Saturday, April 27, 2019

He Loves Me -- He Loves ME! Believe That He Loves YOU!

I needed people to tell me I was forgiven.

I needed people to let me know that there was nothing that would make God made at me.



This is the verse, and I needed more people to explain the truth of it:

"For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee." (Isaiah 54:9)

Even when I have sinful thoughts, feelings, emotions, My Daddy God is not angry with me.

He is not going to run away from me or hide from me.

This is incredible

I wish that someone had told me this sooner. I wish that more people had explained to me how perfect the work was.

I was in Christ, because I had believed on Him.

And yet, I can remember talking about this ten years ago, a sense of guilt could not be removed from me. Like many people, I was fleshy enough to continue believing that I had to keep cleaning up my thoughts, my feelings to be acceptable to God.

It drove me to absolute, despairing distraction. The pain, the shame, the hurt was so great. I wish that I could proclaim all of this with reserve, but there are so many people who do not seem to agree, or do not want to hear it.

I felt such a sense of guilt, but the answer is not to try to clean it up The answer is to believe!

It can be really tough for us, since so many of us are so used to thinking "Let me do something to feel better."

Jesus cut through all of that:

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:29)



He loves me! That is the "Work", to believe on Him! YES!

I wish that more people had explained to me that Jesus carried every sin, every failing, and that He would never, ever punish me again for my sins.

I BELIEVE THAT TODAY! What great love!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Love, Jesus, Greater Than All Our Sins, His Life For Us

In the past, I thought about the harrowing situations, dangers, hurts frustrations, and all the rest which I have faced.

When I panicked or worried, I felt that I had to struggle, do something to remove the fears in my life. If I didn't get my emotions right, it would frustrate God's grace at work in me.

Now, of course, I know what really does frustrate the grace of God:

"20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:20-21)



It's not about our effort, but His life.

It's not about tyring to bring God, but realizing that He is already at work in us. The moment that we try to "help God" so to speak, we are frustrating His grace, His favor, His fervor in our lives.

"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:4)

So, God is actively, passionately loving each of us.

There are some of us who receive it. There are others who indulge in it.

And there are those of us who can't get enough and just want to know and receive more and more of His love for us!

That's me, baby!

"17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

His Perfect Love is Unconditional Love

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)



I used to fear so much. I worried about the future. I wondered if "One Day, all my sins will be found out!"

I feared that all my needs would not be met.

I wondered if I would be all alone in this world.

I had so many, so many fears.

Then I felt about these fears, because I would look at the above verse, unable to make sense of something.

If I was fearful, it's that I didn't understand how much God loved me. If I was fearful, it meant that I wasn't "as He is", based on the previous verse.

Now I look at this verse with renewed revelation.

Love is perfected among us because as Jesus is, so are WE in this world.

This is a revelation for all of us.

And yet, individuals in the Body of Christ may struggle, may suffer in their understand of God's perfect love for us.

And there it all makes sense. I used to read that passage in 1 John 4:18, concluding "I guess I am not saved."

The truth is that I did not understand how perfect God's love was for me! He loves me perfectly, uncondititionally, irrespective of how I feel, or what I may be thinking or feeling.

He loved me and cared for me, even when I feared for my life, my liberty, my dignity. Even when I feared the worst and bad people were going to come get me. Even when I thought I was completely alone in the world, and no one knew what I was going through.

No one had ever told me that God loved me like that. No one.

Perfect love is unconditional love, the love of God sending His Son to die for me, to take all my sins, to free me from the penalties of sin. His love took me from dead in my trespasses to alive, seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, in God's own Son! (Ephesians 2:4-6)

Rightly did the Psalmist write:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.


"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:" (Psalm 103:1-2)

and also

"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." (Psalm 139:6)

When we understand that God sees us and loves us as much as His own Son, we need never fear again!

"And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased." (Luke 3:22)

Notice that God the Father, Daddy God, addressed His Beloved Son directly: "You are!" Not "This is!"

