Do You Feel It?

In Exodus, we are witness to an epic battle between Moses and Pharaoh – actually God and Pharaoh – and Pharaoh is losing badly.

By chapter 10, God had sent 8 plagues causing wide-spread disease and hardship for the people, death and destruction for livestock and crops.  But Pharaoh continued to refuse to let God’s people go.  And the intensity of the plagues continued to grow.  It’s significant to read that the 9th plague – worse than the other 8 –  was darkness.  Darkness spread across Egypt for 3 days.  It was so dark, they couldn’t see anyone else around them.

Pitch black for 3 days.

Can you imagine the depression, anxiety and fear?  This plague affected their minds – it was worse than the rest.  Because we can’t go somewhere else to get away from our minds.   We can’t avoid thinking.  They couldn’t stop feeling the oppressive darkness – the void where light and warmth used to be.

Pitch black for 3 days.

I love the fact that during these three days God provided light where the Israelites lived.  I visualize a huge spotlight shining down from heaven onto the Israelites.my-people-live-in-the-light

The light of God’s love.

God’s care.

Light for God’s favorite people.

Bright, warm, good.

Those of us who trust in Jesus know how this feels because we live in this light every day.  It’s the light of God’s love and care for his favorite people – those who have accepted salvation through Jesus.  Through my relationship with God, I have watched him faithfully turn any darkness in my life into light.

He  wants to transform your darkness into light as well. He wants to fill any void in your life with warmth and goodness.

His spotlight of grace, strength and wholeness shines down on me everyday, filling my mind and heart with his love.  I feel it.

Do you feel it?

Thank you for your light, Abba Father.

Great Love!

Do you feel it?

I do.

I see it in the gorgeous sunrise as God once again declares his faithfulness to me with the start of a new day.  I feel it in my 2 year-old granddaughter’s hug.  I see it in the smiles of my friends.  I feel it in the ‘love you’ from my husband of almost 40 years.

It’s the great love God has lavished upon me.

God tells me that I am a precious child and he proves that by showing his love for me in a multitude of ways, every day.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God.”  1 John 3: 1a

It’s very encouraging to realize that the closer I get to God, the more love of his love I feel pouring out over me.  As I’ve been consistently memorizing God’s scripture these last 5 years, I also feel his wisdom pouring out from his Word.  More knowledge.  More understanding.

I am his child!  How much more love and wisdom and knowledge and understanding does he have available for me?

There is no limit!

As 2020 comes to an end, God is revealing his goals for me in the new year.  Yesterday he started the list with fight the battle well,  hold onto the faith, hold onto a good conscience.  Today he stopped me with, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  1 John 4:11.

Love other people.  In my experience, the only way I can genuinely love people is to get close to God and let his love flow through me to others.   As I open up my heart to God, he fills it with so much love that it spills over into the lives of people around me.  It’s all about God, not about me.

I’m looking forward to the opportunities God is going to give me in 2021 to love others with the love God gives me.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Paul’s Prayer…

and mine.

I join with Paul today as he prays for us in Ephesians 3,

“I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.

You are awesome, Father.

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.”

Please give us your strength, Father.

“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.”

Make your home in our hearts, Jesus, and teach us how to grow our trust in you.

“Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

Grow our roots, Father and keep us strong.

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.”

Please give us the power to feel the perfect love you pour out on us each day, Jesus.

“Then you will be made complete with all of the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

Only you can make us complete, Abba.  The power to live a full life comes from you.

“Now all glory to God , who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

We believe, Father, that you can do anything – things beyond what we can imagine –  and that you want to accomplish your plans through us.  We are your hands and feet on earth.

“Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Amen.  Love you, Father.

Paul’s Prayer….and Mine

Paul prays for us in Ephesians 3,

“I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.

You are awesome, Father.

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.”

Please give us your strength, Father.

“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.”

Make your home in our hearts, Jesus, and teach us how to trust you more.

“Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

Grow our roots, Father and keep us strong.

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.”

Please give us the power to feel the perfect love you pour out on us each day, Jesus.

“Then you will be made complete with all of the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

Only you can make us complete, Abba.  The power to live a full life comes from you.

“Now all glory to God , who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

We believe, Father, that you can do anything – things beyond what we can imagine –  and that you want to accomplish your plans through us.  We are your hands and feet on earth.

“Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Amen.  Love you, Father.

Why?

Why me?

Why now?

Why more?

We often ask these questions when trials and tough issues come our way.

When I ask this question, God gives me answers.  One of the answers is Romans 5.  “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

I have learned to watch for God moving in my life as I’m persevering through trials.  Where is he re-molding me?  What thoughts is he renewing in my mind through this suffering?  What is he washing out of my life through all of these tears?

I know he is building my faith as I persevere because it’s never more obvious to me how much I need him than when I’m going through a painful experience.  And I have watched him strengthen my character as I persevere.  He reveals areas of weakness in my thinking and replaces them with his truth.  He tests my convictions and transforms me as I ask for wisdom in my trials.

Through all of this, he gives me hope.  I can see him working.  My trust in God grows as I watch him bring light out of the dark sufferings in my life.  He has a purpose.  He has a plan as he draws me closer to him.

As I count on him, God covers the pain with his grace and love – every day.

This is why.

Thank you for answering my question, Abba Father.

I Ask

I make requests.

I intercede.

I come to God with my concerns.

I have the privilege of talking with the Creator of the Universe – not because I am good.

But because God is good.

This picture is the wall of my garage – the first thing I see every time I get back to my house and open up the garage door.  It’s a great reminder – something I need to remember every day no matter what my circumstances.

Daniel says in his prayer, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”

I can’t earn God’s love.

I can’t work and save myself.

I can never be ‘good enough’ on my own.

