Tag Archives: God’s Love

The Good News of Good Friday

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IMG_7286 - Version 2“~ the message concerning faith that we proclaim:  If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord  will be saved.

Romans 8b-10, 13 (NIV)

Faith is not something we do. It is a response to what God has done already on our behalf…

The message of salvation is beautifully simple:

1. Believe in your heart and

2. Say with your mouth that Jesus Christ is the risen Lord.

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”  2 Corinthians 9:15

God’s Help When We are Powerless to Help Ourselves

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What a wonderful God we have—
He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the source of every mercy,
and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials.
And why does he do this?
So that when others are troubled,
needing our sympathy and encouragement,
we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:3 – 4 (TLB)
 

“I think you ought to know, dear brothers, about the hard time we went through…We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through itWe felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us, for he can even raise the dead. And he did help us and saved us from a terrible death; yes, and we expect him to do it again and again.”  2 Corinthians 1:8 – 10 (TLB)

Have you ever been in a perilous situation where you felt “crushed and overwhelmed,” where the circumstances were so dire that you feared you might not live through it, and you were powerless to help yourself?  It’s these types of extreme difficulties that drive us to our knees…because we have no where else to go.   At some point we come to the end of ourselves, and we have nothing left to cling to except God Himself.  During severe trials, our faith is stretched beyond the limits, and it emerges on the other side of the hardship much stronger and deeper than ever before.  When we experience such extraordinary suffering, we learn to rely not on our own strength or abilities for deliverance, but only on God.  We learn to set our hope on Him alone and trust that the One who raised the dead can surely save us too!

It is our precious Savior who says, “Let not your hearts be troubled.”  He graciously speaks peace into troubled souls, calms our raging fears, comforts with His tender mercies, binds up the broken-hearted, heals the most painful wounds, strengthens the weak, and provides hope and joy during the heaviest of sorrows.  We must learn to put everything in the capable hands of our Heavenly Father who loves us and who alone can save us.

God Bends Down To Hear Your Prayers

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I love the Lord because He hears my prayers and answers them.
Because He bends down and listens,
I will pray as long as I breathe!  
Psalm 116:1 – 2 TLB
 

Imagine this scene:  “He bends down and listens”…the Creator of the Universe bends down from heaven to hear the prayer you whisper from your lips…the King of Glory stoops down from His throne to incline His ear to your request…your loving Heavenly Father leans down close enough to listen to the words of His precious child….

This awe-inspiring scene is actually our reality.  The blessed truth is that your prayer will always reach God’s ear.  He knows your unique voice, and He hears each plea, request, and petition.  He listens carefully to each prayer of adoration, thanks and supplication.  Not only does He hear your prayers, but He also answers them. He doesn’t always answer them exactly how we think they should be answered, but He answers them according to His best for you.

If you are lonely, God is near.  If you are discouraged, God is listening.  If you are worried, God is attentive to your cares.  If you are afraid, God hears your pleas for help.  If you are heartbroken, God is leaning close enough to hear your cries.

“I love the Lord because He hears my prayers and answers them…”  Because of this amazing truth, “I will pray as long as I breathe!”

Love Never Fails

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And so faith, hope, love remain
[faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things;
hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation;
love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us],
these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (AMP)
 
 

LOVE

is patient.
is kind.
does not envy.
does not boast.
is not proud.
does not dishonor others.
is not self-seeking.
is not easily angered.
keeps no record of wrongs.
does not delight in evil.
rejoices with the truth.
always protects.
always trusts.
always hopes.
always perseveres.
never fails.
(1 Corinthians 13:4 – 8a)
 

Love never gives up.  It is kind and puts others first.  Love is not jealous or envious and doesn’t brag or boast.  It doesn’t force itself on others, nor fly off the handle. Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, and always takes pleasure in the truth.  Love always protects and trusts.  It always looks for the best in others and never looks back. Love keeps going to the end.  Love never ends.
 
“Whoever does not love, does not know God, because                             

God…is love.”

 (1 John 4:8)

Are You Listening?

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God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;

He does great things beyond our understanding.

He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’

and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’  

Job 37:5-6 (NIV)

“…Are you listening?

                              Have you noticed all this?

                                                                   Stop in your tracks!

                                                                                             Take in God’s miracle-wonders!

Do you have any idea how God does it all, how He makes bright lightning from dark storms, how He piles up the cumulus clouds—all these miracle-wonders of a perfect Mind?”  Job 37:14-16 (MSG)

Nothing can compare to God.  By spending time observing the majestic scenes and intricate details of God’s creation, we are reminded of His awesome power in every aspect of our lives.   Life always creates more questions than we have answers, and we must continually turn to Our Heavenly Father for answers, guidance and fresh insights.  When He speaks, we must be ready to hear His message.

Take a moment to “stop in your tracks,” find a quiet place and listen to the marvelous voice of God.

God’s Infinite Love

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“May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love;
and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should,
how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His love really is;
and to experience this love for yourselves,
though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it.”
Ephesians 3:17 – 18 (TLB)
 

The Lord’s faithful, unfathomable love is from forever-ago to forever-from-now for those who honor him.  He loved you before the beginning of time and will continue to love you into eternity.  His love for you is deeper than any dark valley you might be trudging through and higher than any mountain that you might be facing.  As far as the sunrise is from the sunset, His love is greater!  It is ever and always, eternally present with His children…even if you’ve made mistakes.  

“How great is God’s love for all who worship him? Greater than the distance between heaven and earth!”  
Psalm 103:11(CEV)  

 So let your roots go down deep into the rich soil of God’s marvelous love.  Embrace the idea that His unconditional love for you is so great that you will never see the end of it, no matter what – His love will never fail!  May you be able to feel, experience and understand how long, how wide, how deep and how high His love for you really is. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.’”
Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
 

Anything is Possible

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“God can do anything, you know—

far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”

Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)

When you think about your wildest dreams, what comes to mind?  Most of us never openly share our  wildest dreams with others because we feel they are too outrageous or too far fetched for anyone to take seriously.  Those types of dreams might seem humanly impossible with our limited resources and abilities, and no amount of creativity or ingenuity can allow us to visualize a strategy for those dreams to become a reality.

As a child of God, your Heavenly Father knows all about the dreams that are in your heart.  He created you as a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, and He has special plans specifically for your life.  The dreams you have might be there because of the unique purpose He has in mind ~ especially for you ~ that no one else can fulfill.  Share your deepest desires with your Heavenly Father, and it’s possible that He plans to fulfill those dreams in ways that are beyond anything you could ever imagine or guess or request…in your wildest dreams!  An experience like that will grow your faith exponentially, like nothing else can.  The depth and breadth of your belief and trust in God will be stretched beyond limits, because you will truly realize that, “Nothing is impossible with God.”  (Luke 1:37 NIV)

It’s possible that your wildest dream might involve a divine miracle.  Perhaps you or your loved one have received a diagnosis of a condition or disease for which there is no cure, and the prognosis seems bleak.  Or perhaps you are facing a mountain of debt that might seem impossible to overcome.  It could be that you are in a marriage that seems doomed, or you have a broken relationship with your son, daughter or parent.  Your problem could involve a compulsive addiction for which you feel powerless to overcome.  Even though these types of situations seem humanly hopeless, we should never lose hope when we place all our cares in the capable, miracle-making hands of our Heavenly Father.   Trust in and cling to the hope infused words of our Savior: “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.'” (Mark 10:27 NIV)

So what are your wildest dreams?  Your Heavenly Father is waiting to fulfill them, because NOTHING is impossible with Him!

A Fresh Start

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New Year

Teach us to number our days,

that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12 NIV

As the New Year dawns, many of us make a noble list of New Year’s Resolutions.  A brand new year seems like a gift, a fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to turn the page to a new chapter in our lives.  We usually start out the month of January with grand intentions and high ambitions, but we find that we often lose that enthusiasm as the days and weeks click past.  Our list of resolutions gets buried under the stack of papers that we intended to organize, and we forget about all the things we resolved to do over the next 365 days.

