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Monday, June 30, 2014

His Healing Completes Me

Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved for you are the one I praise” (Jeremiah 17:14, NIV).

No matter what I face in this life, He is my healer, and He is my Savior. He not only heals my heart, mind, and body. He heals every facet of my life. He is not just my Savior for a moment. He is my Savior from all that I have been, and for all that I am now.

When He heals, I am healed completely in the way He has chosen for me. His healing exists for more than just physical illness. It encompasses every facet of my being―body, mind, and spirit. His healing is for all that I am―every cell of my physical being, every thought in my tormented mind, every emotional turmoil that plagues my heart. Greatest of all the healing and that which determines all the others is the spiritual completeness that can only be discovered in my relationship with Him. This healing goes where my mind cannot even fathom―into the depths of my being where my spirit opens to His Spirit and receives all that is needed. In this depth of spiritual completeness, I am one with Him. He heals my body, mind, and spirit. I love Him as my Savior from all I know I have been, and as Savior from all I haven't even known I have been.

In this place with Him, I am saved. I am healed. There is no question. There is no doubt. There is no fear. There is no turmoil. There is no pain. There is just Him. He just is in me. All is well and I'm at peace in Him. My heart praises the Savior who has come to me, healed, and saved me from myself.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

His Freedom

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17, NIV).

Sometimes in life you may discover that you are unable to speak with someone with whom you have previously shared your heart. You feel a wall growing. You might know the reason for it or not. The longer time passes, the more hardened that wall becomes and difficult to pull down. You feel paralyzed and unable to do anything. You are fearful to do anything about it, and where fear resides, the Holy Spirit is unable to move. The larger your wall, the harder it is to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, much less the freedom He wishes to impart.

If that wall consumes your life, it has grown bigger than your God. Fear has you in bondage. The best way to face your wall is to make the decision that it must come down in your own life. Through continued prayer and supplication, you can feel God removing your obsession with the fear that wall brings. You can discover the freedom to stop analyzing that wall, and trust God to take it down. You can allow Him to have your wall, realizing that only He can move mountains. With that release comes His freedom to speak or not to speak to the person on the other side of the wall. 

If He does lead you to speak and address the wall, pray for the Lord to take control. Pray for His guidance and freedom to talk to that person. Pray for His Spirit to crucify any selfishness you have or any preconceived idea. Come with an open heart and spirit to listen. Realize that no one is perfect. Only the Lord. Be honest, and speak your heart in His love. Ask for a heart softened by the Holy Spirit and be ready to admit it if you are the problem. Ask for forgiveness, and also return that forgiveness freely. Ask for a heart to understand what the other person wishes to say, and remember that where the Holy Spirit is there is freedom. 

Remember that you can't take down another person's wall. You can only let your own down. You can share in honesty, and pray that the Holy Spirit will help the other person realize that you are truly sorry for whatever caused the division―that you desire Him to rebuild your relationship with His healing presence. The wall which imprisoned can be laid to rest. Hopefully and prayerfully, the other one will experience the love and freedom and healing of the Holy Spirit, too. But it is not your place to bring healing. It is only your place to love and be open with the Holy Spirit living and loving through you always.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Inspired to Greater Heights

This morning I'm writing again about the Christian life being a race. For some reason I keep going back to Hebrews 12:2-3. Every time I read these verses, I am encouraged through the hard times with the wisdom they impart. "Strip down, start running—and never quit!”, the writer to the Hebrews states. “No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls" (Hebrews 12:2-3, MSG).

Every day I need the spiritual adrenalin the Holy Spirit injects.. In these few verses in Hebrews, the Lord gives me the way to receive it. Keep my eyes on Jesus. Keep my eyes on the goal, the prize, the grand finish to come. When I find myself weary in faith, then I have taken my eyes off of Him, and allowed the hardship of life to pull me away from His protecting and guiding hand. Look at all He put up with! I might feel rejected. I know nothing about being shamed and feeling rejected. I might be battered by the enemy. I really can't comprehend the depth he fought the enemy and then won! I've never endured the pain of what He did for me on the cross. But if He endured, then I can also endure. The writer to the Hebrews imparts that going over and over what Christ did for mereminding myself item by itemwill give me the spiritual adrenalin to rise up and run my face. Just like a runner's body produces endorphin to sustain him, so does the Holy Spirit inject spiritual adrenalin to sustain me. As a runner catches a second wind at the moment he is about to give out, so I also catch the wind of His spirit when I need Him the most.

There is an end to this race. Christ attained that victory when He conquered sin and death. He now is with His father urging each one of us own to finish our own race. The Holy Spirit is my power to run the race bravely and rise above all the obstacles that hinder. Without His power, I will fail the course. If I focus on each obstacle, then my eyes are not on Him, but on the problem the obstacle presents. I will keep my eyes on Jesus Christ, the beginner of this faith in my heart, and allow Him to bring it to completion. I will never let this race of life defeat, and rob me of the promise at the finish. I will let it inspire me to greater heights. I will run it with perseverance, and with every part of me broken and spilled outjust as He was for me.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Once More

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14, NIV).

I will have courage and not fear. Today I start again, and put my failures behind me. He gives a fresh beginning. I will not worry or be frightened. If His forgiveness was only for the righteous, it wouldn't be needed. Not one of us is perfect. We all have fallen short. But His forgiveness is new every morning.

