Jesus’ Guide to Love

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you. John 13:34 

fullsizeoutput_133After Jesus rose triumphantly from the grave and was seen by His disciples we find him chatting with Peter who had denied Christ three times after Jesus’ arrest. They had just finished eating a miraculous seafood breakfast by the seashore when Jesus asked, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” Peter’s Restoration Story

Many focus on the types of love shown here, Agape (divine)|Philia (brotherly/friendship). I would like to draw your attention to Jesus response to His own question because in it we discover how to love Jesus and one another as He loved us.

Jesus’ response to His first question: “Feed my lambs.”Again Jesus asked Peter: “Do you truly love me?”

 Jesus’ response: “Take care of my sheep.”

He asked again for the third time, “Do you love me?” Jesus’ response: “Feed my sheep.”

How Did Christ Love?

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal lifeEverywhere Jesus went He spoke about the Kingdom, healed the sick and gave hope to the broken. Jesus unveiled the Love of the Father in His Walk, on the Cross and through His Resurrection.

Through Peter’s restoration Jesus shows us how to Love. To feed and take care of His lambs and sheep is to intercede and share Christ to whomever God draws to you. This is how we love and are known as His disciples. Knowing the Father’s will to see that none perish stirs up the Love of Christ inside of you to share the good news about Jesus so that families, neighborhoods, cities and nations of people can live and be saved!

You are God’s hands and mouth piece; Co-heirs with Christ. When you share with someone how God so Loved them that He gave Heaven’s best for them and their loved ones, you are loving as Christ loved.

Whatever means God gives you to share, Just share Christ as if someone’s life is depending on it because it is. This is how we’re called to love.

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The Answer

I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:4

The answer to all of life’s questions and concerns can be found in one person and place and no other. That person is Jesus and that place is His Word.

“The words that I speak to you are Spirit, and they are Life.” -John 6:63

 Your hope, healing, purpose and future can’t be found in self-help books, seminars, 12 step programs or spas. Alcohol and drugs (prescription or otherwise) only numbs the pain, giving you a temporary reprieve. None of these things can give you the lasting results you need. They don’t provide you with the key to unraveling the thoughts that you wrestle with daily. They don’t release you from the lies, hurts and fears that you constantly struggle with. None are truly capable of freeing you completely from your addictions.  Jesus Can! HE is the answer and the freedom you so desperately seek.  The One who can take your brokenness and make you whole. Jesus is the lover, author and perfecter of your life.

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” -John 14:6

When you feel like your trapped in a maze, Jesus says: I’m going to make a way for you. When the world and the ones you love reject you and your heart and mind is bombarded with lies, Jesus says: I’m your truth and I know the truth concerning you. When all hope is lost and you struggle to believe that your life has worth or purpose, Jesus says: I am a restorer of life. Your life is in my hands. Your life is linked to Mine and it is an abundant life filled with beauty, great plans, hope and a future.

Friend, it may seem like you’re in an impossible situation but for God nothing is impossible. His best overrides the enemy’s worst and know that it is the one whom So Loved You, fighting for you.

“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. ” -Psalms 91:15

A Prayer For You


“May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob defend you; May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you… May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.” -Psalm 20: 1-4

In Jesus name Amen.

A Father Who Listens

dad-909510_960_720My family and I were just hanging out at home one day. It was one of those days where everyone had a joke or funny story to tell. All of the sudden my seven-year old went stomping out of the room. I called after him but he didn’t respond.  So I went after him and found him curled up on my bed with a pillow over his head. I asked him what was wrong, he sighed  and said, “Nothing.”

I lifted the pillow off of his head and wiped away the tear that rolled down his cinnamon colored cheek. He got up and sat beside me. “Nobody ever listens to me, they won’t let me talk.”, he said.  Sadly, that often happens to the youngest in the household. I put my arm around his little shoulders and said, “I’m listening.” He looked up and said, “Thanks Mom.” What followed was a tale of an action packed, yet funny dream he had the night before.

This moment taught me something about our relationship with God.  The beauty in knowing that our Heavenly Father is listening. Even in the midst of a crowd, He hears you. His ear is tuned in to the voice of His children. How amazing is that! You have the ear of the Lord of Lords, the King of glory, the omnipotent, omnipresent, the Life Giver and Creator of all. He listens to you.  He even hears your unspoken prayers, your incoherent prayers. He hears your cries; your pain-filled, heart-wrenching sobs. God the Father hears YOU.

