Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “God’s Love”

God’s Love Includes Harsh Pruning

Love w:Action & Truth

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)

God is love and commands us to love one another. He “demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:8) Our heavenly Father loves us, even when the filth of our own sins cling to us.  He sees the good in all His children.  Looking past our present flaws, knowing they will transform into attributes of beauty through His grace, He sees the work of art we are destined to become.

Oh, that we might see our brothers and sisters with the same spiritual eyes of love that our Savior reserves for us! Why must we focus on the sins within those we care about, and not glorify the gifts of praise God has already transformed in them? We live in a world full of hash criticisms and so often we end up pointing out weaknesses in others, when we in turn have a huge plank in our own eye. 

However, God’s love is not always puppy tails and cotton candy.  Sometimes, His love is a plate of vitamins and liver.  He sees our malnourished spirits and lovingly asks us to swallow some bitter pills. In love, He brings difficult things to our attention that may at first be a real challenge to digest.  But once we have taken that first awful bite ….. and really chew on it, we decide to lay down our pride and admit our wrongs.

Max Lucado put it very well in the following quote:

“God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses……

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Dear One: Guard Your Heart

Heart Overflow

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)    “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Dear One,

I have felt the Lord impress upon me to change my greeting to you.  “Dear Reader” seems too impersonal.  I thought about starting with “Dear Friend,” but in my heart you are already my friends.

To a person who does not know me well, I can appear outgoing and confident.  However, deep down I have to daily work on building up my confidence.  The confidence I am gaining is based on this foundation: I am a child of God. 

By nature I am careful and reserved.  I am a “watcher,” or some would say a careful observer.  Giving away my heart is done with caution.  I suppose that is wise since the word tells us to guard our hearts and that the heart is the ”Wellspring of Life.”  Another translation says that, “everything we do flows from it” and another says, “for out of it are the issues of life.” 

Too many of us have been wounded over and over again because we lovingly give our hearts to EVERYONE.  It is okay to LOVE everyone, but we need discernment when we share our hearts with others.  It is not wise to share too much too soon.  We are not to walk in constant fear of being hurt or rejected, but we are advised by the Word to be wise in guarding the Wellspring of our Life. 

When you share your heart with another person, please ask yourself if they are worthy of your secrets.  Has God given you the go ahead to share ALL of you story?  Perhaps you need to tell them only a part of your life story, to merely encourage them.  Do consider the possibility that they are not looking for the same intimacy level that you are hoping for, and discretion should be practiced. 

When you attempt to share the deepest and most sensitive parts of your heart, you are taking a risk.  There is always the chance that the listener feels uncomfortable with the depth of your sharing and rejects you.  If God tells you to share your whole heart with someone, then please be obedient.  But if you see a pattern in your life where attempts at friendships have quickly ended, maybe you are trying to build something too fast.

Consider your own relationship with God.  When you first gave your heart to Him, it was with innocence and reckless abandon.  He is always going to be a “safe” friend to confide in.  He will never reject you.  You can tell Him anything. 

However, your relationship with God has blossomed with time.  He has seen you through trials, struggles, heartaches, and fears.  He has also shared times of rejoicing with you.  With each experience you have shared with Him, you have built trust and intimacy.  You have built a foundation that will allow your relationship to not only stand, but also grow.

I have shared all of these insights because I do not want to offend anyone by my decision to start each of my posts with, “Dear One.”  To be perfectly honest, I felt pressed by the Lord to change the greeting.  “Dear One” is how He addresses me when I cry out to Him.  It calms me.  I want you to hear this greeting every day.  I want to remind you that YOU are dear not only to God, but to me too.

I have such love in my heart for all of you.  It is God given and something I cannot explain.  It is simply there and constant.  I pray for you and cherish you.  I hope you see this new greeting as sincere and with true affection, an endearment. 

I have guarded my heart wisely.  I have called you, “Dear Readers” for a time.  But now, I am taking a step forward to deepen my love for you and I hope this step is received with the affection I am sincerely offering. 

We are not to hold onto our hearts with an iron grip of fear.  Rather, we are to firmly hold onto our hearts, but only until the Lord tells us to loosen our grip and let go, so that He can use it for His glory.  May God’s wisdom be with you as you offer up and share your heart with others.

Proverbs 23:26  (ESV)   “My son, give Me your heart, and let your eyes observe My ways.”

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