I Have Wronged No Man

Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains. (Acts 9:1-2, NLT)

They rushed at …[Stephen] and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they stoned him… (Acts 7:57-59, NLT)

Saul persecuted, arrested and was responsible for the deaths of Christians. Yet later (as Paul) he says, “Please open your hearts to us. We have not done wrong to anyone…” How can someone with his history say that?

Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities… (Psalms 103:2-3, NKJV)

Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin. (Romans 4:8, NLT)

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12, NKJV)

Today, I too can say, I have wronged no man. Not because I have always treated others as I should, but because of the blood of Jesus that brought me forgiveness of all of my sins. Today, I can also say that no man has wronged me. How can I say that? Have I always been treated right by all men? No, but the blood of Jesus was shed for them too.

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32, NKJV)

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (Colossians 3:12-14;MSG)

I choose to forgive as freely and completely as He chose to forgive me. Selah.

A Safe Place

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten… Son …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 3:16, 17; Amplified)

And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and [especially] wicked sinners came and sat (reclined) with Him and His disciples. And the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and those [preeminently] sinful? But when Jesus heard it, He replied, Those who are strong and well (healthy) have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick. Go learn what this means: I desire mercy… and not sacrifice… (Matthew 9:10-13, Amplified)

Jesus was and is and always will be a safe place. He is the express image of the Father Who is love. Love creates a safe place for those who need it. And don’t we all need it?

…You have loved back my life from the pit of corruption and nothingness, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back. (Isaiah 38:17, Amplified)

Above all things have intense and  unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. (1 Peter 4:8, Amplified)

I am thinking of two people as I write this. The first is a young lady that was sent to me for help. She had been diagnosed with cancer and told she probably only had about 6 months to live. I often said of her that she knew the law, but didn’t know the love. For four years I loved her unconditionally.

She had been told all her life that she didn’t measure up to His word. She didn’t know His love. So I allowed His love in me to create a safe place for her. I was that safe place because of His love.

She got to a place where the doctors said they could do nothing for her. I kept telling her that He loved her and that He healed her because He loved her. I kept telling her that I loved her. When all hope was gone in the natural she finally received His love and she received her healing. She is now cancer-free. She needed someone to be a safe place for her during that four year battle with cancer. Love was that safe place.

The second person I think of is my husband. It’s sad that often times the people we are the hardest on are those we live with. I just had the most wonderful time at a marriage conference with my husband. The speakers shared many beautiful and helpful things that have already helped to improve our marriage. As I listened to the speakers, I also heard a still, small voice speaking to my heart. I heard God, Who is Love, tell me, “Be a safe place for him.”

Right now if you need a safe place. Run to God. Receive His love and protection. Then let His love flow through you and become a safe place for others.

For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church… (Ephesians 5:29, Amplified)

Christmas in July

I attended a prayer group the other day. As our time of prayer was drawing to an end, I heard the Lord say something unexpected. He said, “Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear?”

It caught me by surprise as I was thinking, “Isn’t that a Christmas song? God, it’s July.”

Then I heard a scripture from Song of Solomon.

…[while you are here] …in the sheltered and secret place, 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)

Seeing His children gathered together, with their faces lifted to heaven in prayer, was both lovely and sweet to Him.

Those words, “Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear?” stuck with me the rest of the day. And I found that anytime I was tempted to see myself in an unlovely light I would think “Do you see what I see?” I am lovely in His sight.

I’ve been taking voice lessons recently. My voice teacher is challenging me to sing in ranges I am not very comfortable with yet. I don’t like what I hear. But what does He hear? “Do you hear what I hear? To Me your voice is sweet.”

What do you see and hear when you look at your children? Parents always seem to think their child is the handsomest or prettiest they’ve ever seen and their child’s voice, no matter what it sounds like, is the sweetest sound on earth.

When God sees and hears us, He hears His child singing, praying, speaking to Him. He sees His child, created in His image, learning to walk in His ways. We may see shortcomings. We may see failures. He sees and hears His child and to Him you are lovely and and to Him, no matter what you sound like compared to others, the sound of your voice is sweet.

