WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the category “Love”

Love Promises From God

*Love

“Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.” Psalm 119:140 (NKJV)

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19 (NKJV)

I am so thankful God has given us a multitude of encouraging promises to stand on. We must seek them out, but they are in the Word and easy to discover. Promises of His love, protection, provision and many other gems are there to give us hope. If we diligently seek Him, we will never fall short of encouragement and reasons to give Him praise.

God’s Word proclaims that there is no fear in love, that perfect love casts out all fear. Indeed we are to respect and honor our God, demonstrating awe when we enter into His presence (He is our Creator), and we can rejoice in knowing He loves us unconditionally. What comfort this is for all believers! We need not ever fear approaching His throne and mercy seat. He freely offers His love and forgiveness time, after time, after time.

God’s love for us is an enduring love. It is constant. He remains faithful in His affections even when we are faithless in return. His love is also unconditional. Therefore, if we rebel like the prodigal son, we are always welcomed home with open arms. God’s love is continuous even when it is one-sided. However, if we decide to love Him back, our relationship with God will deepen to such a level of intimacy that no other could ever compare.

God rejoices over us with singing. Did you hear that? God sings and rejoices over us! This is not just when we repent and return to Him, like a lost lamb I believe He rejoices over us when we make choices that glorify His name. He must sing every time someone shares the Good News. Indeed, every time we choose to live and love in righteousness He surely smiles.

Abounding in His everlasting love for us His affections are always in action. He longs for a relationship with mankind, His own creation! Would you want to befriend something you made with your hands, like a knitted sweater or a piece of pottery? What an idea! What a concept!

If you think your sins have left you unfit to approach God’s mercy seat, you are wrong. The Father looks directly into the heart of man and sees past his sin. He recognizes you as the masterpiece He designed long ago. Come before Him and He will lovingly wash you as white as snow with the blood of the Lamb. You will be cleansed with His righteousness. Free from sin, He will then dress you in clean clothes.

“Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’ Then he said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.’” Zechariah 3:3-4 (NIV)

Do not let sin separate you from the love of God. He longs for your fellowship and calls out to you. With loving- kindness He is drawing you even now. Can you feel it? Knock on the door of His heart and He shall answer with much singing and rejoicing. Just as a groom longs for the affection of his bride, God longs for your fellowship and adoration.

READ THE FOLLOWING PROMISES OF GOD THEN MEDITATE ON HIS LOVE FOR YOU.

“I love those who love me, and those who seek Me diligently will find me.” Proverbs 8:17 (NKJV)

“Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:26 (NKJV)

“The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)

The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go God’s love for us does not.” ― C.S. Lewis

Our Love For Father God

*1

You might doubt the Father’s love for you, but John 3:16 should clear away all your worries. And IF the love of God is hard for you to accept, meditate on what He has already done. Then you will see how great the Father’s love for us.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.John 3:16 (NKJV)

Ask yourself this question. Why did the Creator of all things step out of His spiritual realm and live with mankind if He had no care for us? Would He have willingly faced crucifixion (in order to be that living blood sacrifice) to cancel out our transgressions once and for all, had He not love? Victorious over sin through His death and resurrection, He restored our fellowship and position with God. He lives as our constant friend and mediator before God. Why would He intercede both day and night on our behalf if He did not truly love and care for us? We are the now adopted children of a King, His treasure!

How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son and make a wretch His treasure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aAjLBh_1Og&sns=fb

His wounds paid for our ransom and by them we have been healed and restored to righteousness. Our righteousness comes only through Jesus who now lives within us. We are a new creation if we are born again. The old man is a thing of the past.

But what of YOUR love for God? How do YOU express it? Is it a daily expression or an after thought at the end of a weary day? Do you make time for Him, He who is jealous for you? He longs for your fellowship and waits for your attention. Are you seeking Him out or do you just expect Him to find you?

Believe it or not, He IS speaking to you all day long. Unfortunately, if you have not learned to ABIDE in Christ you are missing much of His love conversation. We must be seekers and draw near to God if we expect to grow in our spiritual intimacy with Him.