So why do I worry? He longs to give me that fresh beginning, but my life is dirtied with worry and anxiety. As long as I dwell on what has been bad in my life, I cannot see His promise of new life. Why should He help me when my worry would rob me from even recognizing His blessings? In spite of my past or circumstance, He blesses those who put Him before all other things. He blesses a life of surrender and a sacrifice of praise. 

I press on toward my prize. I reach for His life of holiness, and put behind me all the things which keep me from moving forward in Him. I forget what has been, and I praise Him for transforming my life. I shall be joyful and realize that with another beginning, I once more step out in faith to trust and believe in His promises that never fail. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Keep Me Open, Lord

“I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!” (Ezekiel 36:26-28, MSG).

Have there been times in your life when you heart has suddenly “chilled” or grown “cold”? Perhaps you are aware of it or not. I'm aware when mine does. There is a sudden awareness that my openness to the Holy Spirit's guidance has diminished. Joy is fleeting. I feel like the wind has been knocked out of my spirit, and I'm standing on unsecured ground. My prayers feel like they have no power. Where there was once certainty and peace, I now have doubt and fear. I know that something is wrong spiritually within me. I must find it, and address it before my once God-willed heart becomes completely cold and self-willed.

Allowing what is wrong to be addressed means that I must surrender my will to His will. Often I will know exactly what needs to be addressed. Sometimes the Lord sends someone else to open my eyes. It may be a sin or a bad attitude. It may be something that God wishes to remove from my life or something He is trying to impart. Whatever it might be, He wants to change my heart, and put His thoughts about it into my heart and mind. If I do not want a coldness of heart to consume me and separate me from His presence, I must deal with whatever that problem is in my life. I must repent, seek His forgiveness, and willingly turn from it.

After Nathan came to David and revealed to him that it was his sin which separated him from God, David cried out for forgiveness. Then he asked for what he knew was so very needed. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51:10-11). David wanted nothing to separate him from the Holy Spirit. He knew he needed a pure heart, and that he would need a steadfast spirit within himself to always remain open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. God gave David a new heart and put a renewed spirit within him. He can also remove my stony heart and your stony heart. He can remove unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, rage, anger, frustration, fear, and whatever separates us from God's presence.....if we will admit it, repent from it, and turn for it. 

A stony heart that is calloused and unable to be moved by the Holy Spirit, can be free in His peace and joy. If I live always with an open heart, He bestows His power where nothing which rises up to destroy, can destroy. He imparts the power to remain strong. Once opened my heart will never wish to return to that time of separation. It will rejoice in its freedom, and seek to remain open to His loving conviction for the rest of its life.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Until Then...

Praise the Lord, my soul;
All my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
And forget not all his benefits—
Who forgives all your sins
And heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from the pit
And crowns you with love and compassion,
Who satisfies your desires with good things
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 103:1-5).

The years have flown by. I've grown older, and my children are older. They have their own kids who have grown from little baby to young adult and even older in the blink of an eye. My mother passed on last year; my father is slowing down, and my time to pass on is definitely closer. Time has moved on, but I'm so thankful that my heart has been youthfully renewed each day by the love Jesus placed in it over fifty-eight years ago.

This psalm speaks to my heart this morning. I praise Him no matter how much physical or emotional pain I may bear–no matter what happens around me, because He has never failed me in all the years that I have loved and served Him. All my being praises Him this morning... my heart is soul is His, and I have nothing to fear. Remembering all that He has done inspires me to still believe in His perfect promises–those pearls He has given which I may or may not see in this lifetime. I still believe. I still trust. I still honor His love which gave all for me.

He has forgiven all of my sins–not just some, but all. Each one forgiven. He has redeemed my life from the greatest hell of despair and torment. Throughout my life there have been amazing years of healing–healing of heartbreak, fear, worry, hurt, broken relationships, illnesses, and even cancer. He has been so faithful to me. There are still some relationships to be healed, emotions to be faced, battles to be fought, and only He knows what is ahead. In all of these things, He is still faithful to me.

He has crowned my life with His love, and I pray each day for His love and compassion to live in me. He has filled my life with more than I could ever want. I am full each day of the wonder of His presence. In all the years I have known Him, each day is new and full and joyful in Him. And in that joy–as long as I am able–I will continue to pray, continue to love, continue to write, continue to believe, continue to serve, continue to rejoice. I belong to Him, and that makes all things possible. I know I am never alone.

He has held my hand as the years fly by, and one day, when He calls, I will walk with Him into eternity. Grasping my hand, just as He always has done, He will lead me into that for which my heart has always longed. No longer will I only partially experience His glory. I will see Him face to face. I will know Him fully as He has always known me.

And I will be complete.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Generous Savior

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b).

Do you see God as being generous? He is! He gives abundant life for earth, and abundant life for eternity. This is the reason He came. To give His life for souls! To give us life instead of death! To give us victory instead of defeat! To speak peace instead of turmoil! To bring rest in the midst of the storms of life!

Jesus Christ came so that we may know overflowing life in Him. He gave all for that purpose. He sacrificed all He was for all the ugliness that we are. In His gift to us He becomes the vine that empowers. We are the branches. When the life of the vine flows into ours, we bring forth new growth! We flourish in His presence. Our being becomes one with His.