God says this to all of us "You are my Beloved Son!"

You! Me!

That is perfect love. That is unconditional love. When we understand that, it casts out all fears!

It puts out of doors of every perversion. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, none of it matters when we have His perfect love for us!

Wow!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Grown-Up Christians Say "Daddy God!"

"15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

Many Christians say "It's good that people see Jesus as Savior. But they have to see Him as Lord."

That is a gross misunderstanding of Jesus' heart. He came to be our Savior, and that is the best way for us to revere Him as Lord!

In a similar fashion, many Christians will say "Yes, God is our Father. But we must understand that He is God Almighty, and we must show Him immense reverence."

An attitude of despite manifests among many: "How can these 'grace people' say "Daddy God!"?"

Because that is how He revealed Himself to us--especially through His Son!

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" (John 1:12)

and

"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Galatians 4:6)

Also

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." (1 John 3:1)

And of course!

"Herein is love perfected among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

When Jesus rose out of baptism, what did the world hear?

"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17)

Jesus arrived, a fully-grown honored Son before His Father.

Today, because of Jesus' Finished Work, we have received the full "Adoption" as Sons, and our hearts cry out "Daddy God!"

This adoption, however, is more than being taken out of an orphanage or granted the status of son in a family.

The Greek word for "Adoption: conveys the sense of full maturity, that we are granted full status and power of sonship, like "Coming of age."

In other words, our Father views as mature Christians, grown-ups.

So, there you have it: Grown-up Christians say "Daddy God!"

Anything less is a spirit of bondage, a sense of servitude, distance, loss.

Be a grown-up Christian. Receive the fullness of Jesus' Finished Work. Run to your loving Father, and don't hold back that deep cry of love and dear dependence:



Daddy!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Why Christ Jesus Told Mary "Don't Touch Me" at The Tomb

"Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20:17)

"Don't touch, for
I have not yet ascended to my father."


When I was in high school, I approached one of the elders in my local church about this passage. Mary recognized Jesus as soon as He said her name.

She called Him "Rabboni", which means "my teacher". It was personal!

The elder shared with me that Jesus did not want to interrupt her lack of faith.

Later on, Jesus would reveal Himself to the eleven remaining disciples, and even invited Thomas to touch His wounds so that He would believe on Him.

But really, though, why did Jesus tell Mary not to touch Him?

It has to do with His next work to fulfill in His death on the Cross. Note that Jesus told Mary "I have not yet ascended to my Father."

Jesus was not talking about His first Ascension are recorded in the Book of Acts.

This ascension had to do with His new role as our High Priest Forever!

"11But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:11-14)

And then

"23It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:" (Hebrews 9:23-24)

Jesus completed the full minister as our Great High Priest.

When Mary had arrived at the tomb, Jesus had not yet ascended to complete the work!

And a High Priest must remain undefiled!

"1And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people: 2But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother, 3And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled. 4But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself." (Leviticus 21:1-4)

Jesus ascended into heaven, before the Heavenly Father. His blood cleansed the place where Satan had stood, where Adam at once time was graced to stand but rejected because He had submitted to an outlaw Spirit.

After Jesus ascended to cleanse the Holy of Holies, He returned to His disciples:

"19Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." (John 20:19-23)

Jesus told Mary "Don't Touch Me", because He had not yet cleansed the Holy of Holies in the Heavenlies, the last part of His Finished Work as our High Priest Forever!



With that final cleansing, He came down to His disciples, breathed on them to receive His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Adoption (Romans 8:15), so that we could call God "Daddy!"

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Like Mary, You Are Highly Favored Because of Jesus

"And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." (Luke 1:28)



Some forms of religion take this salutation and make Mary out to be some kind of god, a deity to whom we must pray, who also redeemed us.

That is not true.

She is "blessed among women", not above women.

But it gets better.

Did you know that we are all as favored as she was, those who believe in Christ Jesus?