Don’t take my word for it, hear Him for yourself:

“You will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:12-14

See the Father’s Love for you in action:

2 Kings 20:2-5

“Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” “

Thanks to the finished work of Jesus Christ, We have a Father who listens, so talk to Him.

 – Be encouraged God’s Beloved.

A Prayer Imagined

Imagine if every Believer were to pray and intercede for their families, friends and loved ones salvation…

Multiple generations would be saved.

Imagine if we were obedient to Jesus’ call for us to pray for our enemies…

The whole world would probably be saved! 🙂


Know the Father’s Will: Pray for Salvation

7D55B32C-9A68-4AF9-A7D6-655BB86CEA18God is so faithful. I’ve witnessed my family, one by one, come to know Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Jesus cracked even the “tough nuts” in my life. As much as you love them, God loves them more. He desires their salvation even more than you do.

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” –1Timothy 2:3-4

Sometimes you may wonder, why me Lord? I’m not a pastor or a church elder. Perhaps God chose you to be a shepherd amongst your family members, friends and co-workers because He trusts you to carry His message. Perhaps He can count on you to faithfully intercede on their behalf. You may just have the right ingredients within you that would draw those God placed before you to Christ. To borrow an illustration from my husband, see yourself as the hand of God extended to that loved one and yes, your bitter enemies.

Jesus encourages us to pray for our enemies, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in Heaven.” –Matthew 5:44-45

Choose to be God’s firefighter. You know what’s coming; we have this one short life to choose Christ and our eternal destination. Save lives by snatching people out of the fire (Jude 2:3). It is God’s desire to see that none perish; as children of God we share in that desire. And when you pray know that, “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24

No matter how bad it looks, it may seem like your prayers are having no effect…don’t give up, don’t stop praying! Do not be dismayed by what you see or hear. Be like the persistent widow in Luke 18 and know that our God is a Righteous Judge. Hold on to the fact that HE Who Promised Is Faithful!

A Priestly Blessing

panoramic-3227810_960_720The Bible is filled with so many precious gems. Promises, deep revelations and endless gifts and blessings from our Heavenly Father. I stumbled across this gem during a time in my life when I was feeling really discouraged. As Israel’s high priest, Aaron, the brother of Moses, was commanded by God to speak this priestly blessing over the children of Israel.

The Priestly Blessing

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites, (that’s you in Christ) {Insert your name here}. Say to them:

“‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. ”’ “So they will put My name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27 NIV

To be face to face with God the Father and have His light, grace, peace and blessings to fall upon you. Better yet to share His name… what a gift! According to God’s word this blessing is yours, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promiseGalatians 3:26-29 

Today Jesus stands as our High Priest and unlike His predecessors He knows your walk, He gets our struggle. The word says, “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15

Our High Priest who lives and reigns forever is for us and not against us. He is for our freedom, for our victory, for our health, wellness joy and peace. This Priestly blessing is but a fraction of the blessings of God that Jesus Christ speaks over you today.

In all things, Be encouraged Beloved Child of God, the best yet to come.

 


 

Salvation: Mission Possible

The ministry of salvation is simple,

I think “we” (people in ministry) tend to make it complicated. I believe it’s because we forgot what it was like when we first fell in love with Jesus. We forget that God’s greatest desire is to see us repent and live. So much so that He gave us His Beloved Son while we were rotting in our sin so that we may live.

When I got saved there were no rituals or 10-step process involved. I didn’t have to “get right” before I dare to stand before God. Matter of fact when I got saved I was on a date with my now husband who invited me to church. I didn’t have any “church clothes” so I wore a party dress with a blazer. I got saved during the praise and worship service. Jesus was simply lifted up in my presence and I fell in love with Him. I felt Jesus’ love for me and saw His desire to save me. In that moment I believed in His love and I got saved.

I didn’t even make it to the altar call. No hands were laid on me, the only hand I felt was the Hand of God reaching out to me and saving me right were I stood. One touch from Jesus and I was forever changed.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not against altar calls or the laying on of hands, I’ve been there. I lay hands on my children all of the time and it’s powerful. I’m simply testifying to how simple salvation was for me.

Jesus said when He is lifted up He will draw all people to Himself. (John 12:32) Jesus did the tough part. Our part in this joint venture is simply to share Him to the lost, broken and wounded. We don’t need to fix people, get them right and then present them to God. It’s Jesus who saves us, makes us righteous and presentable before the Father. Jesus is the one who renews and restores us.