The truth is that we should live each new day with resolve and intent.  God has given us a certain number of days to fulfill our life’s purposes, and we should ask Him to give us the grace to understand the important significance of each day (and each  moment) that we spend here on earth.  Some of us have more time than others, but none of us know the exact amount of time that we have left to complete our life’s mission. We should diligently pray for divine instruction concerning how to use our time throughout the days of our lives.  Thoughtful time management is an excellent art whether you’re a business professional, student, homemaker or retiree.  God models time management for us when we consider the account in Genesis 1 of His orderly creation of the universe; each day was filled with important tasks and accomplishments, and He even set aside time for rest. When you number your days to good purposes, according to God’s guidance, you will live wisely and your heart and mind will be inclined to achieving God’s mission for your life.

So instead of making a list on the first day of the new year of things you want to accomplish in the next 12 months, you should make a list as you begin each New Day.  It might be helpful to write your daily list on a calendar or in a notebook, so that you can look back over the year and see all the things that you and God have accomplished together. Live each New Day as though it were a gift of time, a new beginning, a fresh start, and a chance to fulfill God’s grand purpose.  If you order your days according to God’s plan, rather than your own desires, you will feel a divine sense of fulfillment each day of your life, and no moment will be wasted.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139:16

God’s Love in the Midst of Our Mistakes

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“Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out
falls into the pit they have made.
The trouble they cause recoils on them;
their violence comes down on their own heads.”

Psalm 7:15 – 16

Let’s face it. We all make mistakes at some point in our lives.  And sometimes the deep pit in which we find ourselves is a result of our own doing.  Improper judgment in relationships, mismanagement of finances, misuse of time, poor decisions about those with whom we associate, exploitation of power, substance abuse, gambling, adultery, lying, cheating, inappropriate media, etc.… can all lead to destruction in our lives. 

Scoop by scoop, the hole gets deeper and deeper.  Then when we wake up at the bottom of the slimy pit, which we dug with our own hands, we look up and try to blame God or others around us for our problems.  We wonder why God would “allow” this pain and suffering we are experiencing.  But the harsh reality is that our own decisions and actions caused the trouble in our lives.  Our greatest difficulties are often a result of consequences we bring on ourselves.

If you find yourself at rock bottom due to ramifications of your own mistakes, there is a brilliant ray of hope shining brightly into the dismal abyss. Regardless of what you might have done to land in the depths of this destruction, God stands ready with arms wide open to grace you with His blessed redemption.  His unfailing love and compassion for you is so great that you can never fall so far that you are out of His reach.  He holds the deepest valleys in His mighty hands, and wherever you find yourself, He is there. Yes, He will sometimes allow you to suffer the consequences of your bad decisions, but He’s always ready to redeem your life once you call to Him for help.

There is no pit deep enough to outmatch God’s unfathomable love for you.

Lift up your arms to the Lord because He’s already waiting to pick you up.   His eyes are full of grace, mercy, and compassion…not condemnation.  Call to Him for help, and He will hear your cry.  “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38 -39

“I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit.
You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.”
You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”

You, Lord, took up my case; You redeemed my life.”

Lamentations 3:55 – 58

Related Verses:

“For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”  Lamentations 3: 31 – 33

“In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.”  Isaiah 38:17b

“Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” Psalm 139:7 – 8

“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.” Psalm 71:20 – 21

“And they will go to others and say, ‘I have sinned, I have perverted what is right, but I did not get what I deserved. God has delivered me from going down to the pit, and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.’ “ Job 33:27 – 28

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2

Do Not Fear…God Is Here

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“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;”
I will help you.

Isaiah 41:11;13

My Precious Child,

No matter what you are facing, don’t be afraid or intimidated.  Don’t be discouraged or dismayed.  As you walk through the “wilderness” of the world, there’s no need to fear because I’m your God, your Heavenly Father, and I’m always watching over you.  Don’t panic.

I’m the Friend who will never leave you alone or forget about you.  I’m right here by your side.  When you feel too weak to go on, I will give you the strength you need to endure.  I will help you through this. I will hold you up and support you.  I won’t let you fall. I will hold your hand with My firm grip.  I’m not letting go!

Believe in My promises to you. You have nothing to fear.

Love, your Heavenly Father

Trust that God is big enough to supply anything you need:  comfort when you’re in pain or grieving, healing when you are sick, safety when you face danger, compassion when are heart-broken, friendship when you are lonely, support when you are weak, courage when you are fearful, provision when you are in need, and never-ending, limitless love and grace to all.