Monthly Archives: October 2012

What is Love?

In 1 Corinthians chapter 13 the Apostle Paul writes:

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”

What is love?

Is love simply a man-made word that means deep affection towards one another? Or is it more?

I believe it’s more.

I believe that love is more than something that can be easily defined.

Love is powerful.

Love gives our life meaning!

It is something we all long for and search for in life.

Love gives us hope, it gives us strength, it carries us through the good and the bad of life.

Love never fails.

Where would we be without love?

I believe, like the Apostle Paul said, we would be nothing.

I had the blessing and privilege to officiate the wedding of two good friends recently and what you just read was the beginning of the ceremony.  I felt led to post this today because today I am overwhelmed by the love of Christ.  I realize that the love of God is the most powerful truth of life.  Everything comes down to love.  If you don’t have love in your life then life is hopeless…  But we do have love!  We all have love because God so loves the world that he sent His only Son.

The Bible says “love never fails” and this is true, but far too often I think we fail to love.  We must learn to love and we learn best by example.

We love Him because He first loved us. –1 John 4:19

The example of the love that Christ has shown towards me is what true love is.  I do not deserve His love, I cannot earn His love and He does not owe me love but He loves me anyway.   From this example I am changed.  From His example I am able to learn what true love is.  God is love.

For this reason I pray:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. –Ephesians 3:17-19

To the Believers

To the believers,

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them [antichrist spirits], because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. –1 John 4:4

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that Jesus said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) not, “It will be finished.”

He also said, “I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) not, “I will overcome the world.”

Paul said, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (2 Cor 5:17) not, “If anyone is in Christ he will become a new creation.”

God is so much more powerful than Satan and his demons but sometimes we don’t act like this.  We walk around afraid of the enemy’s next attack.

It’s time to start believing what God says about you.  You have been redeemed and are completely forgiven and blameless in the eyes of God.  You have been set free from sin and given the gift of eternal life by the grace of God!  Jesus is equally yoked with you and is there to walk with you and give you comfort through every aspect of life.  God loves you more than you could ever understand! (Col 1:14, John 3:16, Rom 6:18, Matt 11:29, Eph 3:19)

Greater is He who is in you!  Believe it and walk in it.

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. -1 John 5:13

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

You are so certain in your heart!

“You are so certain in your heart—whether you can actually live that out sometimes or not—in your heart there is a strong yes!”

This prophetic word was spoken to me a while back and it has really stuck with me because I have come to realize that my heart is completely the Lord’s.  My heart knows God!  My heart has a personal relationship with Jesus.  It is my intellect I have to continually reason with.  My own understanding stirs doubts while trying to sort out the ways of an infinite Creator, but in my heart there is a strong yes!

It is an amazing place we go to when we trust the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).  David was there when he wrote Psalm 131:

Lord, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever. 

So now I pass this word on to you:

You are so certain in your heart! Though times have been tough, keep trusting in the Lord through this season.  He is bringing you into a new level of humility that will also bring you into a deeper revelation of His love, grace and peace! Keep leaning on the Lord and He will take you there.

“If it’s not God worship God!”

“If it’s God worship God, if it’s not God worship God!” – a six year old’s response to critics claiming supernatural signs to be demonic.

This quote got me thinking and I thought it was right on about the simplicity in Christ. Look to Jesus in all situations (whether or not we understand them) and have more faith in God’s ability to keep you than the enemy’s ability to deceive.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. -Ephesians 3:20-21

The Living Hope

So I’ve been having a couple of grumpy, irritable days. Some of you may have caught a blog I had posted for a short time last night. I later realized it was really just a lot of complaining and I don’t want to spread negativity. I was mostly complaining about negativity on the web and in the world. I then realized I had fallen right into the trap of the enemy—spreading “the complaining virus”. That is the complete opposite purpose behind this blog! So needless to say—I deleted the post.

The fact is though, even as Christians we have our fair share of grumpy days. With me sometimes these moods seem to come out of nowhere as if to have no trigger at all, but I think it’s deeper than that. I think part of it is physical—I need to make sure I am eating, sleeping and exercising properly—and I think part of it is spiritual. In our walk with God I believe a lot of times God is doing “under the hood work” or what is sometimes called pruning. There can be things going on with our spirit that we are not intellectually aware of. Part of this can be from the muck and darkness of the world that invades my spiritual space as I’m out. But a very important lesson I’ve realized is that these “moods” will happen more often when I am not consistently finding alone time in the secret place with God. I have always been somewhat of an introversive person and my latest living situation gives me about zero chance of finding this alone time while at home.

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. –Matthew 4:4

We’ve all heard the lesson before, but if we are not spending time alone with God and getting our dose of God’s word we will not be fully equipped—putting on the full armor of God (Eph 6:11)—to protect ourselves from the darkness in the world.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. –Ephesians 6:12

So today discerning that I had quenched myself of the Spirit I decided to go on a little walk and get some time alone with the Lord. I found a nice little park just a mile away that I had never been to before (that’s where the picture above is from). While lying next to a tree—just myself, my chihuahua and the Lord—I pulled out my Bible app and started reading 1 Peter.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. -1 Peter 1:3

A living hope!

That’s what I needed to hear! Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by what’s going on around us we forget that Jesus is alive and He desires for us to spend time with Him. Spending time with Him blesses us! It refreshes us like a cold glass of water on a hot day. But… not only does it help us, it blesses Him too. Jesus wants you to hang out with Him. It’s a win-win situation. I walked back from that park with a different perspective and in a much better mood.

