Sent to Love

Carlyle said there was no truer gentleman in Europe than Robert Burns, the ploughman poet. It was because he loved everything — the mouse, and the daisy, and all things, great and small, that God had made. So with this simple passport he could mingle with any society, and enter courts and palaces from his little cottage on the banks of the Ayr. ~ Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World

With this simple passport — love.

In the heart of Africa, among the great Lakes, I have come across men and women who remembered the only white man they ever saw before — David Livingstone; and as you cross his footsteps in that continent, men’s faces will light up as they speak of the kind doctor who passed there years ago. They could not understand him; but they felt the love that beat in his heart. ~ Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World

Why am I here? What is my purpose? Those questions can be asked concerning our very existence, or they can be asked as we simply enter a room. As I enter the grocery store and ask myself that question, the answer can be as simple as “I’m here to get milk.” But there’s another answer to those questions that applies no matter where we are in life, in space and in time, “I am here to love.”

One day I was at the gas station when an older woman passed out. I rushed over to her. I placed something under her head as others called 911. I prayed for her. As she came to I gently smiled at her and told her it was going to be alright. I saw her many times after that. She was going through a very difficult time in her life and each time I saw her I knew what my purpose was for being in this woman’s life. I was there to love her.

A friend invited me to join a group of people from another church, from another denomination, in a home for prayer. At first I saw no reason to go, but I felt a nudge from God that I was to attend. So I went and as I sat there in that room full of strangers I thought to myself, “Why am I here?” And the answer was the same that it always is no matter where I go, “I am here to love.”

To be quite honest, I wasn’t there to show them my impressive prayer skills. I wasn’t there to impress them with my latest revelation from God. I wasn’t there to critique their prayer skills. I wasn’t there to see what they had to offer me. I was there to love. And that was reason enough for me.

Wherever you go today, whoever you meet today, don’t forget to take your passport. Don’t forget to love while you are there.

Love is the passport that helps you enter into any society and causes His light  in you to shine wherever you go.

Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men… (Matthew 5:14,16; KJV)

HIV Healing

I know the title of this blog post may seem a little odd, but as I have monitored the hits on my blog for almost two years now, this is the search term that shows up almost daily. People looking for answers, looking for healing from a deadly disease. I’d like to address those people in need of healing, no matter what the disease, in today’s post and in future posts to come.

Let’s take a look at the Gospel (the Good News) found in the book of John chapter five beginning in verse two.

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever diseases he had.

And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked…

Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

This is one of the most beautiful accounts in the Bible. Why do I say that? Oh, just let me tell you what all is in this passage.

In verse two we are introduced to a Hebrew word Bethesda. Bethesda is made up of two Hebrew words bet, which means house, and hesda, which means mercy. The place where the sick came to be healed was at the house of mercy. This man was healed at the house of mercy. What is mercy for? It’s for when you didn’t do it all right. You made mistakes. You did some things maybe you shouldn’t have then mercy comes along to make it all right.

The Hebrew word hesda (mercy) comes from the root word hesed. What is hesed? God’s unfailing love. He has mercy on us, because He loves us. He wants to have mercy on you, because He loves you, no matter what you’ve done or haven’t done.

After the man is healed he runs into Jesus again. Jesus tells him at this time to sin no more, so that nothing worse comes on him. This man had sin in his life, but it didn’t stop him from getting healed. What is that? Mercy.

Jesus didn’t address the man’s sin until after he was healed. He then addresses it later. Why? Because He loves the man and he doesn’t want him to have anything worse to come upon Him. Was He saying, “I’ll make you worse if you mess up again”? NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! He was saying, “Sin has natural consequences and I don’t want that for you, because I love you.”

One part of the passage I didn’t share was where he was asked who healed him. The man didn’t know. He didn’t even know Jesus and he was healed. What’s that? That’s mercy. That’s God’s unfailing love at work.

Throughout the Gospel accounts men and women in need of healing came to Him and said, “Son of David have mercy on me.” Every person who uttered those words was healed. Their faith was not in their own faith, in their own abilities, or in their own works, their faith was in His mercy. Do you believe He is merciful?

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever. (Psalm 136:1, Amplified)

It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23, KJV)

…He delights in mercy… (Micah 7:18, Amplified)

He is merciful and He always will be, because He is love (1 Jn 4:8) and He always will be. He delights in mercy. He’s not put out with you because He has to show His mercy to you yet again. He delights in showing mercy.

His mercies are new every morning. The mercy you need today was waiting for you when you woke up this morning. It’s a free gift. Just say, “Lord, have mercy on me and heal me.” Then rest in the fact that He is faithful. He has heard you. He loves you and He delights in showing you mercy. Be healed in Jesus’ Name.

Experience His Love

That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]… (Ephesians 3:18, Amplified)

[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled… unto all the fullness of God… (Ephesians 3:19, Amplified)

Experience. It’s one thing to know a thing with what we call “head knowledge”, it’s quite another to know a thing by experience. I can know a lot about surfing, but it doesn’t compare to knowing what it’s like to surf by actually riding upon a wave. I knew a lot about falling in love. I think every little girl does. But that knowledge didn’t prepare me for how wonderful the experience would be when I fell in love with my husband.

I heard someone reading Ephesians 3:18-19 yesterday and when they read the words “experience of that love”, so many thoughts flooded my heart. I thought of the book of Acts. A narration of the acts of the apostles done in His Name and through His power. They were not simply the acts of the apostles, but acts of love. God demonstrating His love through the words and hands of men.

I thought of the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit. Once again, not simply manifestations of His Spirit, but manifestations of His love towards men.

