Posts Tagged ‘God’s love’

Zepheniah 3: 17

The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you.

He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

The holidays are over for another year and it’s time to get back real life, right?  For some people that’s a good thing and for others maybe not so much. As  we get caught back up in the daily drudgery of life, we soon forget about all the peace, joy, and love we celebrate during the Christmas season.

We were cleaning off our Christmas porch today and as I saw each of my fourteen trees along with my snowmen and Santas go back in the box a thought occurred to me. Couldn’t I keep up at least one tree all year, just as a reminder?

I didn’t actually mention the idea to my husband. It was quite obvious he was a man on a mission to not only clear the porch but to do it as quickly as possible. But you must admit, it’s a good idea! A year-long Christmas tree to remind us of God and his love.

It’s so easy for us to forget God is with us–all the time.

It’s so easy for us to forget God loves us–all the time.

So, as we pack up our Christmas trees and decorations, find another way to keep remembering God and His amazing love all year long.  Perhaps, it’s a Bible on a coffee table? Or a favorite verse on the refrigerator? Or tune your radio to a Christian music station?

Whatever way you choose, I can guarantee that as you remember God each day, it will bring more joy, peace, and love to your life each day. And that’s a wonderful thing!

 

Luke 1: 29-33

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

 

With Christmas just past, Mary and Joseph have been on my mind. I think there are some valuable lessons to be learned from them.

The first two that come to mind are faith and obedience. Both Mary and Joseph proved their faith in God when they were obedient.  They chose to follow God’s will for them in spite of the difficult circumstances. Being pregnant before marriage was not just frowned upon then, it was a sin punishable by death.

That’s a lot faith and obedience.

But the real lesson I want to focus on is that in spite of their faith and obedience, God did not make their chosen path easy for them. As so many of us face adversity, whether physical, emotion, or our circumstances, we may question whether God is punishing us. Whether we are doing what God wants us to do. Whether we are living a life of obedience and faith. Whether God still loves us.

The message of Mary and Joseph clearly shows that we can be obedient to God and doing exactly what he wants us to do, but life can still be difficult for us. Surely, if anyone had a right to believe God would make their path easier it would be Mary and Joseph, but clearly the circumstances Jesus was born under show that didn’t happen.

They had to face all sorts of trials and tribulations even as they brought God’s son into this world. They had to face the shame and humiliation of Mary’s pregnancy with their family and friends. They had to make a journey that was difficult under normal circumstance, but it was made even more difficult by Mary’s pregnancy. Then they had no place to stay, Jesus was born in a structure of some sort with the animals.  Talk about a tough situation. Then as they were getting settled in a new life, they had to flee for their lives.

No, God did not make their path easy in spite of their faith and obedience.

Most of us will face adversity in one form or another in the coming year, remember the message of Mary and Joseph and know that you are still loved by your heavenly father.

God is LOVE!

Posted: October 19, 2013 in GOD'S LOVE
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1 John 4:8

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

 

God doesn’t just love; He is love—all love is created through him. 

God’s love is not based on who we are but who He is. And that’s good news for us. Because of God’s perfect love for each of his creations (that’s us!), we can know that he will never turn away from us.

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 is considered one of the classic verses on love in the Bible.  Usually, we interpret these words as they relate to marriage or other relationships but I want you to look at it from a different perspective. We already know that God is love from 1 John 4: 8.  So, now read these verses again but substitute God for the word love or for the word it when it means love.

 

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

Wow! That’s pretty awesome to know that God loves me like that.

Your life and my life will never be without troubles of one kind or another. Often from our own making but not always.  Life can be unfair.  Life can be overwhelming but knowing that God’s love never fails can make the difference in a bad situation.

Keep those words in your heart.

Anytime you are having difficulty believing that God wants the best for you, that God still believes in you, that God is taking care of you: just read those verses. God will never give up on us. God won’t stop loving us.  God keeps no record of our wrongs.

God loves you and me yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever.  

This I know for the Bible tells me so.

Love Thy Neighbor!

Posted: September 3, 2013 in GOD'S LOVE
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Galatians 5: 14

The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I am so sad right this second.

I just found out that one of my favorite actors on one of my favorite TV shows committed suicide. It was quite a shock. Here’s this person who looks like he has it all. He’s got a great acting job so that means he has more than enough money.  He’s famous so that means he has lots of friends( yeah, I know that might not be the case.) He’s good-looking and  most likely healthy and fit.

And yet obviously, what the world saw from the outside wasn’t the truth.

Anyway, you may be wondering what this has to do with the title of Love Thy Neighbor. And I’m going to explain that right now.

There are so MANY hurting people in the world these days. They hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally. No, I don’t believe we have the power to stop them from hurting themselves if that’s truly what they want to do. But I do believe there’s an epidemic of loneliness in the world. It almost seems as technology allows us to connect easier, that loneliness increases not decreases.

WE may not be able to alleviate all the loneliness and sadness in the world, but we do have the power to smile at them, to make them smile, to make them feel a little less alone in the world even if for a moment.

