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.

Jesus Is Love

GodisLoveA few years back, I shared with you a revelation God had given me about Love as it’s defined in 1 Corinthians 13 in the NIV. I remember the first time I read it as a new believer, love is patient, love is kind…” After the first few lines I thought, I’m toast! I can’t do all of this, not even on my best days. Then one day God shed His light on the subject. He shared that love is not a thing, Love is a person. God identifies Himself as love and His love was made perfect through Jesus. God challenged me to see His Son in these scriptures, so I did, I let Jesus’ name take the place of Love and what followed was one of those revelations that changed my life and view of love forever. I want to share this picture of Christ with you through the amplified version. I hope you’re blessed by it.

1 Corinthians 13:2-8; 13 AMP Substituting love” for “Jesus”. Please note the changes are mine. Enjoy this portrait of Love.

  If I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but I don’t have Jesus [to reach out to others], I am nothing.  If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but I don’t have Jesus, it does me no good at all.

Jesus endures with patience and serenity, He is kind and thoughtful, He’s not jealous or envious; He does not brag and He’s not proud or arrogant. Jesus is not rude; He’s not self-seeking, He’s not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; He doesn’t take into account a wrong endured.  Jesus doesn’t rejoice at injustice, He rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Jesus bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], He endures all things [without weakening].

Jesus never fails [it never fades nor ends for Him]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away.

And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation] and Jesus [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is Love Himself, Jesus Christ.

-Amen. 🙂

Click here to read the original post, Love By Its True Name

 

Completely Forgiven

christmas gift

I was bible study hopping a few years back. My husband and I arrived a little late so we thought it best to sit in the back of the class. As I was settling in I heard someone ask, “I know I’m forgiven, but I still have to pay the consequences of my sins and mistakes right?” It took everything in me to contain my excitement. I had to fight the urge to raise my hand and ask the pastor if I can answer that question and set my fellow believer free. I was new to this group so I kept my cool.

The teacher answered, “Yes, we still have to pay the consequences of our sins and mistakes.” My heart sank. I wanted to say something but I couldn’t. How do you correct a Pastor in front of his flock? How I wish I had that spirit of boldness as seen in the apostle Paul when he corrected Peter. Every part of me wanted to ask, if forgiveness is a gift, why do I have to pay for it? I tell you the truth not speaking up that day still haunts me. I wonder how many more Believers are out there living with this same thought. Saved but bound. 

If I could turn back the hands of time, I’d ask if I could answer that question and I’d boldly say, there is No Condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! If I’m not completely forgiven then why would God say in His covenant promise that my sins and lawless acts, He will remember no more! When God made this oath there was no one greater to swear by so He swore unto Himself.  This isn’t some human contract, this is a covenant, made by God and fulfilled by the blood of His Son. It’s unbreakable, irrevocable, its Truth, a truth we can stand and hold onto.

Is Sin greater than the Cross? If one man’s disobedience (Adam) can bring sin and death to us all then why can’t one Man’s righteous act (Jesus) bring complete forgiveness to all who believe.

How Saved Am I?

To say that we don’t have complete forgiveness is to say that Christ’s birth, death and resurrection was flawed. There is no flaw in God. There are no tricks up His sleeve or “fine print” in His promise. That would make Him cruel like the men of this world. There is no lie in Him nor does He make promises He can’t keep. He is a God of Love.

Jesus Himself said He came to set the captives free. What is freedom if you’re still living in fear? Jesus was beaten so we can be victorious, bruised so we can be healed, broken so we can be whole. I have yet to come across a translation that says He was wounded for some of our transgressions. Why would He endure the cross for part of our punishment and some of our sins? Christ became our sin, All of our sins so that we can become the Righteousness of God in Christ. Sons and daughters of God, God doesn’t sweep away the Righteous with the Wicked.

My friends in Christ,  Jesus’ work on the cross was flawless and He demonstrated His Love for us perfectly. That Love casted out any fear of death and judgment we had. We are in Christ and in Christ we are Saved and Completely Forgiven.


