WHO LOVES YOU – Part 1 – The Love of the Father

God is head over heels in love with you (1 John 4: 8-11). God’s love is a spiritual, physical, mental and emotional “high”. Human love is merely a shadow of His love.

If the earth’s axis tilted a degree in any direction, if the stars fell from the sky, if a large solar storm erupted on the sun, if the oceans exceeded their boundaries, if animals no longer had an innate fear of man, if all the molten lava in the earth erupted at once, we would all die.

God’s hand, keeping the earth in perfect balance, keeps us all living and breathing and existing on planet earth. The natural order of the universe proves to us that God loves us.

When we repent of our sin, we realize that God actually chose us and adopted us as His beloved children. With God’s love, we do not need another person in our life in order to feel loved, affirmed and validated.

God constantly draws my attention to the fact that He is touching me with evidences of His love through a variety of means. I call them God’s Little Hugs.

He reveals His love through things like a bird’s outstretched wings, a perfect rose, a lady bug, the shapes of the clouds, the waves of the sea, the seasons of the year, a red cardinal chirping through my open window and in the numbers on the clock.

Escaping a devastating calamity is another occasion when we feel the love of God. When we see His hand protecting us from sudden and sure destruction and danger, our hearts swell with incredible gratitude and love for God.

To realize that God actually intervened for you makes you feel so precious, cared about and loved. At times like these we feel His love surrounding us and keeping us safe.

His love flows through us and out of us to everyone He brings into contact with us. He restores us with His joy and upholds with His generous Spirit (Psalm 51:10-12).

Prayer:
Father God, when our heart is open to Your love, we can feel it pouring over us like a waterfall. We are drenched with Your continual love. Even the cells in our body are full of Your love.

I often feel like I am wrapped in a soft, fluffy blanket of Your love. Your love gives us such a sense of security. Unsurpassed peace and joy flood our soul – our mind, will and emotions. We give You all the glory and praise and depend on Your love and Spirit to fill and guide us through every moment of our life.

Thought for the Day:
All through the day, I have learned to watch for the unexpected ways that God tells me, “I love you!”

Divine Appointments – The Fruit of Obedience

For my 15th birthday, my parents bought me a guitar and some lessons at the local community center. This started a love affair for me, which lasted until this day.

The smooth surface, richly colored wood and shiny strings melt my heart every time is see a guitar. I love the moving melody, which flows from the guitar’s inner chamber, and the fact that I can praise God and play the guitar at the same time.

After Christ saved me and renewed my spirit, I continually played the guitar and worshiped Him. In the wee hours of the morning, when everyone else was asleep, I went down to the basement and sang at the top of my lungs until the floor joists rattled.

When I discovered classical guitar, I felt led to take lessons. With three small children, a pastor husband and a church full of people, I looked beyond reason and common sense and signed up for classes.

My young instructor was very talented and inspiring; yet, what he showed me would take hours of practice; and I knew there were not enough minutes in the day for me to dedicate to learning this skilled art.

That week, I did my guitar class homework, but I prayed about whether or not to continue taking lessons. The Lord told me to go to one more class and to take my young instructor the book, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict”.

Confused, but wanting to walk in the Spirit, I did just that. My instructor politely accepted the book, gave me another lesson and promised to visit us at our church some time.

Many months went by and I forgot this episode in my life, as I immersed myself in the hustle and bustle of life. Then, one epic day, my former classical guitar instructor rocked my world.

He entered our church facility and pulled me aside. He told me a tale, which caused me to cry the whole time he related it:

His girlfriend broke up with him several weeks after my last lesson, and he had to move. In the midst of packing, he decided to end his life.

He removed his gun from his dresser drawer and placed it on the coffee table in the living room. Leaning back on the couch, he contemplated his life and exactly how to terminate it.

As he blankly stared straight ahead, his eye noticed the book I brought him those many months before. He leaned forward and opened it to a random page and started reading.