Whatever you might face today, He has already given victory. He is Peace, Joy, Strength, Power, Healing, Patience, Forgiveness! He is everything you cannot be alone. He is all you lack. His Life flowing through you is all you need. So look to Him, the author of your faith, and take courage. It is only in Christ that you can have the greatest peace, strength, power, healing, patience, forgiveness. But you must live with Him, and in Him. Then and only then will His life accomplish the miraculous in your life.

This is abundant life!  This is your purpose, and your promise. This is the reason He came. For you.

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Changed Heart

“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. Purify me from my sins,and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you” (Psalm 51:1-4a, 7-8,10-12, NLT).

When David was confronted by the prophet, Nathan, over his sin with Bathsheba, he immediately sought forgiveness from God. These verses reveal the heart of a man easily convicted by the Holy Spirit. The thought of his sin separating Him from his God was overwhelming. He was broken before the Lord.

That is what the Lord wishes for me.... to be easily convicted when there is something wrong in my life. God disciplines the child that He loves. It is proof of His love for me. (Hebrews 12:6). My response to His loving discipline is repentance, and to do whatever He instructs me to do as a result of it. If my heart is truly broken, my attitude will change. Whatever God might instruct me to do will not be done because I “have to”; it will be done because I yearn to do it. 

That changed heart... that changed attitude is what restores the joy of my salvation! My heart is free from its sinful state, and my mind is free of the thoughts a sinful heart brings! He abides within my heart, and I long to obey His will. If I ever need discipline again, I know He disciplines me because He wishes for nothing to come between the intimate heart fellowship I have with Him. He wants nothing to separate me from His love.
Always create your heart in me, O Lord. Always create the deep need to constantly renew my love and obedient loyalty to you. Mold my life like a piece of clay, and change me into a workmanship that brings glory to your name.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

His Living Water in Me

Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14, NIV).

If I drink of the water that He provides, I will never be spiritually thirsty. His living water not only soothes my shattered spirit, but it heals my broken heart because it is His life living, filling, and following through me. It is a spring of promise that wells us in my spirit and constantly flows to bring abundant life now and eternal life later.

My living water is His Word. In the very beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and it was God. (John 1:1). If I fill my life with this living Word, it accomplishes what God desires for my life.(Isaiah 55:10-11) It trains me to live a life that is fulfilled in every way. (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Faith will grow in me as I fill my being with His Word...with His message (Romans 10:17).
"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness," He whispers, "they shall be filled." 

"Oh Lord," I cry, "just as a deer pants for streams of water, my soul pants for you. My soul thirsts only for you." 
If I continually drink of His living waterthe Word of GodHis truthHis Spirit, I will be filled. This is a thirst that shall always be satisfied. No weapon of the enemy that comes against me will succeed. No lie will find soil in which to take root. I believe because I have faith that I  have discovered in knowing His Word. In Him lies are conquered and truth prevails. His living water lives in me.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Contentment and Peace in All Things

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).

I will never know true contentment and peace without God in my life. Nothing on this earth can offer such peace–no possession, no person, no joyful anticipation. Only God promises the deepest peace which come from abiding trust in His faithfulness. It is a peace that surpasses circumstantial contentment when all feels right with the world. God's peace is the peace I know when all is not right in my world. When the circumstances of my life should only speak despair and pain, I only know the greatest peace in spite of it all. 

Paul said that he had learned to be content in every circumstance. He didn't want to be in prison, and he certainly didn't want to be dependent on others to provide for his needs. He longed to be out of jail. But, no matter what he faced, he was content. Nothing in the world made Paul content. His contentment came from his deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ. God gave him peace, and with that peace a purpose to fulfill. His incarceration could not stop him from trusting in God to meet all his needs. His chains could not keep him from writing of God's great goodness. He had learned the secret of being content in every circumstance. In allowing the Lord to define His well-being instead of His surroundings to discourage Him–in allowing the Lord to use Him completely no matter what His circumstance, Paul discovered the power which accompanies such surrender, and the joy of a spiritual fulfillment that nothing in the world offers.

I often discover that many things are just impossible. I cannot find contentment and peace because of my circumstances. Struggling doesn't help. Being angry doesn't help. It only makes it worse. But there is a peace that passes my understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). When I know God as intimately as Paul, I can give Him all that rages, and take refuge in Him. Paul's life reveals that is it absolutely possible to have peace and contentment when we trust God. When I discover this inner peace and contentment, my roller coaster life can be quiet as a gentle wave upon a shore. I know that nothing can come against me, and nothing is impossible for Him. I can do everything through Jesus who gives me the strength to accomplish it.

Friday, June 20, 2014

You Are Mine

Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a, KJV).

Be still. Calm your anxious mind. I speak peace. The enemy speaks turmoil. Listen to my voice only. Never allow the voice of the world to deter you or the enemy to destroy. Listen for my voice, and you will never be disappointed. Listen, and anxious thoughts and tired nerves will become rested. I speak rest in tenderness to your turmoil and strife.

My tenderness and the restfulness will heal your scars and make you strong, but it is you who must allow me be your strength and your power. I cannot be your strength if you give me your load, and then take it back. You are the greatest concern of my heart, but so many times you don't allow me to carry what you can't. 

Allow me to love you and carry you. I know your pain, and I am the answer. You do not have the answer. Only I have the answer. But until you let it go, and surrender it, there is nothing I can do. Give it again to me today. Seek me again and again and again until you discover my peace. Allow me to flow through your heart and mind, and heal all that which would tell you that you are unworthy. Never feel at the mercy of the world or the enemy. You are not. You are mine.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Sacrifice of Praise

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15, NIV).

