Love

When you think about love, what do you think about? Your spouse? Your children? Your job? Your parents? God? When I think about love, I think about so many things. Love is a word that I don’t think you can define beyond “God is Love”. How can one define God? We as mere human beings try to put things in little boxes with pretty little bows and when we take it out now and again, we know exactly what we are talking about. If we understood love and how God loves us, I don’t think we could even stand up. When I think about the love that I have for my husband, it sometimes overwhelms me. I think he must not even have a clue how much I love him; how much that loves grows daily. I think about my sons and wonder if they have a clue how much I love them. Love is giving something, but love is also taking something that somebody else is giving. Love is comfortable, yet love can be the most uncomfortable thing in the world to you at a moment.

Look back at your life so far. Think about good memories and even bad memories. Love was always somehow involved. I look back at my childhood at times and wonder how different I would be today if things had been better. I don’t think I would understand God’s love and grace like I do today. I don’t think I would be as strong as I am today. I overcame my childhood. Don’t get me wrong. My childhood wasn’t even near as bad as many children around the world. I have a Dad who loves me and is proud of me. I thank God for him every day. I could have turned to the world to fill that void of a Mother’s love in my life, but I chose to turn to God. I want His love to consume me and not a hatred and bitterness that the enemy can use for his purposes.

Love holds no record of wrongs. That is hard sometimes to forgive and let go. It can be hard for me to have a fight with my husband and not bring up his past mistakes. That is not fighting fair. When we ask forgiveness from God and repent from our sins, He erases them. He doesn’t even remember them! That is love. That is what we need to consume us; mind, body, and spirit.

The world today has perverted love. We use love as an excuse for our sins. We are literally perverting who God is. God help the nations that have perverted Him and have used God as an excuse for our sins. We need to pray for our nations and pray for each other that we can all come to understand who God is and what love truly is. One day every knee will bow down; One day every tongue will confess He Is God! Lord help me to show Your love to others. Open our eyes God!

1 Corinthians 13

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whetherthere are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Forgive Me Again

I shampooed most of the carpet in my home yesterday. I love that clean new carpet look after they are cleaned. There is no more dirt or stains. It is like they are brand new again. It is such a great feeling! I can look at my life the same way. When I sin, I start to become dirty, or stained. I can continue to live my life with the filth and stains, or I could choose to clean myself up. We all sin, but how we deal with our sin is what can really change us. As a child, I used to say “I’m sorry” all the time to get out of trouble. I knew it would appease my parents. I knew if I showed remorse, that they would show more mercy. I think many Christians live their lives like this; without maturity. Apologizing and asking God for forgiveness makes us feel better, but it does not change us.

Yes, God forgives us when we ask for forgiveness. He never reminds us of our sins that He has already forgiven us for. The problem with too many of us, is our failure to truly repent for our sins. To truly repent, we literally turn away from that sin and change our course. God knows our hearts. We can’t fool Him. He knows when we are trying to soothe our own soul, and when we are truly coming before Him, broken and wanting to be made whole by the only One who makes all things new. I know in my own life, there are too many times I have been almost flippant in my, “Oops! Sorry Lord, I did it again! Oh, please forgive me Lord!” Then, I choose to walk right back into that very same sin. I have to stop this. Where is the Fear of the Lord in this attitude? I should have the utmost of respect and reverence for the Almighty God, that my deepest desire is to completely turn away from my sin.

This takes maturity. We need to continually be maturing as Christians. If we truly want to be followers of Christ, we need to obey Him; obey the leading of His Holy Spirit. When we hear that still small voice telling us we shouldn’t be doing something, we need to obey Him. Yes, we serve a gracious and merciful Lord, but that doesn’t mean we continue to live a sinful life because we know He will always forgive us. Why are we even Christians if we don’t attempt to truly follow Christ in every area of our life?

