To Have and to Hold

I love it when I read the Word of God and one little word comes alive with such depth and meaning it almost takes my breath away. Today, that one little word was the word “holds” found in Psalm 63:8.

I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely. (Psalm 63:8, NLT)

He holds me. The Creator of the Universe holds me securely in His hand.

As I was thinking about this, the phrase “to have and to hold” came up in my heart. It reminded me of some things I had heard concerning ancient Jewish betrothal customs. Here are just a couple.

The cup – “…the young man would pour a glass of wine for the young woman. If the young woman drank the wine, it would indicate her acceptance of the proposal.”

The preparing of a place – “During the betrothal period, the bridegroom would prepare a wedding chamber for the honeymoon. This chamber was typically built in the bridegroom’s father’s house.” (quoted info from http://www.iclnet.org)

This of course brings a few other scriptures to mind.

And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink of it, all of you; For this is My blood of the new covenant… (Matthew 26:27, NKJV)

There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. (John 14:2-3, NLV)

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31-32, KJV)

The price of His blood was paid so that He could have me. And now that I am His, He is holding me. Selah.

Willing

And behold, a leper came up to Him and, prostrating himself, worshiped Him, saying, Lord, if You are willing, You are able to cleanse me by curing me. And He reached out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed by being cured. And instantly his leprosy was cured and cleansed. (Matthew 8:2-3, Amplified)

Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, I have pity and sympathy and am deeply moved for the crowd, because they have been with Me now three days and they have nothing [at all left] to eat; and I am not willing to send them away hungry, lest they faint or become exhausted on the way. (Matthew 15:32, Amplified)

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. (Luke 22:41-43, KJV)

Willing = wishing, longing, desiring (from Rick Renner’s Sparkling Gems from the Greek)

Jesus was willing and able to heal. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

He had compassion and was not willing to send the people away hungry. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

God was not willing that you or I should perish. He was not willing for that cup to pass from Jesus’ hand, because of you and me.

Jesus struggled under the pressure of what lay before Him… torture, crucifixion, death on that cross, separation from God. Not My will but Your’s be done. He was willing to do it for the Father and for the joy that was set before Him, you and me set free and born again. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.

He is a willing God. Willing to love you. Willing to bless you. Willing to heal you. Willing to save you. Not willing that you should perish or come to destruction, but have everlasting life. He is willing.

And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and said unto him, I am willing… (Mark 1:41, KJV & Amplified)

You are so Beautiful to Me

The other day as I was just walking through my house, minding my own business, I suddenly had the thought, “I am someone special because I am special to God.” No person can tell me otherwise. No person’s opinion can make me anything less, for I am special to the King of Kings.

He’s the King of the Universe and He hears and answers my prayers.

He shed His blood for me.

He created the sun, the moon and the stars and He likes to sit with me in the mornings. He likes to hear from me and speak to me throughout the day and into the night. I am special because I am His.

You may have a person, or people in your life, who think you are someone special, but sometimes that can change. But God doesn’t change. You are and always will be special to Him.

As I write this post, I am listening to Phil Driscoll sing to the Lord, “You are so beautiful to me.” As my heart and my lips lift these words in love and in praise to my King, I hear Him say to me, “You are so beautiful to Me.”

Who can ask for anything more, than to be loved by the King Who created all things. You are loved. You are beautiful. You are special to Him.

…his banner over me is love. (Song of Solomon 2:4, NIV)

Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me. (Song of Solomon 2:13, NIV)

…let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. (Song of Solomon 2:14, Amplified)

My beloved is mine, and I am his… (Song of Solomon 2:16, KJV)

Submitting

So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, Amplified)

I hear many speak of attacks waged against them. They speak of spiritual warfare, binding and loosing, resistance and battle. God speaks of submitting to Him.

I smile when I think of this. Why? For many the subject of submission is a difficult subject. Really? Depends on how you think about it. Depends on who is asking. In this case Love is asking.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. (James 4:7, KJV)

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

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the …sacrifice… for our sins. (1 John 4:10, KJV & Amplified)

I believe many hear the words, “Submit to God” and think of a harsh task master with lots of rules. Even when they hear the words, “Submit to love”, I’m sure what comes to mind is what they must do. How they must love others.

