Love The Lord our God

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“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ ” Matthew 22:37-38

Love Completely

Let us seek to love and honor the Lord with every part of our being – to love as Christ loved us – to love Him with our heart, our mind, our thoughts and our motives.

God alone is worthy of our worship, admiration and affection. Everything and everyone else pales in comparison to this great and loving God!

We are called to take every thought captive to the Lord so that we may remain in sweet fellowship with the God of our salvation.

When the eyes of our heart are totally fixed on Him in thankfulness for His dying on the cross at Calvary for our sins. We who have been forgiven much are called to love much.  Indeed, it should be our complete joy

Only if we pursue loving God can we live out a life of meaning. May we all become people who love God. Amen!

My Prayer

Loving Father thank You for loving me when I was dead in my sins and for bringing me into Your family, simply because I trusted the Lord Jesus as Savior – Lord I want to love you with every part of my being. May I live as You would choose and love You with all my heart and soul and strength and mind, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

Give Thanks To The Lord

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When we trust in the Lord and become a child of God, there is nothing we cannot do to make Him love us more; there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less. He will love us as much tomorrow as He does today. His love endures forever.

Thank You, Father, for Your enduring love. Thank You that Your love is not based on my performance but is a perfect, unconditional, lasting love that is mine through Jesus. In His name I pray. Amen.  

Joy Comes In The Morning

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Have you experienced extreme sorrow? There is the promise of future joy amid your tears as you lean upon our loving Lord.

This verse has always been special to me, even as a small child I held out hope for the morning.  For me night was when my step father would come into my room and do horrible things that no child should ever have to endure.  So, this verse has always been my hope and assurance that a future joy amid my tears is promised.

I think we all need a reminder of who our God is and what He can do in times of hurt, pain and despair..We must know without a doubt that when our days of suffering and pains seems endless, God is there. God is Faithful and He will fulfill His promises.

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3 22-23

 

He knows what it’s like. He knows what it’s like to feel despised and rejected. He knows what it means to not have a single friend in the world. He knows what is hurting your heart right now.

And He cares.  He loves you.

You see, this thing that is happening to you is not what God desires for you. It’s not His will for you to mourn or grieve or be sad. It’s not His will for you to hurt, physically, emotionally, or mentally. He loves you, and He’s a good Father. He desires only the best for you in all things.

But we live in a fallen, sinful world. We live with imperfect circumstances and imperfect people all around us, who are also hurting. And sometimes that makes us hurt worse.

Be encouraged, keep the faith, keep believing, keep trusting, keep praying, keep witnessing, even in the midst of suffering and watch God!!! He will never fail you!!! JOY WILL COME IN THE MORNING!!!!

Scriptures for encouragement

Psalms 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 

You Are Precious To God

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I am here to remind you today – You are Precious to God! You are Precious in God’s Sight! You are Highly Valuable to God ~ In fact You are God’s Masterpiece!

God has a purpose for your life that nobody but you can fulfill.

If you are feeling worthless right now, beaten down, and unloved.  I would like to share some scriptures with you today that will inspire and encourage you!  If you ever doubted God’s love for you, read and meditate on these scriptures and learn the truth.  He loves you more than you can ever imagine.

Isaiah 43:4 say’s “Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you;”

1 John 3:1, “What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it — we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.”

Daniel 10:19, “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!”

Deuteronomy 7:6,  For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

Luke 12:6-7, Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Psalm 127:3 – “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.”

Psalm 139:13-15 – “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”

Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Matthew 6:25-26 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Ephesians 2:4-5 “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

If you’ve ever doubted your own worth, or don’t know where to go from where you are, or you’re losing heart … then listen to Our Heavenly Father saying to you, “You are important enough to Me That I sent My Son to die for your sins, that you may live. And, I want to have a close and intimate relationship with you.”

Don’t wait another minute. Run. Yes, run to His arms right now. Let Him whisper these words to you, “I love you my child and you are highly valued and precious in my sight!”

 

 

God’s Great Love For Us

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It is sad how our world has skewed the meaning of true love but God’s Word remains a steadfast, true source of knowledge on how to love.  I thought in honor of Valentine’s day, I would share some scriptures on God’s great love for us!

By looking over these Bible verses you can see that no matter what our circumstance may be or how much we may sin, God’s love is always powerful and never wavers.