Praise. It is my sacrifice and my offering to God. It is that very instance, when in my most difficult circumstance, distress is calmed and there is a hope for peace. Praise dispels worry, and confusion changes into clarity. Praise will ultimately dispel fear of the unknown, and bring His peace and joy.

Praise, like prayer, changes me. No matter how difficult my problems or my circumstance–no matter how fearful the thought–praise changes my outlook. Praise in the midst of hardship breaks down inner walls. Praise in the midst of fear releases faith. When things are hard—when fear persists—when problems overwhelm, I will seek reasons to be thankful. I will seek to realize His blessings that slip by unobserved. The gift of thanksgiving in my heart—no matter what is going on in my life—is my sacrifice of praise.

Giving God a sacrifice of praise is a decision that I will praise Him no matter how I feel. Life's hardship will not keep me from praising Him. It will spur me on to praise reach for Him, and give all that I face to Him. One day praise will no longer be a sacrifice. Praise will rise from a heart that constantly believes and knows He is faithful to carry my burden. My heart and mind shall no longer focus on my circumstance or pain or difficulty, but on His faithfulness and His blessings (Isaiah 26:3). I shall have given all to Him, knowing and believing that He will handle everything that I can't. Praise shall rise, and there will be peace (Philippians 4:6-7).

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In His Freedom There is Healing

“From the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48b, NIV).
No one likes to face pain. Reliving that pain is certainly not comfortable. When I have lived through suffering, my natural instinct is to move on and try to forget it. But when God graciously intervenes and brings me through a hard time in my life, my natural instinct is not His. He has entrusted me with His healing grace, and He asks that I give myself away for the sake of others. Sometimes I must relive that hurt or failure or sin or sickness or despair for the sake of someone else so that they also might know healing. God never wastes my hurt or what I have faced in my life. He wants me to use it for His glory. 

God longs to use the pain I've experienced—the things that I regret—the highs and the lows—the fears and the failures—the very things I want to hide from—to help others experience His grace. He wants my life open so others might find freedom from their own pain, and I might discover deeper healing for mine. "Now the Lord is the Spirit,” Paul imparts, “and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). The Holy Spirit will liberate me from any fear, but I must be willing to be liberated.

Being open is a very hard place to be. I want to build a wall to protect myself from my own vulnerability. But building a wall doesn't protect me. It imprisons my heart. It imprisons my spirit. It imprisons healing of not only my own wounds, but those of others. My wall turns my heart into a heart of stone because, in closing myself off, I have shut out the Holy Spirit. However, when I allow that wall of false protection to tumble down, the Lord turns my pain into victory not only for myself, but for others. “I'll give you a new heart, “the Lord promises, “and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

A heart that yields completely to the Holy Spirit is a heart of tender “spiritual flesh”. It is a heart that is malleable, vulnerable, and not afraid of the pain that often accompanies healing. It is heart that is ready to face the hurt of the past or the present head-on, and allow the Holy Spirit to do whatever is necessary. Willing to deal with whatever must be dealt with, this heart trusts that the Lord who has exposed the pain is capable of healing all that has caused it.

He has entrusted you and I with His grace, and He asks for us to invest that trust for the sake of others. He calls for sacrifice and openness. We need to believe that in our surrender and vulnerability, He is also there. In His freedom, there is healing. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Worth the run

Your life in Christ is a race. It is a race that creates the spiritual growth you need to make it to the end. Hebrews 12 gives clear and inspiring directions. "Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls" (Hebrews 12:2-3, The Message).
What would you think of the runner who gave up when faced with the first obstacle in a race? That hurdle is meant to give you a lift upward... not pull you back. It is meant to inspire you to greater growth. Are you ready to really run your race? Will you move forward, facing and springing over each obstacle with greater spiritual growth? Or will you run and hide and never discover the power He wishes to impart?
“So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion. It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy. But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way” (Hebrews 10: 35-39, The Message).

Rise above all obstacles in your race, and reach for His peace and joy. Persevere against all odds. As you run through life with this attitude you will discover His power to carry you forward over life's times of pain. Refuse to repeat your failures, and look to your finish line. It is His greatest promise, and is worth the run of your lifetime.

Monday, June 16, 2014

His Good, Pleasing, and Perfect Will

“How can I know God's will for my life?” Have you ever asked yourself this question, and looked for answers that never came? I have had this discussion with so many people, and I have come to a conclusion. So many Christians believe that being in God's perfect will is about a specific “thing” or “mission” that God wants them to do. But it is so much more than that. Being in God's perfect will is a lifestyle. It is living a surrendered life that gives Him honor and worships His name.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters,” Paul writes, “in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2, NIV).

If you want to know God's “good, pleasing and perfect will”, Paul says, become a living sacrifice for Him. Because of His mercy for youbecause of His love and forgiveness for you-because of the free gift of His life for you, make your life a gift to Him. Choose to live a life that honors His love that died for you–a lifestyle with choices that are pleasing to God. Don't become like the rest of the world concerned about themselves and only what makes them feel good or happy. The rest of the world puts itself first and is filled with immorality, hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, and selfish ambition (Galatians 5:19-20). It can't understand the love and freedom found in choosing others over itself. Choose to live a life like Christ's, Paul says. Then your life will honor what God has so freely given youHis own.