Scripture References for Further Research

Romans 5 ,Romans 5:7-9 , Romans 8 , Hebrews 16-22 , Numbers 23:19 , Isaiah 53, Genesis 18

*Hebrews 7: 25 My new fav – He is able to save completely because He Lives!

 

 

Confidence in Christ

The Holy Spirit enlightened me recently in such a way that it’s giving me hope during one of the darkest hours of my life. You may know the story well but I want to encourage you to take a moment to hear what Christ is saying to you today.

In the book of Mark Jesus said to His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” So they boarded the vessel with Jesus. Some time later a vicious storm broke out over the boat. Imagine the disciples fright as the wind and waves violently tossed them about. The boat swamped with water. The thunder claps, the lightning strikes, skies so dark and cloudy you could barely see what’s in front of you.

There in the midst of it all laid Jesus, fast asleep on a cushion at the rear of the boat. They must have wondered how can anyone sleep through all of this? Fearing for their lives the disciples woke Him and said, “Teacher don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus got up and stilled the storm. Then He said to His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (See full story Mark 4:35-41)

In all of my studies of this story the focus has always been on Jesus quieting the storm but that’s not the significant part of this story. In my recent study I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Did He not say they were going to the other side?”

Getting Through the Storm

The book of Hebrews defines faith as, “Confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV.

Jesus breaks this down even further for us. He says Have faith in God; our faith in Him can move a mountain. Note that Jesus is calling us not to have faith in ourselves but Confidence in Him who can do all things. It’s Him not you moving the mountain.

Faith is Confidence in Jesus Christ being who He says He is. Confidence in Him being the Alpha and Omega of your life. That nothing in this life is beyond His knowledge, ability and reach. Confidence in Him being the promise keeper. That every word He uttered to you will be fulfilled. That He does have a plan for you one that will take you to great heights and depths in Him. A life filled with meaning and purpose. That He heard every prayer and every cry and because you are His, ALL THINGS will work out for your good. Including the things that don’t make sense to you.

Confidence in His willingness to heal you and your loved ones, grant you your heart’s desire and set you free from the things that have kept you bound. That He will protect and defend you. Still the storm, tear down walls and break chains on your behalf. Confidence in His unfailing, unconditional and unshakeable love for you. A Love that cannot lie. A love so perfect and pure that He laid His life down and shed His blood so that you may live this life and the next victorious.

I believe the Father wants to take us to a place in Him where our confidence in His love for us is so great that when trouble arises, we don’t respond in fear and doubt but in Faith. A centurion type of faith that says, Jesus, just say the word and I know it will be done!

A faith that doesn’t wake Him in the midst of a storm but grabs a pillow and rest with Him. A confidence in Christ that is not shaken when things are falling apart or moved by the fire blazing around. A faith that holds on to Him who is with you and for you and can see you through the storm. You hold on because you trust what His word says about you. Your boat may rock, it may sustain some damage but you know that He who promised is faithful and You Will make it to the other side!

Follow the Promise


What promises did He make to you? I encourage you not to give up on His promise; don’t give in to the doubt. He is faithful, willing and His word is tested and true. Jesus cannot fail you. It may feel like you’re all alone but you’re not – Christ is with you. The gifts and call of God are irrevocable. Things may look dark for you right now. It may seem like you’re not going to make it, but Jesus Christ, God’s Love made perfect, says You Are going to the other side! 🙂


-Amen

A Mother’s Day Story- A Letter from My Mom

A Mother’s Day Story- A Letter from My Mom

Seven years ago my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was a shock to us all but it was also a great blessing. It brought my Mom closer to God and it showed us both what it means to stand by God and His promise. When I first got the news I looked up and said, “God, what’s going on with my Mom?” It was a simple prayer. I was a child in shock seeking understanding from Her Father, to be honest I did not have time for a lot of words. God answered my prayer.