Paul writes to the Ephesians:

"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)



"Accepted" in the above passage and "highly favored" are the same word!

For Mary, she carried the Savior of the world within her.

For us, the Savior of the World carries us with Himself!

Indeed, like Mary we are highly favored in the Beloved!

Think about it.

Mary was so favored, that God's own Angel reached out to her and said that within her, the Savior of the World, Immanuel, God With Us would reside.

Think about that!

And her status is ours today!

We are highly favored in Christ Jesus!

If that does not move you to great joy, I don't know what will ...

Every day, we have our Daddy God saying to us: "Hail, you are highly favored in my Beloved Son!"

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Take No Thought for the Morrow -- He Has Already Taken Care of It

33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:33-34)



God's righteousness is not about doing things God's way.

His righteousness is not something that is done. He is righteous, and our Loving Father is righteousness. It's part of His identity.

Consider what Christ Jesus is to us:

"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" (1 Corinthians 1:30)

Christ is our righteousness.

And because of Jesus, we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ"

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21). 

Notice that Paul does not say that Jesus made us righteous (adjective). We have been made the rightoeusness--definite article--of God in Christ Jeasus.

Not only that, but a grand exchange took place. Jesus did not just take our sin, but He became sin. He took it away, and there is no way that it can be taken back! It's a done deal.

Now, back to the Sermon on the Mount:

"Seek you First the Kingdon of God and His righteousness".

Jesus did not impose on His disciples to "be righteous." He told them to "seek His righteousness."

We have that today of Jesus.

Before that, let's consider what Jesus shared with His audience:

"31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." (Matthew 6:31-32)

and then

"34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:34)

What makes these verses sing for my heart today? What makes these wonderful promises stand out for me today?

I know how much my Daddy God loves me. I realize now, much more than ever, that He was always loving me. There is no longer any question about how big, how grand He is NOW!

Why was this a problem in the past? Because of the stupid AA cult, which teaches people to turn one's will and life over to a power greater than oneself as we understand Him.

That is so patently offensive now that I look at the verse in italics. How can anyone even dream to understand God? How can we take into account His grace, His power, His goodness? Such grace, such grandeur, such glory is too great for us!

"Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?" (Psalm 139 5-7)



He is taking care of everything. He is before us, and after us! Such love is too great for me to understand. I just have to keep growing in grace and take in more of His love for me!

He was always there for me, and He was actively caring for me. The righteousness issue has to be resolved, however, or we will be too busy trying to fix ourselves rather than trusting that He is taking care of us.

He cares for the birds, He cares for the flowers, so what would possibly make us think that He does not care for us? Only if we see our sins and ourselves, just as Adam and Eve fled from their Creator in the garden.

Today, all of these revelations make so much sense, these revealing loves of Daddy God are so clear. But ten years ago, I was constantly struggling with fear, constantly wondering if Daddy God had my back. I could not see into tomorrow. I feared so much for tomorrow. I actually believed that tomorrow was out of God's control!

Now that I have such a deeper knowledge of God's love for me, it's so much fun to cast my cares onto Him (1 Peter 5:6-7).



There is no need for me to take thought, to worry about tomorrow. He is taking thought for everything before me and after me! Hallelujah!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Nothing Will Separate Me From God's Love -- Including My Sin

"38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)



For the longest time, I used to believe that my sins, my thoughts, the perversions in my flesh had to be removed from me before I could understand, received, enjoy God's love.

It's amazing to me how I didn't understand this, even though I have been hearing this verse so many times before.

Nothing can separate me from God's love--and that is because I am now in Christ!

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2:4-6)

This love is active and involved in my life. Nothing is stopping it.

Nothing can prevent it.

Just as Paul wrote, I had to be persuaded to believe it.

It takes time.

It does not happen overnight for us.

Again, this is why Paul had to pray on his knees that we would understand how much God loves us! (Ephesians 3:14-19)

There is so much clutter that has to be removed in our lives, so many things that we believe which are ... wrong.

