God is Good!!!

Been on vacation where there was no internet reception so that is why I’ve been so silent.  When I got back I went to a Women of Faith conference that was wonderful!!  It was totally anointed by God and I learned so much.

Didn’t sleep much Friday night so excited about what I learned at the conference.  From Ken Davis: “God is the author of JOY!!” [me-who am I to stifle God’s JOY? I’ve done it far too long and been far to serious for my own good.] “Perfection is not a requirement.” [me-reason for my seriousness is I thought I had to be perfect.  What a relief! I hope and pray I get it this time.  God has been working with me on this.] “No matter the circumstances God is good ALL the time.” [me- God’s not good just some of the time, or in good circumstances WHATEVER the circumstances are God is GOOD! That means when we don’t understand what He’s doing, when are hearts are breaking, when our spirits feel crushed and dry – God is still GOOD! For me personally that means whether I’m balanced, on a manic high or suicidal God is still GOOD!  The circumstances may have changed but He has NOT CHANGED!!!! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Amen.]

This has gotten me thinking, if God is the author of joy and I’m His creation and His child shouldn’t I be radiating that joy at all times?  I no longer need to worry about being perfect Ken Davis has explained that that is not a requirement, so no need for me to fret anymore.  I can be my imperfect self and joyful that God loves me in my imperfection.

And isn’t even more freeing to know that God is good no matter what the circumstances are?  We are free to joyfully praise Him for His goodness.  Better yet trust Him for what He is doing in our lives and no matter how painful let the author of JOY give us the JOY that only He can give to see us through those circumstances.  That not only gives us JOY but PEACE.  Wouldn’t you like some of that in your daily life?  It’s there for the taking all we need to do is seek Him.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

Are We Living As Christ Would Have Us?

There have been a lot of things that have been done in the name of Christ, some good and some not so good.  There have been majestic Cathedrals built by artisans over ages to honor Him.  There have been celebrities giving all the glory to Jesus Christ for their success.  Yet there have also been horrific things done in His name as well.  The crusades is one of the darkest time in the history of Christendom.  War was waged all because those calling themselves Christians thought that those who were not Christians should die.  This is not what the love of Christ is all about.

I know that the crusades may seem like a rather harsh example of not doing or rather walking the walk that God would have us walk, but in God’s eyes sin is sin.  Whether we are killing people in Christ’s name or killing His image in their sight, it is all the same to God.

Let me explain what I mean by killing His image.  Every time we do something that is contrary to following Christ those watching us we are actually destroying His image, because we are representatives of Him.

I know that for me there have been times when I have not been a good representative of Christ.  Much to my dismay I have given cause for others not to have a desire to come to Christ, which is our commission.

I have learned to be more responsible about how I act and what I say and how I say it.  Sometimes silence is the best and just allow the world to see your walk.

Most importantly we need to love people.  These are not only the people in the church (because unity is important) but the people outside of the church.  Those who don’t know Christ as their Savior need to see His love and the only way they can do that is for them to see that through you and me.

This is how Christ wants us to live, loving Him with all our heart and soul and mind and then to others as you love yourself.  It seems simply enough but to put it into action on a daily basis is impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

God’s Boundless Love

No matter what the enemy might try and tell me God reminds me that I am worthy of His love.  As an infant is worthy of their mother or father’s love, so am I.  Neither of us have done anything to deserve it nor are either of us capable of doing anything to deserve it.  It is simply because we are and that our parents or Parent’s love is overflowing with love at the sight of us.

It is nothing that I can explain or comprehend it is a gift that I must trust and accept and have faith in.

Sometimes I feel so unworthy I have problems understanding God’s Boundless Love for me.  Then I read His Word and I put my trust in Him and I realize I am worthy because Christ’s blood makes me worthy.

Yet as I read His Word I find jewels that show me that He loved me even before I came to Him.  How boundless is that?

How priceless is your unfailing love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.  – Psalm 36:7

This verse in Psalm was written long before God came down as man.  And look there is no partiality in it.  Both high and low among men find refuge.  He is so loving that He takes all types.  No one is too good or too bad for Him.  He loves all equally.  Now that’s boundless love.

