We are to lay it down before Him and pray for discernment to know how to react or how to handle the situation.

Paul understood what God wanted. He knew God wanted our best, but in order to give our best we have to let go of stuff!  Stuff we have hung onto for years.  Stuff we have let stay in our lives for far too long.  God wants us to forgive those who have wronged us in order to receive His greatest gifts.  As we forgive, we are forgiven.  For those who are holding on to unforgiveness, hard times are experienced, sometimes illness.

When we forgive, a weight is lifted from our hearts.  We will feel light, we will feel as if the world is at our fingertips, as when we first believed in Jesus Christ.  We can have that now.  Unforgiveness weighs a ton and sometimes we don’t realize it is piling up.

We need to release those who have wronged us and forgive ourselves.  We need to let God take away everything that holds us from reaching our dreams.  Stop believing the lies Satan has told us.  God wants us to love always, and not hold on to the wrongs in this world.

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Heavenly Father, help us forgive.  Help us to love You as You designed us to.  Show us ways to forgive.  Help us break away the chains that bind us to unforgiveness.  You can show us where we need to forgive and move along to become freely serve You and Your kingdom whether in our own home, in the community, or in the world.                                                             In Jesus’ name, amen.

Jesus’ Love IS

SeekingHimLogo

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.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

How these verses ring true!  My husband and I have known each other for 10 years and, in April, we will have been married for 8 years.  I was patient in waiting on God to show me the right one.  We have both helped each other overcome some things and issues that were holding us back—be it in the realm of love or just life in general.

Now my husband and I try to be patient with each other.  We try to please one another, but there are some days when that just does not happen.  One of us will get over whatever we are arguing about, and the other will hold a grudge for a while.  Yet, we get over it.  Our parents have been married over 30 years—somewhat of a rarity now days.  They have been there for one another when bad things happened.  They have weathered the rough storms, and they have come out stronger on the other side.  We pray that our marriage will be as strong.

Jesus’ love is the same way.  It is patient and kind.  Jesus’ love is slow to anger, and it keeps no record of our wrongdoings because we are forgiven by that love.  We are saved by that love.  It protects us from evil, and it always perseveres.  This is why Jesus’s love will win in the end.

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Dear Heavenly Father: Thank You for Your patient and protecting love.  Thank You for the protection that Your love provides.  Thank You for the healing and strength that it provides.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Selfless Love

SeekingHimLogo

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.
Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Selfless love is love that is not self-centered.  What do I mean by self-centered?  That is, thinking of oneself instead of others.  Examples of self-centered minds are like the ones below.
• If it is s blessings…then let me be the first to receive; forgetting we are “…more blessed to give than to receive.”
• If it is a prize someone received, you ask question ‘why them and not me?’ and then pick an offence with others in the process.
• In a family you want your decisions only to be applicable and do not care about others, i.e., spouse or children.
• No conscience when you wrong a person instead of saying ‘sorry’
• Can’t compliment another after they have done something that is good.

Rather, selfless love must always…

Think of others first and you will be more blessed.
[Abraham and Lot]

Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me.
If you take the left hand,
then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand,
then I will go to the left.
Genesis 13:9

Not keep record of wrongs, is always kind
[Joseph and his brothers]

“No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.”
So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.
Genesis 50:21

Not envious
[Moses]

But Moses replied “Are you jealous for my sake?
I wish that all the Lords people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”
Numbers 11:29

Protects
[Paul]

Even as I try to please everybody in every way.
For I am not seeking my own good
but the good of many so that they may be saved.
1 Corinthians 10:33

Perseveres
[Jesus Christ]

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich,
yet for your sake He became poor,
so that you through His poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9

As believers let us encourage one another to have selfless love and do as the Word says in the passage (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) we are focusing on this week.  We were made in His own likeness and so we have to show the likeliness of God.  In whatever we do, how we speak, the way we carry ourselves…let those who see us thank God and turn to God. We should not grieve the Spirit with our deeds and cause the name of the Lord to not be worshipped.

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Oh Lord, my God, how wonderful You are!  You loved us and gave us Christ so we are co-heirs in your Kingdom.  Renew our minds that we should not be conformed to the things of the world but represent Christ in all we do.  Let us bear love that is selfless, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

This Week…LOVE (Advent, week four)

SHadventlovegraphic

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.

 *    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

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!

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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.

Love Stepped In

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He was preachin’ down off 3rd and Main as I was passin’ by
He was walking talking kinda crazy warnin’ us all ’bout the end of time
So out from the crowd, I just asked him how could God love a mess like me
He said, “Son, I’m a preacher now but that ain’t who I used to be”
He said

You’ll never know, you’ll never know
Just how far Love has brought me
You’ll never know who I used to be
Cause I’ve been around and I’ve been down
To the bottom of hell and back again
I was almost out, I was at my end
But then Love stepped in

She works downtown at the halfway house almost every day
All the love she has she just gives away
So I asked her why she spends so much time on the broken and the poor
And she just smiled at me and said “I’m not who I was before”
She said

You’ll never know, you’ll never know
Just how far love has brought me
You’ll never know who I used to be
Cause I’ve been around and I’ve been down
To the bottom of hell and back again
I was almost out, I was at my end
But then Love stepped in
Love stepped in

I look back sometimes over where I’ve been and just how far I’ve come
Since the day that preacher told me about His amazing love
I was lost and alone, then the lights came on and hope set my heart free
In the darkest hour grace got a hold of me, yeah

You’ll never know, you’ll never know
Just how far love has brought me
You’ll never know who I used to be, oh oh
Cause I’ve been around and I’ve been down
To the bottom of hell and back again
I was almost out, I was at my end
But then Love stepped in
Love stepped in

Written and Performed by ‘Finding Favour”
— along with Carl Cartee, Aaron Tomberlin, Nathan Tomberlin

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I have a question on my heart to ask: Are you one of the ‘church’ people (religious) or do you love unconditionally just like Jesus did?

Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious,
never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable or touchy.
It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him,
and always stand your ground in defending him.
All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end,
but love goes on forever…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 TLB

There is no such thing as conditional love. Love is either unconditional or it’s no love. You might like someone conditionally based on their personality or behavior or circumstances. But love accepts no boundaries. So never say ‘I love you just because’, for love has no cause, love comes from God.
Let us be those who love unconditionally and not those who love with conditions….

Excerpt from Campus Crusade for Christ.org.
Here is a  link  to the entire article.

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Heavenly Father, help us to love others as You have loved us with a life-changing love that sees no conditions.  Help us to love others with only the authentic pure love that You have so freely given to us.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!!