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Love Gives

I want to love.

I want to love like Jesus. But, the more than I studied love and the action of love put in motion…the more I realized I needed a deeper revelation of love in it’s TRUE form, God.

See, God’s love is heavenly. Jesus is truly the perfect representation of love. Here on earth, love has expecatations. Unhealthy ones at that. Here on earth we tend to hold people to a standard that they don’t even know we have and then grow disappointed when they do not reach it. But, that is not love at all. Love does not have expectations of what it can get. Love gives without an expectation of a return.

When we had nothing to give, Jesus gave us everything. That is love. Rather than holding people to a certain expectation and loving people based on their actions…we need to love like Jesus. We should freely give love to others, because Jesus has freely given it to us. When we had nothing, he gave it all for both you and me.

I am not sure where you are at. But take the time to reflect on your relationships. Are you loving to recieve or are you loving freely?

Love gives & love gives some more.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I Corinthians 13:4‭-‬7 NKJV

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Bible Study Notes~1 Corinthians 13 (Love-Be The Example)~April 11th 2018~

God has laid it on my heart to really focus on being the example and to encourage other women through this bible study to be the vessel to bring God glory. Not just hearing the word, but doing the word. Being the light in this dark world. Being guided by Holy Spirit to show love to those who need it most and listen without the intent to reply. REALLY listen and REALLY love.

So with that being said, God lead me in 1 Corinthians 13.
Known as the “Love Chapter”.
This was a hard chapter for everyone including me because Holy Spirit really challenged me. I thought I was really good at loving but I think through this lesson we all learned that we could love a little harder and more like Jesus.

My notes will not be as organized as last weeks (sorry). But there was A LOT of Holy Spirit led discussion.

Read 1 Corinthians 13

We know from reading this chapter that without love we are nothing but a noisy clanging symbol. Even our gifts are useless without love.

During this time I pointed out that God looks at the intention of the heart. I could be doing this bible study without love and for my own benefit and social status instead of doing what God called me to do. You can give to the poor without doing it in love. A pastor can be preaching at a church with the wrong motive. This applies to everyone. It is so important to ask Holy Spirit to reveal things that aren’t of God and cast them out.

We live in a world that doesn’t know how to love because they don’t know God. Anything that we settle for before we had God was a counterfeit love. For me this including approval of others, drugs & alcohol, and men that were never going to be my husband. I was always searching for something only God could give.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”-1 John 4:7-8

Another one of my favorite verse about pure love, is that it covers a multitude of sins.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”-1 Peter 4:8

One more verse about love that will lead us into the next thing I am going to have you do 🙂

“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.”-1 John 4:18

Before we get into the characteristics of love, I would like you to do two things:

1) Ask Holy Spirit to guide you and reveal to you if you really love. Replace your name in every spot that it says love in 1 Corinthians 13…..

Well…how did it go? For me and many others in our group, we had some things to work on.

2) We know God is love…so replace the word love with God.

Are you believing any lies about God?

Breaking Down The Charactersitics of Love (Taken From KJV)

Love (Agape)- love which in moral prefrence, divine love

Patient (makrothumeo)- refuses to retaliate in anger because of human reasoning. Opposite of quick tempered

Kind (chresteuomai)-to show one useful, act benevotently

NOT envious– (zeloo)- NOT jealous, to bubble over because it is so hot

NOT boastful- (perperuomai)- NOT show off or need much attention

NOT Puffed Up- (phusioo)- arrogant, exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities

NOT acts unbecomingly- (aschemoneo)- not acting in accord with the standards appropriate to one’s postion of life

NOT seek the things of it’s own way

NOT easily provoked– (paroxuno)- become emotionally evoked, to take jabs

NOT keep accounts– (logizomai)- keep track, charge of wrongs

NOT rejoice at unrighteousness– (adikia)- Violation of God’s standards which brings disapproval

Rejoices -(sugchairo)- sharing God’s grace with another person. Celebrate together!

In Truth- (aletheia)- reality, fact

God & Jesus are really the only true examples of pure love. However, we are called to look at Jesus the perfector of our faith and grow to be more like him every single day. We all have things we can work on to love a little harder or deeper. So do not be discouraged!

Have Holy Spirit work on you from the inside out. Start with your heart. Lay everything at his feet today and just be obedient to what he calls you to do.

Next week we will be continuing to focus on being a Christ-Like example and really being a doer of the word and will be reading in Romans. We would love for you to join us!

 

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Why Others & I Have Once Strayed Away From The Church

Before you start reading this, please read it all the way to the end!

I have sat down with atheists, wiccan’s, lutheran’s, and catholic’s. You name it, I probably talked with them. The most common response that I hear from people is that they didn’t expect me to be as open and to listen to what they had to say and believe in. How often do we listen with the intent to listen instead of having a response on the back burner? As a Child of God, we are to show people who don’t believe, Christ’s character. What did Jesus do? He hung out with the outcasts. He hung out with the “big time” sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, and more than a couple people that the world would call “unworthy”. I love this about Jesus. That he would love and die for someone like me. Someone, who society and this world would call irrelevant and a waste of skin. 

One of the other problems I heard from people who have strayed away from God and The Church, is that we have a bunch of denominations that all believe in God but are at one another’s throats. Some of these “Churches” have turned into a place of judgment instead of grace. Many churches today focus on laws, and regulations, instead of showing people the love of God when people come through the door. I am not trying to throw the stone at anyone. I am just going off of the conversations I have had and the thoughts that had come along with it.

