Are You Lovable?

19 03 2010

“G-d shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.” –Romans 5:8

“When you read the title on this page—Are You Lovable?—you may have immediately thought, “No, I’m not!” I would have probably responded the same way before I came to understand the true nature of G-d’s love and His reason for loving me.

How can G-d love you as imperfect as you are? He loves you because He wants to. It pleases Him. G-d loves you because that is in His nature. G-d is love (see 1 John 4:8). If He were otherwise, He wouldn’t be who He is.

G-d may not always love everything you do, but He does love you. His love is unconditional—it is based on Him, not you.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

G-d’s love is so individualized. I think that’s one of the things that amazes me the most about Him. It’s easy enough for us to say ‘Jesus loves you’ or ‘G-d loves all of us.’ Both of these statements are true, but they don’t connect the divine mystery of His intimate love for you personally. I saw a magnet that I kind of like even though its cheesy: “Sure, G-d loves you, but I’m His favorite.” I think somehow we are all G-d’s favorites—He can somehow have multiple favorites, but without making us feel like we are having to share Him or His affection. G-d is crazy about you. He sees you and His banner over you is love. He looks at you and sees the potential. He believes in the work that He is doing in you. He looks at you, even when you are failing, and He sees Christ’s covering over you. How awesome is that! Phil 2:12-13 encourages us to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it’s the L-rd that works in you, both to will and to do.” The important message to us is that the L-rd is going to do it. Not only does He have the will, He also is making the way. It’s not about what you can do; He loves you and He will bring it all into fruition. I think we can say all day long that G-d loves us, but the proof of our belief manifests in our actions. Are you living like you believe that the G-d of the universe is madly in love with you and is on your team? He wants to see you walking in your potential. He’s got big dreams for you. Get excited! This love truly should do what 1 John 4:18—“perfect love casts out fear…” He is for you. He loves you and the best part is that it has nothing to do with how you perform.

By faith and hope,
mere





Start Where You Are

3 03 2010


Start Where You Are

“Do not say to your neighbor, Go, and come again; and tomorrow I will give it.” –Proverbs 3:28

“When G-d tells you to help someone, it’s easy to put it off. You intend to obey G-d; it is just that you are going to do it later—when you have more money, when you’re not so busy, when Christmas is over, when the kids are back in school, or when vacation is over.

There is no point in praying for G-d to give you money so you can be a blessing to others if you are not being a blessing with what you already have. Satan will try to tell you that you don’t have anything to give—but don’t believe him.

Even if it is only small amounts of money, a pack of gum, or a ballpoint pen, start using what you have. As you begin giving what you have, G-d will bring increase into your life and you will be able to give on an even larger scale.” –Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”

I think our daily challenge is to be intentional and receptive. Does someone ever rise to your mind randomly? More and more, I believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to us in the slightest little inklings or notions. What would it hurt to shoot a text message to a person that came to your mind at random! You might discover that it’s a divine appointment. I’m praying for awareness all the time now. Random seems not to happen very much these days; G-d seems to have plans in everything. Praise the L-rd! If you start your day praying for opportunities to show G-d’s love to people throughout your day, you might regret some of the challenging people He brings for you to love on, but I still think you will be blessed greatly by opportunities. G-d made it very clear in Genesis that it was not good for man to be alone. We need each other. Your love, whether through a text message, a candy bar, a smile, or whatever else, might be the boost that reminds one of your brothers or sisters of the kindness of the L-rd and gives them the strength to carry on. I like the way that John Wesley puts it:

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

One of the greatest commandments that the L-rd has given us is to love others. Just because you might not be able to do something that most people would consider big, don’t discredit the little things. I think the most loving things often come from the most humble circumstances and hearts. Let’s just try to live moment by moment. Don’t wait till you can get down the line in your job, or on mission in Uganda, or starting your own soup kitchen. Love others with all you have at the moment and let G-d be glorified through your smile or even just a stick of gum.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Be a Blessing Everywhere You Go!

26 05 2009

sky


“He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad; He gives to the poor; His deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever.” 2 Corinthians 9:9

“It is both good and scriptural to give to the poor—they should be one of your primary concerns. Look for people who are needy and bless them. Share what you have with those who are less fortunate.

But it is also good to remember that everyone needs blessings—even the rich, the successful, and those who appear to have everything. What you buy or do for those people is not the real issue; they may not need the gift, but they need the love.

We all get weary sometimes and need to be encouraged, edified, complimented, and appreciated. This can be  done with words alone, but it is a nice gesture to add a gift when appropriate. Remember, G-d blesses you so you can be a blessing—not only in a few places but everywhere you go.”

–Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

Finding ways to bless the people in your life is very important. Sending a note, text message, or a simple phone call could be the encouragement and love that gets someone through the day. In many cases, being a blessing does not take a lot of extra time, rather, it’s as you go about your everyday life. Don’t let yourself walk throughout your day with your blinders on. If you ask for opportunities from G-d and take your eyes off yourself long enough, you will see all sorts of ways to bless those around you.