Synonyms for ABIDE (Google) include: obey, observe, follow, keep to, hold to, conform to, adhere to, stick to, stand by, act in accordance with, heed, accept, respect

Thus, we show our love for God by seeking Him out and abiding in Him.                 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.”  John 15:10 (NKJV)                           We show our love for Him by keeping His commandments.

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.1 John 5:3 (NKJV)

Additionally, 1 John 2:6 explains we are to walk as Jesus walked. He is our role model and we should follow His lead. But how can we walk as Jesus walked if we do not know what is in the Word? Me must seek it out and learn how our Savior loved sinful man? He tells us to love as He has loved.

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”                       1 John 2:6 (NKJV)

And because His dying breath brought me new life…

I will not boast in anything, No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward, I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom”

Rather than boasting in the gifts you were given by the Father, use your gifts to glorify HIM. Surrender all your plans and your self-will. Permit God to make you a “holy experiment” for His purposes. Oh, the joy of becoming a living vessel that honors God! Live today and every day, with the purpose of blessing His holy name with your love and gratitude!

MEDITATE ON THE FOLLOWING WORDS/SCRIPTURES BELOW AND CONSIDER WAYS YOU CAN BETTER DEMONSTRATE YOUR LOVE FOR GOD.

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”                     John 15:12 (NKJV)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15 (NKJV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”             Romans 12:1 (NKJV)

“The only thing I can give to God is ‘My right to myself.’ If I will give God that, He will make a holy experiment out of me, and God’s experiments always succeed.”                       ~ Oswald Chambers.

“Give yourself to God. Give Him everything you are, everything you hope to be, all your dreams, visions, hopes and desires. Make everything His, and He will demonstrate His power through your life.”  ~ UNKNOWN

The Promise of Forgiveness

*Jesus Forgives

1 John 1:9 is a PROMISE. We will find forgiveness in Christ if we confess our sins and repent of our ways. This is a blessed assurance. God will never say, “No, I will not accept your confession of sin and heart felt apology. I do not forgive you. I do not want a relationship with you.”

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

Some of you may know the heartache of unforgiveness. After humbling yourself and apologizing for a wrong, hoping to restore a broken relationship or bring healing to someone, you were rebuffed or ignored. Your cry to be forgiven was not met with love or a consoling pardon. The pain of unforgiveness is heart wrenching. All one can do is act on what the scriptures instruct and pray, leaving the rest to God.

Thankfully, we will never suffer this rejection with God. He accepts our plea for forgiveness and casts the memory of our sin as far as the east is from the west. We have been washed in the blood and sacrifice of the Lamb. Our Creator longs for an intimate relationship with us and since all sin separates us from His presence, He forgives us repeatedly.

We cannot however change people, or their reaction to our sin. We can only work on changing ourselves…. with God’s grace. Because God loves us, He works to perfect and refine our spirits until they eventually reflect back the very image of Christ. This act of sanctification requires man to lay aside pride and self-will. Everyone comes to the place of absolute surrender at a different time in life. Through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, we eventually come to understand the necessity for making greater room in our hearts for God.

He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30 (NIV)

A conflict between two people means that there are TWO individuals who need to work together on the resolution. One may want change and restoration but the other might not. We can influence people in a positive way by walking in the light, but God alone refines and transforms the heart. If one person is not willing or ready to consider forgiveness, reconciliation is put on hold.

There is always the hope of a restored relationship but sin, even confessed sin, will change an association in some way. We are not like God who is able to forget wrongs and cast them beyond His memory. Broken trust takes time to heal. It takes work and patience, understanding and tolerance. Wounds heal but some scars remain. Maybe the scar will serve as a testimony of God’s healing power, a witness to others who are living in broken relationships.

A restored relationship gives glory to God. It can become even better after suffering through affliction, betrayal, and sin. Love is the healing balm that makes this possible. Love is the greatest gift of all and can cover a multitude of sins, if we are willing to lay down our own pain and offer the wrongdoer (It usually takes two individuals to make a wrong and therefore two are necessary to make it right again) absolution.

