{re}fresh

Month: February, 2013

Awaken Love

by mandyade

 “I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47

Have you ever tried really hard to love God? I mean, to the point where you are frustrated, discouraged and wonder if maybe you’re just not as spiritual as others?

No-one ever loved God by trying hard, just as no-one ever fell in love by trying hard.Genuine love is always a response, not work.

There once was a woman known for her love for Jesus; the one who anointed Jesus with perfume. Jesus tells us her love secret… “I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47

Her love was simply a natural response to a greater love. When she realized that she was so deeply loved and forgiven she naturally responded with reckless love. As believers, we are all like this woman; we have all been forgiven much. We can all love much.

When we struggle to receive His love- we will struggle to love Him because human love is simply a response to God’s love. “We love because he first loved us.”1 John 4:19. God loved us first. When we receive that God loves us- our soul naturally responds by loving Him.

The Christian life is more about receiving than doing. If we can receive what He has done (His personal love for us)the doing will flow. If we try hard to love God we will only frustrate and discourage ourselves because love cannot be self-created. We can’t make ourselves love God. Striving to create love only makes the heart harder.

The only way to awaken love is to first receive God’s perfect love and allow our hearts to respond. We are created to love God. Our hearts know how to do that; human love is the natural reaction to Gods love.

The enemy’s fear is that God’s love is known by humans because when we comprehend and receive this love an unstoppable love between God and man is established.

Our love is priceless to God, but it still can never repay Him for His love and He never asks us to- His love is a gift- the expense was on Him. When we focus on trying to love Him we put the cart before the horse because He loved us FIRST- when we focus on Him- our love will flow. Awaken your love by staying focused on God’s perfect love for you; don’t focus on your lack of love.

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

To read more of Mandy’s writing or view her artwork please visit: http://MandyAdendorff.com

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A Holey Moment…Not to be Confused with a Holy Moment

by ivyjonah

failing-grades“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us!” 1 John 3:1

Can anyone remember learning to print letters in Kindergarten? We copied  letters on yellow paper and if we made a mistake, we’d wear a hole in our paper with our erasers? I  hated when that happened.

Well, this was not Kindergarten, but I can still see the hole in my report card:

In 11th grade, I’d been re-districted with three of my friends, from a small private school to a high school numbering in the thousands.  I felt lost in that crowd and my first report card showed it. A big, fat F in history glared at me. So, I came up with a brilliant idea: “With a few clever pencil strokes, I will just change this F into a B  and once my parents sign off on the card, I will erase the pencil lines.”

My conscience clicked in. Trying to rectify my deceit, I wore an eraser hole in my report card. Not only did I get an F, but now I was in trouble for my “crime”. Not only did that hole alarm my parents to my criminal deed, but they notice all my other grades were falling, as well. Not only did I feel lost and drowning in a sea of people, I was failing, too. That “F” I got in history was deserved, but to me, I  felt I was a failure.

Years later, I was diagnosed with ADD. In addition, being creative, made me a right-brained learner in a left brained educational system. But more important than having a medical diagnosis, I learned that I have a heavenly Father who is never disappointed in me.  I am NOT a failure in HIS sight  because I am His daughter. I can approach God as my Abba.

If I could have a do-over for that report card day I know God would embrace me. That hole in made would be a minor issue. Without words, He’d convey  that He understood I tried, while conveying the truth behind my grade; that He knew the extenuating circumstances  weighing against me. Within God’s embrace,  I might have been able to chuckle at the futility of changing my grade.

Through that experience, I learned that God’s love always stoops down low enough to pick us up when we fall. He sees all of our failures and loves us anyway. He calls us to that “secret place” and fills in all the holes with his unfailing love.

Unfailing Love

by Dawn Aldrich

“What a man desires is unfailing love.” Proverbs 19:22 Love_never_fails_by_paperarts
Unfailing love. It’s all this heart ever dreamed of since she can remember. Isn’t it what every little girl’s heart craves -forever love that never fails – like it’s woven into her DNA? I think so.
And so with every ounce of who she is, she searches the eyes of every man she encounters, beginning with Daddy. “Daddy, do you love me?” she asks. “Daddy, don’t you think I’m beautiful?” she whispers. “Will you love me forever?” she pleads, even when he’s walking out the door. Always searching. Always asking. Always needing unfailing love.
Beneath the bridal veil and lace her eyes rest upon her groom. They promise love, forever-unfailing love. And from that day forward her little girl eyes keep searching his. “Honey, do you love me?” she asks.  “Darling, am I beautiful?” she whispers. “Will you love me forever?” she pleads, even many years later. Always searching. Always asking. Always needing unfailing love.
In the birthing room, she holds her little boy, her little girl and looks deep into their tiny faces. Her fingers trace lines that look like his and hers combined and holds them close. In their ears she whispers, “Baby, I love you.” “Baby, you are beautiful.” “Baby, I will love you forever.” But even her love falters, fails sometimes.
And she wonders, is unfailing love possible this side of heaven?
Unfailing love is born only from perfection. Imperfect man cannot love unfailingly – only God can – because God is pure love. And out of love, God plants a longing for unfailing love deep within our souls; a desire so strong that we search until we find it. A desire that always leads us back to the source of love – to God himself. That’s God’s greatest desire.
Yes, unfailing love found in God – even this side of heaven – is possible. It is our greatest desire to know and be known and God’s greatest desire that we know him. And who better to know us and love us than the One who created us – knit us in our mother’s womb – and calls us by name? Oh, what a mystery that the God who holds this universe together in all it’s wonder and beauty, knows us by name – desires us to know him the same.
This is unfailing love: that God first loved us and sent is one and only son, Jesus – not to condemn us – but to make a way for us; a way back to God and his unfailing love.
To follow Dawn’s personal ministry blog, Dawn’s New Day, please visit: http://blog.DawnAldrich.com.

by Julie

heart2

“We love because He first loved us” 1 John 4:19 Love is something we all relate to. Whether it’s falling in love or the love that comes in friendship, love is something that we experience in our lives. Even though we all have different love stories, we share one reality. We are all loved by […]

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