Be transformed and renewed in your mind by the Holy Spirit, Paul says. Don't think like the world thinks. Don't judge and be negative. Don't live a life that reacts with no control to whatever happens. Allow the Holy Spirit to change your life from the inside outyour attitudes, your patterns of thinking, and your desires. “Be made new in the attitude of your minds,” Paul writes, “ and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”(Ephesians 4:23-24, NIV). Then the fruit of the Spirit will be alive and well! You will walk a sacrificial life of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).

Living a sacrificial life is God's good, pleasing, and perfect will. When you live a surrendered life guided by the Holy Spirit, you will in be His will. You will be able test each “mission” or “thing” that comes before you, and by faith either patiently wait for His timing, or step forward in His bidding. Don't struggle to “know” the “things” of His will. If you are living a life that He molds and shapes, you can “commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Proverbs 16:3, NIV).

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Live For Him

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful” (I Thessalonians 5:23-24, NLT).

The Gospel has been alive through the centuries because many were willing to stand strong no matter what they faced. It has remained powerful because those who believed in Jesus Christ were willing to suffer and some to even die for it. These faithful lived for the Truth which had changed their own lives, and were able to spread its message through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Living for Jesus Christ has nothing to do with the body. It is all about the soul. The life you live in Jesus is not about what is comfortable. It is not about how you feel, or even your circumstance. We often choose the easier waythe one less strenuous and risky. He calls us to walk in the way of Truth–to be willing to lay down our lives if necessary. It is a hard calling, but it is ours, and it for our utter fulfillment in this life.

If you live your calling, you are molded by His faithful and unchanging Truth. You blossom spiritually through all the struggles you face because He is your power. You are alive in depths that only He has rendered. Your joy surpasses anything else you have ever known.

If you refuse His calling, His purpose in your life is thwarted. If you reject His calling, your spiritual growth is deferred. You discover a sadness that cannot be appeased, and spiritual sorrow that grieves your spirit.

Living for Jesus is not about feeling. He is about truth and commitment. Stand strong in Him. Live what is best for your soul. Be willing to face each obstacle that commitment to Him brings. Your reward will be exceedingly great. Your soul will rejoice that you have not only grown closer to Him, but that in Him, you have discovered more of Him and less of yourself. You have discovered real life.

You are called. I am called. The one who calls us is always faithful. He can never deny what He has already given so freely. Let's step out in faith, and discover just how far He can take us.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Two Things that Change Me

“Because you have so little faith,” replied Jesus. “I assure you that if you have as much faith as a grain of mustard-seed you can say to this hill, ‘Up you get and move over there!’ and it will move—you will find nothing is impossible. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:20-21, J.B. Phillips).

Many versions of the Bible do not include verse 21 in Matthew 17–“this kind does not go out except my prayer and fasting.” Jesus has just been approached by a man whose son has been tormented by a demon since he was a child. The other disciples have been unable to help, and have they just asked Jesus why they were unable to rid the son of his demon. Jesus answers that it is because of their little faith. In that illusive verse 21, Jesus explains that faith—strong enough to cast out the son’s demon—is discovered through prayer and fasting. 

This verse is clear instruction how we can find a strong enough faith to rid ourselves of the “personal demons” of worry, fear, lack of confidence, lack of trust, and negativity! Prayer and fasting are the two things which will make a difference!

Prayer isn’t just telling God what I desire, but is about listening and understanding what He desires. Prayer doesn’t change God, but me. When I enter into deep personal communication with God, the Spirit of the Lord within me prays to the Holy Spirit. I have surrendered control (Romans 8:26). My heart prays and receives faith without the analytical perspective the mind attempts to interject. My “personal demons” can’t invade this depth of prayer.

Fasting focuses my mind on God's faithfulness. "Man doesn’t live on bread alone,” Jesus said, “but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). Another time the disciples asked Jesus to eat, and he said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish His purpose" (John 4:34). When I fast and seek God's lasting spiritual nourishment instead of the temporary satisfaction of my own, my mind is focused on Him. Supernatural peace is discovered at the moment my mind surrenders control (Isaiah 26:3). The need for assurance is exchanged for His peace (Philippians 4:6-8).

When we surrender control to God—whether in prayer or food—we receive more of the Lord’s strength to handle life’s uncertainty. As we grow in these disciplines, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit increases, revealing our own inadequacy, and teaching us how to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). I want a strong enough faith move any mountain! Do you?

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Freedom of Forgiveness

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).

“Don't judge. Don't condemn. Forgive, and you will be forgiven,” the Word instructs. Withholding forgiveness is judgment. My anger, and even my hurt, do not give me permission to judge. It certainly does not give me permission to condemn by refusing to forgive. When I am devastated by someone's action, I have a choice what to do with the disillusionment and hurt. I can choose to forgive, or I can allow that hurt to take root in my heart. If a choose not to forgive, bitterness will eventually define everything about me, and my life will be in its control. In judging and condemning someone else, I will have blocked my own forgiveness. I will not only have condemned someone else. I will have condemned myself. I will be in bondage to my own painful bitterness.

The Holy Spirit offers freedom from that bondage. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” Paul writes (2 Corinthians 3:17). God does not want me in bondage to hurt or bitterness. That bitterness can become my own failure. Forgiveness can set me free. I have the freedom to choose forgiveness, and I have the power to forgive. God asks me to give my very best, and that will not happen if there is judgment, hurt, and unforgiveness. My very best is to allow His love to flow through me, and to intentionally forgive with His love no matter how I feel. His love will eventually change my hard bitter heart into one that is pliable in His hands. Disillusionment and hurt will dissolve, and I will be free from its bondage.