Hold on to the promise that ALL of your sins are forgiven when you repent to God, even the unforgiven sins held against you by someone with a hard heart. You are cleansed from all unrighteousness the minute you confess to God. He pardons all unrighteousness and grants absolution. Guilt does not come from God, just Holy Spirit conviction that leads to humble repentance. You have been forgiven. You are forgiven. By the blood of Jesus Christ you are freely forgiven.

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake;And I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25 (NKJV)

 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

He does not treat us as our sins deserveor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,so great is His love for those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west,so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:10-12 (NIV)

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” ~ C.S. Lewis                                 

This devotion is from my book FACING ADVERSITY: THOUGHTS OF WISDOM, PRAISE, AND PROMISE. You will find it on Amazon the first week of December. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Cheryl%20Zelenka&sprefix=Chery%2Caps

Suffering Unites Us All

UTR May I Know the Fellowship of His Suffering

God has a plan and a purpose for everyone. Nobody is insignificant. We are after all, created in the very image of God. This includes the homeless person living in a cardboard box and the abused child in a home of neglect. We all have a part to play in God’s divine design, and sharing in the sufferings of Christ is part of His game plan.

Suffering is an effective tool God uses to refine our spiritual character. Adversity is permitted, or sent, as a loving gift from heaven above. Perspective is critical here. God gives good gifts therefore trials are beneficial.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  Matthew 7:11 (NKJV)

So how can our painful moments be of any use? How can something hurtful, shameful, or grievous actually be a blessing? Do not trials teach us valuable lessons? Do we not gain insight, knowledge and wisdom as we muddle through our adversity? Is this not something we can share with others? Healings and lessons of perseverance are not only a witness of God’s grace but also an encouragement to others.

The process of sanctification chips away self-reliance and causes even the most prideful of mankind to cry out for help, help that only God can provide. Learning to depend on the Father is a major lesson in our spiritual walk. When we trust Him with all things and remain peaceful in the midst of an uncertain fate, faith has carried us. Others will notice our manner and desire the same inner peace we exude. Life style witnessing is a powerful tool and useful in the work of the Great Commission.

Suffering unites us all. Each person has experienced pain. Therefore, we can compassionately connect with others through this common bond. No race, creed, social status or level of education can escape the reality of suffering. Because of this fact we have an open door, a first step in sharing the Good News. We can build relationships in many different ways and there IS a fellowship of suffering, with Christ Jesus AND with others.

Here then is the great blessing found in adversity. Because of the pain you endured, thanks to the grace of God, you are now equipped to encourage and bless others. Your victory over tribulation will give them hope. But wait; there could be an additional blessing. You might have an opportunity to lead someone to Christ. God could use your story to change someone’s heart. What a blessing it is to witness a spiritual rebirth! What a special honor and service God provides for those who are willing.

Our heavenly Father does not set out to crush His children. We are His beloveds! It is in love alone that He disciplines and uses painful circumstances to teach. Yes He does test us but remember, He is the Master Teacher. His gift to us is His wisdom, knowledge and instruction.

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” Ps.103:14 (NKJV)

The furnace of affliction is never pleasant but it is for our benefit and for the benefit of others. By refining us into the very image of His son Jesus, who was a bruised reed but never broken, God purifies and commands us to share His love with others. Not wanting anyone to perish, God moves us to carry His message of hope and salvation.

The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

Are you seeking opportunities to proclaim His truth to your family, friends and neighbors? If not…. Why not? Our Savior and Redeemer, the comforter of all souls is looking for those who will say, “Here am I Lord, send me.”

 “It was good for me to be afflictedso that I might learn Your decrees.”  Psalm 119:71 (NIV)

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 (NKJV)

The instruction of the Lord is perfect,renewing one’s life;the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy,making the inexperienced wise.The precepts of the Lord are right,
making the heart glad;the command of the Lord is radiant,making the eyes light up.The fear of the Lord is pure,enduring forever;the ordinances of the Lord are reliable
and altogether righteous.” Psalm 19:7-9 (NKJV)

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:“Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”Isaiah 6:8 (NKJV)

“There are no lessons so useful as those learned in the school of affliction.”    ~J.C. Ryle

*The devotion is in my upcoming book FACING ADVERSITY WITH WISDOM, PRAISE, AND PROMISES. Look for it on Amazon this December, just in time for Christmas gifts!