Let's believe the truth -- let's know and believe in God's love for us!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

It's Not About Our Love for God, But God's Love for Us

"We love because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)

I wrote in a previous post about maturity in Christ Jesus.

We need to see how much God loves us. It's not about how much we love God.

We cannot give what we do not have. We cannot give what we do not think we have, either.

Consider what David declared in his final prayer as he passed on the kingdom to his beloved son Solomon:


"But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." (! Chronicles 29:14)

We cannot give but what we have freely received from Him.

Paul did not pray for the Ephesians to love more.

He prayed that they would understand how much God loves them!



"14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3:14-19)



Paul did not pray the following:

1. Do more for God.
2. Love God more.
3. Give more to charity.

Paul's prayer is incredible, and incredibly power.

To the best of my knowledge, this passage contains the only time when he wrote "I bow my knees", to show how earnest, how heart-felt, how emphatic his prayer is!

1. Be strengthened with might by His Spirit
2. Let Christ be at home in your hearts
3. Be rooted and grounded in love--His love
4. Comprehend, take into understanding His love in all directions
5. To know--to understand with greater awareness, even intimately--the love of Christ

NOTE here - it's Christ's love for us, not our love for Him. This revelation skips over so many people. We are so busy trying to love God, when we need to get "busy" understanding how much He loves us.

This deeper knowledge reminds me of a scene in The Wizard of Oz.

Towards the end of the movie, when Dorothy Gale returns with her three friends, she finds out that the Wizard is just an old humbug professor from Kansas. He doesn't really have any power, and there is not much he can offer to the four weary travelers who sought home, brains, hearts, and courage.

When the Wizard finds something for the Tin Man, he provides him a clock-working heart medallion.

Then the Wizards says:

“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.”



Many people I know struggled with this statement. Isn't love about what you do for others, not the other way around? Isn't love an action?

No!

Love is about our ability to receive -- from God the Father!

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:10)

Love is not about us or anything that we have done or will do.

God loved us, and He sent His Son to be our Mercy Seat. He is the atonement for all the sins of all the world. He loved us first!

Love is defined by what God did, for God is love! (1 John 4:7-8).

It's not about our love for God, but God's love for us!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Babies Work for Righteousness. Adults Receive Righteousness

We cannot earn righteousness, but rather we must receive it as a gift. If we are still trying to earn or work for it, then we are still little babies in Christ:

"13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." (Hebrews 5:13-14)

Righteousness is all about faith, faith in God's promises specifically, and faith in Christ Jesus essentially:

"And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." (Genesis 15:6)

Righteousness is something God declares that He will establish us in:

"14In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee." (Isaiah 54:14)



and then

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54:17)



So, God's gift of righteousness is granted to us as a gift.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

In His Love! In the Beloved!

"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)

Last week, I was talking to a friend of mine. I said that I felt like Kanye West. His sense of new freedom has been something else to watch. He talks a lot about love, too. God's love is freedom, isn't it!

This sense of freedom had grown, has become increasingly overwhelming for me in the last week. I could not ignore it. I began to realize how much God loved me. Daddy God loves me, because of what His Only Begotten Son had done for me, and what His Son continues to do for me!

This love is just so much for me, I can hardly take it in, and there's still so much to take in!

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." (Jeremiah 31:3)

This verse comes from the Old Testament, under the sacrifices of bulls and goats. Notice that the "Lord has appeared" here.

But John writes something far more intimate:

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)

This is a love that has been in place since the beginning:

"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" (Ephesians 1:4)

God had His eye's on us from the outset. Before time began, He loved us!

Folks, we need to understand this! This matters so much. I submit to all of you who read this, that understanding, receiving a deeper revelation of how much God loves you is maturity in Christ. To be a real, grownup Christian, you need to know how much God loves you! It's not about how much you love Him, because we can only give what we have received.

"6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)

We are accepted in Christ Jesus, yes indeed. More importantly, however, we are accepted in "The Beloved."