I am by nature shy. My husband on the other hand is NOT. And he’s taught me a great lesson that we all need to learn. It doesn’t matter where we’re at, he will talk to the waiters, the waitresses, the cashiers, or the person in line. He’ll say something funny to them, something to make them smile. I once heard him have a 15 minute conversation on the phone with the TV satelite person about fishing.

My point is he connects with other people.

I’ve learned to do it by watching him. It’s not as easy for me but when I do it, people almost always respond positively. It only takes a moment, but it makes them smile and hopefully feel a little better that day.

And here’s the really amazing thing. When you take the time to connect with someone else even  for a moment, you’ll feel a little less alone as well.

We often think that love thy neighbor has to take a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of money, but that’s not true.

It only takes a moment to smile at someone.

Who have you smiled at today?

Psalm 121: 5-8

The Lord watches over you–The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun will not harm you by day nor by the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm–He will keep watch over your life. The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Here’s a wonderful thought for the day. Especially for all you teachers and students who are starting a new school year.

I love this verse.What a promise! God watches over me and you. That’s good to know, don’t you think?

I know this verse to be true. God has proven this to me again and again. I’ve lived it over and over throughout my life.  I know that God watched over me even when I wasn’t aware of it.  He kept me safe from harm even when I put myself in harm’s way.

I became a Christian as a teenager. Unfortunately, I spent many years ignoring God, but God is good. He didn’t ignore me. I was His child, even if I was a prodigal child.  He was there watching over me in spite of my choices and my actions until I returned home to HIm.

He guided me in so many ways but one of the best was to a wonderful satisfying career.

He kept me from harm in countless ways, mostly from my own stupid decisions.

God was there watching over me not only keeping me safe but working things out for my good.

How awesome to know that God will watch over us now and forevermore!

Psalm 23:4 (King James)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

I’m at an age when I grew up with the King James version of the Bible and that was the only version. There may have been others out there but I wasn’t exposed to them since there was no such thing as the Internet back then.  To me Psalm 23, is about not fearing death. OK, that’s a good thing, I’ll give you that. But one of my online devotions used a different Bible version this week. It goes this way:

Psalm 23: 4 (NIV)

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Those words touched me in a completely different way than when I usually read them.

I am going through a dark valley right now. It may not be the darkest valley I’ll ever have to go but it’s pretty dark and certainly not a place I ever wanted to go.  I found out a few weeks ago that I completely lost my hearing in my right ear due to the treatment on my brain tumor.

I’m still facing treatment for my left tumor and that means if the same thing happens I could be completely deaf.

Interestingly enough, when I was diagnosed and told that deafness was a possibility, that was the worst possible news. It seemed as if that would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me. No longer able to hear my husband as he serenades me. No longer able to participate in a simple conversation–face to face or on the phone. No longer able to play and talk with my pet parrots.

To me it was one of the worst things that could happen. In truth, I may be better equipped to handle deafness than most adults. I’m a speech pathologist with a degree in deaf education. I’ve known sign language since I was a teenager.  I’ve taught deaf and hard-of-hearing children how to be better communicators in spite of their hearing loss.

At the beginning of my journey with my brain tumors, It was impossible for me to imagine becoming deaf. Now, it’s not. It’s a very real possibility and one that I must face. Some days, I’m sure if the worst thing does come to pass, I will simply become a hermit, stay home, and write. However most days, I know that is a ridiculous choice.

Those are the days that I remember God is with me and even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for He is with me.

THE WORST THING is different for each of us, but the feelings are the same–pain, sorrow, fear, and even anger to name a few. The worst thing can and does happen to some of us every day. Even as we go  through the worst thing–the darkest valley if we keep our eyes on the light of God’s love and goodness, the darkness won’t be quite so dark and scary and we won’t feel so alone.

One of the best ways to let God’s light shine is to read His Word. I find such comfort and hope in His Word and the promises there. When I read the verse from today, my spirit calmed, and I remembered I’m not alone in the darkest valley. God is there with me.

 When bad things happen we have a choice. Let the darkness win or let God shine his light of love and goodness into the darkness to light the path that leads to God’s Kingdom–a kingdom filled with love, peace, and joy.

SHARING TIME: I’d love for some of you to share your journeys out of the darkness and back into the light of God’s Kingdom.

And How Much More…

Posted: July 12, 2013 in GOD'S LOVE
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Well, time to move on. This will be the last in my series of devotions about God’s love. I did it for me as much as for my readers. I was definitely in the need of encouragement and a hug from God. Life can be difficult–that’s a fact. But God promises He will not leave us nor forsake us. Reading so many wonderful verses about God’s love for me made me smile. I hope it did the same for you.

Today’s devotion takes on a different format than usual, but I think you’ll like it! As I was writing devotions the other day, I had the opportunity to do a search of the words—how much more in the Bible. What I discovered were some wonderful verses about God’s love. And since this series is about God’s love, I thought I would share some of the verses with you.

Matthew 6:30

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Matthew 7:11

If you, then, though you are evil, knowhow to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Matthew 12:12

How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.

Luke 12:24

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

Romans 5: 9

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Romans 5:10

For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

These verses together  paint a beautiful picture of God’s love.

No words from me can add to the beauty.