That’s the beauty of prayer, prayer is not a ritual. It’s not about grandeur or great length, it doesn’t require elegant speech. Prayer is a conversation with God, birthed from your relationship with Him. The only thing prayer requires is belief in God the Father who is able and a sincere heart. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” –1john 5:14-15

I heard God say that my Mother’s diagnosis was not unto death but to draw her and the only thing He wanted me to do is stand and not waver. So I did and He did what He promised. God healed her and drew my Mom to Him and she has been cancer free for seven years and counting. Hallelujah!

On this Mother’s Day I thought I’d share the letter she wrote to me for my birthday, two years after her diagnosis. I have spoken with her about this and she is fine with it.

cropped-pink-rose.jpgJune 20, 2009

To my dearest daughter, this is quite an emotional letter for me. I thought I’d take this time to share some of my thoughts with you. This was the longest and hardest journey I have ever faced. I know that God has healed me, blessed me and kept me going, but you were my greatest hope and faith. You were the one who gave me the faith and encouragement to not give up. Your prayers and your constant reminders about how bless I was made me believe and strengthened my faith in God. There were days I wanted to give up and you never gave me the opportunity to do that. I feel that this, like you said, was God getting my attention. He did get my attention; I realize now how special life is. Now I try to live one day at a time and not stress and even try to enjoy life. In time I will do more to enjoy my life.

I just want to say thank you for traveling with me on this journey, for being my daughter, my friend and going the extra mile with me. I know I was a pain at times but thank you for not letting me feel like a burden to you. You gave and gave your time and never complained and I know I might joke around at times about us but I know you love me no matter what my faults may be. I may have not been perfect but I treasure you and have loved you from the day I found out I was carrying you. You have always been in my heart and nothing can or ever will take that away.

This is your Day and I feel so blessed that God has allowed me to see you if just another year. I pray I will be around to “torture you” in your old days. I know my grandkids gave me hope to go on but you gave me inspiration and faith to believe and for that I am eternally grateful. There is so much I can say to you but for now I just want to say thank you and I love you always.

Mom


Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers and Mothers to be!
Whether you are a parent or not,  you are givers of life. Whether you are birthing a new business idea, a ministry, a career, a new hobby or a little bundle of joy. Within you lies the ability to receive, conceive, nurture and bring forth new dreams, new hopes, innovative ideas, great adventures and children that will change the world. Know that everything your involved in for Christ has the potential to inspire a generation for you are God’s  handiwork created in Christ to do great works.

-A Kingdom Princess

My Heaven Valentine

My Heaven Valentine

What is Love?GodisLove

Is it a tender kiss? Is it a smile that warms you from across the room? Is it flowers and heart-shaped candy given to you on Valentine’s Day? Sweet, yes, but is that love? Not quite for these things are but a shadow of what real love is.

Love is God, for God is Love and His Love was made perfect when He gave up His Beloved Son Jesus so that the objects of His Love can receive the gift of eternal life.

Love left His Kingly throne to become flesh and make His home amongst us. To feel what we feel and learn what its like to be human. Love didn’t come to judge or condemn, He came bearing the gifts of grace, truth and hope. Love gave sight to the blind, speech to the mute, Hope to the brokenhearted and liberty to the bound. When asked by one who was sick and made to live as an outcast in this world, “If you are willing you can make me whole.” Love touched whom the world had thrown away and said, “I am willing.” And He made this man and countless others whole.

He was stricken for our sake and we thought Him cursed by God. Many despised Love. He was betrayed, falsely imprisoned, beaten, spit on, ridiculed and rejected by the ones He came to save. Love had the power to save Himself but He chose to submit to the will of His Father.

Love was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. Love chose to be nailed to a cross to bear all of our sins. At the appointed time Love died on that cross, taking our shame, guilt and sickness with Him. As promised Love rose three days later victorious for He overcame our biggest fear, which is Death.

Love took our unrighteousness and gave us His righteousness. Love took our pain and guilt and gave us His everlasting peace. Love took our weakness and gave us His Spirit. Love made us sons and daughters of God. He bore the wrath of God that was meant for us so that we may receive the fullness of His Father’s Love.