What does it mean to be in Christ? So much, and that includes to be "In Love". God is in love with us, and we are in His Love!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Once Saved, You Are Sealed, Saved Forever

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" (Ephesians 1:13)



Many people have a problem with "Once Saved, Always Saved."

Why? The Bible could not be clearer about this.

Jesus did not come to save us temporarly, but eternally!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

God's Son gives us eternal life. That's what salvation is all about!

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." (John 6:35)

Jesus said it "Never hunger ... never thirst."

That's not temporary. That's eternal.

How about this?

"And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" (John 11:26)

How much plainer can Jesus make it?

We are saved, we are sealed. When you believe on Jesus, you are taken from death to life!

"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." (1 John 3:14)

Righteousness is a gift (Romans 5:17), one which God so freely gives us through His Son Jesus (Romans 8:32). We don't earn it, but once we receive it, how can we "unreceive" it?!

When I understand the unending love of God, the eternal life and perfect standing of righteousness that He accords to those who believe on Him, I think of that scene in the Disney movie "Hercules.

When he dived into the deadly waters to save the princess, he risked everything, his own life.

When the Three Fates were about to cut the cord of his life, it suddenly turned bright gold. It became uncuttable! No matter how hard the Fates tried, they could not end Hercules' life. He had become immortal!

When we believe on Christ Jesus, we are fully established in His righteousness (Isaiah 54:14).



Our salvation cannot be taken away. It cannot be repealed. It's too late for you who believed on Him -- there is no going back!  No one can cut the cord, so to speak, of your eternal life in Christ Jesus!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

God's Love is Unconditional--Independent of All Circumstances

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)



This is yet another difficult message, a difficult revelation for me to accept.

It really is easy for us to believe that God loves us when things are going well.

Do we believe that He loves us when things are NOT going well?

His Love for us has nothing to do with what is going on around us.

God sent His Son into this fallen world without our knowledge or permission.

He loves us passionately, even if we don't get what is going on all the time.

I have received some interesting news, so who knows what will happen.

I used to wonder if God loved me when things were not going the way that I wanted them to go.

Now I realize the full meaning behind "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose."

Image result for 1 John 4:19
We love because He First LOVED US!

I love God because I know that He loves me. He loved me first! (1 John 4:19)

Part of the struggle has also included seeing God's love as something that cannot coexist with trouble.

That's not true at all.

Let's start with the truth. God loves me! God is in love with me!

From there, we take into account everything else that is happening.

His love came first, regardless of what is happening. At this time, it has become more than essential for me to trust, to believe in that love, regardless of circumstances.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Man's Sin Cannot Stop God's Love

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)





I  have begun meditating on God's love more deeply, the sins which capture people and hook them in, and why is it that so many people are unable to break free.

People acknowledge their struggle with addiction. They call themselves "addict" many times, and then they work hard to break free.

I then realized something: condemnation so powerfully hooks people, that they cannot break away. In many cases, it seems pretty clear to me that they feel that they cannot come to God with help.

It takes the love of the Father for us to break free of all the lusts of the flesh which afflict us:

"15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." (1 John 2:15-16)

Lusts of the flesh all connect to addictions. That's what they are!

The reason why? The individuals in bondage do not know the love of the Father. The love of the Father is not in them. Why does this happen? We struggle too much in our own efforts. We want to come to Him after we have cleaned ourselves up.

All that stuff is of the world, and it will never last. It will never suffice.

Now, about our sin ... it cannot stop God's love.

God sent His Son, His Only Begotten, to die for us, to rise for us, to live for us and through us.

God the Father sent His Son while we were still sinners!

"8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:8-9)

Our sin cannot stop God's love. If it could, God would have never sent His Son, or worse yet could not have sent His Son!

Consider also the types and shadows in the Old Testament:

"I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, but Esau I hated." (Malachi 1:2-3)

Jacob did not deserve God's love at all.

