Fear Not, Believe Only

On a daily basis I see and speak to people who are physically ill. Because of my job I mostly see and speak to people with terminal illnesses. I’ve done this for 15 years. I’ve seen their fear. I’ve seen their faith.

I’d like to share a scripture with you that has not only helped me in my own walk of faith, but has also helped many of these precious people in their walk of faith.

First, the context. Jairus, a synagogue ruler comes to Jesus saying his daughter is at the point of death and will Jesus come heal her. Jesus turns to go with him. As they are walking to Jairus’ home a woman with an issue of blood comes up and in faith touches the hem of Jesus’ garment. She is instantly healed. Jesus stops to find out who touched him and she shares about her healing, thus prolonging his trip to Jairus’ home. In the meantime Jairus’ daughter dies (see Mark 5 and Luke 8).

It didn’t work out the way Jairus had hoped. He expected Jesus to arrive before she died. He expected Jesus to heal her, but did he ever expect Jesus to raise her from the dead?

While He was still speaking, there came some from the ruler’s house, who said [to Jairus], Your daughter has died. Why bother and distress the Teacher any further? Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing. (Mark 5:35-36, Amplified)

Jesus arrives to Jairus’ home and finds people weeping and wailing. When He tells them she is not dead they begin to laugh and jeer at Him. He throws them out. I like that part. Yea Jesus!

Gripping her  [firmly] by the hand, He said to her, Talitha cumi – which translated is, Little girl, I say to you, arise [from the sleep of death]! And instantly the girl got up… (Mark 5:41-42, Amplified).

My point for sharing all this is to ask you, At what point do we start fearing and stop believing? This father’s child was dead and Jesus said to him fear not, only believe. I have held on to this scripture and seen impossible situations completely turned around. I have seen people at the point of death hold on to this scripture and be healed of a terminal disease.

So I have another question for you. At what point do we start fearing and stop believing God concerning our nation?

That’s the USA for me. The same applies to whatever nation you are in. Let’s fear not. How? Remember His love for you. Perfected love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). And let’s keep on believing. Selah.

Love & Pray

I returned only a couple of days ago from a trip to Europe. There is a seven hour difference, so I found myself wide awake at 4 a.m. this morning. I lay in bed and listened to a song playing in my heart, How He Loves Us. A person came to mind. Someone I love. I began to pray for them as I lay there. At some point I began to think about why I was praying for them.

This person is in the ministry. She is sharing the gospel all over the world. Lives are being changed. While these are reasons to pray for her, I realized that the reason I was praying for her is because I love her. The people I pray for the most are the people I love the most. I don’t have to be asked to pray for my husband, my parents, my family, my closest friends. I love them, so I pray for them.

A scripture came to mind as I lay there.

…Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… (Matthew 5:44, Amplified)

While we may not love what our enemies are doing to us, our motivation to pray for them must be the same. Our motivation must always be love.

For God so loved the world… (John 3:16, KJV

But God shows and clearly proves his own love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ…died for us. (Romans 5:8, Amplified)

The next time you find yourself faced with an enemy. The next time you decide to pray for your enemies. Find that place of love, God’s love for them, and pray.

There will be times when you feel the love of God rise up and feel compelled to pray for your enemies. But just as we hear that “love is choice” concerning our closest relationships, it is also a choice you can make with your enemies. You can choose to love and you can choose to pray for them.

…God has poured out his love in our hearts by the Holy Spirit… (Romans 5:5, NIV)

…You have loved back my life from the pit of corruption and nothingness… (Isaiah 38:17, Amplified)

Let us love. Let us pray. Let us win their lives back. Selah.

Experience the Love

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trust in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

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 3:16-17, Amplified)

A friend came over today for our weekly prayer for the nation. As we prayed, God brought us back to a scripture that we read almost every time we come together to pray. It is Ephesians 3:14-21. This is a scripture that I have known, studied, prayed and meditated on for more than a decade. However, today something in it struck me in a different way. It is found in verse 19 in the Amplified Bible.

[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ…

For years I have prayed that I would know and experience His love for me personally. For years I have prayed for my loved ones to know and experience the love He has for each of them. I have also prayed for my ‘enemies’ to know and experience His love. But today I prayed something else. I prayed that I would know and experience His love for others. I prayed that the Body of Christ would know and experience His love for the world. For God so loved the world…

I had an experience about 17 years ago. I was walking through my living room when I saw a Christian woman on television. She had a tall and long wig and lots of makeup. In my heart I judged her appearance and how I thought her appearance made Christians look goofy or weird. I then fell to my knees. Not in repentance, though that quickly followed.

My knees actually buckled under the weight of love that I suddenly felt for this woman. God had allowed me to experience for a moment at least some of the love that He felt for her, this woman that I had just judged. I repented. To this day I refuse to judge, reject, condemn or pass sentence on anyone, because He loves them. He sent His Son to save them not judge and reject them.

…Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… (Matthew 5:44, Amplified)

…but 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)

Strengthen us Lord that we might experience Your love for the world.

Follow Me

Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you. ~ Oswald Chambers

I begin today’s post with this quote to make it very clear that I will share what God has done with me, what He is doing in my heart. Your experience may be very different than mine. His leading in your life may take you in an entirely different direction than He has taken me.

I worked in the healing ministry of my previous church for 14 years. Many considered me to be “in the ministry”. I worked like someone in the ministry. I’m not saying that with any pride or any regret. It was a wonderful time in my life. Then God called me away from all that.