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&fieldkeywords=Cheryl%20Zelenka&sprefix=Chery%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3ACheryl%20Zelenka&oqid=1410851640

 

The Great Commission: Patience Required

*Fruit:Patience

This is a devotional from my next book FACING STORMS: A DEVOTIONAL FOR THOUGHT AND MEDITATION

We have a great commission in life. We are called to make disciples of all the nations, including our own country. So, the rude co-worker and obnoxious neighbor is part of our assignment. God loves His entire creation and wants every person to accept Him as his or her Lord and Savior. This is every Christian’s most important calling and mission in life.

“It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor.”   ~ Martin Luther

No, this appointment is not an easy one, but neither is loving a people who falls so short of God’s morality. Thankfully, God refuses to give up on us and throw in the towel. He perseveres in demonstrating His love daily and in every moment. He longs for our fellowship and makes Himself available at all times. He creates incredible sunsets for our enjoyment and gives pleasure in so many different ways. His heart and passion belongs to us so, to model Him, our passion should be for the lost…. Be they ever so challenging.

People who rub us the wrong way are the means God uses to sand off our rough edges. They are placed in our life for OUR benefit. For by having them near us, we soon see our shortcomings and identify the weak areas in our character and spiritual walk.

Are you an impatient person? Ask for patience and God will surely send someone your way that challenges your temperance. Only by God’s blessed grace will you see a righteous gift of compassion birthed in your heart. Your self-control and forbearance will astound you. The sincere love and affection you are meant to feel for this person will deepen over time. So profound will it become, if you practice it daily, you will find yourself perplexed at how you ever saw them as a thorn or irritant in your side.

Will you choose kindness over selfish actions of rudeness? Will you overlook an offense and remember the many times God has forgiven you? Through simple acts of love, you can change a stony heart into a softer one, a heart the Creator can easily fashion and mold into something new.

Discernment will be given for the sake of intercession. Do not gawk at their sin or find pleasure in fault-finding. The Spirit will guide you as you pray and witness to them. Once hard to love (only because their wounds had made them fearful and prickly) they will drop their thorns and rest in your company. Reckless words will cause much damage but wise words of encouragement bring much fruit. By establishing trust, they will share another side with you, one only a precious few have witnessed. It will be an honor to behold.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go thereforeand make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”Acts 1:8 (NKJV)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15 (NKJV)

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”Luke 19:10 (NKJV)

“Yet if we would know God and for other’s sake tell what we know we must try to speak of his love. All Christians have tried but none has ever done it very well. I can no more do justice to that awesome and wonder-filled theme than a child can grasp a star. Still by reaching toward the star the child may call attention to it and even indicate the direction one must look to see it. So as I stretch my heart toward the high shining love of God someone who has not before known about it may be encouraged to look up and have hope.” ~ A.W. Tozer

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” ~ C.S. Lewis

 

You Say, GOD Says….

*You Say:God Says

You Say: I can’t figure it out

God Says: I will direct your steps

Bible Verse: Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[your paths.

You Say: I’m too tired

God Says: I will give you rest

Bible Verse: Matthew 11 28:30

“Come to Me, all you 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.”

You Say: It’s Impossible

God Says: All things are possible

Bible Verse: Luke 18:27

“But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

You Say: Nobody loves me

God Says: I love you

Bible Verse: John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

You Say: I can’t forgive myself

God Says: I forgive you

Bible Verse: Romans 8:1

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,  who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

You Say: It’s not worth it

God Says It will be worth it

Bible Verse: Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

You say: I’m not smart enough

God says: I will give you wisdom

Bible Verse: 1 Co. 1:30

“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption”

You Say: I’m not able

God Says: I’m able

Bible Verse: 2 Co. 9:8

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”

You Say: I can’t go on

God Says: My grace is sufficient

Bible Verse: 2 Co. 12:9

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

You Say: I can’t do it

God Says: You can do all things

Bible Verse: Philippians 4:13

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

You Say: I can’t manage

God Says: I will supply all your needs

Bible Verse: Philippians 4:19

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

You Say: I’m afraid

God Says: I have not given you fear

Bible Verse: 2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

You Say: I feel all alone

God Says: I will never leave you

Bible Verse: Hebrews 13:5

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Holy Sight

*Heart

In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.”  Colossians 1:22 (NKJV)

I want to see with holy eyes,

And intervene for those in need.

