Invited? By God?
My head knows the facts. My heart knows this is truth. My humanity remains in wonder that the God of this universe would engage so personally with me.
Christmas! What a profound opportunity to
highlight the love of God and the sheer grit of Jesus.
God gave us Jesus out of his vast supply of love.
And he still gives forever.
Jesus said 'yes' to his father's plan out of his immense love for us. He showed us what true humility and strength look like.
And he still says 'yes' forever.
May our hearts swell and beat fast for this God. May we be drawn deeper into his extravagant love... forever.
May we give the gift that is forever.
Love is one of the greatest quests of humanity. That's why we never run out of songs to write. But, have we made love something other than what it is? Have we made love something that serves us rather than something that serves? Have we forgotten what love is or, that love is God?
Everything that God does is out of an extreme love for us. Forgiveness, grace, mercy and yes, even rules. His love is relentless and bold, kind and personal, holy and right, unswerving and pure. His love is full; full of life, joy, creativity, energy and adventure.
Let me come at this from a different angle. One of the greatest struggles in my life has been fear. It has not been intentional and certainly not my quest, but nevertheless it has been there ...a nagging voice always looking to have its way! Fear opposes love. It is vocal, demanding, analytical and protective. Fear never allows love to totally be all it is meant to be for love is too free and does not make sense. It will never give everything to another because it must hold something back for a rainy day. If that is my axis or plume-line of action, then I will certainly grow more like it over time. My dreams, talents and relationships will be compromised and I will not be all that I am made to be. Over time, in essence, I will die.
Jesus said that perfect love casts out fear. Love is free and does not operate on calculations or keep tabs. Love makes fear mad. Perfect love is not a thing. It is pure and free flowing, unconditional and forgiving. Love does not need to be repaid or acclaimed. It does not need honour for it is honour itself. Love does not need. Perfect love is the substance of life and is completely Jesus.
God is love and His desires for us are out of His perfect love.
Will you let Love be?
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
1 John 4:16-18 NIV
The story of Naomi and Ruth is an amazing one! Every time I read it, I am blown away by how big God is, how involved He is in details, and mostly, how loving and kind He is toward those who are after His heart. Here's the intro to a Bible study that I wrote that expresses my heart ... sorry guys, this study is not directed at you :)
What does it mean to be a godly woman?
We are women and we are unique. We are not like men, and they are not like us. I know this sounds kind of elementary, but we live in a world that seems to be getting it a little mixed up. To be ‘godly’ seems to have little to do with our past. If it does, I for one failed the test several years ago; in fact I probably failed it the moment I began my journey as a Christian! Godliness has nothing to do with successes and failures, but everything to do with my present posture & state of mind before God. I guess another way of putting it is; a godly past does not justify or acquit an ungodly present.
As I was pondering the question of being a godly woman, I was drawn to the book of Ruth. As I read and reread the book, I was impressed with the many things that we could learn from the lives involved. I was stunned by the significance of Ruth’s choices, especially as I reflected on the genealogy listed in chapter 4 (Ruth 4:13-22). It was then that I saw the women specifically that were used to fulfill the coming of Jesus; unlikely candidates for a King’s lineage! In Matthew 1:1-16; there’s another genealogy account listed for us that takes the one from Ruth all the way to Jesus’ birth. Christ’s lineage includes woman like Tamar (she slept with her father-in-law), Rahab (a harlot & Canaanite), Ruth (a Moabite), and Mary (unwed & young). God takes great delight in using unlikely people for His glory.
The very nature of ‘being’ a Christian is to be constantly growing and learning, ever changing as Christ increases in us and we recognize our intense need of Him. That is my life-long endeavour; to always be teachable, pursuing the heart of God and bringing Him glory with my life. The more I mature, the more I realize that I am like most of those that God used in scripture; unlikely candidates to be used effectively for a King. But, this is mere human reasoning as God takes great delight in taking foolish things, weak vessels, and broken lives to exhibit His salvation.
"Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.""
(1 Corinthians 1:26-31 MSG)
A friend put out a public prayer request asking for a non-believer's healing. It was given with her consent and with the assurance that God is a healer, has been doing some great things in people's lives lately, and that we will ask for a miracle to happen ... that she has a full recovery.
I found myself praying for the individual and then, I thought, "God, Your name is being put out on the line today." And just as quick as the thought was out, was this realization: God is His Name!
We serve a great God; One who actually personifies His name.
Healer Lover Provider Redeemer Faithful Friend Powerful Merciful Just Compassionate Forgiving
Let them know that You, whose name is the Lord —
that You alone are the Most High over all the earth.
Psalm 83:18 NIV
God stands by His Name.
How often have I prayed, Search me, God and know my heart; try me and know everything I worry about. See if there are any wicked ways inside me and lead me in Your ways? (Psalm 139:23-24)
Oh, I've prayed this more times than I can count. Possibly because this is one of my highest pursuits; to be more like Christ. (my highest is to give Him all-out worship)
Anyway, as I was reading today I came across another verse a couple of chapters past the one above. Here it is...
"Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil.
Let my head not refuse it."
Ha! Don't you just love God's Word!? I have not yet heard God's tangible voice, but I have heard His voice. Sometimes it has sounded like it did today; words that bypassed the use of volume. Other times it has been through the voice of a friend, or mentor. Often it has even sounded like a child...
How well have I been listening?
If you are praying, 'search me, try me, know me, lead me' then be aware of those who God may be trying to answer you through. Be humble. Listen well. Live well.
Be humble. Listen well. Live well.
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5