Many years ago I had a fear of getting into pride. As I followed the leading of the Holy Spirit, I found that God was doing some amazing things for me and through me. Along the way I received many “promotions” in my sphere of influence and levels of responsibility. With each new promotion I pulled out my Joyce Meyer cassette tapes (I did mention this was many years ago) entitled “No Flesh Shall Glory”. One day as I was pulling out the tapes yet again, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Don’t focus on the pride. Focus on love and you will not fall into pride.” He changed what I was focusing on.

More recently I had another experience that required a change of focus. After years of teaching on love and walking in love, I found it just got easier and easier with every step. Then little by little I noticed it took a little more effort. It took a little more willpower. I assumed that the love “tests” or love “opportunities” were getting harder, so it took more effort than before. Notice anything wrong with these statements?

Willpower? Effort? I was doing it instead of yielding and letting Him do it in me and through me. But how did I get here? It was a slow and subtle process, but my focus had shifted. Little by little I shifted from a focus on Love Himself to focusing on my own behavior. I began trying to manage my own behavior instead of letting Him make me, mold me, strengthen me and help me.

Focus on Love Himself and you will love with His might and His ability. Focus on your own behavior management and you will struggle in your own strength and ability.

Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:3, KJV)

And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18, Amplified)

Keep looking into the mirror of the Word of God and be transfigured into the Image of Love Himself. That is the source of true transformation.

I love you, I love you, I love you

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. So I went with him…. (Song of Solomon 2:13-14, Amplified)

Do I take time to meet my Good Shepherd each day, letting Him tell me of His love…? (Footnote to SOS 2:13, Amplified)

Each morning, you receive an invitation to come away with Him. Throughout the day or in the middle of the night, you’ll hear His call. Why is He calling you? Because He wants to tell you of His love for you.

Don’t be afraid to answer the call. Don’t be afraid of what He might say to you or show you. He didn’t come to judge you, reject you or condemn you. He came to save you. He loves you perfectly and He wants to tell you daily of His love.

I love you. I love you. I love you. These are the words that He is speaking to your heart all day long.

…If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. (1 John 4:18, NLT)

…I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love and more love. (Jeremiah 31:3, Message)

What can you expect when you answer the call? Love.

Remember the Love

…Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me… This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. (1 Corinthians 11:24,25; KJV)

The Body that was broken so that you would be healed. The Blood that was shed so that you would have new life in right standing with God. All because He loves you. For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son. For God so loved you. Selah.

…Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love… O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love. (Psalm 59:16,17; NLT)

What is foremost in your mind every morning? What do you sing about? Human love that can fail? Or the unfailing love that purchased your freedom at the price of His life?

David spoke of God’s unfailing love. It was ever before Him. David’s very name means beloved. Each time he spoke or heard his own name, he was reminded that he was loved.

Let me remind you that you are loved. You are loved with an unfailing love. Not based on you, but based on an unchanging God.

Just before Jesus was led into the wilderness, He heard these words.

…This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17, KJV)

When the enemy came to tempt Jesus, He said repeatedly, “If thou be the Son of God…” He didn’t dare remind Jesus that God had not only called Him His Son, but His beloved Son.

Jesus knew He was loved. Do you?

Remember His love every moment of every day. In every circumstance that you face, you have a heavenly Father Who loves you. Nothing is impossible with the One Who loves you today and forever.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39, KJV)

Tenderly Lead Me

A phrase that I recently read in a scripture has lingered in my heart for the last few days. When I read it, the words instantly touched my heart and I felt loved. Even though I did not hear Him speak these words thousands of years ago, I could hear the tenderness with which He spoke them. I could hear the tenderness with which He is still speaking them.

Fear not, little flock… (Luke 12:32, KJV)

The Lord is my Shepherd. He watches over me. He watches over His flock. We have nothing to fear. There is no fear in love.

In these difficult times, in these perilous times we are not like those without a shepherd. We are not without someone to tenderly lead us and guide us through the fray; leading us to still and peaceful waters.

…you’ve taken me by the hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me. (Psalm 73:24, The Message)

…he leads me beside peaceful streams. (Psalm 23:2, NLT)

Just as sheep are not responsible for finding their own nourishment, for providing their own safety, for finding their own way in this life, neither are we. What sheep are responsible for is by faith following the Shepherd wherever and however He leads.

…he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (John 10:4, KJV)

THE LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalm 23:1-6, KJV)

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are you not much better than they? …Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these… (Matthew 6:26-29, KJV)

…seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:31-32, KJV)

Motivation for Change

It’s been about eight months ago that my life took an unexpected turn. After thirteen years of ministering healing to others, I found myself with symptoms in my body that were hindering me in that ministry. I asked the Lord for wisdom so that I could once again sing in the hospitals. His response to me set me on my current course.

“Even if you never sing another song. Even if you never minister to another person. I still want you healed, because I love you.”

He didn’t want me healed for what I could do for Him. He wanted me healed because He loves me. The symptoms were gone within a week.

However, since then I have not sung another song in a hospital and except for one visit for a friend I have not ministered to a person in the hospital either. And after fourteen years at our church, God asked us to move to a new church.

I found myself in the great unknown. Where am I headed now? What do I do now? What is happening to me? And in this place of unknown, things within my own heart, things I had successfully pushed down and ignored for years, things I didn’t have to face in the busyness of life, began to creep up and refused to be ignored any longer. I would have to change now.

So here we are in this concentrated season of allowing God to search my heart and change me. And it’s not always easy. Yet, I keep before me the plans He has ahead for me and all the people that I will once again minister to. For their sake, if for nothing else, I must change. So I press on. But wait, God has something else to say in the midst of this changing.

“I don’t want you to change for what you can do for Me. I want you to change because I love you.”

He loves me. Yes, He loves those that I have ministered to and will minister to again, but while He’s making me and molding me, He is not as much thinking of them as He is thinking of me. He wants me to be happy. He wants me to be successful and He wants all this for me, because He loves me. A simple truth, an obvious truth, but a truth that each day is setting me free.

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 2, KJV)

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil… (Jeremiah 29:11, Amplified)

For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. (Ephesians 2:10, Amplified)

He has prepared a good life for us because He loves us. He’s preparing us for the good life because He loves us. It’s time to change because He loves us. It’s time to be all that Love created us to be.