He said: “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth – you who keep you covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. ”  – 2 Chronicles 6:14

and said, “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or earth below–you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.”  – 1 Kings 8:23

Both of these counts are part of Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple.  These verses reveal again God’s faithfulness in His love towards Israel but they also add our part,  “continue wholeheartedly in your way.”  Does that mean that God does not love sinners?  Heavens no!  We are all sinners.  What it does mean is that He expects us to do our best not to sin and when we do by serving Him wholeheartedly, we come to Him when we sin and ask forgiveness. Back then it meant a guilt offering, now it means repentance and change and the blood that was shed by animals is the blood that was shed by Christ.  He is now our guilt offering.

And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and all your soul and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?”  – Deuteronomy 9:12-13

Here we see the Lord asking His people to love Him and serve Him with all their heart and all their soul.  God is into relationships.  He is offering all of Himself to us no barriers. All we need do is ask.  Ask Him for wisdom and it is ours.  He wants to give it to us.  For knowledge, He says yes. He even tells us in His Word to ask for such things.

Yet, out of love like any parent He may not tell us everything.  He may be silent when you want to hear from Him.  It’s not that He doesn’t care.  It’s that He does care.  To love someone enough to be quiet when silence is needed is love in deed.

I wonder if it is as difficult for Him as it is for earthly parents to give that tough love?  The love that we all need from time to time, but hate getting.  I wonder if it breaks His heart too?

The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.  It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere.  Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.  – Deuteronomy 13:3b-4

These verses in Deuteronomy show another side of God’s love.  He tests us to see if we will serve Him and Him only.  This may sound strange to you to call this a side of God’s love, but it is only one who cares for you that would care if you are following what he says and commands.

The absentee parent won’t check up on you or anything and won’t give you any guidelines.  The loving parent will give you guidelines for your best interest and will watch you to make sure that you are following those guidelines.  That is a parent who truly loves you.

I had a friend who had parents that didn’t pay attention to her or give her the love that she desired.  She started starting fires in dumpsters and calling the fire department so they would put them out.  It wasn’t until a loving pastor took her under his wing and started giving her very severe guidelines that she felt loved and accepted and stopped her very unsafe behavior.

God wants to spare us of unsafe behavior so He has given us commands to follow for our benefit.  Like any child we will most likely test those boundaries but hopefully after testing come back to God in a humble spirit and ask forgiveness for not obeying Him.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, His love endures forever.  Give thanks to the God of heaven.  His love endures forever.  – Psalm 136:1, 26

Each verse in Psalm 136 states a different quality about God to give thanks for and at the end of each one it says, “His love endures forever.”  How comforting that is.  Not just for a lifetime or 100 years or even 1000 years but forever.  That’s infinity past, the present and infinity future.  I don’t know about you but that gives me a sense of security.

Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God.  You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.  – Luke 11:42

Here Jesus is letting the Pharisees and all within hearing distance know that their works weren’t enough.  They had neglected justice and the love of God.  He made it clear that although they had tithed this in itself was not enough.  They lacked justice and love of God.  Without these two things how could they say they were truly following God.  Love if anything is just.  They were supposed to be leading the people to God yet they were not following God themselves, this is what made Jesus so mad.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  – Romans 8:28

Here Paul writes to the Romans that God works all things for the good of those who love Him.  Now this again shows that we have a part in this love relationship.  He has amazing and boundless love for us and is looking for us to love Him back.  When we do love Him then God works all things for our good.

We may not see or understand the good at the time that it is happening, but good doesn’t mean joyful or happy.  What God is talking about here is, He will work all things out to our benefit.  Even if we may never in this life understand what the benefit is.  He loves us enough to make the tough decisions.  And like some parents have to make tough decisions for the benefit of their children so does God.

The main benefit is that we become more like Christ.  That is God’s goal. He loves us enough not to let us stay the same or stagnate.  He wants to see His children grow.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  – Romans 8:38-39

Now this is the most comforting of all the verses.  There is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing that can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Now if that isn’t boundless love I don’t know what is?   Death can’t.  Life and all it’s trials can’t.  Demons can’t, sorry Satan try as you may you can’t.  Angels can’t.  The past and all those old tapes running through your head, they can’t separate you from the love of God.  The present and all it’s worries or concerns – it can’t.  The future and all of the unknown, it can’t.  No matter how high or low it can’t.  Nothing else in all creation, nothing you can imagine or dream of, can separate you from the love of God.  Now if that doesn’t give you a sense of security in Christ Jesus our Lord, nothing will.