So the next time you start feeling in a slump try spending some time with the living hope Himself. I promise you won’t regret it. He loves to bless His children!

Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears theLord. Psalm 128:4

Without Jesus I can do nothing…

“The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do…” –John 5:19

These words of Jesus are the perfect example of the biblical meekness and humility that God is calling us to in our relationship with Him.

Jesus said He can do NOTHING of Himself without the Father!

He then later told the disciples this:

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. –John 15:5

I’m realizing that throughout my life I have done a lot of nothing! I have set out to do many things without God and though some of these things may be viewed as earthly successes none of them brought my life fulfillment. I walked without the Lord for over ten years of my adult life trying to accomplish “things” and pursuing dreams. You know what would happen after I reached a dream? I felt completely lost. It drove me to depression. Dreams of success by the world’s standards did not bring me one ounce of fulfillment.

After dedicating my life to the Lord things started to make more sense. The void I always felt was lifted and life had meaning to it for the first time since being a child. I’ve been realizing something lately though; I still do many things without God. I try to conquer sin without God, I try to minister without God, sometimes I even try to pray without God. I’m throwing in the towel on my self-efforts of “accomplishing God’s will.” We don’t accomplish God’s will; God does His will through us as He so chooses!

I have to pray more and ask the Helper (Holy Spirit) to help me more. I need more help than I thought. I need more God than I thought.

Without God many things are impossible. Without God I am depressed and hopeless. Without God I am a prisoner. Without God life is meaningless.


With God all things are possible! (Matt 19:26)

With God I am filled with hope and joy! (Romans 15:13)

With God I am set free! (2 Cor 3:17)

With God I have purpose! (Jer 29:11)

Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”

I always found this verse interesting because a truly meek person doesn’t want the earth, but that’s how God works. He raises up the humble and through them accomplishes exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ask or think. Let God’s love and presence completely over power you and consume your life. Ask God to ignite a spark in you that will develop into a full fire of passion for more of Him.

God is all I want.

A Prodigal Comes Home

The story is far too common. A child is brought up in faith but in the years of young adulthood a prodigal leaves home and abandons their Christian beliefs. I pray for this generation that God would keep those who are His close, and that He would encourage the mothers and fathers whose children have walked away from the faith to never stop praying. My mom prayed for me for over 15 years before the Lord answered, but He did answer! In His perfect timing He acts and brings those who are His home. I have posted my testimony here:

I hope it can be an encouragement to some of the mothers and fathers out there that are still praying for their prodigals to never lose hope and never stop praying!

The Gift of Tears

Jesus wept. –John 11:35

What are tears? Nobody knows exactly. They can’t be explained scientifically. Animals do not cry with tears, only humans. It is an amazing thing that clearly separates us from animals. I suppose the evolutionists would say, “One day as man evolved he started to cry and didn’t know why.” We still don’t know why we cry, but we do. Jesus cried too. The puritans used to pray for “the gift of tears.” Truly tears are a gift from God.

More than once I have been overwhelmed by His presence to the point of uncontrollable, powerful tears. Tears that to me made no intellectual sense at all. I couldn’t tell you the full reason behind my tears but I know that they were necessary. They were necessary to bring me to a closer communion with God. The tears were my spirit speaking for me.

It has been a while since I have cried in His presence and I honestly long for it. I wish for God to touch me in that way again. When the time is right the Spirit will bring me there, but for now He speaks in different ways. It is all I want—to hear Him. Not just to hear His audible voice, but to hear Him in many different ways. Sometimes to hear God all you have to do is stop trying so hard to listen. My God is not dead. He is very much alive and He speaks. He even speaks through me—which is a concept I really don’t understand or deserve—but I thank Him. Thank you Lord for being so good to us.

I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears.
-Psalm 6:6

Good Morning!

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

I love this verse and I’ve realized something else that is new about me—I love mornings! I have become a “morning person.” This was not always true and I think it has a lot to do with learning the character of God. Truly His compassions for me are new every morning. His compassions for you are new every morning. Every morning is a new beginning and every morning is a gift. Every morning is another day we can live to serve Jesus.

Many things can happen to us throughout the day but no matter what yesterday may have held for you, today is a new day! He loves you today! He wants to bless you with His presence today. His compassions are new for you today. His strength is made perfect in your weaknesses today. God is faithful in His promises today!

So good morning brothers and sisters in Christ. Believe His promises this morning for today is the day the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it!

A Relentless God

I often forget that intellectual and philosophical arguments for the existence of God are petty and within themselves are usually completely without the Holy Spirit. God has to remind me that our faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Cor 2:5) and that He has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise (1 Cor 1:27). Proof of God is not found intellectually in a science lab, it is found intuitively in the heart when the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Rom 8:16). God has touched your heart when you were younger and that is all I need to say. The rest is left rightfully so between you and God. Whether or not you understand things that are infinite and eternal does not change their truth. Whether or not you say you believe in God does not change the fact that He believes in you. Time is interpreted much differently by an eternal God (Psalm 90:4). Forty years are like a day to Him (2 Peter 3:8). He is a relentless lover and will not give up on any of His children (Rom 8:38-39). He will wait as long as it takes for you to come home, and when you do all of heaven will rejoice! (Luke 15:4-7)

If you hear His voice today do not harden your heart! -Hebrews 3:15