“Lord please forgive me for not fully committing my life to You; for not truly repenting and turning away from my sins. Lord help me to walk in maturity and today I choose to recommit my life to serving You and loving You. I choose to understand who I am in Christ. I thank You for Your grace and mercy and for always loving me because that is who You are!”

Raise Them Up…

We hear that scripture all the time. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” I pray this for my children. I pray that my husband and I are doing everything we can to train up our children to be Godly men when they are older. We want our sons to understand that the world will not like what they have to say, but we must stand firm with what scripture states.

I am in awe at how the world twists things into what they want. They determine a baby is only a clump of cells and a woman has a right to abort it if she so chooses. They determine that ‘love is love’ whether it be between a homosexual couple or a heterosexual couple, or even multiple partners. The world wants to quiet the church because they don’t want to hear that what they have ‘decided’ is morally corrupt. What the problem has become, however, is that the church is willing to compromise their beliefs in order to feel acceptance from the world. The church is willing to look at scripture and God the way the world does; incorrectly! Now, I don’t want to say that all churches are compromising what the scripture tells us, but there are too many who are. When the scriptures talk about the truth setting us free, I am pretty sure it doesn’t mean what the world tells us will set us free.

As parents, it can be so easy to assume we are sending our children to Sunday school, or children’s church and they are learning what they are supposed to, but we must remember that our family is our first ministry. If we aren’t ministering to our families, then we have no right to be ministering in the church. I am talking to myself here too. I can get real lazy when it comes to certain things with my boys. Sometimes it feels overwhelming just to get them bathed, dressed, and fed!

I want to decide today for myself, and maybe you all can make the decision with me, to raise our children up right; without compromise. Let’s talk with them about how abortion is murder no matter what the world will tell them. Let’s talk about how we need to love homosexuals, but their decision to live in sin without repentance is wrong. God hates the sin, but He LOVES the sinner. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but if we repent before God, and turn away from the sin, that is when freedom happens. Let’s talk to our children about how we need to work hard for what we want. Yes, the Bible talks about doing everything as unto the Lord. That means everything!

I want to raise my sons to understand love and forgiveness, working hard at everything they do, knowing that sometimes the world thinks things are okay when scripture is clearly against it, understanding purity and how to treat a woman, how to love their wives like Christ loves the church, how to be a good husband, how to be a good Dad, how to cook, how to clean, how to worship, how to pray, how to fight, how to be angry and do not sin, and once again….how to love and forgive. This is my prayer for my sons.

Forgiveness When We Don’t Deserve It

God is Love. I guess that is where He is continually leading me lately; teaching me about love. Love is something I fail daily. God helps us with what love is in 1 Corinthians 13.

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whetherthere are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

A couple of years ago I felt like I was supposed to write a song to this scripture and I began, but it is one of those songs that I just can’t seem to finish. I can’t find an appropriate ending. I still sing it in my room, and every time it truly makes the words come alive. I find myself in tears at my failures to show love. God shows me love and forgiveness and grace and mercy on a daily basis, yet I still get angry, and envious, etc etc. When my husband and I fight, I bring up old things that he has done and I have supposedly given forgiveness for. I wonder how God can forgive me so quickly when all I have to do is ask. Clearly repentance is turning away from that sin, but seriously, He forgives us and doesn’t even remember it. I find myself fuming at times even after I grant forgiveness. I am such a justice personality. I see things as just or unjust. I see the same thing somewhat in my sons and I hope it doesn’t trip them up at times. First I have to trust God because God is a just God. There are so many promises in His word about justice, so why do I feel the need to control everything!? Perhaps that is where the problem lies. I feel out of control. I feel like I have to punish my husband when we fight because I am feeling out of control, or because I don’t think he was ‘punished’ enough. That is not my job. My job is to love and respect my husband. When I don’t, I am being disobedient to God. When God forgives me, it isn’t because I deserve it. I don’t deserve it; none of us do. God forgives us because He loves us and that is who He is. I should forgive my husband perhaps not because he deserves it, but just because I love him and the Love of God that is in me, is now shining through.