It’s often times easy to find ways to love our friends and family because we are more inclined to be looking for ways to do so. We need to love all of G-d’s children, not simply the ones that we love and like: “If you love those who love you, do you deserve a reward? Even the tax collectors do that!” (Matt 5:46). In that time period, tax collectors had a reputation for being swindlers and were known to exploit people for their own benefit. The L-rd is basically saying, “Even selfish exploiters know how to love those that love them.” We need to ask for the L-rd to give us His heart over people so that we will love everyone. If you see someone in need, do what you can to alleviate it.

     The L-rd has showered so much blessing upon us in the physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional realm, so how can we do any less than try to alleviate their need! You may not have a whole lot of material possessions, but you still are receiving love in abundance from the Father than you can choose to shower on others. Go love on people and see what G-d can and will do!

Shalom,

Meredith 🙂





Love by Giving

5 05 2009

love 

“But if anyone has this world’s goods…and sees his brother…in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of G-d live and remain in him?…Let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth.” -1 John 3:17-18

“Many people love things and use people to get them. But G-d intends for you to love people and use things to bless them. Sharing your possessions with others is one way to move love from the “talking about it stage’ to the “doing it stage.”

G-d has given you a heart of compassion, but you choose whether to open to close it. There are hurting people all around you, and simple acts of kindness can make these individuals feel loved and valuable.

Don’t just strive to have more prosperity; strive to excel in giving. If you do, you will discover G-d makes sure you have enough to meet your own needs, with plenty to give away.”

-Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

Words are cheap, my friends. I can say that I love you all day long, but if I don’t show you that in my actions, my words are void and useless. In the same way, I can say that I support environmental causes, but if I don’t actually recycle, or drive a hybrid car, or something, I should quit saying that I’m green. You can have very good intentions, saying that you will do something, but if you never actually act, who cares how great your motives were! As my Mom used to say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” We need to quit talking about love and actually show it. Part of coming to know the L-rd better is by becoming in tune with His heart—His loves, His likes/dislikes, and His very personality. If we are sensing G-d’s heart over a person, we need to step out on faith and act in love, even if it is someone that you dislike or a homeless person or your parent. If we are trying to align our loves with the loves of the Father, then we better start loving His children. As the old DCtalk song says, “Love is a verb.”

 

Seeking Boldness,

Mere





The Written Word

25 04 2009

Love Letter to Us!

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” –Psalm 119:105

     “The Bible is written as a personal letter to you. God speaks to you, ministers to your needs, and directs you in the way you should go in His written Word. He tells you what you should do and how you should live.

     It is a mistake to think we can hear clearly from God without spending time in the Word. Knowing the written word protects you from deception. Listening to God’s voice without being dedicated to spending time in the Word on a regular basis opens you up to hearing voices that are not from God. There may be times when God speaks something to you that is outside of a specific chapter and verse of the Bible, but it will always be in agreement with His Word. Spend time reading a portion of God’s personal letter to you and allow Him to speak to your heart. God’s Word is one of the most precious gifts we have. Treasure it.” –Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

     What a gift the Word truly is! I think we tend to take it for granted because we live in a country where you can have as many Bibles as you would like, in your language and even your favorite color. In many countries around the world, having a Bible could cost you your life. We need to take the Word and study it because we are grateful and also in preparation. It’s a fact—as believers, we will suffer persecution and trouble: “I have spoken all this to you in order that in me you may have peace. In the world you have affliction. But keep up your courage: I have won the victory over the world” (John 16:33). Praise the LORD that He has already won. We have victory through Him.

     The Word has many different functions but one very important one is preparation for the persecution and tribulation to come. The book of Revelation says that it will call “for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints” (13:10b). In the end, we are definitely on the winning side, but we need to prepare to face the trial and His Word is the battle plan. He wants you to know Him. He wants you to know things to come. He wants you to know how to live a life for Him. Open your Bible and read it like every word was meant for you, because it was. One technique that a friend taught me that has really helped me is to take a couple verses or a short chapter and re-write the words in simple language that I can relate to and in the form of a letter…give it a try. I’ll give you a taste of this method:

Dear Meredith,

You are right with Me because of your faith; because Jesus was willing to die for you, there is peace with you and Me. Jesus is the reason that you can stand in grace. Celebrate the hope that you have in Me and My glory. I want you to not only just tolerate your sufferings, I want you to be grateful for them because you know that I am going to use that suffering to develop perseverance in your whole being–body, mind, and soul. Character comes right after that. Then after that you will develop hope. So if you endure all that, you get to have My hope and that wont let you down. My hope is perfect because it comes from My overflowing love and the Holy Spirit that I placed within you.

-Your Loving Father, God (Romans 5:1-5)

     This method may seem weird to you at first, but it will really open your eyes to the personalization of the Word and God’s heart over you. The Word is alive and waiting on you to open your eyes.

Remembering my first love,

Mere