If I had been told that I had to change into a church appropriate outfit, get my life together and then make my way to Jesus, I probably wouldn’t have come back through those church doors. Some don’t. That approach would have made Salvation Impossible for me. God doesn’t look at the exterior of a person. So why do we? God accepted me party dress and all, during a time in my life where I was drowning. God so loved me…He cared that much that He saw past what the world saw and reached out to the part of me that was lost and bound and Saved me. When Jesus is lifted up (revealed, shared) lives are transformed!

Your Mission, If You Choose To Accept It Is This:

Our job is to scatter seeds (Jesus, His Love, His Word, His Hope), water it (pray, love, share Christ and His word again) and God will make it grow!


 

A Dark World

holiday candle
Whoever follows Me (Jesus) will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. -John 8:12

Once again it’s Hallows Eve. Soon our fall leaf-covered streets will be filled with costumed ghosts, goblins, pint-sized monsters and superheroes. It will be a night where fear will dwell in the atmosphere.

 

Our Hallelujah-Ween tradition is to bake Holy Ghost cookies. Gospel music is often blasting in the background; mixing spoons serve as our microphones. We go to the museum and watch the mad scientists perform creepy, slime-filled experiments. Then we go home and watch The Great pumpkin Charlie Brown and other cartoons and end the night with prayer.

While everyone’s asleep I usually watch a movie that would give me a good fright. These days though the images captured by the news and social media rivals if not exceed the terror of even the worst movie villain. A friend in Christ said to me awhile back, “The world is getting darker and darker.”  I responded with what the Holy Spirit placed on my heart, “The believer does not have to fear the dark. When sin abounds, Grace super abounds.”

I see the darkness as a call to Believers and we should respond as a Fireman who hears the firehouse alarm. According to the word of God we are the light of the world, ministers of God, a royal Priesthood. As the body of Christ we are commissioned to snatch others out of the fire. My husband likes to say, that the doors of the Ark are still open, we can compel others into the Ark of Christ. I strongly believe that the darkness is our wake up call; a call to be a light in this dark world. Now is the time for ministry.

As Christ says the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. Ministry is not limited to four church walls, this whole world is our pulpit and the Spirit of God dwelling in us is our license to practice.

The world is crying out for a Superhero and we have one, His name is Jesus Christ. The world needs that gift that is stirring up inside of you. It needs the Believer to Be the light in this Dark World.


Have a safe, Light-filled Halloween. Happy Hallelujah-Ween!

A Man Named Jesus

person at crossI was walking down a road called self-destruction, when I encountered a Man who was and is like no other. His name was Jesus Christ. He is a gentleman in every sense of the word. He knew everything there was to know about me; He knew me better than I knew myself. He knew the good; the bad and the ugly yet He never condemned me or made me feel ashamed of the bad choices I made. He Loved me…anyway.

The more time I spent with Him, the more I saw how deep and wide His love was for me. A Love unfailing, unwavering and everlasting. I’ve never felt this loved before. There was so much He wanted to give me, so much He had planned for me. Salvation, healing, peace, joy through His righteousness. He offered me freedom from my past and my pain. Forgiveness and the courage to forgive.

This Jesus took my heavy luggage, that contained all of my burdens and hurts and He handed me His. Surprisingly it was so light and easy. This was just a fraction of the gifts He offered me. There was so much more, more than my heart and mind can contain. I had nothing to offer Him except for a believing heart and a mouth that confesses and shares with others that He is who He says He is! Savior and Lover of our souls. This was more than enough for Him.

A Man named Jesus. A Man without spot or wrinkle who shed His righteous blood for the redemption of all of our sins, sickness and diseases. The only One who was willing and worthy to fulfill the will of the Almighty God. A Man like no other. He met me in my fallen state; touched me and transformed me into His image from glory to glory…to glory. Would you like to meet this Man named Jesus?

A Salvation Prayer


Then pray with me. Father God in Heaven, thank you for loving me so much that you willingly gave up your Beloved Son Jesus Christ to die for my sins. He took all of my sins, death and punishment into His own body and nailed it all to the cross. Better yet, He rose conquering death and the grave with salvation and complete healing in His wings. He did this so that I may become a son/daughter of the Almighty God, the righteousness of God in Christ. Today I receive Your Son Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord and I receive You as my Father and my God. Come into my heart; fill me with your Holy Spirit. I say goodbye to the old me and embrace the new creation that I am in Jesus. In Jesus name. Amen.

