Jesus showing love

This morning I was reading John 4 about the woman at the well and her encounter with Jesus.  This story is rather familiar to me however today, Jesus’ absolute, unconditional and extravagant love struck me like a 2×4.

When Jesus approached the woman, He was asking for water.  Then Jesus changed the conversation to the gift that He could give her.  Then Jesus changed the conversation yet again to her personal life and worship.  He was drilling down in her heart to the real issue at hand.  Yes, she would love to have some water so that she did not have to keep coming back to that well just for a drink.  But what she really NEEDED was the well in her heart to be filled.  Could this come from the men she had in her past or the man she currently had?  NO.  She had to go to Jesus to get her heart filled.

The woman’s words to the town also struck me, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:29)

Because Jesus knew her intimately, she believed what He said.  And not only did she believe, but she called others to meet this precious Jesus who “told me everything I ever did” yet did not bring condemnation but only love.

I want to be like this woman- getting my heart’s fill from Jesus alone and telling others about His love and striving to love others like He loves me.  True and authentic.  Love that does not bring bitterness or condemnation.  Just absolute, unconditional and extravagant LOVE.

May I encourage you to read John 4 today and see what the Savior is saying to your heart.

Love is (part 3)

It has been my goal to look at the Bible’s definition of what LOVE IS and hold that up to my definition of love.  Yes, God’s definition will win out in my life every time.  However without an intentional look at what God says love is, I will continue to love my way and not God’s.  In August I looked at love is patient and love is kind.

Today I want to explore:

envy

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what Merriam-Webster says that envy is– “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage”.  So to be envious I have to have painful and/or resentful thoughts/attitude toward someone that enjoys something that I want to enjoy myself.

Now, I typically don’t see myself as an “envious” person.  I try very hard to be thankful for all the things that God has given to me because God has blessed me and my family a TON.  But I don’t believe that envy applies only to material possessions.  I believe it goes along with relationships and time and a host of other things.

I have noticed that sadly I do find myself thinking “Oh, I wish my husband would express his love to me like that…” Or “Oh, I wish I still had that close friendship with…”  Or “Oh, I wish my children and I could…”  And those are envious thoughts.

Thoughts of comparison usually lead to envy and envy is not love.  So how can I stop the envy??  I believe it comes down to a few things:

  • being thankful for the things God gives me, whether that is a relationship or a material blessing
  • being thankful for the season I am in with relationships that God has given me
  • trying to be the person that God has made ME to be
  • not allowing myself to mindless scroll through Facebook and Instagram because this can lead to envy.  Pastor Stephen Furtick says “We struggle with insecurity (and I would add envy) because we compare our behind-the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”  You don’t often see statuses or pics of people’s bad days and this is where social media gets me in trouble.  Seeing the “highlight reel” and wishing for THAT rather than knowing that “real life” is happening but not being shared!  Actually Pastor Furtick preached a great message about this very thing.  You can find it at:  http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/the-hope-of-glory  The message you want to listen to is Part Four- The Problem with Pinterst.

I hope you will continue to join me as I learn to love God’s way.

 

 

Love is (part 2)

I am trying to take a slow look at what God says love is. Last week I looked at how love is patient. Today I am going to look at being KIND.

Love is kind. To be kind means to be “indulgent, considerate or helpful.”

I like to think of myself as a helpful person. However when it comes to those I say I LOVE the most, sometimes I wish they would be more “kind” to me. I wish they were more considerate and helpful to ME. But that is selfish thinking and not loving at all. So I guess this week I am trying to be more considerate and less selfish. More helpful to those I love and being content with whatever help may be offered my way.

I want to leave you with a quote I found online:

Kindness. One of the greatest gifts that you can bestow upon another. If someone is in need, lend them a helping hand. Do not wait for a thank you. True kindness lies within the act of giving without expectation of something in return.

“If You Want Me To”

The Lord has really been pressing in on me this week that following His lead is not about stepping out by yourself.  It is about taking God’s hand as HE leads you where He wants you. 

This morning during my Bible study time I read Isaiah 41:13 and it says “For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.”

And since that time, the song “If You Want Me To” by Ginny Owens has been reeling through my brain.  So I thought I would share it with you this morning.  It is comforting to know that God has me by the right hand, through life, through parenting, through ministry, through EVERYTHING!

Lyrics:

The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
And I don’t know the reasons why you brought me here.
But just because you love me the way that You do
I’m gonna walk through the valley if you want me to.Cause I’m not who I was when I took my first step
And I’m clinging to the promise You’re not through with me yet.
So if all of these trials that bring me closer to You
Then I will go through the fire if you want me to.And it may not be the way I would’ve chosen
When you lead me through a world that’s not my home
But you never said it would be easy
You only said I’d never go alone.

So when the whole world turns against me
And I’m all by myself
And I can’t hear you answer my cries for help
I’ll remember the suffering that your love put you through
And I will go through the valley if you want me to.

Romans Project- Week 3

This week’s verses are:

Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:5, 6 NIV)

I just love it when God stops me dead in my tracks with His Word. That kind of a pause moment just happened. But, of course, there is some backstory to it…

I began to get fully committed to memorizing God’s Word because I want to dwell on God instead of some of the negative things that I can’t control. Well, this afternoon some of those “negative things I can’t control” were showing themselves and so I went to my memorizing spot in the kitchen and started working on this week’s verses some more. I couldn’t even get 5 words in…

Through Him we received grace… I know in situations I can’t control, my first response needs to be grace. But man, is that hard!

And why do I need to show grace? Because of the end of this section… I have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. If I want to be the Jesus girl God is calling me to, grace needs to be first response, not my last.

Praying that as you read and memorize God’s Word, you will allow it to go further than your brain. All the way down to heart. Where it changes who you are.

Romans Project- Week 1

bible-heartWhat a heart knows by heart is what a heart really knows. -Dennis Lennon

I am so happy to report that I have this week’s verses down.  AND I even recited it to my accountability partner!  I am so thankful that I can been obessing about getting God’s Word in my heart and not allowing angry, negative feelings to consume me.

I pray that you can find ways to get God’s Word in your head and in your heart!