What about you? Are you tired of the bitterness that arises when another person, either intentionally or unintentionally, hurts you? Choose to let the bitterness go. Make a decision to forgive. Look to Christ as your perfect sacrifice because no one else can be that for you. Realize that no one is perfect, and admit that because of your unforgiveness you have also failed. The Lord “will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you, and will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). Instead of a hard bitter heart of unforgiveness, you can have a heart of flesh that loves with His love. You will be free to love instead of judge or condemn. You will be abundantly free.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another Day Another Hope

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; and we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).

Another day another dollar” is an old saying which, if said in a discouraging way, speaks of the futile repetition of each day. Does life feel like futile repetition to you? Does the thought of a new day bring discouragement to your heart?

Each new day is not meant to discourage, but to inspire and lift you above what has brought despair and clouded your mind. A new day is God's gift to you. He offers you a new perspective and hope. Don't ever forget that Christ gave His life so you might know freedom from your day's pain and agony. Whatever you face His sacrificial love and power overcome discouragement and despair. Whatever the world tells you is only what the world tells you. It is not what God knows and tries to impart to your mind and heart.

Rise in each new day, and rejoice in His gift of another opportunity. Pray. Read His Word. Seek His presence. Lay your heart before Him completely exposed and with nothing held back. Be honest about your feelings and fear of what the day might bring. Trust Him. This day can be the best when you allow Him to carry you through it. Daily things accomplished in His strength are able to give you greater faith in His promises.

Let “another day another hope” be your perspective on this new day. Expect His presence. Expect His help in His Word. Expect His peace which comes as you give Him your heart's struggle. Open your heart and mind and discover His expectancy. It is His new day, and it will bring all the joy that He promises.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Seek and Find

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

 Whatever life brings, I find His strength when I seek to know Him with all my heart. I seek Him not just with the part of my heart that is convenient, but with all that requires my sacrifice. When I become broken and spilled out for Him as He became for me, I am open to receive all that He has for me. Laying down all that I have been, I seek all that He is. I seek His Truth in the Word, and pray daily for it to change my life. 

He rewards my journey with the grace of His abiding presence. His presence is consuming love, forgiveness, joy, power, peace, faith, strength. He is my God, and He will never fail me. He will handle all that arises in my life. He is my guide through the pitfalls. No weapon can rise against me. No discipline can tire me. No problem can destroy me. I shall persevere, and hold on. I will make it through any difficulty or suffering because I have sought Him in all my moments. He is my strength and my peace because I have none within myself. In seeking Him with my whole heart, I have discovered His.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

At Rest in Me

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God” (Hebrews 12:2, MESSAGE).

Look at me. Don't look at your circumstance or failure. Don't look at what is wrong with others. Don't tear yourself apart over what are your own imperfections. You know them well, and the enemy has reminded you again and again. You are troubled. I am your rest. You are impatient. I am your patience. You have no peace. I am your peace. I know your heart, and I know you love me. I know you yearn to be stronger in faith. Here I am...the author of your faith. I will also be the finisher of it. Let me.

Be still and learn of me. Quit struggling. Focus your mind on me, and know that I am God. I will keep you in peace when your mind rests in me. You will grow stronger, and in your journey, you will become more like me. If you stay in me.... if you rest in me.... if you grow in me....if you seek me continually.... if you serve me obediently, you will finish your own race well. You will know my peace which comes from the faith that I have brought forth in your life.

Continually abide in me, and you are not limited by your own limitations. You have become more than your own limitations. You have become all that I have decided you to be. You have found in your weakness that I am your strength. You have discovered that in your strength, I am your joy. You have discovered my peace that your mind can't comprehend. And that is alright, because you don't have to understand. You are at rest in me.

Monday, June 9, 2014

I Cry Out

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:15,17, (NIV).

Although I try to live a life that is worthy of Christ's sacrifice, sometimes I fail. It is in my failure that I realize how little I am without Him. Immediately I run to Him. and know His forgiveness the minute that I ask. I know His redeeming love the moment I cry out.

No one is perfect. But I am called to live a righteous life. It is forever a journey and a commitment. It is forever a sacrifice of my personal feelings to the Savior who sacrificed His life for me. Will I ever be completely righteous? In His eyes, I can be. In my own, I can never be. Whatever lies before me, I surrender all that I can never be for all I can be in Him.

His constant presence always waits for my prayer. He watches closely to see my need, and hear my cry for help. He rescues me from my trouble in the way He has chosen to rescue me‒not the way that I decide is best to be rescued. Sometimes I don't understand His choice of rescue, but I know it is for my best. When I cry out He either delivers me from trouble or He gives me the strength to overcome what I face. Although it might not seem true at the time, His powerful strength to overcome what I face is also a great deliverance. 