…let me see your face, let me hear your voice… (Song of Solomon 2:14, Amplified)

Faithful Love

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34, NLT)

Faithful – Firm in adherence to, constant, true to, worthy of belief. (Webster’s, 1828)

Love (hesed) – loving-kindness, steadfast love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, goodness, devotion. (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary)

Faithful love, constant devotion.

For I am the LORD, I change not… (Malachi 3:6, KJV)

In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. (1 John 3:10, Amplified)

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son… (John 3:16, Amplified)

But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us… (Ephesians 2:4, Amplified)

You are dearly prized and greatly loved. Loved with a great and wonderful and intense love. And that’s never going to change. Selah.

Make Me

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places. (2 Samuel 22:34, KJV)

He makes my feet like hinds’ [firm and able]; He sets me secure and confident upon the heights. (2 Samuel 22:34, Amp)

The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet likes hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places… (Habakkuk 3:19, KJV)

“The hind is a female red deer whose home is the mountains. The rear feet of the hind step in precisely the same spot where the front feet have just been. Every motion of the hind is followed through with single-focused consistency, making it the most sure-footed of all mountain animals.” (hannahscupboard.com)

Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling… (Jude 24, Amp)

There is much I could say about the above scriptures regarding how we are made to have hinds’ feet, what it means to have hinds’ feet and what are the things that cause us to stumble and fall. However, today there is just one word that I want to draw your attention to. It is the word make.

Why do so many of us (the creation) work so hard to make ourselves what we ought to be? While all the while, God (The Creator) is saying, “Let me make you and mold you. Let me lead you and guide you.”

Now may the God of peace…strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you what you ought to be… (Hebrews 13:20,21; Amplified)

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. (Psalms 23:1-3, KJV)

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13, KJV)

With all these promises in His word that He will make us, He will lead us, He will work in us, why are we trying so hard to be and to do these things?

Instead of going through life like someone forging our own way through thick vegetation with a machete. Let us submit to the hand that is molding us. Let us yield to the work He is doing in us. Let us simply take the hand that is leading us. Let us let Him make us sure-footed and set us on high places.

Known

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35, KJV)

I’m known for many things. I’m known for being a little lady who likes little things. I’ve been lovingly teased about my tiny purses, tiny shoes, tiny notebooks, my tiny Bible and my new hobby of growing tiny Bonsai trees. Oh, and did I mention I have a tiny dog too.

I’m known for my curly hair and for always having a smile on my face.

I’m known for ministering God’s healing power to the sick through His Word and through prayer. Some even refer to me as the “healing lady”.

But the scripture above is what I want to be known for. He said that all would know that we are His disciples by our love for one another.

I endeavor to be known as one who loves like He loves. The legacy I want to leave is that I loved God and that I loved people. I want to be known by my love.

Father, teach me to love.

I love you.

Why Am I Here?

I met a very interesting man once. He was introduced as a life coach. The minister introducing him said of this man that he had a very unique way of helping you find the answers already placed within you by God, simply by asking the right questions. I spoke to this man about the crossroads I had come to in my life. Unable to decide which way to go. I don’t remember all that we talked about, but I remember him asking me two questions that day that changed my life forever.

The first question: “What are you afraid of?” My answer: “Failure.”

The second question: “What would failure be to you?”

He asked me this question several times. I answered it several times but he just kept asking me, “What would failure be to you?”

And then the answer that was deepest within my heart finally came out. “Failure to me would be to not follow the Holy Ghost.”

In yesterday’s post I asked a question: “Why am I here?” As I write this, it is Sunday morning and in a few hours church congregations will be meeting all over this nation. Just as I mentioned yesterday about walking into that grocery store and asking, “Why am I here?” This morning as we walk into churches let’s ask ourselves, “Why are we here?”

Recently I was presented with the question of why I am at my current church. For the next few days, within my own heart, I answered that question several times, and several times I was presented with that question again and again. I was surprised by some of my initial answers. Many of them had to do with me and what the church could do for me. Then the answer that was deep within my heart finally came out. “I am here to love — to love God and to love people.”

It reminded me of a scripture from First Corinthians 13.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside… And so faith, hope, love abide… but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:11,13; Amplified)

I heard a minister once say in reference to this scripture that a child tries to manipulate people to get what he or she wants. However, a mature man manipulates himself to be what others need.

Why are we going to church today? To love God and to be loved by Him. To love people and to learn how to take His love to others.