Love loved us even while we were still in sin. Love laid down His life so that we can take up His. That…is … Love! Christ is Love!

rose2My Valentine Prayer

Father God and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I just wanted to take this moment to say that I love you. You are my Heaven Valentine. You gave me your Heart so that I may live. Thank you for loving me first. Thank you for loving us with an unchanging and everlasting love.

Happy Valentine’s Day God’s beloved! Know that every day is Valentine’s Day for you who are in Christ. In Jesus name, Amen.

“…if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have Love, I am nothing. If I give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have Love, I gain nothing.”-1Corinthians 13:2-3


 

Who Do You Say Christ Is?

Who Do You Say Christ Is?

footprintsinsandThere is a conversation between Jesus and His disciples that I have been meditating on for quite some time.

Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do the people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

Then He asked them, “Who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:13-16 NIV

Who do I say Christ is? To me, He is a Father, a Husband and Best Friend.

A Father

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1John 3:1

As a Father He is the one I came from. It is through Him that my identity is found. A Father who doesn’t see my faults; or holds my mistakes against me, He never points out my shortcomings. In Him is Forgiveness and mercy that never fails to set me free. Whenever He looks at me He sees greatness and all of His hopes and plans for me. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get me there. When I fall off my bike, He picks me up and brushes me off. He tends to the scrapes and bruises and encourages me to get back on that bike and ride fearlessly. I don’t ride alone, He runs alongside me, ready to catch me if I fall.

He never ceases to cheer me on, He reminds me of who I am and what I’m capable of, He gives me the strength to pedal on. Once He sees you’ve found your way, He stands back with a smile, filled with pride and joy. When you’re hurt, He hurts all the more. He’ll fight for you, protect and provide for you and above all LOVE you with an unchanging love. His Love never fails. He is a Father who lives to inspire me and desires only the best for me and is willing to sacrifice it all, even His own life, to see me live life victoriously.

A Husband

“For Your Maker is your Husband- the LORD Almighty is His name.” Isaiah 54:5

As a Husband I am the love of His life, He wants to be intimately involved in every area of my life. He wants to know what’s on my heart and mind. He desires to share in my triumphs and be the one to hold me through my grief. As my Husband, He’s seen me at my best and worst, nothing is hidden from Him. He’s seen me flaws and all and HE loves me anyway. I am perfect in His eyes, a picture of Grace. Through good times and bad, He’s by my side and together we can get through it all.

He always finds a way to make me smile with a kind word, a gentle touch. He has a way of making the bad work out for my good. He’s my biggest fan, He encourages me to be the best Me that I can be. If He can give me the world, He would, but He chose to give me Himself instead. All He wants is to see me live life happy and free and reach every goal and dream inside of me. His love for me is real, pure and true. Death can’t separate this love. He pledges to love me forever and always, in this life and the next.

A Friend

“I have called you Friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15

As a Friend, He’s always there whenever I call on Him. “Call on me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you.” Psalm 50:15. He never gets tired of hearing from me. I can be myself with Him. He’s patient, compassionate and always ready to listen. You can bear your all to Him. My Friend is trustworthy and faithful. I can confide in Him and He confides in me. He never judges or condemns. He’s my shoulder to cry on, my Best Friend. There’s no envy or jealousy in Him, He wants the best for me and is willing to give me just that. He strives to get me to a better place, no matter how long it takes. After every conversation I’m left feeling strengthened, comforted and able to do all things because of Him. The peace He leaves me with, surpasses all understanding. It doesn’t make sense at times but it encourages me to take another step forward.

Who do you say Christ is? To me Christ is everything I could possibly want and need…and so much more.

When Jesus Praises The Father

When Jesus Praises The Father

Whether I’m feeling victorious on God’s mountaintop or discouraged in the valley, I can count on my praise and worship of our God to lift my spirit. Whether I’m enjoying a peaceful day in the Lord or in the midst of a stormy trial; when thanksgiving and His praise fills my heart and leaves my lips, the atmosphere changes. Somehow I walk away feeling a little bit stronger. I find myself standing a little bit taller and my faith in Christ feels significantly greater. It’s a strange concept. I often wondered how praising someone else could leave me feeling encouraged.