Today I want to encourage you to submit to love. Submit to His love for you. Don’t question or doubt His love for you. Don’t question or doubt His goodness, His faithfulness, His grace toward you. Just believe He loves you. Just believe He is good to you. Just believe if you turn your life over to Him, He will do a better job of running it than you have. Trust in His love for you.

This will place you in resistance to the devil. He would have you question God’s goodness and His love. Stand firm in God’s love and the devil will flee.

The Bible says that the enemy goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. I take my stand in God’s love and let the enemy know, “My Father loves me and I know it. You’ll just have to go somewhere else because I’m not one that you can devour.”

Father, I trust You and I submit my life to You and Your love for me.

Keeping It Real

Keeping it real today. Mainly that I live in a real world and that bad things sometimes happen in the real world. Today my blog post was inspired by one of those bad things.

For my birthday this year, my husband bought me a brand new car. Today I took it in to get the windows tinted and found that during it’s time at the shop, somebody dinged my car door. Not a little ding either. Quite noticeable.

So what did I do after the initial disappointment and the wee bit of anger, I forgave. I yielded to love and forgave the person responsible and the people at the shop.

The shop said they would pay for repairs and to repaint the whole door. And I get a free loaner.

Sounds like everything they should do, right? Sounds like what I should expect. So what difference does it make whether I forgave or not?

First, the most obvious reason. I was created by Love Himself and my body, my soul, my mind were never created to carry around unforgiveness. Almost every day I minister to people who are sick in their bodies as a result of unforgiveness. (For more on this try reading Dr. Don Colbert’s book, Deadly Emotions).

I like what one minister said about unforgiveness. He said, “Unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die”. That’s real! Real serious!

Second, faith works by love. Unforgiveness is not love. I don’t need unforgiveness neutralizing my faith. (Galatians 5:6, Mark 11:22-25)

The third reason, God spoke into my heart just a few moments ago. It brought a smile to my face.

Have you ever had anyone ask you to pray prior to their surgery, that God would guide the hands of the doctors? The Lord spoke to my heart, “When you yield to love and forgive, you make way for Me to get involved in your situation.”

I suddenly saw it. God is going to guide the hands and the work that is done on my car, because I made a way for Him to get involved in this situation.

I was a little concerned my car wouldn’t be the same or as good as new after the repairs, but now I fully expect it to look even better than before, because my Heavenly Father is working on my behalf!

Where do we see this in the scriptures? The entire life of Joseph. Sold by his brothers. Falsely accused. Imprisoned. Then second in command of the entire nation of Egypt.

When he meets his brothers again, you see Joseph’s heart… a heart free of unforgiveness. And it says of this man throughout his story, “But the Lord was with Joseph…”

Through all the hardships, through all the bad stuff, the Lord was with Him. Joseph’s faith (trust) in God and his heart turned toward God (in this case in forgiveness towards all who wronged him), made a way for God to continually work on his behalf.

As I write this, I think it is interesting that one of the greatest examples of forgiveness we see in the Bible is Jesus as He hung on the cross. As He hung there dying, He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He was in a bad situation that was about to get worse. He was headed for hell. He believed God would raise Him up. But before He left this earth, He forgave. Selah.

Oh, the Beauty of Love

That first look from his eyes filled with love…

That first touch of her hand…

The first time those three little words are spoken… I love you.

The first time you feel your baby move…

The first time you hold your child…

Oh, the beauty of love.

The firstborn of God laying His life down for you and for me…

The first time you call on His Name…

The first time you hear Him say… I love you.

Each of these moments exist because God exist and He is love.

Oh, the beauty of love.

We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19, NASB)

His Blood Flowed

But one of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. (John 19:34, NLT)

And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many… (Mark 14:24, KJV)

Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood which is shed for you. (Luke 22:20, KJV)

As I sit this morning and look upon the elements of communion I feel a sense of love, of worth, of belonging. This cup, symbolizing His blood shed for me speaks of His love for me. This cup tells me that to God, I was worth the life of His only begotten Son. This cup, this shed blood, tells me that I am His.

…You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price… (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NLT)

I am loved. God established my worth. I belong to Him.

If you need a reminder of any of these things today. Take out the communion elements. With a simple cracker and a glass of grape juice, God can speak volumes into your life today. Take the time. Listen and hear. He will speak of His love for you.