I can’t look in the mirror to see what I’m worth – I have to look to the cross.  Jesus died so that I don’t have to be eternally separated from God because of my rebellion and sin.

This kind of mercy deserves a faithful heart.

This kind of grace deserves a heart that is submitted to His will.

This kind of love deserves a life lived in gratitude.  My life.

Amen, let it be so, dear Jesus.

Where’s the Light?

Evil thrives in the dark.

Greedy, selfish hearts.

Angry, bitter souls.

Cruel minds crawl out into the dark – looking to harm the innocent.

In Exodus, we are witness to an epic battle between Moses and Pharoah – actually God and Pharoah – and Pharoah is losing badly.

By chapter 10, God had sent 8 plagues causing wide-spread disease and hardship for the people, death and destruction for livestock and crops.

And the intensity of the plagues continued to grow.

It’s significant to read that the 9th plague – worse than the other 8 –  was darkness.

Darkness spread across Egypt for 3 days.  It was so dark, they couldn’t see anyone else around them.

Pitch black for 3 days.

Can you imagine the depression, anxiety and fear?  This plague affected their minds – it was worse than the rest.  Because we can’t go somewhere else to get away from our minds.   We can’t avoid thinking.

They couldn’t stop feeling the oppressive darkness – the void where light and warmth used to be.

Pitch black for 3 days.

I love the fact that there was light where the Israelites lived.  I visualize a huge spotlight shining down from heaven onto the Israelites.my-people-live-in-the-light

The light of God’s love.

God’s care.

Light for God’s favorite people.

Bright, warm, good.

Those of us who trust in Jesus live in that light every day.

The light of God’s love and care – his favorite people.

God wants to transform any darkness in my life into light.

He  wants to transform your darkness into light as well.

He wants to fill any voids in our lives with warmth and goodness.

His spotlight of grace, strength and wholeness shines down on me everyday, filling my mind and heart with his love.

I feel it.

Do you feel it?

Thank you for your light, Abba Father.

 

Great Love!

Do you feel it?

I do.

I see it in the gorgeous sunrise as God once again declares his faithfulness to me with the start of a new day.

I feel it in my 5 year-old grandson’s hug.Dec 26 2015 great love

I see it in the smiles of my friends.

I feel it in the gentle touch of my husband of 34 years.

It’s the great love God has lavished upon me.

God tells me in John’s first letter that I am a precious child and he proves that by lavishing his love upon me in a multitude of ways.

It’s very encouraging to realize that the closer I get to God, the more love I feel pouring out from him.

As I’ve been consistently memorizing God’s scripture, I also feel his wisdom pouring out from his Word.  And understanding.  And knowledge.

We are his children!  How much more love and wisdom and knowledge and understanding does he have available for us?

There is no limit!

No end!

So let’s decide to live our lives in 2016 as children well-loved by our heavenly Father.

Let’s make a committment to grow closer to God so that its evident to everyone who knows us that his Spirit is alive within us.

And His love.

His patience.

His wisdom.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Well Pleased

Jesus was just getting ready to start his ministry.

He hadn’t done any miracles yet.Oct 22 2015 Well pleased

He hadn’t talked about what he was going to do on earth.

He hadn’t shared any good news of love and forgiveness yet.

That didn’t matter.

When John baptized Jeus, the heaven opened up and God’s voice from heaven said, “This is my Son whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” ( Matthew 3:17)

Jesus was God’s son and God was pleased with him!

Jesus hadn’t ‘done’ anything yet.

He was God’s son and God was pleased with him.

Let’s rest on that fact for a moment…..

take a deep breath……

and feel the love of God pouring over us……..

hear the voice of God in our souls saying, “This is my child whom I love.  In them, I am well pleased.”

It’s not about what we’re doing for God.

Its about his love for us.

When we accept the salvation offered by Jesus, we are adopted by God.

He loves us not because of what we do for him.  He loves us in spite of our sin and rebellion and disobedience.

For God so loved the world.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Real Love

We humans don’t know how to really love each other. We love each other if the other person is being lovable.  We love each other when the other person looks right, acts right and smells good.  Our love quickly fades – proven by our divorce rates.  Our love quickly gives up when the going gets tough – proven by the number of one-parent families in our culture.

It’s too little, too late, too conditional.

Even at the best of times, our love is just a tiny drop of moisture compared to the ocean of love that God has for us.

We can never understand the depth and the width and the height of God’s love.

But we can believe.

And when we believe, we find the most important love relationship of our lives.Sept 15 2015 climbing a tall ladder

Here is an excerpt from the Experiencing God bible study that I’m going through with my small group right now.  Understanding and believing this truth forever changed how I look at God’s commands. How I read his Word to me.  It blew up my previous perception of God’s love and changed how I lived my life from that day on:

God loves you deeply and profoundly.  Because he loves you, He has given you guidelines for living so you will not miss the full dimensions of the love relationship.  Life also has some land mines that can destroy you or harm your life.  God does not want to see you miss His best, and He does not want your life destroyed by foolish choices.

Suppose you had to cross a field full of land mines and a person who knew exactly where each one was buried offered to take you through it.  Would you say to him, “I don’t want you to tell me what to do.  I have free will!  I don’t want you to impose your ways on me”?

I don’t know about you, but I would stay as close to that person as I could.  I certainly would not wander off.  His directions to me would preserve my life.  He would say, ‘Don’t go that way, because that way will kill you.  Go this way, and you will live.’

That is the purpose of God’s commands.  He wants you to receive life and have it abundantly.  When the Lord gives you a command, He is trying to protect and preserve the best He has for you.  He does not want you to lose it.  When God gives a command, He is not restricting you.  He is freeing you.”

Thank you, Abba Father!