The page he opened to answered the exact question that had been gnawing at him for half of his life. He read the page twice and then continued to read, opening Josh McDowell’s book to random pages over and over again.

Eventually, he fell on his face before the Lord, repented of his sins and rose to walk in a new life. He came to our church that day to hug my neck and to thank me for listening to the Spirit and buying him that book.

God not only spared this young man’s life, but He set his feet on a new path of leading worship in the blessings and glory of the Lord. That one divine appointment had a ripple effect, which changed many lives in the future, including mine.

God has divine appointments for all of us (Acts 16:9-11, 25-34). He will even use strange and unattainable desires in our heart to direct us to the right place, at the right time, to the right person, whose life He wants to impact for His Kingdom.

Prayer:
Father God, there is nothing too small or too great for You. You use our lives for Your purpose, to grow Your Kingdom and to draw the world to Your unconditional mercy, love and grace. Fill us in all of our being with all of Your fullness, so that we may have the richest measure of Your presence and become Your Body wholly filled with You (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Help us to discern the leading of Your Spirit through each moment of our life, and anoint our body, soul and spirit to make a difference in the lives of those You bring our way. Teach us to humble our self under Your mighty hand and use us for Your honor and glory (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).

Thought for the Day:
“Disappointment = His-appointment. Change one letter, then I see that the thwarting of my purpose is God’s better choice for me.” —Young

The Faith of the Son of God

How can we live by the faith of the Son of God (Galatians 2:20)? First and foremost, we live by the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and His provision of regeneration and His resurrection life in us (2 John 1:3; Titus 3:5; Philippians 3:11).

Faith has nothing to do with our hopes or claiming God’s Word for things we want. It has everything to do with Christ who abides within us. Faith only comes to us by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

If we did not have the faith of Christ within us, we could not have faith in Christ and His redemptive work for us on Calvary’s cross (Galatians 2:16; Matthew 1:21; Hebrews 10:1-14). As Christ is formed in us, our humanity decreases.

We live in Christ, just as Christ also lives in us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27). We also live in God’s righteousness, not by keeping rules and regulations, but by the faith of Christ which gives it all to us (Romans 3:21-22; Philippians 3:7-9).

Christ becomes our whole life (Colossians 3:4). We receive the promises of God by Christ’s faith within us, not by mustering up our faith by human effort (Hebrews 10:5-14; Galatians 3:22-26).

Keeping God’s law through our self-effort is also useless, and Jesus showed us this truth (Romans 10:4). God works the faith of Christ into our life by His Spirit (Ephesians 1:19-20, 2:8-9; Colossians 1:12).

Through Christ in us, we are adopted sons of the living God, heir with Christ and we are given the right to call God our “Abba Father” (Galatians 3:26, 4:4-7). We can come boldly to His throne (Ephesians 3:12).

We receive peace with God through the atonement of Christ on Calvary’s cross (Romans 4:25, 5:1-12, 18). He is the only Mediator between us and God (Ephesians 1:12). The faith of Christ gives us a firm foundation (Acts 3:16).

Salvation gives us the treasure of Christ in our mortal body (Colossians 2:3). Once we recognize that we are truly crucified with Christ, then Christ is fully formed in us and manifests through our mortal body (2 Corinthians 4:7; Galatians 4:19).

Prayer:
Father God, as You form Christ in us, His faith rests in us as well. The more we come to know Him, the more we walk in His faith (John 17:3). As we come to know Christ more, we also come to know Your ways and purpose for our life.

The faith of Christ in us is the evidence of the things we hope for, but which we cannot yet see (Hebrews 11:1). Abiding in Christ is the only way we walk in Your power (John 16:24). Remind us not to “name it and claim it” for our own carnal purposes; but to ask and seek only for Your Kingdom.

Thought for the Day:
We live in the faith of the Son of God, which Jesus both conceives and brings to fruitfulness in us. – Hebrews 12:2