Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. I John 4:16
I cannot say those first two verses without that old song popping into my head. It was those two verses in the King James version that many of us first learned them. Anything set to music would always stick in my head…..forever!
I am going to go as far to say that if anyone claims to be a Christian and doesn’t love, they are deceiving themselves. Father God is love and so should be His offspring. I’m not saying all people are loveable…not by a long shot. There are those who have surrendered themselves to evil and reflect the father they serve. However, love looks beyond that. True love surrenders them to God to take care of. It doesn’t align itself with evil, it just chooses to love.
I posted the story of Stephen from Acts earlier. He spoke truth to his audience and they took him out and stoned him. He didn’t get angry or cuss them out. He saw Jesus and was received into heaven that day. I’ve heard stories of martyrs who were put to death because of their belief. They didn’t get to see the results of many coming to know Jesus because of how they died. They didn’t go angry or bitter, they went in love.
Choose to love because God is love. To abide in God is to abide in love. If you want to know His secret place, you must know His Love. You must know Him as Love.
For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20
Promises, promises, promises! I hear it but I don’t see it. Ever feel like that? You feel like you’re slipping into an abyss of broken promises. Nothing good seems to happen to you through no fault of your own. You’ve been faithful, you’ve stood unwavering while the black storms hammered you over and over again. You’re a train wreck! When will help come, you ask?
I’m reminded once more of Elijah and the long drought, when he prayed for rain. He didn’t give up when he saw nothing once. Twice. Six times! Ok, one more time….tiny little cloud. Most of us would have said, ‘STILL NOTHING!’ Why report a cloud that small when you need a kazillion more with it!
I Kings 18:45 MSG, “Things happened fast. The sky grew black with wind-driven clouds, and then a huge cloudburst of rain, with Ahab hightailing it in his chariot for Jezreel.” Oh my golly gee, did you see that? Things happened fast!
That’s what’s been in my spirit so, so strong. It’s gonna happen so fast. The Spirit of the Lord spoke to me a while ago, that when things began to happen, it would happen so fast it would take my breath away. I became breathlessly excited just thinking of it.
So do I patiently wait for it, or do I give up on the promises of rain? I mean, really! How long should I have to wait, anyway! 22 years ago sitting in a friends house after prayer, I had a vision. I saw an overhead window with a hand on the latch and the words, “I’m getting ready to open a window over your life to bless you. Get ready for it!” 15 years ago after Saturday night prayer again I saw the same window, the hand had turned the latch and I saw the window bulging. The word then was, “Get ready, it’s gonna bury you alive! You won’t be able to run fast enough because my blessings will chase after you!”
I don’t know what your promise is, but I do know the promise keeper! I don’t care how long I have to wait to see the manifestation of the promise, but I’ll just continue having faith in God and watch the sky be black with the abundance of rain. After all, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. Hebrews 11:1
Father thank You for the reminder today that You remain faithful to keep promises that You’ve made. I will be thankful before You because that is where my breakthrough comes from. My words will create pathways for my answers. I will continue to agree with You, in Jesus mighty name, amen.
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8
I believe that God has called all of us to leave something and follow Him. The question is, are you afraid to leave the familiar to acquire the phenomenal? To trust in the God who sees when you can see nothing?
Years ago, I started meeting with my friend Mary to pray together. We would spend an hour just worshipping, interceding and listening. I began cultivating my ability to hear Gods voice and follow His leading. The Holy Spirit would lead me to declare something and I would, but when it didn’t happen, I thought I’d heard wrong.
My hearts cry was, “God, there has to be more! I want more! I’m not satisfied here, I want more of You!” That was when things began to get serious. He told us to sell our home and move to Florida. He put us in an environment where the prophetic and apostolic gifts were being used and began teaching us how to operate in that.
Like Abraham, we obeyed God when He asked us to leave our home and family to go to an unfamiliar place. We were ridiculed and told it was foolish to go with no provision (job), but God was faithful every step of the way. Yes, there was pressure! Yes, there was fear! Yes, there was loss! Yes, there was pain! He didn’t say it would be easy, He just said to trust Him.
Sometimes when God wants you somewhere and you’re unwilling to go, He’ll apply pressure so it’s uncomfortable to stay where you are. He promised to direct your steps, the key word there is steps. That means you must take the initiative and move. You must be willing to listen and obey even when it makes no sense at all.
It’s ok to go! Jesus said to go! Why then would you stay? If God is prompting you to move, to get out of your comfort zone and do something different, be sensitive to His Spirit and go. He’s positioning us to reach someone. He’s testing our listening skills. He’s checking to see if we’ll obey Him.
I’ve always loved the definition of insanity-it’s doing things the same, expecting different results. Stop walking in circles because you’re not going anywhere. MOVE! NOW! Do things differently. Get out of your routine and mix it up. You’re never too old to change.
Thank you Father for loving me so much that You keep me moving. Moving things are living things. I never want to be stagnant! Keep me moving and renew my strength to keep going. You’ve healed my body. You’ve healed my mind. You’re transformed me, now use me for Your glory. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Psalm 146:2
God, You have always been good to me, how can I not praise Your name? How can I keep my lips from declaring Your promises? Will I only speak the things I see? The world does this and gets nowhere, but I am Your child and I will speak as You do.
Today is a day of victory! Today is a day of promises fulfilled! Today I will rejoice as You rejoice over me. Every Word You have spoken over me will come to pass, for You alone are God. Your Word is alive, powerful, sharper than any two edged sword. It will never return to You empty, it will accomplish the things You’ve sent it out to do.
My future is God made, not man made. You have special plans for me and so I rejoice. There’s a party planned for me and You’re inviting all of the naysayers to come and see what only You could do. I’m excited, Lord. What shall I wear? Ahhh, I see You have prepared a garment of praise for me, so full of color, light and song. I’m ready! Everyday, I’m ready, for everyday I will praise Your name!
But Stephen, overtaken with great faith, was full of the Holy Spirit. He fixed his gaze into the heavenly realm and saw the glory and splendor of God—and Jesus, who stood up at the right hand of God.
“Look!” Stephen said. “I can see the heavens opening and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God to welcome me home!”
His accusers covered their ears with their hands and screamed at the top of their lungs to drown out his voice. Then they pounced on him and threw him outside the city walls to stone him. His accusers, one by one, placed their outer garments at the feet of a young man named Saul of Tarsus.
As they hurled stone after stone at him, Stephen prayed, “Our Lord Jesus, accept my spirit into your presence.” He crumpled to his knees and shouted in a loud voice, “Our Lord, don’t hold this sin against them.” And then he died. Acts 7:55-60 TPT
Stephen was what we call a martyr, one of the first to die due to his steadfast faith in Jesus. He had just finished cataloging the scriptures from Gods covenant with Abraham all the way through Solomon and the prophets that followed. The religious leaders of the day were so angry, they took him outside the city and stoned him to death.
I believe the words that Stephen spoke that day, remained forever in the minds of those who heard them. They couldn’t escape the echos in their dreams no more than they could escape the sound of the thud of stones as they struck his flesh. That would never go away. Never. No matter how much they tried to justify their actions, the words he spoke was forever hanging in space, dropping like rain upon their heads.
How silly of us to be angry when people make fun of our stance for Christ. How vain to think that it’s all about us when in actuality, it’s Jesus they’re laughing at and hating. Remember when we were children and our response to mean words was, “I’m rubber, you’re glue, bounces off me and sticks to you!” I hear Jesus saying, “Let it stick to me! I will gladly take it on so that they can know my love through you.”
Someday we will all stand before God and answer to Him for what we’ve done or not done with the assignment He’s given to us. Even as I type these words, I’m weighing my own measure, wondering if the investment I’ve made has added value to others or simply fallen to the ground, buried in a safe grave so I can give back only what’s been given.
I’m not responsible for anything but giving a part of my gift to whoever God prompts me to give it to. I cannot keep hidden what He compels me to give. If you were thirsty and I had water to give, I would give it to you out of simple kindness. Why would I not offer you hope? Why would I not offer you encouragement? Why would I not speak up and bear witness of what I know? How could I experience this gift of salvation and not offer it to others regardless of the cost to my own flesh. He took upon Himself every sin, past, present and future so that I could walk in freedom.
Everything I’ve experienced in my entire life, good or bad was not sent by God. There is a real evil in the world and it’s plan is to destroy me, to keep me quiet, hopeless and stuck in my past. But if I allow those experiences to fine tune me, God will take what Satan meant for evil and will use it for His good, to draw all men and women, boy and girl to Him.
I will not stop! I will continue to spur you on, my remnant friend. Until we both receive our welcome home from our Father. What a glorious day that will be.
God of Heaven’s Armies, you find so much beauty in your people! They’re like lovely sanctuaries of your presence. Deep within me are these lovesick longings, desires and daydreams of living in union with you. When I’m near you, my heart and my soul will sing and worship with my joyful songs of you, my true source and spring of life! Psalm 84:1-2 TPT
“However, the Most High God does not live in temples made by human hands, as the prophet said: ‘Heaven is my throne room and the earth is but a footstool for my feet. How could you possibly build a house that could contain me?’ says the Lord Yahweh.‘And where could you find a place where I could live? Don’t you know that it is my hands that have built my house, not yours?’ Acts 7:48-50 TPT
He finds such beauty in us that He chose to dwell within us by sending us His Holy Spirit. His Spirit has joined with ours to birth His Kingdom in the earth. I love this concept. He chose us. Imperfect, but made perfect. Simple, yet complex. Ordinary, yet special.