God loves you and me more than anything else that He has ever created.  Why else would He send His One and Only Son to come down to earth, to die on the cross for our sins?  To be raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Father so He could make petition for us.  Telling the Father, “Dad that one’s mine I died for him/her.”  And the Father saying, “Welcome my child into my house of rest.”

We needed reconciliation and God loved us enough to provide that for us in the guilt offering of His own Son.  Who is now our High Priest.  That is boundless love.  He didn’t abandon us because of sin.  He provided us a way back to Him.  That is what God’s love is unconditional, forgiving, boundless love.  Thank You God!

A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

Is It All Bad Or Is It Good In Disguise

When the car breaks down or we lose a job or a relationship ends we look at those things as bad. The problem with that is that we are looking at them through our eyes. In our way of thinking. God tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Let’s chew on that verse for a bit. It is not only telling us that we do not think or behave like God, but that we are no where close to His ways or thoughts. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways…”, that’s quite a comparison. Mankind has no idea how high the heavens are. They appear to expand forever one universe and galaxy after another. This is how different God’s ways and thoughts are from ours, so different that our minds can’t even comprehend the vastness of them.

But He does promise to give us wisdom if we ask, so that we might understand what He chooses to reveal to us.

In God’s economy a broken down car when you don’t have the money to fix it may be an opportunity to grow in trusting God. He may surprise you with unexpected funds at just the right time or the blessing of someone to fix it out of the kindness of their heart.

In God’s economy everything works together for good. It may not come right away or in your timing but that would be your way not God’s way. Even though He may tarry He is never late.

The lost job, as unsettling as that is is an opportunity for a better job or the start of a new career or as it was with my father an opportunity to retire early even if that wasn’t his choice. Though it was not my father’s choice to retire early with health problems or mine to leave the work force and become disabled long before I was 40, God took care of my dad and continues to take care of me. It has been a walk of faith and trusting God. What I thought at first was a crisis has freed me to be a blessing to others in whatever way God shows me.

If it is a relationship that is ending believe me when I say I feel your pain. Twenty Two years ago when I was going through my divorce I thought my life was over and the world was coming to an end. I had gone from my father’s house to living with my husband. What did I know about being single? How would I ever survive? Because of my stubbornness it took me a long time to get to the point of being okay alone and learning how to rely on and trust God for my needs. He met those needs in a myriad of ways, sometimes through people, sometimes I had to truly cling to Him alone. Looking back the pain and suffering that came from the end of that relationship has matured me into the woman of God I am today. Stable in my relationship with my LORD and whole as an individual that has something to offer another individual should God choose.

So you see what seemed horrible, unthinkable, and beyond my abilities to cope turned out to be the very tool God used to draw me closer to Him and to mature me, to grow my faith and trust and reliance on Him and for that I am eternally grateful.

Would I have chosen the divorce? Never! Am I grateful for what God brought out of that situation? Yes, yes a thousand times yes!

I have even seen God use death for good. When my dad died at his celebration of life the gospel was shared and that next Sunday three new people where going to that church. One of them being my dad’s wife my stepmom whom I always called mom. She did not only start going to church but the Holy Spirit lit a fire in her soul. She would invite us kids to join her or more honestly highly encourage lovingly to come with her. It did my heart well after praying for so long for her.

I honestly don’t know anything no matter how painful it is that God can’t use it for good.

Precious ones if you are in the midst of a painful time please don’t misunderstand me and think that I take your pain lightly or flippantly. Finding the good in things varies, with my divorce I was a broken woman for a very long time. When my dad and stepmom died they had both been sick for a long time and in a great deal of pain, so I was comforted by the thought that they were no longer in pain and rejoicing with Jesus. Don’t get me wrong I have my days when I miss one or both of them terribly. Its then that I talk to God and talk to them as if they can hear me from heaven. I know God hears me and that gives me comfort and talking to my parents gives me comfort also.

When things start going wrong ask God to be able to see His ways and understand His thoughts. Then ask Him to help you to trust Him to get you through it. You’ll be a much healthier and happier person if you do. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed sprit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) You see if you have a cheerful heart it’s good  medicine, thus it stands to reason that you will be healthier. As one who fights depression I can attest to the fact that “a crushed spirit dries up the bones”. It feels like you’re withering away.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart