The Little Things

Many, many years ago I had a very interesting experience. I was just looking at the baby clothes at Dillards. Just looking. I wasn’t pregnant. I didn’t have any close friends or family who were expecting. I just like looking at baby clothes. I spotted this amazing Baby Dior outfit. It was so thick and soft, pure white with dark navy stars. As I admired it and dreamed of buying something like this for my own baby some day, I heard God’s voice. He told me to buy the outfit.

There seemed to be no reason to buy it other than God said. That of course was reason enough. I bought it and later that day He instructed me to give it to a woman who attended my church, a woman whom I had never met before.

I dropped it off at her home with some food, she’d just had a baby, but she wasn’t home, so I still hadn’t met her or spoken to her. Later I received a card in the mail from her thanking me for the food and thanking me for the baby outfit. She mentioned that she had seen one just like it before she had her baby only that outfit was white with gold stars. She said to God at that time that she wished the outfit came in blue. Not to be trite, but it was as though her wish was His ‘command’.

Last week I spotted some pumpkin butter at Calloway’s Nursery. I thought of a co-worker who likes anything and everything pumpkin flavored. I picked up a jar for him and a jar for us. This week as I arrived at the office I announced to my co-worker that I had a surprise for him. Before he saw what I had brought for him, he said, “Pumpkin butter.” How could he know?!

He said that recently he had told God that he needed to find some pumpkin butter locally. When he heard I had a gift for him, he just knew God had arranged for him to have his pumpkin butter.

Seriously God?! Baby outfits with blue stars, pumpkin butter? I have so many other stories like this that I could share.

I’ve been ‘mostly’ trusting God for a very big thing in my life. When He shows how much He cares about the little things in our lives, it makes me trust Him even more with the big things.

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? – Matthew 6:26 NLT

Starbucks

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. 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)

Recently the CEO of Starbucks made some comments after being asked about Starbucks’ pro-gay stance and it’s financial effects on the company. His comments led to some very interesting comments among my Christian friends with some supporting a boycott and some opposing a boycott.

The above scripture speaks of the love and grace Jesus came to give. He didn’t come to judge, reject, condemn or pass sentence on the world. He came to save it. I must say it was a blessing to see so many of my Christian friends understand that we too were not sent to judge, reject, condemn or pass sentence on the world.

I was however surprised that at the same time one or two of my Christian friends didn’t understand that we were also not sent to judge, reject, condemn or pass sentence on one another. Just as we are to love the lost not judge the lost, we are here to love each other, not judge each other.

At then end of each sermon our pastor says to take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit what He is saying to us individually. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this situation?

This is being led by the Spirit, being led by God. He may tell you to go to Starbucks, because by you going there, you may be in the right place at the right time to help someone. He may tell you not to go to Starbucks, because by not going you may be elsewhere at the right place at the right time to help someone. He may not be telling others to do what He is telling you to do. He may tell you not to go one day and then ask you to go another. Be led, but also allow others to be led.

So who’s side am I on in this debate? I’m on the Holy Spirit’s side. I’m going to allow Him to lead me moment by moment, day by day. He led Jesus that way. I want to give Him the pleasure to do the same in my life so that I can be in the right place at the right time to be a blessing to whomever He would have me bless.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever – (John 14:16, Amplified)

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

Eyes of Love

Many years ago a woman shared with me her testimony of healing from cancer. She shared that she was lying in her bed dying of cancer when she saw Jesus walk into her room. She mentioned that He didn’t look at her. She said that He walked to the foot of her bed, but still did not look at her. Next He placed His hands upon her feet. She felt a warm sensation run through her entire body. Once again she said, “But He still did not look at me.” He turned and left, never looking her in the eyes. She was completely and miraculously healed of cancer that day.

As she shared her testimony I heard God speak. He asked me, “Do you want to know why I did not look at her?” My response, “Sure, if You want to tell me.”

This is what He said, “If she had seen the love in my eyes, she would not have wanted to stay.” I knew He meant she would not have wanted to stay here on earth, but would have wanted to join Him in heaven.

Recently I found myself facing pain from long ago that I had chosen to bury away inside my soul. As the pain flooded my heart I said to Him, “Can I see the love in Your eyes for me?” What I saw next surprised me, humbled me and blessed me immensely.

First I saw the eyes of God the Father full of sadness and pain as His only begotten Son died on the cross.

Next I saw the eyes of Jesus as He died on the cross. I saw intense agony as the pain racked His body and His life drained away.

This was not what I was expecting to see, but it was exactly what I needed to see. He loves me!

And Jesus, looking upon him, loved him… Mark 10:21

Truth

I sat with a couple yesterday. Both the husband and wife have recently been diagnosed with cancer. The weight of their illness hung heavy in the room. Hospice was coming later that day.

I sat with them and I read scriptures – Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24; Psalm 103:1-5; John 3:16; Luke 11:1-2, 11-12; Matthew 7:9-11; James 4:14-16; Mark 16:17, 18, 20.

I shared with them about healing being included in the work of the cross. I shared that Jesus paid the price for all of our diseases. I shared that God’s motivation for the cross was His love for us. I shared with them that it is our heavenly Father that we are praying to, not some distant, disinterested god, but a Father Who passionately loves His children. I shared that praying for healing was His idea, not ours. I shared that He gives us a part and that we can trust Him with His part.

Then I prayed with them.

In all honesty there are times when some little voice says to me, “Why are you doing this? Why are you getting their hopes up when things look so bad?” I don’t recall hearing that voice yesterday, but I do recall hearing this.

And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. (John 8:32)

I was there to share His Truth. His Truth about healing and the Truth about His love for them.

I once shared these Truths in a class. A woman who attended that class mentioned to me later that her co-worker was complaining of having flu-like symptoms. She almost walked away, but then she thought “I just do my part and He’ll do His part.” She prayed with her co-worker and then walked away. Later this co-worker came to her and told her that her flu-like symptoms were gone. The lady who attended the class heard Truth. The Truth set her free to Trust God. Through her, God’s Truth set her co-worker free from illness.

I shared these same Truths with a friend who had stage 4 cancer. The doctors said there was no hope left. She was set free from cancer by these Truths. That was many years ago. She is still free today. And there are so many more I could share about.

What Truth from God’s Word do you know? Let that Truth set you free and then allow God to set others free as you share His Truth with them.

And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (Mark 16:20, KJV)

And these signs shall follow them that believe… (Marks 16:17, KJV)

By Faith, Grace, and Love

What’s on my heart today.

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace… (Romans 4:16, KJV)

For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. (Galatians 5:6, Amplified)

IT IS BY FAITH

For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness]… (Colossians 1:4, Amplified)

Faith is leaning entirely on Him, trusting in His power, wisdom, goodness.

Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word. (Hebrews 11:11, Amplified)

Faith is believing that God is reliable, trustworthy and true to His word. He will do what He said He would do.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10, KJV)

How did you release faith to receive the grace for salvation? Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17, KJV)

THAT IT MIGHT BE BY GRACE

But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). (James 4:6, Amplified)

Grace is the power of the Holy Spirit.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9, KJV)

Grace is the power of Christ (the Anointed One and His Anointing) resting upon us.

WORKING BY LOVE

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. (Galatians 5:6; KJV)

…and if I have faith [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). (1 Corinthians 13:2, Amplified)

No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us! (1 John 4:12, Amplified)

…God is love… (1 John 4:16, Amplified)

It is by faith (trusting entirely, believing in our hearts and confessing with our mouths) that we receive the promises by grace (His power, the power of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives). It works by love, by receiving His love and humbling ourselves to yield to His love in us (allowing God to run His full course in us) so that we may truly love with His love.

It’s by faith that it might be by grace and faith works by love. Selah.

Because of Love

Last night I had a rather odd dream. I only remember a small portion of it, and I only remembered that part after something jogged my memory this morning. In the dream someone I did not  recognize said to me, “You are useless.”

In the dream I was of course shocked that someone would say this to me. I was taken aback for a moment and then I thought of what I spend most days a week doing. I spend most days encouraging, comforting, praying and helping people with critical medical conditions, people with terminal diseases. I responded to the person in my dream, “I am not useless to the people I help every day.”

I had completely forgotten the dream when I awoke this morning. I went into the spare bedroom to spend some time in prayer and to read my Bible. I felt drawn to read First Corinthians chapter thirteen.

IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me), I am nothing (a useless nobody). Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Amplified)

As I read this passage, I suddenly remembered my dream when I read the part that said without God’s love I am a useless nobody. Thank God I am not without His love. I am not useful because of what I do. You are not useful because of what you do. We can speak in tongues. We can have prophetic powers. We can have faith that moves mountains. We can give to the poor. We can sacrifice our own selves. But without love we would still be useless.

Why do we do what we do? Why do I do what I do? I invite the Holy Spirit to show me when I may have a motive other than love in anything that I do. I am useful to God. I am useful to this world. I am useful to my family when I am moved and motivated by nothing but His love in me.

Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24, Amplified)

Father, search me and teach me to love. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Somewhere

Somewhere in Berlin is a congregation of Jews who enjoyed the love and fellowship of Christian brothers and sisters that traveled halfway around the world just to be with them. Somewhere in Berlin is a German tour guide who was blessed by hearing words of forgiveness for his nation’s past sins. Somewhere in Brussels is a group of Christian women who received words of love and encouragement from the Father through a little group of people who traveled from Texas. Somewhere in Brussels is a group of high school boys that heard of the fearlessness of another young man named David who slew a giant. Somewhere in Brussels is a blind man that lost his way in a train station only to be helped by Christians who had traveled from far away just to be there in his moment of need. Somewhere in my heart I carry the people of Germany and Belgium because they hold a special place somewhere in God’s heart too.

Look into His heart. You might just find that somewhere in His heart is calling out for you.