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10:38, KJV)

I thought of Jesus, going about doing good, healing all. When people came in contact with Jesus, they came in contact with God’s love and they experienced His love. They were healed. They were fed. They were delivered. They were forgiven. They were made whole. Each one had an experience with His love.

Jesus said to the man delivered of demons, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee” (Mark 5:19, KJV). This man not only knew God’s love, He experienced God’s love.

I teach classes on healing and classes on love and I am more determined than ever that people who take these classes will not just gain head knowledge of God’s love for them, but in each class experience that love. And not only in a class setting, I pray that when others come in contact with me at the mall, at the gas station, in the grocery stores, that more and more people experience His love through me.

The Bible speaks of ambassadors for Christ. We are ambassadors of the One Who is love. Become one through whom this world can experience His love.

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.

Speaking of Love

“I love you.”

Three words a parent says to their newborn as they hold them in their arms for the first time. Three words we hear from that special someone and realize this is for real, this is the one. Three words we heard from our Heavenly Father when we heard of the sacrifice of His Son on our behalf.

I am very thankful that after that first time my parents said those three words to me, they never stopped saying them. Forty years later they are still telling me of their love. I am thankful that my husband has continued to say them to me for the last eighteen years. And he has heard them and will continue to hear them from me.

There was a day when I heard for the first time about God’s love for me. As I read what His Son had done for me, along with the written words, I heard that still small voice say those three little words. “I love you.” His love changed everything in my life. His love changed me. And I am very thankful that every day since, I hear those three little words from My King.

As I read His word, I hear Him say, “I love you.” As I hold the communion elements, the bread and the cup, I hear Him say, “I love you.” As I see my prayers answered, I hear Him say, “I love you.” When I see His work in my life, through protection and provision, I hear Him say, “I love you.”

When fear or anxiety over a situation tries to rise up in my heart, I hear Him say, “I love you.” And all fear melts away.

When the enemy says I will never have my heart’s desire, or that I won’t be healed this time, I hear Him say, “I love you.” And all shadows of doubt fade in the Light of His Love. He is for me. So what or whom shall I fear?

As a parent we will forever be saying, “I love you”. As a wife or husband, we will forever be saying, “I love you.” For eternity He will hear me say, “I love You.”

And for eternity we will hear Him say, “I love you.”

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love… (Song of Solomon 2:4, Amplified)

…love one another [just] as I have loved you. (John 15:12, Amplified)

I love You fervently and devotedly, O Lord… (Psalm 18:1, Amplified)

Rescued

I like reading different translations of the Bible. While they may all be saying the same thing, one word in a particular translation can cause a well-known scripture to come alive in my heart. One word can ignite a train of thoughts that always lead to how much He loves me.

This morning I couldn’t sleep. I got up and started reading in my New Living Translation Bible. This one word captured my heart. This one word sparked my imagination. This one word reminded me of how much He loves me. That one word, is the word rescued.

He [the Lord] reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. (Psalm 18:16, NLT)

…you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins. (Isaiah 38:17, NLT)

…And he became their Savior. In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them… (Isaiah 63:8-9, NLT)

…he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. (Colossians 1:13, NLT)

But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued. (Daniel 12:1, NLT)

He redeemed me. He saved me. He personally rescued me.

I think about firefighters running into burning buildings to rescue people from the flames. I remember watching the scenes from New York on September 11th. The firefighters running into what looked like a living hell, knowing it may cost them their lives. And it did.

Our Savior, Jesus, went willingly into the hands of Roman soldiers to be tortured so that we might be healed (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24). Our King went willingly upon that cross to shed His blood for our sins. He went running into hell itself to rescue you and me. Oh, how He loves you. Oh, how He loves me.

This morning I think of what my life was before He rescued me. I think about what my life may have been had I not received Him as Savior. I think of the eternal hell He rescued me from.

The last scripture listed above, Daniel 12:1, speaks of a day that is coming. A day when men will need rescuing and only God can rescue them. Let us freely give, what we have freely received, the Good News of His Salvation. Let us introduce others to the One Who rescued us… the Only One that can rescue them.

Aware of His Love

…I am always aware of your unfailing love… (Psalm 26:3, NLT)

…I never lose sight of your love… (Psalm 26:3, Message)

When something really good happens I often say, “My Father loves me.” I recognize His working in my life and around me. When I see a beautiful sight, like a beautiful sunset, I say to Him, “You did that just for me.” I try not to take things for granted. And in everything I see His love.

When something really bad happens, what do I say? “My Father loves me.” Why? Do I think He allowed it or did it in some way. Absolutely not! No, I say, “My Father loves me. And it’s going to be okay.” In hard times I stay aware of His love and know that He will see to it that I am taken care of in the midst of it. And He will see to it that I come through victoriously.

When I make a mistake, I am aware of His love. In Lamentations 3 we are told that His mercies are new every morning. The Hebrew word translated mercies is the word checed. The same word is translated as ‘unfailing love’ in Psalm 26:3. He is merciful, because He is love. He is merciful because of His unfailing love.

So at those times that I want to be upset with myself, or could even feel like drawing back from Him, I run to Him. Instead of being aware of myself and my faults, I turn my attention to His love and thank Him that His mercies are new every morning. He knew I was going to mess up that day and even before I got out of bed, His mercies were already there waiting on me. Because He loves me.

When someone hurts me, rejects me, wrongs me in some way, what do I do? Once again, I turn my attention away from the pain and potential offense and I say, “My Father loves me. Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” It’s because of His love that He forgave us. It’s because of His love that we forgive others.

Begin to practice being aware of His love all day. No matter what the situation turn your attention to His love and watch the fear, offense, and confusion melt away. See how you are engulfed in love, sweet peace, joy and wisdom. He loves you every moment of every day, so begin to say, “My Father loves me.”