My Father Loves Me

I grew up riddled with fears. I was afraid of going to school, so I made myself sick, literally sick, quite often. I was very familiar with stomach aches and hives. I tried to get out of every spelling bee and test that I could. I stuttered often when speaking to individuals and I really stuttered if I ever had to speak to a group of people.

I had a car accident at the age of 17. I didn’t drive again for two years. When I did start driving again, I was terrified of having another accident. My childhood and high school years were mostly full of fears and insecurities.

Then something wonderful happened. I found out that God loves me. This changed everything. I wasn’t afraid anymore. The little things in life, like talking to new people, trying new things and even driving no longer were cause for fear and anxiety. I knew God loved me and I trusted Him to take care of me.

Shortly after this I started attending a new church. The Lord led me to start volunteering with the church’s hospital ministry. What did it require? I had to drive to hospitals all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area talking to strangers about God’s Word on healing and praying for them.

Within a year I was also asked to begin teaching a session in our yearly healing workshops. I had to stand up and speak in front of large groups of people. I now teach large groups of people at least once a week. I minister in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. Oh, and gas stations, grocery stores and malls ūüôā

How did I go from a fearful, timid girl to a confident, bold woman? The love of God!

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! (1 John 4:18, Amp)

God has placed big dreams in my heart. Dreams I wouldn’t have dared to dream during those fearful days. They seem impossible. They seem risky. And I’m looking forward to them. If God is leading me to do them, then I trust Him to equip me and to guide me through to success.

I was talking to a friend today and he used this example of stepping out on the things of God. He said it was like getting off the bank and jumping in the river. There might be rapids. There may be obstacles. But as I yield to Daddy, I know He will guide me safely and successfully through. How do I know this? Because I know My Father loves me and I fully trust Him because of it.

Fear not: believe only… (Luke 8:50, KJV)

Treasure His Word

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38, KJV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1, KJV)

You can’t separate God and His Word; according to John 1:1 they are one in the same. To love God with all your heart, soul and mind, you must love His Word.

God gave us a commandment to love Him and to love others as we do ourselves. I have found that as I walk in this command an amazing thing happens. When I love God His power begins to flow in my life and when I love others His power begins to flow through me to others. What happens when we love His Word?

If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him perceive and comprehend. And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you-and more [besides] will be given to you who hear. (Mark 4:23-24, Amplified)

The more attention you give to His Word, the more you will receive from His Word. In Luke 12:34 Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Is His Word a treasure to you?

Oh how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:97-103, KJV)

I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (Psalm 119:113-114, KJV)

…I love Your commandments more than [resplendent] gold, yes, more than [perfectly] refined gold. Therefore I esteem as right all, yes, all Your precepts… (Psalm 119:127-128, Amplified)

I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. (Psalm 119:162, KJV)

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psalm 119:165, KJV)

Your testimonies have I kept [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]; I love them exceedingly! (Psalm 119:167, KJV)

Can I ask you a question? Did you love reading each scripture, or did you quickly skim over them, because you’ve read them before? Remember with what measure you mete it will be measured back to you. Treasure His Word and It will open It’s treasures to you.

Wealth and Riches

The love of money is the source of the curse. The love of God is the source of the blessing.” ~ Pastor George Pearsons

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in a way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures. (Proverbs 8:17-21, KJV)

Many years ago few spoke of the goodness of God. Then Oral Roberts began to say, “God is a good God.” Many in the church were upset with him for saying this. But today, you can say “God is good” and it will not cause an uproar in the church.

Many years ago few believed in healing. Then many healing evangelists came on the scene and proved otherwise. I spend most days talking to people about healing and ministering to them on healing and find most people are very receptive when they see it in the Word.

Now you hear more and more ministers talking about “God wants you to prosper financially.” Out come the hatchets. Even the government gets involved in the fray. But when we look in the Word, what do we see? God prospering those He loves and those who love Him.

Abraham was a wealthy man. Isaac sowed in famine and reaped a hundred-fold harvest. He too was a wealthy man. Jacob, his son, was a wealthy man. Remember God is referred to as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Abraham once said to a king, “…I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich” (Genesis 14:23, KJV). He wanted to make sure that people knew He was rich because of God and no man.

Joseph, who started out as a Hebrew slave, became a wealthy man in Egypt because of God’s favor and wisdom. David was a wealthy king. He didn’t start out that way, but with God he sure ended up that way! David’s son Solomon was a very wealthy man.

Just like the goodness of God, just like the healing power of God, the message that God wants to prosper you has been a volitile one for many. But it is time for people to read their Bibles find out for themselves what God’s will is and stop letting the enemy tell us that it is bad to prosper.

God didn’t say money is the root of all evil. He said the love of money is the root of all evil. Are there some in the church who love money? I’m sure there are, but for those who don’t know it, there are more and more members of the Body of Christ that are completely devoted in their love of God and they are prospering. And because they love God and not money they are freely giving what they have freely received. They are financing the spread of the Gospel. They are building orphanages and hospitals. They are feeding the poor. They are using money to bless people, not using people to get money.

Why do I say all this? Because financially times are hard and getting harder in the world. Greed and the love of money has reached an all time high and many are getting hurt because of it. But God wants to bless and prosper His people in the midst of it all. Why, because He loves us. He also loves the people that have not turned to Him yet, but through us He wants to demonstrate His goodness, His mercy and His love so that others will see that there is a God and He is good.

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. (Psalm 112:1-3; KJV)

A Friend of God

And the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. (Exodus 33:11, Amplified)

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (James 2:23, KJV)

You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do. (John 15:14, Amplified)

What is a friend? According to the American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster (1828) a friend is “One who is attached to another by affection; one who entertains for another sentiments of esteem, respect and affection, which lead him to desire his company, and to seek to promote his happiness and prosperity…”

Receiving Jesus makes each of us ¬†a child of God, but there is something more to becoming a friend of God. Jesus told his disciples “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

Two men that were called “a friend of God” are Abraham and Moses. What did these men do? They believed God. They trusted God. And they did exactly what God asked.