“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold” (Job 23:10, NLT). God knows my path. He listens and watches, but He more than listens and watches. He is involved in my life molding me. He tests me. He grows me. He refines me as gold. The Lord changes me until righteousness is my life's anchor, and His constant reward. I am delivered from all that comes against me, because He is greater in me than anything that might try to destroy me.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Faith Before Feelings

Do you often feel alone and wonder where God is? Do terrible thoughts sometimes fill your mind and bring fear? “So do not fear,” God promises, “for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10< NIV). Even though you may feel alone and have terrifying thoughts, God is just waiting for you to trust Him. You can't trust your feelings. They will betray you. But you can trust what God says in His Word. He will not betray you. His truth is rock-solid, and unchanging. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). You may feel afraid. God says, “you don't have to be afraid, because I am your God.” You may feel evil battering you. God says, “I will deliver you from all evil.” Then He says something that will cost you something, but in the cost you will find greater faith. He says to look beyond your feelings and step out in faith. “Trust me,” He says, “and don't be afraid.”

Faith will cost you. It will cost you to trust in something that you cannot see or cannot feel (Hebrews 11:1). It will cost you to trust in the truth in God's Word over your feelings. Faith is a decision, and when it is made, feelings will one day fall in line with His truth. That “one day” will come through training your mind, your heart, your very being to believe in God's Word instead of your feelings. It is a battle to be won. Finally on that “one day” you will discover it is easier to believe in God's Word rather than trust how you feel in a moment of time.

Step out in faith today, and give God a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). Praise Him for the promise that His truth is greater than how you feel. Decide to believe in His faithfulness. “Trust me,” He says. “don't worry because I am your God. I will strengthen you, and uphold you. You are never alone.” You can trust in Him over everything else. What an incredible promise!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

It Sets Me Free

For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”(Hebrews 4:12).

Scripture has something to say about itself. What it reveals speaks clearly of its own worthiness. The Word of God is alive. It breathes powerful truth and life into my tired dry existence.... into my heart that is crushed.... into my mind upon which Satan etches lies. ... into my dry bones which ache for His breath of life. It slices through doubt and speaks faith. It exposes wrong attitudes and desires of my heart. It opens my heart to listen to His instruction and obey His truth. It sets me free from my a heart which sets conditions on its love

The Word of God instructs that I not only believe in what it says, but that I also trust its truthful message by applying it in every aspect of my life. Not only must my action be under its holy guidance, but, most importantly, my heart must be pure in its motive. I respect and honor its truth when I live it, and my heart is changed by its powerful message. 

I can trust God's Word in every moment of my life. Its very nature is timeless! It is unchanging, and just like Jesus Christ, it is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I can believe its truthful direction for all the circumstances I face, and for decisions I make. “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” ( Isaiah 55:10-11). His Word has a purpose, and it will accomplish Hebrews 4:12 in my life if I will study it and open my heart to its truth.

I can stand on what the Word says. I can believe in its promises. Its truth was witnessed and shared by those who personally experienced the power of God. It is God's living Word. God breathed it in human writers with the breath of His Holy Spirit. As I study it and seek His truth, He also breathes His life into me. It changes me to be more like Him. It changes the attitudes and desires of my heart. I discover that conditional love seeps out of a life that is no longer bitter. I can rejoice in the path of His commands, because His Word has set my heart free (Psalm 119:32).

Friday, June 6, 2014

For Someone

Whatever I face today and tomorrow, I am not alone. No matter what someone says or does, I am not alone. He is with me. The battle only makes me stronger; that word spoken against me only gives me more power to stand. Perhaps there is nothing I can do to make something go away. I know that there is nothing I can do to change someone's heart or action. Only God can. I don't have anything to prove. I don't have to defend myself. This may be a difficult time, “but he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). I can move forward in what He has called me to doassured that He will take care of all that has come against me.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Foxes of the Mind

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom” (Song of Solomon 2:15, NIV).

Do you struggle with controlling your thoughts? The lack of self-control of your thoughts does not begin when a large problem suddenly comes your way. It begins with letting the little doubts, worries, and small concerns add up. You become so burdened with these accumulated little “foxes” that the vineyard of your mind produces fear instead of faith. Fear controls you. The little “foxes” you fear grow out of proportion. Then when you are faced with a real, large and overwhelming problem, the faith you need to trust God has flown. Your mind is all over the map.

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,” Paul instructs (2 Corinthians 10:5b). If anything begins to worry you in the least way, deal with before it grows and overwhelms your mind. Stop and pray. Don't speak your doubt. Bring it immediately to God before you do anything else. Rise up off your knees and leave that initial thought of worry with the Lord (Philippians 4:6-7). Determine and mentally decide to give your thoughts to the Holy Spirit. Nip those little worries in the bud before they grow out of control in your mind. Exercising faith is like exercising your body. If you don't do it, your mind will atrophy, and your faith will be weak. Exercise your faith, and train your mind to focus on the Lord. Faith will replace fear with perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

You are the Lord's vineyard, and to produce good fruit, you must surrender your mind and allow Him to take care of those little foxes that destroy. Never allow any little worry or doubt to grow out of control. If you do, then your actions will not be determined by the Holy Spirit, but controlled by your run away thoughts of fear. His desire to bring forth the greatest faith in your life. Allow Him to prune your mind, and bring you to full harvest.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Risk for the Promise

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36, NIV).

When God promises something, He does not fail. His promise is not dependent upon who we are or what we are. All that we must do is accept His will, and make every effort to follow it. He gives us His promise that though we may fail at times in striving to accomplish His will, if our heart’s desire is to serve Him, His promise will be fulfilled.
Last night I witnessed God's promise in my daughter-in-law's life. Her perseverance and faith were rewarded. She stepped out on faith because she knew it was something she had to do. It was not done from a desire for position or stature. It was done for the sake of others who were unable to help themselves. She risked more than so many could ever know or understand. But God knew her risk, and He moved the hearts of people to see that His will would be done.
Sometimes to receive His promise, we find we risk everything. But God is faithful. If we step out in faith and persevere to do His will, we will receive what He has promised.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Obedience and God's Blessing

        “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2). 

