He Did It For Me

As I sat this morning with the elements of communion one phrase kept coming to my heart, “You did it for me.” As I handled the bread, the symbol of His body, I thought about the stripes, the wounds on His back. His body was broken so my body could be whole. He did it for me.

As I looked into the cup that represents His shed blood, I thought about the  blood running from the wounds on His head from the crown of thorns. I thought about the blood pouring from the wounds on His back. I thought of the blood running from the wounds in His hands and His feet where He was pierced by the nails that held Him to the cross in my place. He did it for me.

He was made sick that I might be healed. He was made poor so that I might be rich. He was made sin that I might be made the righteousness of God in Christ. He died so that I might live. He was broken so that I might be made whole. The chastisement of my peace was upon Him so that I could have nothing missing and nothing broken in my life. He was separated from God and went to hell, so that I could be reconciled to God and go to heaven. He did it for me.

And He did it for you.

…the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as oft as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26, KJV)

For God so loved me, that He gave His only begotten Son… He did it for me. And He did it for you. Selah, take the time today to think about that.

My Hiding Place

I’ve been listening to and singing a song all day today. The song is You Are My Hiding Place. Fortunately, I have many different versions by several artists to listen to 🙂

I’ve been thinking about two lines from that song, You are my hiding place and I will trust in You. Of course I was thinking about this from the point of view that God is love. You are my hiding place. Love is my hiding place. I’m hidden under Your wings in a place of pure love. When I run to You, to Love I am hidden in a secret place.

Psalms 91 speaks of this hiding place, this 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]. (Psalm 91:1, Amplified)

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. (Psalm 91:7, Amplified)

Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High]… (Psalm 91:8, Amplified)

I recommend reading all of Psalm 91. It speaks of His protection, His delivering power, His hiding you. It speaks of being hidden from snares, from deadly pestilence, from terror, from evil plots, slanders, destruction and sudden death.

There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent. (Psalm 91:10, Amplified)

Sounds like it covers all the things that might come against us in this world where bad things happen every day. He, God, Love wants to hide you. How do you find this secret place? How do you live in this hidden place?

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! (Psalm 91:2, Amplified)

Yes, call Him Lord. Yes, call Him your Refuge, your Fortress, your God. Then follow through and trust Him. Trust Him to hide you, to keep you, to protect you. Trust Him to deliver you, save you, and to love you.

Trust His instructions, His Word, His guidance. Follow His Word, His leading. Follow Him and He will lead you out of that valley of the shadow of death.

When I traveled to Israel in November 2001 there was a confession I made in the weeks leading up to that trip. (The woman with the issue of blood made a confession, “For she kept saying to herself, If I only touch His garment I shall be restored to health” Matthew 9:21, Amplified. She said it in faith and it came to pass.)

I set my heart, my trust, my faith on Him and I said, “I am going to be exactly where I’m supposed to be November 3rd through November 12th.” I said it with my heart turned towards my King and I put my trust in Him to bring it to pass. I knew I would be where I needed to be, because I was placing myself in His hands.

During that trip, as we walked through the streets of Jerusalem, the police stopped us and instructed us to leave the area. They had found what they believed to be a bomb. For just a moment I felt a flutter of fear try to enter my heart. Then these words came up in my heart. “I am going to be exactly where I am supposed to be November 3rd through November 12th.” In that moment all fear was gone.

God was watching over me and He would see to it that I would be where I needed to be and that meant if there was a bomb on one street, He would see to it that I wouldn’t be on that street.

I enjoyed my entire trip with no fear. A trip that came just two months after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. Our entire group of 300 Christians went to show our support to the Israeli people. We went in love and we went with no fear. We had put our trust in Him.

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings. (Psalm 17:8, KJV)

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. (Psalm 27:5, KJV)

Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. (Psalm 31:20, KJV)

Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. (Psalm 143:9, KJV)

Thou [art] my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. (Psalm 32:7, KJV)

Thou [art] my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (Psalm 119:114, KJV)

Recognize the Root

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not act unbecomingly. It is not rude or unmannerly. It is not touchy, fretful or resentful. It takes no account of a suffered wrong. Love bears up under anything and everything. Love is ever ready to believe the best of every person. Love never fails. (taken from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Amplified)

So when I am impatient and unkind, when I am rude or unmannerly, when I notice a suffered wrong, when I fail, I have to ask myself, “why”. And time and time again I find at the root of it all fear. Why would a friend mistreat a friend? Why would a husband and wife mistreat one another? Why would a parent mistreat a child? Time and time again we find fear at the root of it all.

Not sure if this is still true, but I once heard that a major factor in the breakup of many marriages stems from fighting over finances. The Bible tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil. What does that love of money bring with it? Fear. Fear of loss. Fear of lack. And next thing you know two people who truly love each other are mistreating one another.

The Bible cautions against many things. The Bible gives us instructions on many things. As many try to walk on this narrow road, they often begin to fear slipping from this road. And the next thing you know people are mistreating one another.

There was so much fear over the things that Jesus was doing, that it led the people who most “knew” the Word of God to kill His Son. He was healing on the Sabbath. They believed this was unlawful. They feared a loss of all they believed in. They feared the loss of their nation as they knew it and they determined that it was better for them “that one man should die on behalf of the people than the whole nation should perish” (John 11:50, Amplified). How right they were, yet how wrong they were about why He should die. God’s motivation was love. Their motivation was fear. Out of love God gave a life. Out of  fear they took a life.

Whether we are dealing with people one on one in our daily lives or concerned about the state of our nation remember to stay in faith and in love. They produce life and peace in every situation. When we get into fear, regardless of the motivation, we are treading on very dangerous ground.