For all the children who break Your heart,

Grant them mercy… do not depart.

My hope forever lives in You.

Be my strength. Be my guide.  Be my friend until I die.

I will no longer hide from You.

Your grace and mercy is my shield.

Remove my rags and wash me clean.

Forever Yours, this heart of mine.

No longer mine but forever Yours…..

This heart of mine.

This heart of mine.

Forever Yours, this heart of mine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7CHddSMDXc

“Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”   Psalm 51:2 (NIV)

 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.”  Zechariah 3:3-5 (NKJV)

We Share In The Sufferings Of Christ

Easter-3 Croses

“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.”  John 19:17-18 (NKJV)

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:5 (NIV)

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, understands our pain. He IS our friend and blessed Redeemer. When He left His heavenly throne and took on human form (for our sakes), He endured all the frailty found in our fleshly bodies. Not one abuse, sorrow, trouble, struggle or upset we experience was absent from His life. He lived them all. He is a Lord full of great compassion and understanding when it comes to mankind.

Jesus had siblings and is well aware of the ins and outs of family life.  There were bound to be jealousies and misunderstandings within His earthly family. Although He was without sin, He experienced the sting of insults from those closest to Him. He understands family dynamics.

He knew the pain of a friend’s betrayal. Disappointment was no stranger to our Savior. Emotional ties are often entangled with some sort of sin and can cause great pain, for love is a tender feeling. Surely Judas broke His heart.

If you have had to suffer through a desperate and painful time without the support of friends and family, Jesus understands your struggle. Did He not face His death with only His mother, His Aunt, Mary Magdalene, and the apostle John? Where were the rest of the apostles? Where were His earthly siblings?

When Christ carried His cross to Golgotha, He did so in a weakened state. His 40 lashes and beatings had weakened Him to the point of utter exhaustion.  Here comes a wondrous concept. Jesus, of the holy Trinity and God in flesh, could not physically carry His cross. It was too much for Him to bear. He experienced human weakness and the Roman soldiers compelled a Simon a Cyrenian to bear His cross. 

“Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.  And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.”  Mark 15:21-22 (NKJV)

We are all expected to carry our own burdens in life but when a strain comes our way that is beyond our ability to withstand, God will send us help. He will provide ways to endure and carry on with the task He has assigned.

By showing kindness to those suffering, we share in their sufferings. Just as Simon helped to carry the same cross of Jesus, we are to carry the same cross of others when they are too worn to move forward. God permits us the blessing of sharing in His sufferings. This is a gift worth rejoicing over!

Praise the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! He knows our weaknesses and understands our limitations. He calls on and provides others to share in our anguish. In love, they willingly take on burdens we cannot shoulder or sustain. Through prayers, acts of love, and physical acts of assistance we can all share in each others trouble and connect as one church and one body, through the blood of our Savior.….. Jesus Christ.

Certainly it is by His wounds that we are all healed.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17 (NIV)

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’  Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:25-17 (NKJV)

“No healthy Christian ever chooses suffering; he chooses God’s will, as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not.”
― Oswald Chambers

Is Your Life A Living Love Song For God?

Heart of Love

A love song always includes praises for the object of our affection. Would you like to make your life a living love song for God? What would that look like in your eyes? Starting today, how can you make your life a living and growing praise song to your heavenly Father?

A good way to answer this question is to look at Jesus and His disciples. How did Jesus demonstrate His love for us and how did His followers demonstrate their love for Christ? I assure you there were deliberate actions and a concerted effort.

Consider all the gifts and talents God has given you. Every child of God has received a spiritual gift(s) and is supposed to use it/them to edify the body of Christ, which in turn glorifies and pleases God. What are your gifts and how are you using them?