If we aren’t displaying Jesus (I mean his character, not statues), when people walk through the door, what are they seeing? Not only at church either! We are supposed to be living this lifestyle outside those four walls! Before I knew God, I looked to the church and the people in the church to reflect who God is. Often what I saw in the church, I wanted no part of. If we aren’t displaying The Love of God, we aren’t doing what God has called us to do.

Another topic that has reoccurred in almost every discussion, is how judgmental we are. I actually remember feeling this way. I saw people who seemed to be “too clean” to get their hands dirty to hangout with the poor, addicted, or broken. I have been in their spot. I felt hurt and not accepted. We are called to love, it covers a multitude of sins! If we are the one’s who start to judge others, we are living by the law. If we live by the law, we have to live by the whole entire law, therefore we end up condemned. So let God, be God.

What I learned through my own experiences from coming from Catholicism to exploring different religions, to having a personal relationship with Christ was that I looked to people instead of God. I didn’t really know God at all. I took what people said were the “rules” of being a believer and didn’t compare them to The Bible. Through my journey of finally knowing who my Abba is, I had to unlearn almost everything I was taught. See the devil is super good at lying and trying to stop you from God’s purpose for your life. But with doing my own research, I found God to be pure love, forgiving, encouraging, patient, kind, and everything I ever looked for in this world. What I really was searching for was God. I searched in a lot of the wrong places! Including drugs, alcohol, and some really unhealthy relationships.

I really don’t know who this post is for, but I hope if it’s someone who doesn’t know God, they do their own research like I did. If Holy Spirit gave you a love tap in one of the areas above, remember God is a merciful God and full of grace. I am by no means perfect. However, I try to live my life in a way that shows people who don’t know God, who he really is. The less of me, the more of Chirst, the better of you and I are! That is what God asks us for. He wants you to reach out to him and give him your heart. He wants you to try. If you mess up, guess what? He still loves you and is rooting for you to try again! I pray that we become more like Christ everyday! Showing unconditional love to everyone, not just the people who are in our comfort zone.

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Giving This Holiday Season

After I wrote an apology about not posting for a while, Holy Spirit laid something on my heart!

  • “And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”-Acts 20:35 NLT
    • “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”-Luke 6:32‭-‬35 ESV

I began reflecting on Christmas a little more than usual this year. I am newly married and now living across the country from my family due to my husband being apart of the military. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I would much rather have family time than presents. (Presence instead of presents) See what I did there! Haha! As my walk with God has grown, I’ve really realized it is much more rewarding to give than to recieve. I used to have the mindset of expecting people to treat me nice, I’m a nice person so why shouldn’t I be treated nice? However, loving on that person who is having a bad day, even though they’re taking their bad day out on you, is the best thing you can do.

People continually search for love. They’re searching for Christ’s character in you. The most important time to give, is when you feel like you can’t. If we do our part, God will bless it! Even if we don’t recieve our blessing here, we know God has stored it up in heaven. Lend people things, money, ect. without expecting it back in return. (Completely contradicts the world’s standards, I know…) Be kind, show love, because it’s what we are called to do as Children of God!

How will you give a little extra this holiday season? Don’t let giving be only something you do around Christmas!

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When I Felt No Worth You Paid It All For Me

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My mind was filled with racing thoughts, and a great weight of anxiety was laid upon my chest today. I couldn’t seem to get this spirit to go away! I was speaking scripture aloud, but even as I was speaking the verses I know so well, the weight wouldn’t go away. I began praying.

“Abba, I don’t know what to do. I haven’t felt like this in such a long time. What do I do?” I asked.

All I had the urge to do was paint. I knew this was Holy Spirit telling me to paint, even though I had no idea why nor what I was going to paint. My first thought was Christmas. Then, I realized how much I used to enjoy painting before I went into a depressive state where all the things I once enjoyed were a lost cause.

I brought out my supplies and sat them down on the table. I spilled the glass filled with water, all over my table and kitchen floor. Holy Spirit quickly intervened! Once upon a time,  I would’ve griped and groaned about this mess I had made. NOT TODAY SATAN!

I sat there and asked God what I should paint. The first thing that I heard was the lyrics from “Reckless Love” By: Bethel Music.

“When I felt no worth you paid it all for me.”

It brought me back to all the years I felt no love even in the midst of a crowded room filled with family and friends. When I felt no worth, no matter how much love I poured out to others. It temporarily made me feel a little better, but soon the thoughts came rushing in.

“I will always feel this alone.” “No one understands, nor will they ever will.” “They don’t even try to understand my mental illness.” “Why do I have to go through this?” “Why wont my brain just shut off!?” “Why do they treat me that way when I just try to love them?” “How many times am I going to get hurt?” “I just want the pain to go away.” “I wish I didn’t feel like this.” “I want to kill myself, but I don’t want to hurt the people that love me.”

These are all very real thoughts that played over and over and over again in my mind.

It takes me to the day that I was saved. (If you would like to read more on the day God saved me from suicide, click the link below. It will take you to that post!)

The Day God Saved Me From Suicide

The day my life began to transform into what it is today. Jesus died on the cross to save people like you and me. By his stripes, I was healed of mental illness, ongoing abuse, and I am forgiven!

If that wasn’t enough, we were given Holy Spirit, a piece of heaven to live inside us. To guide every single decision we make, to give us wisdom and revelation.

When I think of Abba and his “Reckless Love” I can’t help but cry out of thankfulness. There’s nothing like his pure, unconditional, reckless love!

I’ve never painted something that made me cry until today.

I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do.

All Glory to God, Forever & Ever!