We are either about to hurt someone, make some wrong decisions, or speak words in agreement with that which we fear. And as we do, we create the very atmosphere needed for that which we fear to come to pass.

What’s the antidote? Love. Everytime. Know how much He loves you. Yield to His love in you. Perfected love cast out all fear. Casts out all that will contaminate our faith. Casts out the foxes that will try to spoil the vineyards of our love… that love that NEVER fails.

For God So Loved the World

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 did not send 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, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (John 3:17, Amplified)

For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, Who wishes all men to be saved… (1 Timothy 2:3-4, Amplified)

Many years ago I had a very interesting manager at work. He was rude. He was bossy. He came on pretty strong when he thought I was single. He came on pretty strong even when he learned I was married. I set him straight right away with the Word of God on that last issue 🙂

No one at work liked him. He treated everyone badly and no one respected him at all.

One day, I don’t remember for sure what I said to him, but the moment the words left my mouth, I knew it was not the Truth spoken in the Love of God. My heart was instantly grieved. I apologized to him. His response was, “You are only apologizing to make yourself feel better.” My response to him was, “No, I am apologizing because I mistreated someone that God loves.”

Daily we are faced with unlovely people. And we must keep in mind that He loves each and everyone of them. He may not love or like what they are doing, but He loves the person. Hate sin, but love people. God hates sin, because of what it does to people’s lives.

I remind myself of this as I drive down the road. God loves every person that cuts me off or tailgates me. God loves every person that is unkind or rude to me. God loves every person that frustrates me.

He loves them so much He sent His Son to die for them.

If you don’t already do this, begin to see people through His eyes.

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. (Matthew 9:35-36, KJV)

He was moved with compassion.

Remember we battle not against flesh and blood. Yes, there is a battle to wage here. But remember it is not against people but against principalities and powers. And remember, the people are the very ones we are battling for.

Knit Together

For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:16, Amplified)

…as they are knit together in love… (Colossians 2:2, Amplified)

That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints […the experience of that love]… [That you may really come to know… the love of Christ… that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! (Ephesians 3:18-19, Amplified)

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose…] To Him be glory in the church… (Ephesians 3:20-21, Amplified)

We are the church. We are His body, the Body of Christ. And His desire is that we be knit together and that we be one with Him and one with each other (John 17:21-23).

How is this accomplished? First and foremost, by our union with His Son Jesus Christ, but this Body of Christ is also being knit together in love, by Love Himself. Not by our common doctrines or practices. But by yielding to His love in us for one another.

Ephesians 3:20 mentions His power working in us to carryout His purpose. He is knitting us together, but we can yield to that work or resist it. How? By yielding to love towards one another or not.

When we resist loving one another, we are not only resisting that person, but we are resisting God’s work in knitting this body together. Walking in love is not just a sweet thing to do, it is vital to the work and purposes of God.

I’ve heard it said, and it’s true, that submission is not proven in an atmosphere of agreement. Submission is only tested and proven when we disagree. Well, love is not proven when everyone is being lovely. Love is proven as we choose to love when the other person is being unlovely.

This love, agape, is not based on loving when everyone is doing everything right (or right in our opinion). This love loves unconditionally, right or wrong, lovely or unlovely, I am going to love you. That’s agape.

I want to take a quick look at what love is and what it isn’t in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (Amplified). Two things to keep in mind as you read this list 1) you are not examining everyone else’s love walk by these scriptures, you are examining your own and 2) notice there are no exceptions listed, love always loves like this in every situation.

Love endures long and is patient and kind.

Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy.

Love is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride).

It is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.

Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking.

It is not touchy or fretful or resentful.

It takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes.

Is ever ready to believe the best of every person.

Its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances.

And it endures everything [without weakening].

Love never fails.

God’s love has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). We have the capacity to love like this by the grace, the power of the Holy Spirit that abides in us. And we do this by yielding to the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. In the Amplified Bible it says that this fruit of the Spirit is “the work which His presence within accomplishes”. His power at work in us.

Yield to love at all times. Yield to His work by the Spirit in you. Yield yourself to Love Himself and cooperate as He knits this body together in love.

He Is God

As I was worshipping and praying this morning, I kept sensing this overwhelming awe for the One I was worshipping. The One we call Lord and Savior. The One we call Father and Friend. He is not a created being like you and I and all other life. He is the Author and the Giver of life. He is the Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and End. He was and is and always will be. He is God.

Sometimes, it seems that the more I get to know Him, the more I think I really know Him. And while there are aspects of Him that I have come to know so clearly and so deeply, I can never forget, that for all that I do know, there is an eternity of things I have yet to discover about Him.

I am created in His image, but He is not limited to what I can see, feel, hear, taste and touch. We see the stars so vast and so beautiful and even mysterious and to think these came out of His heart and His imagination.

He is the Healer. He can take impossible situations and change them in an instant. At His touch cancer flees from bodies. At His Word kings are lifted up and kings are taken down. He is God.

His is light, life and love. Not simply what we know about life, light and love. He is a supernatural being Whose very essence is life, light and love. In His Presence death is changed to life. Darkness flees at His light. Love like you and I have never known before floods into our very hearts and lives and drives out all fear and hate. He is like no other. He is God.

Sometimes we become so familiar with a person we might take them for granted. Let it not be so with God. Let us never take for granted that He is a most awesome, glorious, magnificent, miraculous, and eternal Being. He is God!

God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all… (1 John 1:5, Amplified)

God is love. (1 John 4:8, Amplified)

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire… (Deuteronomy 4:24, Amplified)

The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness… (Psalm 29:8, KJV)

And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. (Genesis 1:3, Amplified)