Welcome child of God, to Jesus’ Beloved Family 🙂

The Father’s Plan For You


“For I know the plans I have for you, “ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11

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God Has a Great Plan For You.

Many of us know this promise well. It’s our personal hope, our life-preserver. The rock we stand on when life throws its worst at us. Every time you hear this promise your confidence quickens because, this is your promise. God is personally talking to you. If you’re anything like me you’ve studied this verse inside and out. You’ve read other translations. You’ve written it on post-its and stuck it on your wall, computer, fridge, mirror…everywhere! Have you noticed that God says the word “plans” three times? For those of you who’ve studied the Hebrew language the number three is said to represent “completeness”.

This promise has often been the topic of many intimate conversations between the Father and I. What are your plans for me? Am I on the right path? This hope and future you speak of Father God, is it in this life or the eternal one?

The other day I read the verse again and was about to close the book when I heard Him say, “Keep reading, that’s only part of the promise.” So I read verse 12-14 and I had what I could only explain as a jaw-dropping moment. We all know Jeremiah 29:11 but how many of us know/remembers the second half of that promise.

Allow me to share:

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.”

When I read this I heard Him say:

I have a plan for you, plans that will touch and enrich every area of your life. Whenever you call on Me and pray to Me, says the LORD, know that I’m listening to you. You have my ear and my full attention. One call from you and I’m right there.

How beautiful is that!

It would be a big deal to some if you were to have a direct line to the Governor, the President, a powerful King or Queen of a wealthy nation but you, child of God, you have the ear of the Creator of ALL. God the Father listens to you! He shows up just for you! That’s our hope and future.

The one who listens says; I don’t make a promise that I can’t keep. I will never leave you or forsake you; I will be with you wherever you go. I am with you in the valley, on the mountaintop and everywhere in between. I fight for you. You are my heir and every promise to you is a ‘yes’. My love for you is unwavering, unfailing and it never gives up.

Your future and hope is in Him that is able. The one who loved you so much that He died on the cross just for you. Got questions about your future, the things you wrestle with at night? Just ask; He’ll give you the answers you seek. Whether you’re a Gideon who needs a little more convincing or a Paul who’s ready to go as soon as the scales have been lifted from your eyes. God will meet you right where you are.

He who began the good work He started in you, He will see it to completion. That’s the plans, hope and future we have to look forward to.

 

 

Be That One

I think at some point we’ve all experienced the loss of a loved one. Every time I learn of the passing of someone I know, I replay my conversations with him or her. When it’s someone I loved deeply, I ask myself, when was the last time I said I love you? Did we leave things on a good note? Did they know God, if not did I share Christ with them?

A Greater tragedy has been on my heart lately… suicide. There was a suicide story that made national news that really grabbed me. A teenage girl hung herself. I did an Internet search for her and what I saw broke my heart. There were touching tribute pages to her but what really startled me was the hours of video footage she posted of her crying out for help. How is it that our kids are more willing to bare their souls on the Internet yet unwilling to trust the contents of their heart with the adults in their lives?

A greater burden for me as a believer is this, where were the believers in her life? Was there not one friend, teacher, counselor, coach, neighbor, youth leader, was there not one in her life that knew the Lord. To let her know that she is loved and valued by A Savior whose love is unfailing, unwavering and endures. Was there not one praying for her?

No child or adult should have to end their life or suppress their pain through drugs, sex and alcohol in search of peace. Especially when peace can be found in abundant supply through Christ our Savior. He suffered and died so that we don’t have to. The bible says, “a body I require.” I know God was calling forth Christ to be the sacrificial lamb when He said this but I believe this call is also for the sons and daughters of God.

I think God is calling His children out of our comfort zones and into ministry and Christ has shown us through His own earthly ministry that ministry is not limited to a church building. It can happen anywhere. Jesus ministered by the lakeside, near a well, at the dinner table, on a mountain climb, wherever He went, He brought life and truth. This whole world is a pulpit and there are billions of people crying out for a Savior.  If one man’s prayer can cause a national drought, (See Elijah’s story) imagine what one seed of hope planted for Christ can do when you decide to be that One. Your prayer can save a life.

We  have access to the Father of Hope. Prayer, Testimonies, Sharing Christ written or verbal. These are our weapons. These are the tools we’ve been equipped with to save a life for Christ. Now is not the time to sit and wait for Christ return, now is the time to make sure when He does return we’ve got a whole lot of invites ready to come with us. Are you willing to be that One?