Imagine my delight when the Lord revealed the answer to this mystery through Jesus’ praise and worship of the Father in Matthew 11:25-30.

Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.”

“…Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

An Invitation

Look at what follows Jesus’ praise, an invitation to rest. Jesus’ praise is also recorded in the book of Luke 10:21-24, and it ends with Him telling His disciples how blessed they are.

“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

I like what the apostle Peter says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.[i]

It’s no wonder we’re transformed in the midst of His praises, for it ushers us into His rest. It reminds us of the Father’s unfailing love and that we’re not alone in this. I don’t believe God is seeking praise for Himself, scripture testifies to this. I believe praying, fasting and praise is how we submit our efforts to the Spirit. I see these signs of submission being received as a gentle tug on God’s garment. Like the woman with the issue blood (see Mark 5:21-34/Luke 8:40-48), our tug draws power from God.

Rejuvenation, strength, hope, peace and rest flows to us effortlessly simply because we desire it, we desire Him. It’s not a way to manipulate God into doing things for you, if that’s your intent, you won’t receive His gift. You can’t manipulate for something that is freely given.

Be encouraged children of God. In every situation praise Him and let His Spirit take you to new heights in Him. In Jesus name. Amen.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”[ii]


[i] 1 Peter 1:3-4

[ii] Psalm 28:7

Loved by God

heart bible

The Spirit of Love is in the air and what better way to celebrate than with words from the greatest love story ever written. I love how every verse and every story in the bible reads like a poem written by the Author of Love. In His own words the Creator of all professes to the entire world that He deeply and intimately loves you.

Intimately Loved and Known

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. This is why I saved you; covered you in the redemptive blood of my Son.

I gave you My peace that surpasses understanding and placed my Holy Spirit inside of you. You will never be alone. You are intimately loved and known.

The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Yes, I took the time to count them. You are intimately loved and known.

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.

I blessed you and chose you to be a reflection of who I am.

I have seen you at your best and at your worst and I have loved you through it all. You have been tried, judged and the verdict is in. You are and always will be innocent in my eyes thanks to My Son.

I promise that I will never leave you or forsake you. You are intimately loved and known by Me.

I care about the things you care about. Don’t be afraid to let Me in. I am here to help you not to harm you, to give you hope and an amazing future.

Your forgotten prayers, not yet formulated prayers, your unspoken prayers and not so perfect prayers.

Your thoughts, your hopes, your dreams and desires.

Your fears, your mind, the very depth of your heart, spirit and soul is intimately loved and known by Me.

 I am not a Man that lies or tells tales nor am I one that makes promises I cannot keep. Trust in Me, trust My Love. Trust My loving thoughts toward you.

My promise to you is this, neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate you from Me. 

I Love you and this Love will never fail you.

You are intimately known and loved by Me.

Inspired by The Word of God

 

Love By Its True Name

JesusYeshua_svgWhat is love? Is it the skip of your heartbeat when “the one” walks in the room? Is it the gentle touch of your newborn as little fingers embrace yours? I’ve recently discovered that love is not a “what” but a“who”.

The bible reveals to us that God is love (1John 4:8) and that “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.” –john 3:16.  In other words God, who is love, expressed His love for us through The Word that became flesh. God gave love a new name and His name is Jesus Christ.

The Spirit painted for me a beautiful portrait of love by its true name the other day in this very revealing scripture -1 Corinthians 13:4-8 . Walk with me as we sub love with its true name…Jesus.

Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. Jesus does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus never fails. -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

There was a time when I thought that this scripture was an instruction on how-to-love and after the first verse all I could see was my faults and failures.  It wasn’t until God removed the veil from my eyes and heart that I saw that this was not a picture of what I should or should not do but  a revelation of Christ who loves us and His unconditional love  toward us.

This is my prayer for you: That this revelation of love takes root and multiplies in your heart today and that, “You, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”-Ephesians 3:17-19 In Jesus’ loving name, Amen.

New International Version used.