He lied, cheated, deceived, put his own needs ahead of others. He played favorites among his four wives and his twelve sons and daughter.

Yet God loved Jacob.

That's how God loves us! Unconditionally. When we understand how great, how wonderful God's love is for us, then we fall out of love with the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life.

Lean on His love. Ask Daddy God to give you a broader, wider revelation of His love for you! (Ephesians 3:16-19)

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Supernatural Peace Which the World Cannot Give -- Or Take Away

"6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

This verse has incredible power and meaning already.

That power, that wonder, that grace has taken on a new level for me today.

I cried to God out of incredible anguish. My mind just could not rest.

I just cried to God. The pain in my mind was so great:

"Just a throne will reach God's throne" many preachers have shared.

Here's the verse which brings up this revelation:

"26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-27)

When I wept sore like that yesterday, all of a sudden this great peace took hold of my mind. Even if I wanted to worry, I simply could not.

Even if I wanted to panic, it was impossible.

His peace had captured me. Just as I had learned last week that even if I have lustful feelings or desires in my flesh, so too any sense of fear or panic does not prevent God from caring about me, and caring for my condition.

He has been loving me since the beginning.

He has been caring for me since the beginning. I began to have further revelations of all that could and may indeed happen to me in the weeks to come! I was predicting things that would happen, and that they would not happen.

I look back on yesterday, and the many other times that I have panicked. I realized that I had been spending so much time trying to work up a sense of peace by imagining outcomes that I would like to see.

Yet that kind of imagination does not bring peace. That's a peace that the world can take away.

Jesus has given us something so much better:

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)



This peace is with me, even when I sense a little fear.

We do not have to feel condemned when we get troubled in our hearts, or when we start getting careful about matters.

He still cares for us. He still cares for me!

That's what makes all the difference.

His peace the world cannot give or take away -- and "the world" includes my own flesh!

Last of all, I know that He is watching out for me, and that no matter what happens, He loves me. He cares for me, and He will carry my through all difficulties.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

"I'm a Real Boy!" God's Love For Us Makes Us Sons of God

I am learning so much right now.

So much.

I am receiving so much more of your love. More than I would have ever imagined.

Paul prayed earnestly that we would understand how much our Loving Father loves ... us.

How much He loves ... ME!

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

For the last eight years, I have carried with me a picture of Geppetto and Pinocchio from the Disney movie. I often carried this with me because it featured how much God is my Father, that He loves me.

And His love makes me a REAL BOY!



Yet only recently am I understanding the real depths of how much He loves me.

I "knew" that God was my Daddy, Daddy God, Abba Father (cf Romans 8:15)

But I still needed to learn to believe it. I was still struggling to rest in that revelation, to let that knowledge permeate every aspect of me.

So many lies have been peeled away. What I used to believe, all of that is falling away.

I am facing intereting challenges at this  time. I had hoped it would never have come to this. But,  if this is what I took, I thank God again and again!

Bad times give way to GREATER GLORY!

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

His love for us is not some fantasy. It's not a vain thought experiment.

It's real! And His love makes us "real boys", just like His Son! We are no longer dead, nor do we have to animate ourselves based on our self-efforts, much like Pinocchio when he was still made of wood.


The French terms read from top left to bottom:

Mort: dead

Vivant Sous La Loi: Living Under Law

Vivant Sous la GrĂ¢ce: Living Under Grace

Wood speaks of the Flesh, and Pinocchio, as long as he was wooden, trying to be real through his efforts, he continued to stumble, to fall, to fail. When he rested, when he stopped trying and started simply believing, he became a real boy.

In a similar fashion, Christians "try" to live them Christian life. They rely on their efforts, they try to love others, and they end up stumbling, falling, failing.

 God invites us to walk in the Spirit! (Galatian 5:16) He invites us to receive the new spirit of sonship! (Romans 8:15)

That's how we continue to walk in the Spirit. We see who we are in Christ!

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." (1 John 3:1)

Do you see that? That's the kind of love God has for us! He makes us His Sons, and it all starts with His Son, Jesus!