I need to remember this daily, probably every hour of every day. It isn’t about what people deserve, it is about the love of God. God loves us not because we deserve it. He loves us because that is who He is. He forgives us not because we deserve it. He forgives us because He loves us and that is who He is. When you really think about love, it is truly amazing!

Lost Ones

We all have those friends; the ones that completely drain you. I recently heard somebody say they are ‘suckers’; they suck the energy out of you. I have had one of those in these last couple of years that I feel like I am always trying to encourage and strengthen her. She comes to me when she needs me, then I don’t hear from her in months….until she needs me again.

Well, I finally got to the point that I had to be extremely tough with her. I told her that she constantly comes to me for advice and I freely give it to her. She is a great girl and has a mighty call of God on her life. I finally realized that every time she comes to me, she must fully expect me to tell her what she wants to hear and not what she needs to hear. That is why she disappears when I give her some encouragement and advice; she didn’t like what I had to say and wanted to continue on with what she was doing, no matter how detrimental it may be to her or whomever she is with. I had to be tough with her and ask her what she thought it feels like to me when she comes to me for advice, then turns on her heel and runs the other way when I give it.

I will always be here for her; every time she comes back and continue to pray for her. I was sitting in my chair one day pondering this after one of our phone calls. I realized that every question I asked her about how she thinks it makes me feel when she keeps coming to me, and I watch her turn around and continue her poor decisions, is probably how God feels when I do the same thing. How many times have I come to God asking His advice, or making a request? How many times have I walked away refusing to change when He gives me the answers I need to hear and not always what I want to hear?

Those questions pretty much stopped me in my tracks. I had to repent for my behavior and truly be honest with myself about my own behavior and my own shortfalls. I am so grateful that God is a good, forgiving, loving and merciful God. He has never given up on me no matter how many times I imagine Him throwing His hands in the air with my poor behavior. That is the Christ-like love I want to show people. That is the love I want to show this friend of mine. It is too easy to think that perhaps even God wants us to walk away from some people because they only cause trouble and wreak havoc on our life. That isn’t who God is! His love is so great that when one of His sheep gets lost, we are to leave the herd and go find that lost sheep. My friend is only a lost sheep and if I need to keep searching for her, I have to do that. I can’t give up on her. God loves her and I love her. God will always give us the strength when we are doing what He wants us to do. His love is amazing!

Love Story

Sometimes I have this huge desire to write a love story. I have never really told anybody that. I love romance and love stories. I think most people do; even men. I think men sometimes have trouble with them because they make love look unattainable. Hollywood has made love look like this perfect dance or song that has no sour notes or unpointed toe in it. It is perfection. Really, I am not sure Hollywood could tell the perfect love story. I don’t think any writer could tell that love story. Maybe one day I will write one; of course not the perfect one, but a good one nonetheless. 

There is but one love story that has been told that is perfection. That story is the story of a man who gave everything for love. He lived only a short portion of life as we know it for love. He loved like no other. He actually gave His life for love. Who is this man? I think you know; Jesus. God sent His one and only Son to die for us. There is no greater love than that. I could never write another love story that comes even close to matching that. 

I know some may say that. Sure, we’ve all heard about that, but really, read the story. Read those words in the Bible. Just do it; read them slowly and let them sink in. Can you imagine loving so many people that you give your one and only son to come into this world, only to be tortured and murdered? I can’t; and I love people. God loves in the purest sense. It is almost unbearable to comprehend that pure unfiltered love for me. God loves me even though He sees my flaws. He sees me mess up; sometimes a little; and sometimes horribly so. He loves me! There is no doubt. God is love. That is the definition of God. That does not mean He accepts my sins, but He forgives me if I ask and repent. In fact, when I repent and ask Him for forgiveness, He actually forgets about it!! 

There is no greater love story than of that man Jesus. There is no greater love. One day I may have a completed love story to finish on paper, but in my heart, I know there is no greater love than the love of my Father. He loves us!