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)

Love Keeps

One of my earlier posts was entitled Love Gives. Today I want to share with you about how love keeps. No, not the kind of keeps that means to hold something back, but the kind of keep that means to take care of, nurture, watch over like a shepherd would keep a flock of sheep.

Over the years I have been very blessed by God in every area of my life. One area in particular is in the work I do in the healing ministry at my church. It all started when we experienced a tragedy in our family and I felt helpless to do anything about it. Afterwards, I asked the Lord to teach me about healing. Almost twelve years later, I am now in charge of the healing ministry at my church, and I teach others about healing.

Along the way I saw many miracles, many healings, many answered prayers. There were also many warnings to not get into pride about it. With every blessing and with every promotion that came, I became more and more concerned about not getting into pride. I had a tape series by Joyce Meyer called No Flesh Shall Glory that I pulled out every time something really good happened. I never fully enjoyed any of the things that happened, because somewhere in the back of my mind was that subtle fear that I might get into pride.

One day the Lord spoke to me about it. And He said to me, “If you will focus on studying the Love of God it will keep you from getting into pride.” It will keep me. I realized then how much fear I had gotten into over pride and how much I was focusing on it. The Lord was telling me to not focus on the pride, but to focus on the very thing that drives out fear and would keep me out of pride.

[Love]… is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride)… (1 Corinthians 13:5, Amplified)

…God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5, Amplified)

…abide in My love… (John 15:9, Amplified)

Keep yourselves in the love of God… (Jude 21, KJV)

Now unto him that is able keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever Amen. (Jude 24-25, KJV)

Waiting

The Bible is full of some very deep concepts. Sometimes so deep that we miss them for years. We read them and think “I know that’s saying something important, but I’m not sure what”. So we kind of just read over them and wait for a time when the Holy Spirit begins to explain them to us as we study the Word, as we listen to a minister preach on that Word.

I think we do the same thing sometimes with the simple things in the Bible. They don’t seem very deep or very important so we kind of just read over them waiting for the good stuff. Let me tell you, it’s all good stuff. Even the genealogies tell us some very important things if we take the time to study them and let the Holy Spirit show us things.

There is a little statement in the Bible that for years has intrigued me and thrilled my heart. It’s a simple little statement that we could just read past without much thought, but oh how rich it is.

And the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Moses returned to the camp, but his minister Joshua son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the [temporary prayer] tent. (Exodus 33:11, Amplified)

The first thing most people notice about that scripture is that God talked to Moses as a man speaks to his friend. I love that. It’s so beautiful. So marvelous. But every time I read that scripture my heart is most thrilled at the words written about Joshua. This young man that wanted to stay near to God’s Presence. He remained in the tent of prayer.

Many people today, spend much time in their “prayer tent” when they have a need. But every time I read this, I sense in my heart that this young man did not stay their out of need but out of a desire for God and His Presence. He remained in the place where God’s Presence dwelt among them.

He reminds me of David in the hills watching his sheep. His heart turned toward the Lord in psalms. Throughout his life David waited in God’s Presence and the Lord exalted him and he did mighty exploits. Here we see another young man waiting and he too was exalted by the Lord and did mighty exploits. Neither of them sought God because they wanted to do mighty things and make their names known. Both sought God because they desired to know Him and to be known by Him.

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. (Psalms 62:1, Amplified)

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. (Psalms 25:5, KJV)

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psalms 27:14, KJV)

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. (Proverbs 8:34-35, KJV)

Blessed

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is¬†every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ… (Galatians 3:13-14, KJV)

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22; KJV)

The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12, KJV & Amplified):

Blessed are the poor in spirit (the humble): for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they  shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

The beatitudes as taught by our Savior. I noticed something about them yesterday. They seem to me to be the attitude of a person that walks in the love of God. Many of these states are not possible with a heart full of fear. If you are fearful, you will not be merciful. If you are fearful, you will not be able to walk in peace and help others walk in peace. If you are fearful you will not be humble and patient. If your are fearful you will be pressured to thirst after things other than God and His ways of righteousness. If you are fearful, you will not rejoice and be glad when persecuted.

Think about the times you have been full of fear. Did you respond the right way? Were you patient and kind? Or did the pressure and torment that accompanies fear push you to respond out of love?

You see love and love alone can drive fear out of a  heart (1 John 4:18). And a heart that is free from fear, a pure heart full of the love of God, is free to walk in the way Jesus described in the beatitudes. That person that knows and believes he is loved and loves God and loves others is blessed. That person walks in the blessing that is already ours through Jesus Christ.