Proof of God’s Love – Part 1

I love the discipline of the Lord, because I know it is a sign that He loves me (Hebrews 12:5-6). He points out idols, which I erect in my life; and He helps me to lay them down at His feet.

They are not obvious idols like money, addictions, covetousness or seeking other gods. They are sly, subtle idols, which usually stir up negative emotions in my soul.

For instance, I like everyone to be happy. I am tenacious and dogged, and I will move mountains to ensure that those I love are happy and content.

However, having everyone delighted and satisfied is an idol in my life. This state of sublime joy is impossible to attain through human effort.

I have to be willing for my family members to be unhappy and discontent, and to stop trying to fix things for them. I need to lay my family’s happiness at Jesus’ feet and allow Him to work out His will in their lives.

Another idol, which He recently exposed in me, is that I like having my ideas valued and taken to heart. I come up with good ideas, because of the analytical mind God gave me.

However, some people reject my ideas before they even hear my whole thought (Proverbs 18:13). They acclaim ideas, which other people have; but disdain most of my ideas. God delivered me from these idols and so many more.

The Lord only disciplines His children (Proverbs 3:12). This is a sign of His enduring love for us and that He cares enough to remove things from our life, which have a negative effect on us.

Prayer:
Father God, remind me to walk in Your Spirit and not to care if people receive my efforts to do Your will. They have issues of their own that You are working out in their soul. Their behavior and words are no real reflection on me.

I want to make a difference in people’s lives, but I do not want to walk outside of Your will. I lay down my need to help others and I commit myself to Your will for my life and theirs.

Thought for the Day:
Idols come in all sizes, shapes and packages; God will reveal them to us as we listen to His Spirit each moment of the day.

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Perfected in Love

Perfected in Love

Due to the experiences of my childhood, I grew up as a fearful and insecure person. I came to Christ at age 18, and the slow process of inner healing began. Even as I grew spiritually, my soul was haunted by the past and feared the future. With an analytical mind and organizational skills, I appeared to be a person who had it all together.

The underlying truth was that I subconsciously lived in wary anticipation of the next circumstance totally annihilating me. I guarded against and opposed anyone who threatened my security in any way. With my Italian genes, I am fiercely passionate in all of my emotions. To those who knew me best, I presented a puzzle in direct opposites.

Those who took my tirades personally were devastated, and withdrew emotionally or physically from me. Those who understood me realized that my Italian nature allowed me to laugh with as much abandon and passion as I used anger to protect myself. My most endearing quality is my loyalty and faithfulness to God, my family and God’s family. All traits of an Italian nature.

The apostle John, being a sensitive soul, understood that if we continue to entertain fears after our conversion, it is because God’s love has not yet perfected some area in our life (1 John 4:18). We have not been healed in some areas of our past that are still affecting our current life. (www.theophostic.com) However, as we experience healing in our soul, we sense more and more that God’s love protects us.

It takes a while after surrendering to Christ for His Spirit to heal all the wounds from our past and to give us the perfect comfort and security, which only His love can provide. Do not berate yourself for your shortcomings. Everyone has them, and no one has a right to reject you for them. They just manifest differently in them than in you. Forgive yourself as readily as you forgive those who hurt you.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that taking time to walk in Your Spirit moment by moment throughout the day helps us to walk in complete surrender and serenity. When the pain of the past or the fears of the future raise their ugly heads, we can realize that we are safe in the shadow of our Almighty in this one moment of time. This thought gives us comfort and confidence.

Thought for the Day:
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not depend on your human reasoning. – Proverbs 3:5-6