Don’t ever think for a second that you can love anyone more than God loves you. God is the creator of love and it is because He first loved us that we love others.
Although, I cannot boast about my love for the Lord because I am so unworthy and I fall so short of His glory. One thing that I can boast about is that God loves me greatly and He is working in me daily to help me understand it more and more. If you are a believer write it down, highlight it in your Bible, put it in your mind, put it in your heart, and don’t forget that God loves you.
“God loves you more in a moment than anyone could in a lifetime.”
“Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.” C.S. Lewis

 

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Romans 8:37-39 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Ephesians 2:4-5But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

1 John 4:9-11In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Romans 5:5 And hope does not put us to shame, becauseGod’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

1 Corinthians 13:8 Love will never end. But all those gifts will come to an end—even the gift of prophecy, the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages, and the gift of knowledge.
Psalm 109:26 Help me, LORD my God; save me according to your unfailing love.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
John 15:9-17 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.Abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
Isaiah 43:1 But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine.”
Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.

 

God Takes Great Delight In His Children

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This is one of my favorite verses in Scripture, it describes the deep and abiding love God has for us.

Zephaniah 3:17 is full of emotion. God, our Heavenly Father is the One who holds His daughter Jerusalem and sings joyfully in her presence. Just as a loving parent cradles their child and sings to them in love to calm them.  This is born of His great love for us. After a time of hardship, our loving Father will dry our tears, comfort our hearts, and welcome you to a new family.

Can you imagine this beautiful picture, that God is literally dancing over you with shouts of joy and singing? Many of us have missed out on this beautiful image of God’s love. How beautiful the sound of His voice must be.  How awesome it must be to see God dance. And it is all over you, His beloved child.

He will rejoice over you with gladness: We often underestimate the joy God has in His people and too often think God is annoyed or irritated with us. “Faulty as the church is, the Lord rejoices in her. While we mourn, as well we may, yet we do not sorrow as those that are without hope; for God does not sorrow, his heart is glad, and he is said to rejoice with joy – a highly emphatic expression.” (Spurgeon) 

Do you know that God thinks about you all the time? Do you know that God’s love for you is immeasurable and unfathomable and to such a degree that it transcends all human understanding? He wants you to know He loves you, He wants you to know He cherishes you, God longs for you to fall into His embrace and to cleave unto Him with all your heart and strength?

He longs to have a relationship with His children.  He wants to be wanted by you, He wants to be adored, He wants to be treasured, and He wants to be worshiped? The Psalmist says that God’s thoughts toward us are so many and so wonderful that they cannot be numbered.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you. Psalm 139 17-18 

When we feel like we are not good enough to be loved by God, we should remember that God’s love is greater than our doubts. We must silence the sounds of condemnation so we can hear the voice of God’s loving assurance and remember that He has chosen us to be part of His family.

I John 3:1:2  Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children. And in the same way the world didn’t recognize Him, the world does not recognize us either.  2: Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is.

We are God’s poetic masterpiece; the ultimate evidence of His unboundless love. The unfathomable richness of His love and mercy is focused on us. He chose us when we were dead in trespasses and sin and gave us true life in Christ and we are an eternal testimony of the riches of His grace.  Consider and take to heart these beautiful words expressing God’s love for you. This is one of the most incredible sections of Scripture about the wonders of God’s love for us.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10

So, people, we should stand in awe!  God’s beloved children He treasures you and loves you, and He dances and sings over you with great joy. God has great plans, great purposes and great treasures stored up for you. God cherishes every thought of you and longs for an intimate fellowship with you. He is always looking for you. His love, goodness, and mercy will relentlessly pursue you all the days of your life.  Will you reach out to Him and accept His Love?  He is waiting, isn’t time to come home?

‘And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Stepping Out In Faith

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“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27

Have you ever been exhausted waiting for God to answer your prayers? Or have you ever prayed for something so much bigger than you—that only a God-intervention makes it happen?

Last week, I started praying for something that on the surface seems insurmountable. I am stepping out in faith like never before.  This is a prayer request a couple years in the making.  My faith bubbled up in me as I put my request through the filter of God’s word.  I was not asking with wrong motives, in fact, I felt the Lord would be glorified. I have been reading through the book of Deuteronomy and have been overwhelmed at the mighty hand of God that moves dramatically throughout the pages of His Word. The Bible say’s that as Moses neared the end of his life, he reminded the people of Israel about the mighty hand of God.

Because the Lord loves you … the Lord has brought you out [of Egypt] with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage” (Deuteronomy 7:8, NKJV).

After Moses died, the Israelites stood on the banks of the overflowing Jordan, ready to cross into the Promised Land. It looked insurmountable. The water was swift and deep. But God told Joshua to instruct the priests to go and “stand in the Jordan” (Joshua 3:8). As they approached the rushing torrent, nothing happened.

But when they touched the water’s edge with their feet, God worked a miracle and stopped the river. The priests stood in the middle of the Jordan until a million or more Hebrews had crossed into the Promised Land. When they stepped out on the other bank, the water resumed flowing.

After studying the scriptures I started realizing, that I have a tendency to put human limitations on my prayer requests.  Now I am not naive enough to believe that God is going to give me everything I ask for simply because I ask for it. He is too wise and too loving for that. He knows much more about my situation than I do, and many times will override my prayers because He knows He has a better plan. I decided if I was going to go out on a faith limb, I was going to go all the way out. I called several of my prayer partners and asked them to pray for the impossible with me.

Jesus said, “The things that are impossible for people to do are possible for God to do.” Luke 18:27

Is it impossible for God?  Our Heavenly Father made everything we see, and everything we can’t, with a word. He breathed life into this world, He designed and created it all. There are no limitations to His power. He can (and does!)

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

Oh, how this must grieve the heart of my Heavenly Father when I limit His power. He knows how much more He wants to do in my life if only I’ll invite Him.

Let’s start to be bold with our prayers.  I want my prayers and faith to go beyond human power. I want to bring everything to my Heavenly Father, every care, every need. Not with a demanding heart, but with one with positive expectation.

I don’t need to worry about how God decides to answer. How wonderful it is that we can trust our Heavenly Father with ALL our requests.  Knowing with all certainty that He and only He knows how to answer my prayers.

I don’t know how the Lord will answer my leap of faith, I have peace knowing He knows the hearts involved.  I pray the Holy Spirit will go before me, preparing the way.  I’m tired of playing it safe. It’s time to cast off my fears, remove the limitations I’ve placed on God, and invite Him into every situation I face — especially those that seem hopeless. It’s then I’ll see God’s power, not mine.

God will get the glory when we press forward in prayer and faith. We refuse to give up or give in and God will honor it with answered prayer in His perfect timing.

God Is Good

 

god_is_good_all-white-800x800Two days ago, my desktop computer died.  I immediately, started praying, since I have little to no income, I knew this was going to be a task.  The next day, out of the blue a young man I am familiar with asked me if I needed a computer.  He explained that he is getting married and they do not need two.  He said he knew I wrote a blog and this way, I will always have a back-up.  Back-up! I explained how mine died yesterday, He was excited and delivered the new (less than a year old) computer that day!  What a huge blessing!  Thank you, David!  Thank you, God!

Whatever you’re facing today, I pray that you will remember that God is good ALL THE TIME. There is no in-between. He is always working for our good. His goodness surrounds us like a shield. He always has a good plan for us. He is abounding in grace towards us and He is committed to finishing all the good things that He has started in us. So may the words of our mouth boldly declare today and every day that God is Good,

Learning To Accept God’s Love

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Do you ever struggle with unanswered prayers?

Although, every believer has unanswered prayer, it can sometimes, lead a person to conclude that he or she is not worthy enough or deserving of God’s favor.

I have had such a deep longing within my heart that I’ve desperately wanted to see come to pass. For the last several years I have waited for the Lord to answer my prayer. I wait patiently on my good days and tell myself “It’s just not God’s timing yet”  But, on my bad days I feel afraid and hurt and unworthy.

I began to wonder why I struggled with unanswered prayer so much and why I always felt defeated.  You see, I never realized the correlation between how I view God and my prayer life before; Let me explain.

I was raised in an angry, abusive home where I was sexually abused. The only role models I had were quick tempered mean alcoholics.  Needless to say,  I grew up scared of men. My life was filled with so much fear, pain, hurt, betrayal, and lies. Manipulation and deceit were at the core of our home.  I found myself thinking I was not lovable. In my mind if my own parents could not love me, there had to be something wrong with me.

So years later, after I became a believer, the concept of a kind, loving heavenly Father was a completely foreign concept to me. The words my pastor spoke sounded wonderful, like a fairy tale, but deep down I couldn’t escape the sense of God’s judgement and anger.  Even when I read my Bible, I seemed to focus on the legalism aspect of scripture. And every time I failed, messed up or fell short, I felt myself the target of God’s anger. I came to almost expect unanswered prayer, because I believed I did not deserve to be blessed.

This began a cycle of falling short all the time and making unwise choices.  Never realizing the connection between my childhood and my skewed perception of God.  The years of an unloving atmosphere filled with anger and fear had warped my brain, therefore, unconsciously blocking the truth of who God really was.

It wasn’t until after my second abusive marriage, I began to recognize that I had become comfortable with accepting less than what the Lord desired for me.  This was bolstered by the declaration from my ex-husband that the Lord had told him to divorce me and had in fact, taken me out of our marriage for his ministry.  That are marriage was never ordained by God.?  I guess in some way, this belief somehow absolved him of all the hurt he had caused me. Since I had been long ago programmed to believe that everything was my fault, I bought into his lie.  This had devastating effects on my heart and feelings of worth. I felt so much shame for my divorce and thought, “here I go again disappointing God, once again falling short, I had failed as a wife.”  I did not even sign my divorce papers when I was served, because I feared God’s wrath.

I remember sharing with my counselor that I desperately wanted to please God.  I shared how I knew God was mad at me, because I had failed again.  That I knew I did not deserve a happily ever after, like most Christians.  My counselor took my hand and said “Cheryl, God is not angry with you, He loves you, He cares for you and He understands your past and wants desperately to heal you. Slowly thru my brokenness and pain, and on my knees seeking God, that the truth started soaking in.  I think this was the first time I realized that maybe, it was true, God was not angry with me and in fact loved me.

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. Psalm 145:8

This verse which says God is slow to anger, that He offers forgiveness when I confess my failures and that He does not hold my shortcomings against me, began transforming not only my brain, but my heart. And if that were not awesome enough, the fact that God is abounding in mercy and loving-kindness toward us..” As I meditated on this verse I began to believe God’s truth, the massive wall that had protected my heart as a child and continued into adulthood, slowly began to come down.

The unanswered prayer that was weighing on my heart for so long, was lifted.  I began to see that the Lord is my Daddy, the Dad I never had.  I realized as I love my children unconditionally and want what is best for them, so does my Heavenly Father.  My prayers began to change, I started trusting that I could trust Him with my deepest hurts and needs.  He knows my heart and the heart of the person I was praying for.  He and only He knows how this prayer should be answered. I began to truly have a peace that passes all understanding.  Knowing if this door closes, He has something better for me.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. in all your ways acknowledge Him,  and He will make your paths straight Psalm 3:5-6

He is our gracious heavenly Father who loves and accepts us as we are, patiently bearing with us, teaching and guiding us as we grow and mature in Christ. He is not mad at me, and He is not mad at you. God is for us, not against us (Romans 8:31). He has good plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), and He loves us with an everlasting love.

Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Sometimes our past experiences shape us in ways we don’t fully understand. But through the power of the Holy Spirit, God reshapes us, transforming our hearts and minds as only He can. Though it often takes time, God’s truth can work its way deeply into our hearts and completely break down walls built of lies. And oh, how He loves to bring those walls down!  I learned I am worthy, worthy of love and am a beloved child of God.  Amen

So, the sentence at the beginning; Although, every believer has unanswered prayer, it can sometimes, lead a person to conclude that he or she is not worthy enough or deserving of God’s favor. Is far from the truth, The Lord either answers are prayers with a yes, or a no and No is because we have a good Father in God, who, just like a good earthly father, desires to give His children what’s best for them even if He has to say no to something they want right now. Or He is teaching you to trust in His timing, to wait on Him, If you’ve asked God for answers but find yourself waiting longer than you planned, take a moment now to thank Him in advance for His answer. Trust that He is working behind the scenes on your behalf. Don’t give up. Look forward in hope and expectancy for Him to respond and remember that the Lord is good to those who seek Him.   The question is: Do we really believe that He is good? If we did, wouldn’t that be cause to celebrate, whether He says yes or no?

Father God, today I choose joy because I believe You are always saying yes. Sure, there are places of disappointment in my life and there are things I would like to be different, but I choose to give thanks. Starting today, I choose to respond to You as if You are always good — a Father who has my best in mind. Because You are good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” Max Lucado