Abraham left his land, left his people and traveled to an unknown land simply because God asked him to. Moses left a peaceful life, headed back to Egypt and led the nation of Israel out of Egypt.

Both of these men yielded their lives to God. They trusted Him and did whatever He asked of them whether they understood it or not.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13, KJV)

These two men did just that. They laid down their own lives, their own comfort, their own desires and simply did what God asked. Abraham was so committed to God that when God asked him to sacrifice his own son Isaac, Abraham was fully determined to do so.

God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, but then God turned around and did that very thing for His friend Abraham and for his descendants. (Both his natural and spiritual descendants, see Romans 4).

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13, KJV)

This was not just about these men laying down their lives for their Friend. Their Friend turned around and laid down His life for His friends.

This is my beloved, and this is my friend… (Song of Solomon 5:16, KJV)

Look to Him

If you watch the news today, there will be all kinds of bad news. It’s sad that I can say that with all certainty not even knowing what’s in the news today. There will be reports of violent crimes. There will be reports of investors who have run off after losing other people’s money or stealing other people’s money. There will be news of financial institutions that are failing, businesses that are failing. There will be news of unemployment, talk of recession. There will be news of spreading plagues and the latest food you should avoid. If you are looking to the news for good news, it really might be awhile before you hear anything good and even then it will be far outweighed by the bad.

I read this scripture yesterday in my daily reading and loved it’s simplicity.

…He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. (Psalm 18:30, NLT)

There are so many things trying to grab our attention these days. “Here is your answer in these troubled times” they say. Or many aren’t even giving you a solution, they’re just shouting from the rooftops, “These are troubled times.” My advice to you, is look away from all that and look to Him.

Looking away [from all that will distract] unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2, KJV & Amplified)

I will lift up my eyes to the hills- from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2, NKJV)

God wants to help us. He wants to be our Helper, our Deliverer, our Refuge. He wants to be our Strong Tower in these troubled times. He wants to be our Secret Place, “Whose power no foe can withstand” (Psalm 91, Amplified). He wants to keep you so that even if a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, it will not come near you (Psalm 91:7, Amplified)

We get to decide who or what we put our trust in. We get to decide what to look unto and focus our attention on. Today He is calling you to look unto Him. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.

The Spirit of Love

I had a few discussions over the last week concerning tithing and 401K plans. I just wanted to make sure that I was tithing correctly. One of the people I discussed it with, a pastor, mentioned not getting into fear about it. I stopped and thought about that for a moment. I searched my heart and found that there was no fear in my heart about making a mistake in tithing. However, I did find that because of my love for God I wanted to make sure I was doing things right by Him.

It reminded me of this scripture.

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (2 Corinthians 3:6; KJV)

I thought about the spirit behind God’s instruction on tithing. It is God’s Spirit that is breathed into His Words to us and He is love. When we become legalistic¬†about doing things and get into fear about doing the things of God we miss the Spirit¬†of God behind the instruction. And He is the life in the Words. God loves us and His commands to us are for our good because He loves us. His commands lead to life.

This scripture was part of my daily reading this morning and I believe it gives us an insight into His words and His love.

“Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom; develop good judgement. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them. Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.” (Proverbs 4:4-6, NLT)

Follow my commands and you will live. The spirit behind that instruction is one of love. It is not saying, “Follow my instructions or else I’ll take you out.” God is saying, “Follow My instructions because they lead to life. I love you and I want you to live an abundant life.”

Here is a good example of the letter of the law killing.

And He entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. and he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straight way took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. (Mark 3:1-6, KJV)

Just a few verses before this account, Jesus had said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27, KJV). The Pharisees had become so legalistic about the command to rest on the sabbath, that they lost sight of the spirit behind it. “I love My creation man and I have created a day of rest for him.”

The Pharisees were upset that someone was healed on the day of rest because they considered that work and work was prohibited on the sabbath. They were so upset that it drove them to plot to kill the One Whom they believed was breaking all the rules. I guess they forgot about “Thou shalt not kill”. But Jesus being led by the Spirit of God, demonstrated the heart of God.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17, KJV)

For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world… (John 3:17, Amplified)

God is not trying to find a reason to judge, reject or condemn you. He has given us commands because He loves us and wants us to live abundant lives. Read and meditate about how much He loves you. Follow His commands, not because you are afraid not too, but because you realize He loves you.  Obey Him because you love Him.

If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. (John 14:15, KJV)

Hear the Spirit behind the command. It is the Spirit of Love.

The Secret Place

He Who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely and in Him I [confidently] trust! (Psalms 91:1-2, Amplified)

…Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. [So I went with him, and when we were climbing the rocky steps up the hillside, my beloved shepherd said to me] O my dove, [while you are here] in the seclusion of the clefts in the solid rock, in the sheltered and secret place of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. (Song of Solomon 2:13-14, Amplified)

If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions] you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. (John 15:10, Amplified)

His commandments to the church are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength and all your soul and to love your neighbor as do yourself. He has placed His love in our hearts and now we get to choose. Do we let our emotions or our flesh dictate our every move, our every word? Or do we live out of our spirit man that is born-again in the image of God Who is love?

We can love like He loves. He made that possible. And as we live our lives loving God and loving others we abide in His love. We abide in Him and He is that secret place. He is my Refuge and my Fortress. My life is hid in Him (Colossians 3:3).

Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him… With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation. ¬†(Psalms 91:14, 16; Amplified)