        How many of us make a determined endeavor to live for Christ? Perhaps we don't because following Him means sacrifice. We want to follow Him, but it means giving up who we are for who He is. It is going to cost us. Selfishness and pride are two of the first things that must die. Following Christ also takes our time and energy. Often we make our Christian walk circumstantial—based on our feelings instead of God's desires. But if we sacrifice our feelings and follow His will in all circumstances, God's blessings “will come upon us and accompany us”. 

        It is God's desire to bless His children who make a commitment to follow Him. His blessings are His gifts which come when we sacrifice our personal desires for His. However, we must never regard obedience as a means to earn God's blessings. Then pride enters, and makes us see God's blessings as a reward for our sacrifice. Sacrificing our desires for His desires brings blessings because of God's love for us—not based on our efforts.

        His blessings are an outpouring of who He is. He is the love which gave His life for ours on Calvary. He is the love that is only completed in us when we give all of who we are to Him. His blessings flow as a result of who He is, and never because of anything we have done. “I have come,” Jesus said, “that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b). God wants us to experience the fullness of our relationship with Him. 

        In these verses in Deuteronomy God's blessings are intertwined with obedience. His direction is very clear. If we fully obey the Lord our God and carefully follow all His commands, His blessings will come to us. And His blessings are the very best. Different from any humanly-inspired gift we might receive, His blessings will change our very lives. We will learn that sacrificial obedience brings His abundant life. In giving all of ourselves to Him, we shall receive all that He has chosen for us.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Heart of Faith

I have always been fascinated with the difference between Mary's faith, and Zechariah's lack of it. When Gabriel, the angel, visited Mary, he found a girl whose heart was full of faith, and ready to believe whatever God had sent him to tell her (Luke 1: 26-38). Gabriel told her that she would give birth to the Son of God. She asked in wonder how this could happen. He explained how the Spirit of God would come upon her. “Nothing is impossible with God!” Gabriel declared. Mary immediately and without hesitation said yes.

Then there is Zachariah, the Priest. A few months earlier he was also visited by Gabriel and informed that his barren wife, Elizabeth, would have a baby. Zachariah was a man of the law, and supposedly attuned to God’s voice, but he had trouble believing God’s angel (Luke 1:11-20). He too, like Mary, asked how it could happen, but there was a great difference in their perspective. Mary asked with trust and faith. Gabriel asked with questioning doubt. When Gabriel explained to Mary how God would use her, she was in awe of God’s majesty. Zachariah was struck silent because he had trouble believing in something beyond what his own mind could conceive.

An ordinary village girl had more faith in God than a priest! So many times it is easier for a person who has had a new and moving experience with God to exhibit greater faith than a person who has forgotten the miracle of his own changed heart. Mary’s innocent faith believed in the impossible. It was not compromised by the religious attitudes of man or the human explanations of Pharisees. Her faith needed no explanation for Gabriel’s miraculous words.

Are our hearts full of Mary’s kind of innocent faith, or, like Zachariah, has tradition dulled the luster? God desires each of our hearts to be as Mary’s—easily moved by the Holy Spirit. He longs for us to always have a heart of faith to believe in the miracle of His message and a heart to believe it without explanation.

When God sends His message to us, how do we receive it? Do we analyze it, or do we accept it by faith? Do we say yes to its call, or do we, just as Zachariah, refuse to believe its truth? Do we have faith to believe or will we be struck dumb because of our lack of it?

Expectant with her miracle, Mary found her priorities would change. Are we open to be changed by God, or are our hearts, like Zachariah, unmoved by the Holy Spirit? I never want to forget the miracle of my own changed heart. And I pray that I will continually be changed, forever open, and always expecting God's message to mold my life.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Love with His Love

Read John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16 together, and you immediately see how the first Scripture flows naturally right into the next. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16, NIV). This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:16, NIV).

God loved us so much that He gave His only Son for our good. Jesus suffered, died, and sacrificed all of himself because of such a great and amazing love. This is how we know what love is. He showed us. Jesus died for everyone‒not just a few. This sacrificial love is for everyone so they might know the grace‒the mercy‒the forgiveness of Jesus. His love is given and revealed through me. I must also give my life for others. Their life's need should be greater than my own. I choose to love with His love, because He loved me so much with His. “We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19, NASB) becomes my life's story.

Such love is agape–sacrificial and unconditional. It does not come from what another person is or what they do. It has its origin in God and not in me. Agape love in my life knows who and what God is, and realizes its cost. Because of its deliberate desire for the highest good of the one who is loved, it is shown in personal sacrifice for that person. That is what God did for us (John 3:16). That is what he wants us to do for others(1 John 3:16). “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5. NIV). His love was offered without any condition, and we should give it freely and without hesitation.

The Apostle Paul writes of agape love as the most important Christian virtue. “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13, NASB). When we love sacrificially and unconditionally with the love of God–no matter who someone might be or in spite of what they have done–we offer God's grace and forgiveness, so that they might also come to know the love of Jesus Christ.

Walk in Him

  As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him (Colossians 2:6).     If we followed what this verse says, it would e...