Unfailing Love

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Quality time is so valuable to me.  A couple of weeks ago I had an amazing 11 days with my bestest friend in Kansas City.  She has been such an encouragement to me and has always been someone who inspires me to go deep in pursuit of the Lord.  Over the years her friendship has taught me that love doesn’t depend on my ability or actions.  She has lived in KC for about 4 years now and although it hasn’t always been the closest friendship or the best effort on either of our ends, she still pursues a friendship with me and when we talk on the phone or get together it is so refreshing and encouraging.  If you know my friend then you know what fun is, lol. #susannaerwin(arteaga)

Now all that is great… but the point for this post comes with while we were cooking in her new apartment making dinner. She gave me a job and let me do it however I wanted to: cooking potatoes, lol.  I can’t explain why, but I felt pressure to prepare and cook them without any mistakes and felt that if I didn’t do it how she would do it, then she’d be frustrated or upset.  Oh girl! She picked up on that and said, “Melisa, I don’t base our friendship on your performance! If you were to pour the whole container of salt on those potatoes I would still love you!”  Woah.  Although we were just joking around, it was sincere.  I knew that, but it was altogether a revelation to hear it.  She didn’t realize it, but it was really a reflection of my relationship with the Lord.  I know He loves me and without condition, but to hear her say that and then think about the Lord… He loves me, not based on my performance but based on His character!

#makesmewannaloveHimMORE!  😀

Psalm 13:5

“God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear; because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”                                                                        I John 4:16-18

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God Prepares Before He Acts

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Genesis 1 goes through how God created all things through His Word (Jesus).  As God creates, He doesn’t rush through but He sets up His creation with order and design and beauty.  The day doesn’t define or dictate what God can do. He defines the day. He wasn’t rushed by it, it was created by Him and He stands outside of it (time).  God doesn’t waste anything.  He also doesn’t create without being ready for what He created.  He created light, sky, and land before He caused the land to produce vegetation. He had it prepared and ready before the vegetation was made.  He did all of this before the animals were made.  What if He made the animals and then said, “Oh, hang on there. Maybe stand over there until I make the land for you to walk on and the sky for you to fly in and the vegetation for you to eat.”   What if He did that to man? “Okay man, just wait there and I will be ready in just five more minutes?”  Everything God did, He did in order and in preparation for the next creative work.  The same is in our lives.  He doesn’t bring us somewhere and then say, “Argh! Okay, just wait here at this house/job/level until I can finish up this other stuff.  Five more minutes and I’ll be done.”  NO WAY! He is Himself wisdom, love, and sovereignty.  He knows all and is with all at all times.  Remember, He is outside of the day and night (time).  He will only bring us to a place where He has already provided and prepared for us when we follow His leading and are quick to be obedient and quick to be humble to His will over our own.  It is all about Him anyway!

This day has been created and the demands around us push us to rush through, but knowing that it was God who made the day and it is for Him that we are here… give Him your schedule, time, money, and love.  Let Him direct your steps.  He always wins and is always good, so better to be with Him than apart.  We often live for an illusion anyway. What He leads us to do and say will always be the most important, even if it doesn’t look so in the world’s wisdom.

Just as He prepares the place before we get there, He also wants us to prepare ourselves and our resources before we get there.  He prompts us by His Spirit and Word, it is up to us to be prepared for that which God is about to bring us to.

Eve was made after Adam was made.  This looks like God made Adam and then forgot to have Eve there, unprepared.  But God was preparing man in that time. Man was getting to know God intimately first, that the point to life is God Himself, knowing and loving Him.  God prepared man in responsibility, provision, wisdom, and security before He brought Eve from Adam to Adam.  Adam’s purpose, security, affirmation, acceptance, and his thoughts about life, himself, and others all were grounded in God’s love and presence first and from there was to always be; it was never meant to be substituted with woman or work.  The way to continue to live in God’s grace is and will always be to know Him and love Him.  Let us always begin with, continue in and go back to God.  As for Eve, she was in Adam during the preparation period.  He was also being prepared in secret.  Just because man cannot see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Love!

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 Wow, Love!  Here I am being pursued by this message of love.  It has been several weeks now and this message is everywhere.  I am not talking about Valentine’s day.   It’s not a message of romance for that day that comes once a year, but it is a message of death to selfish desires for everyday every year.  And it holds power to set us free!

 

    We are learning to “Lift” our charachter through a series done by our youth paster.  We are actually looking at our lives and saying, “God search me out- show me anything in me that doesn’t please you.” (Psalm 139) We are actively catching and removing those little foxes that hinder love. (Songs 2:15)  So it is clear that we want the way of life that is best of all.

 

    Paul, by a powerful revelation from the Holy Spirit, shows us what that best way of life is: Love!  1 Corinthians 13

He is so sold on the power of love that he says if you or I were to be full of faith doing miracles and even becoming martyers that if we did not posses love then we would have gained nothing and been nothing.  If you want to be humbled, then read what Paul says love is and compare it to your own life. These four verses of what love is are supposed to be a reflection of our own life and attitude. This is the charachter that we want to live out- that’s our goal and desire.  But how do we get there?

 

    By the law?  No.  It is the law that awakens those sinful deisres in us.  Although the law is good and holy, our sinful nature rebels against it.  Then how do we get out of under from the power of sin in our lives?

 

    Death.  Yes, we get there not by works or effort but by death.  We identify ourselves with Christ’s death on the cross.  Paul explains in Romans 7:4, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: you died to the power of the law when you died with Christ.  And now you are united with the One who ws raised from the dead.  As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.”  Our life now is life through Christ.   He goes on to say that we no longer live by the letter of the law but in the new way of living in the Spirit.

 

    So it is the Spirit that produces freedom and love within us.    “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  There is no law against these things.” Galatians 5:22

 

“He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.” Colossians 1:8

 

“But we don’t need to write to you the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.” 1 Thessalonians 4:9

 

“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full funderstanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5

 

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, Love, and self-discipline/sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

 

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another for love comes from God.  Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. ” 1 John

 

Eph 3:15-19    (this is my prayer for you, as well)

“I pray that from His glorious and unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.  Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.  Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s peole should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep His love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

 

 

    It is not that we love God but that He loved us first! And it is His love that awakens love in us.

Love must have a subject to fix it’s eyes upon.  It is frist to love God, the greatest commandment.

And then love people.  Life is too short to be fixed on ourselves! Love God!  Love people, God loves people!

Before it’s too late, don’t leave me here alone

This is a poem I wrote in free thought after looking at a collage picture about civil rights by Romare Bearden called, The Dove.  There is one child in the picture covered in a veil that someone else pointed out as maybe symbolizing that slavery and human rights is still a very present issue.

by Romare Bearden

When will this chaos end-                                                                                    Do they not know that I am still here?                                                             Hunger and pain result from injustice.                                                               Revolt and rights result from freedom fight.

Wake up, realize, open your eyes quickly,                                                         Before it is too late;                                                                                               It is not too soon.

Come to my rescue and fight my case.                                                                 See my face, don’t leave me here alone.

Don’t you, can’t you see me and hear my cries?                                                       Save me.                                                                                                             Don’t leave me here alone.