A place where His Spirit dwells, that’s who we are. His sanctuary. Precious in His eyes. Surrendered to His plans and purposes. Not our own but bought with a price. Glorifying Him in all we do and say. Talking unashamedly about His faithfulness and goodness. Honoring Him daily. Giving to Him first of all that we have. Spending more time in His presence than in our own pleasures.
“Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.” John 14:1-4 MSG
Whatever you’re facing, God has it! He’s way ahead of you! He not only knows the problem, He has also provided the answer. It’s like an open book exam, they don’t put a question on the test if the answer isn’t in the book, you just have to take hold of the book, open it and read.
The Lord answered, “I myself will go with you. I will lead you.” This is what God said to the Israelites as they traveled to the promised land. If He led them, don’t you think He will also lead you?
You may not see Him, but He’s there and you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart. David said, “He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul!” You, my friend are every bit as special to God as David. Find a quiet place and allow God to restore your soul.
Father, we your children expect that today will be the day You lead us to our promise. A day of wonder and miracles where You show Yourself strong on behalf of Your children. I expect a miracle everyday, You will make a way out of no way! I believe it and receive it today, and I will constantly bless Your name as I look to You the author and finisher of my faith. Until Your return for me, I will set myself to do what You’ve commanded me to do, and I will do it well. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God. I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! Psalm 42:5 NLT
Everyday things are changing around us. Weather patterns, economy, health care and life in general. Questions arise like, will we have the same job next year? Will we have the same home? The things that used to make us feel secure are quickly being yanked from our grasp.
Who do you trust in? Where is your hope?
Sometimes you just have to turn from what you see and turn towards what you don’t see. Stop spending so much time trying to fix what you can’t and spend more time in the Word, setting your confidence in the only one who can.
My thought is this: God loves me so much that He sent His only son to die for my sins, that’s a lot of love. If He did that for me, He won’t leave me with no hope, no peace, no promise. Everything He did to deliver His people long ago, He will do it for me. He doesn’t withhold any good thing from me. Now that is something to think about. That will never change. Gods love is a forever thing and I will keep my heart set on that.
So when you become overwhelmed (and you will), quickly turn your eyes back to those great promises of Love. Let His peace consume you today. May your dark days become bright days and may you always remember He keeps His promises!
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened attentively and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and esteem His name. “And they will be Mine,” says the Lord of armies, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will have compassion for them just as a man has compassion for his own son who serves him.” So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him. Malachi 3:16-18 NASB2020
Then those whose lives honored God got together and talked it over. God saw what they were doing and listened in. A book was opened in God’s presence and minutes were taken of the meeting, with the names of the God-fearers written down, all the names of those who honored God’s name.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies said, “They’re mine, all mine. They’ll get special treatment when I go into action. I treat them with the same consideration and kindness that parents give the child who honors them. Once more you’ll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn’t, between serving God and not serving him.” Malachi 3:16-18 Message Translation
I always like to personalize it just a little bit by saying it like this:
Sandy and her friends got together often and talked about God and all He’s done for them. Story after story of His goodness and mercy and how He always chases them down with blessings. Each time they met, they were eager to tell of His faithfulness in good times and in bad times. They encouraged one another and honored God.
As God always sees and knows all, He listened in on their conversation and a book was opened and minutes of the meeting were taken. Names were written down of all who attended and spoke honorably of His great Name. Every word was recorded and the God-of-the-Angel-Armies said, “They’re mine, all mine. They’ll get special treatment when I go into action. I treat them with the same consideration and kindness that parents give the child who honors them. Once more you’ll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn’t, between serving God and not serving Him.”
Put your own name and add the names of your friends and know that you are Gods own. When the day of honor approaches, He will remember.
We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says, “First I believed, then I spoke in faith.” So we also first believe then speak in faith. 2 Corinthians 4:13 TPT
Anyone can believe something, but it isn’t solidified until it’s spoken out loud. Just as God created the heavens and the earth, He first thought it, than He spoke it and substance came out of what He said. That’s why the Word is alive, powerful, sharper than a two edged sword. That’s why when God speaks it, it happens everytime.
If you’re unwilling to speak in faith, you’ll never see anything manifest. You can hope for it, wait for it and anticipate it’s arrival. But until it’s spoken out, nothing will happen.
Faith is that moment you step off the edge of your firm ground into the air and find the hand of God was there all the time. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s missing. He’s just waiting for you to step out and trust Him. If you feel the Lord is calling you off the edge, close your eyes and go for it. There’s a whole new life on the other side of the ground you’re standing on. If you always play it safe, you’ll never open yourself up for crazy blessings.
It will come to pass if you believe God, He will not disappoint.