And as always:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

God is Gracious to Us, Even When We Fear

I just reread the account of Jacob just before he met his brother Esau. This is the same brother, by the way, whom Jacob had cheated out of the First Born Blessings, although Jacob had no reason to do so.

God had predetermined before the two were born that the elder would serve the younger (Genesis 25:23). Jacob needed to learn to stop grabbing (his name means "Grabber" or "he grabs the heel"). He needed to learn to reign with God as a Prince (the meaning of "Israel").

In the meantime, we read in Genesis chapters 32 and 33 that Jacob heard of his brother coming to meet him.

Jacob was terrified. He schemed, he plotted, he did everything he could to minimize the upcoming damage and destruction which he projected would fall upon him, his wives, and his children.

In Genesis 32, we see Jacob begging God for help. He announces the following:

"9And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: 10I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. 11Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. 12And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude." (Genesis 32:9-12)

Jacob pleads for God's help, and yet he still engineers, schemes, and micromanages as much possible to spare himself and his family from the worst. He still foresees the worst happening to him.

Where's the faith? Where's the trust?

Yet in spite of Jacob's fear, God does indeed come through for Jacob:

"1And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. 2And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost. 3And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. 4And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept." (Genesis 33:1-4)



This is the grace of God at work, and Jacob announces His goodness to Esau:

"Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it." (Genesis 33:11)

Jacob recognized fully that God was gracious to Him. God indeed answered Jacob's prayer, even though He was fearful, even though He tried to "help God", if you will, to safeguard as many of his family members and his goods as possible.

Personal Reflection

This kind of goodness is so important to me. This revelation affirms that God's goodness will flow in our lives even when we are fearful, even when we are not sure what is going on in our lives, even when we despair and fear the worst.

This point reminds of another account, in which another one of God's Beloved faced what seemed like insurmountable odds.

"1And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand. 2And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath." (1 Samuel 27:1-2)

This is the beloved, great king David. This is the forerunner for the Messiah, for Jesus was born from the line of David. In fact, Jesus had two claims to the royal throne of David through Mary and Joseph.

David was honored in the midst of his own brethren, and yet not only was he not fully crowned king, not only was he on the run, but he had pretty much given up on God's promise for him.

Yet God did not give up on His promise for David.

In fact, even though he lived with the Philistines, the mortal enemies of Israel for a time, the land that he acquired became part of the royal heritage of Israel!

"5And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee? 6Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day." (1 Samuel 27: 5-6)

So, even though we have fears, even though we struggle to rest in God's promises, God still comes through for us.

In fact, even when we were still sinners, God sent His Son Jesus to die for us, to rise again from the dead, and to represent us at the Father's right hand forever more! (Romans 5:8)

He did this when we didn't care about Him. He was watching out for us -- for me -- even when I had no idea what was going on!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Run to Daddy God In Time of Need

"And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." (Gensis 3:10)

Before man sinned, he and his help-meet were naked and they were not ashamed (Genesis 2:25).

When man sinned, they knew right from wrong, and they saw themselves as wrong. When they heard God their Creator walking in the garden, and man fled.

Today, we do not run from our Creator--we run to our Redeemer, especially when we sin, when we fail:

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)



Why can we do this?

Because of Jesus!

"14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:14-15)

Notice that Jesus is our GREAT High Priest, not just any high priest. He is in heaven, He is the Son of God, the prized special darling of our Heavenly Father.

He knows about our infirmities. He knows that we have sin in our flesh, and He knows that we will fall from time to time.

Yet we do not have to run away in shame.

All our shame is gone, because of Jesus!

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

When you are established in His rightoeusness, no weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54: 14, 17)

With that righteousness, we no longer feel the need to run from God when we struggle with sins, when we fail to understand Him, when we are angry with Him.