When we step out in faith, believing God has equipped us to help those around us, we are walking through an open door He has provided. This open door is an opportunity to serve, witness, and praise the name of Jesus. Our trust in His provision and our willingness to minister to others, even our decision to put aside our plans for the day in order to follow His purpose, is a means to shower Him with our love and appreciation.

“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NKJV)

A.W. Tozer wrote, “You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him.”  

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-love-25-awesome-scripture-quotes/#ixzz2yBHCie00

Your love song to God will be spelled out over your entire lifetime. It will not be one continuous melody. Rather, it will have different movements, like a symphony. There will be pauses. There will even be moments of silence. Different tempos will occur depending on your measure of obedience and submission to His will.

Some movements in your life song will be full of joy and speed, appropriately marked ALLEGRO. Other movements will be very slow. LARGO is a time when you may be required to endure a sorrow or time of suffering, preferably with the dignity and grace God promises to provide. How you carry yourself through a trial can be an incredible opportunity to show God your love for Him. Observers will find themselves amazed and curious when you praise God during your storm, speaking of His unfathomable love, mercy, and grace.

Jesus called us to be the light of the world. If we dedicate our lives to becoming messengers of hope, love, and grace we will get attention. Light demands attention. Light gets noticed, especially in a dark world full of sin and hate.

Goals and ambitions, when aligned with the will of God, will always come to pass. If you find your fulfillment and joy in Christ His passions will become your delight.

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NKJV)

Will every breath you exhale be a praise offering that honors His glorious name? Will you dedicate every act of service to Him and for His glory? Can you agree to be an extension of His love from this day forth? If so, your life will be a unique and astonishing love song to the one and only God.

“I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me diligently will find Me.” Proverbs 8:17 (NKJV)

“’And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NKJV)

Compassion Is Love In Action

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Compassion is love put into action. In Greek “Compassion” is defined as “Inward Affection, Pity or Sympathy, Yearning.” What compassion really means is “Suffering With Another!”  It does not stand still or permit us to ignore problems. It will never turn away when someone is in need.  With sympathetic hearts, we are to put tender kindness into action and work to ease the suffering of others.

Because of our Lord’s mercies we are not consumed.  His mercies are endless and His compassions never fail.  As the sun rises with every new dawn, His compassions and mercies are new every morning.  Faithfully, Jesus is actively moved with pity and sympathy to heal and ease our sufferings.

“Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)”

Do you have an ache in your heart when hearing about families affected by tornados, hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters? Are you one who volunteers to sift through the ashes of burnt homes with hopes of finding some object that survived the blaze?  If yes, you are acting out of compassion for those who lost so much, hoping some small familiar object will bring a measure of comfort to them.

Maybe you have volunteered to rebuild homes that were lost in a recent hurricane.  This is an act of mercy and compassion as well. You put your concern into action…. Free of charge! Have you ever volunteered to raise money for a cancer patient or accident victim?  This again is compassion. Acts of love and mercy can be as simple as making a meal for a senior citizen who is lonely and in need of company.

Jesus was frequently moved with compassion before healing others. In Matthew 1:40, we read about a leper who approached Jesus in a humble and imploring manner. While kneeling down to Christ he said, “IF You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus was moved with compassion and reached out to him. Immediately the leprosy left the man and he was cleansed.

How then can we grow in our compassion for others?  First, we can lay aside all judgments and walk in their shoes.  We can also attempt to look at matters with the eyes of Christ.  Ask yourself, “How would Jesus react?” With eyes of unconditional love, what assistance are you able to provide?

Many of us, in order to gain a heart of compassion, will have to suffer through personal trials.  Weathering a difficult storm allows us to view things with a Godly perspective. Past personal struggles will propel us into action when we see others suffering heartaches that we know all too well ourselves.

I encourage you to act when the Holy Spirit gives you a heart of compassion.  Don’t quench the Spirit by sitting…. Move! Love in action is full of sensitivity. True compassion is not complacent or lazy.  Some effort and time are required, but the investment you make will be worth any inconvenience you may endure.  Indeed, you will not only bless those you reach out to but yourself as well.

“Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)

“Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.”  Mark 1:40-42 (NKJV)

“And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:14 (NKJV) 

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