As I stepped from that season of my life into the next, many said that they were eager to see what God would do with my ministry now.

For quite some time I rested as He had instructed me to. Yet constantly watching for His next instruction for the ministry He had for me.

Weeks turned into months. Months turned into a year. Still more months went by. I finally asked God what He wanted me to do. His response, “What is in your heart to do? Follow your heart.”

I was surprised by this. Could I really trust my heart? His response to this unspoken question, “Your heart is Mine. Your heart is turned towards Me. Follow what is in your heart to do.”

I discussed with Him what was in my heart. I was surprised when I said to Him, “I don’t want to be ‘in the ministry’. I just want to love people wherever I go. Whatever that looks like.”

Loving people might look like praying for someone in need of healing. It might look like counseling a friend in the midst of a trial. It might look like eating a meal and fellowshipping with friends. It might look like fixing my husband’s favorite meal or picking up his clothes from the drycleaners. It might look like sharing Jesus with someone who doesn’t know Him.

Loving people might look like spending time in prayer, in intercession, for someone I know or maybe interceding for someone I don’t know. It can look like any act of love.

I sensed a smile cross His face as I shared my heart with Him.

I was reminded of Jesus’ ministry. Many times He appeared to just be walking along when His course was changed by the leading of compassion.

As Jesus walked through the streets of Jericho, with people all around Him, it says that He “stood still” when He heard the cry of blind Bartimaeus. He stopped. He turned and He healed this man crying out for mercy. He was led by the Spirit of God to demonstrate God’s love to this individual.

Come, follow me… and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19, NIV)

…He leads me… (Psalm 23:2, Amplified)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:14, Amplified)

I don’t know what the future holds for me. I do have an expectation of His continued goodness and grace in my life. Whether it looks like a ministry or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that it look like love.

I will follow where He leads and there I will love others as He has loved me. That is my ministry.

Be led. Selah.

Praying with Love

I sit with God. No agenda. I sit. I listen. I pray.

I pray over the people and situations that are on His heart. He always leads me to pray for people that are on my heart too, but at times I find myself praying for someone I never thought to pray for.

The other day a man’s name came up in my heart. I’ve never met this man. I couldn’t even bring to mind what he looks like. But I sensed God wanted someone to pray him.

He is a man who wields great influence. He is a man that opposes all that I cherish. He is a man that opposes God. He is a man that many believe is playing a great role in destroying the America, One Nation Under God, that we know and love. And God wanted me to pray for him.

I googled him. I wanted to see his face. When I saw him anger tried to rise up. Hate tried to rise up. It was fear trying to rise up. He is destroying what I love. But I looked at that man’s face and said, “I refuse to hate you. If I hate you I cannot help you and God wants to help you.”

I chose in my heart to forgive him. I chose in my heart to let God love him through me, then I prayed for him.

My prayers were not motivated by what his freedom and salvation would mean to me or to this country, but for his own sake. For God’s sake. Father God loves this man.

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. (John 3:16, Amplified)

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)

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:44-45, KJV)

I desire therefore that in every place men should pray, without anger or quarreling or resentment or doubt [in their minds], lifting up holy hands. (1 Timothy 2:8, Amplified)

…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)

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (Matthews 18:11, KJV)

Selah.

It Was Love

It was in His eyes.

And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her… (Luke 7:13, KJV)

It was in His words.

…and he said unto her, Weep not. (Luke 7:13, KJV)

It was in His touch.

And he came and touched the bier… (Luke 7:14, KJV)

It was in His actions.

…And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And [Jesus] gave him [back] to his mother. (Luke 7:14-15; KJV, Amplified)

What was it? It was love.

It was love in His eyes, His words, His touch and His actions then, and it’s love in His eyes, His words, His touch and His actions today and forever.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8, KJV)

Let it be His love in our eyes, our words, our touch and our actions too. They will know us by our love (John 13:35).

We love, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19, ASV)

Arrived

A glass sits on a table. It is filled halfway up with water. What do you see? A glass half empty or a glass half full?

I’ve always been a glass half full kind of person. It makes for a happy life 🙂

I ask this question today because of a statement and an overall thought process I have heard expressed so much in the church today. It can be summed up in the statement, “not yet arrived”, although it can be expressed in many different ways. While I believe it to be a true statement in that there is a glorious splendor we still await and long for, some have turned it into a mantra that takes on the same sense as seeing the glass half empty.

“Yes, you’ve been born again. Yes, you’ve learned some glorious truths. Yes, you’ve gone from glory to glory and grown and transformed so much, but you haven’t arrived yet. You still have so far to go.” I don’t know about you but this glass half empty statement does nothing to inspire me.

Today, I want to take a look at the word of God and see where we have arrived. I want to see the glass half full.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named… (Ephsians 3:14-15, KJV)

I have arrived into the family of God. I am His kid. He is my Father.

[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love… (Colossians 1:13, Amplified)

I have arrived into the Kingdom of God, into the Kingdom of the Son of His love.

But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)… (Philippians 3:20, Amplified)

I have arrived into my citizenship in heaven even while I live this life on earth.

And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus… (Ephesians 2:6, Amplified)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6, KJV)

I have arrived in heavenly places to be seated with Him.

For in Him we live and move and have our being… (Acts 17:28, Amplified)

I have arrived in Him.

In Him I have been made the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). In Him I am a new creature, a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Through Him I can do all things (Philippians 4:13).

Because of where I have arrived, I have the hope of arriving at that future glorious splendor.

Look again. The glass is full and about to overflow.