Our Daddy God is still ready for us. We can come to Him, our Redeemer, our Father:

"15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Romans 8:15-17)

Notice the mention of "bondage again to fear." Adam and Eve were in bondage to fear. They fled from God their Creator.

Todya, because of Jesus, we are joint-heirs with Christ Jesus, we are sons of God (1 John 3:1). We don't have to run from Daddy God, our Loving Father who is there for us when we sin, when we fail, when we struggle, when we stumble.

Jesus is our High Priest Forever:

"1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:1-2)

Jesus has us covered. He is our Mercy Seat (the full meaning of "propitiation"). We can come to God the Father anytime, especially when we have sinned, when we have failed, when we don't know what to do or way to go!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

When He Kisses Us With His Kisses

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine." (Songs 1:2)



The more that I have learned about God's passionate love for me, the more that God's Word has opened up to me.

I revisited the Song of Solomon to get a better picture, a deeper understand of God's love for me.

I could barely get passed the first verse without asking questions.

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth."

The verse seems so redundant. Why say "kiss" and "kisses"? And how else would He kiss me? With his leg?

More to the point, wouldn't "Let him kiss me" cover everything?

Of course, not one word is superfluous in Scripture.

I studied the verse in the original Hebrew.

In Hebrews, the word "kiss" is "nashak" in Hebrew.

It's first mention appears in the verse below"

"And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son." (Genesis 27:26)

Wow, the first mention of "kiss" is shrouded in deception, when Isaac asked for his son Jacob (whom he thought was Esau) asked to kiss him.

Then I found this use of the word:

"Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou." (Genesis 41:40)

Now isn't that interesting? "To Kiss" in Hebrew also means "to rule over"!

And there's more!

"Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." (1 Kings 19:18)

"Kiss" speaks of doing obeisance to something or someone.

Hebrews uses "nashak" in this context, too:

"They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin." (1 Chronicles 12:2)

To be equipped, to be armed for war, that's also what "nashak" means.

Consider this revelation in "kiss", found in the Psalms:

"Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." (Psal 85:10)

They kissed,in that they met, they joined together. This verse is a picture of the Cross, in which Jesus' death on the Cross accomplished righteousness and peace for all of us!

Last of all, this unique revelation for "nashak" appears in Ezekiel:

"I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing." (Ezekiel 3:13)

The significance of these cherubim's wings touching other cannot be overstated.

So, let us return to the verse of interest. "Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth."

Already, there is so much that can be revealed, but let us explore God's goodness and grace in expanding on the word "kiss" as an action and as a noun.

The Shulamite woman says, Solomong writes, and God shares with us:

"Let him rule over me with the kisses of his mouth"

"Let him touch me with the kisses of his mouth."

"Let him equip me (for the fight) with the kisses of his mouth."

"Let him anoint me as ruler with the kisses of his mouth."

The word "kiss" as noun is only mentioned twice in the Bible (Proverbs 27:6, Songs 1:2)

The verb is essential so that our loving, passionate God can express to us what His kisses do for us!

God's love shows that He rules over us wiht great care. His love anoints us to rule with Him. His love equips us for any fight. His love makes us one with Him through righteousness.

So much about God, so much that we see, that we receive through His Son Jesus!

Monday, April 1, 2019

He So Loved Us -- His Love is More Than Enough

He loves us unconditionally, He graces us eternally, and from there we serve Him! That is what love is about!

"We love because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19, NIV)

And let's not forget that He so loves us!


"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)



He SO LOVED Us.

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." (1 John 4:11)

I need to know how LOVED I am. Then there's no need to drink, to smoke, to run to other addictions.

When we get something better, we don't have to settle for less!

There is no need to be addicted to anything, because His love more than fulfills every need!

Consider the diagnosis for those who "love the world":

"15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1 John 2:15-17)

The lusts, the pride -- all of it results because people do not know the Father's Love, or more precisely the love of the Father does not lie, does not rest in them!

The love of the Father seems outside to them. But it rests within us, because ...

"Herein is love perfected among us that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

That love is more than enough!