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Tag: Jesus’ love

Love Demonstrated

by Mindy Kiker

Forgiven, Loved_Ben Husman
Flickr.com_2803463263_45751eacab_CC BY-ND 2.0

“But I don’t want to forgive him!” In coaching my children about forgiveness, the resistance I meet is familiar. Even I resist letting my offender off the hook with those three magic words, “I forgive you.” The reality is, unforgiveness feels powerful while forgiveness feels weak.

Experts agree that, while seeking healing for our broken hearts, what most commonly blocks our healing is unforgiveness. Saying it another way: the way to mend a broken heart is to forgive.

Do you recall the words of Christ on the cross? “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’” (Luke 23:24)

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Embrace of God

by juste buzas

Image by Alex Berger
Flickr.com_27607976095_9b67da3b4d_ CC BY-ND 2.0

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].”  (Psalm 91:14)(AMP)

 

One night when I was in Chicago for a conference, I found myself alone in my hotel room after a long day of meetings.  I was tired, weary.  I stood at my window and stared down at the busy and bustling streets of the city.  As I watched the people hurry through the snow, I longed for my children and my husband.  I yearned to hold them, to be held.  I missed my husband’s sheltering embrace.  I craved the sloppy, bowl-me-over kisses of my children.  I longed for love.

Suddenly, I was aware of the silence of the room.  In the quiet of my solitude, I felt the longing of God’s heart toward me.  I could actually feel the yearning of God’s heart toward mine.  He was calling me into His arms, and, like a child, I stepped toward Him and was held close in His eternal embrace.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sweet Comfort

by Dawn Aldrich

He will take great pleasure in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

A medley of hymns from my childhood rings clearly in my heart when I close my eyes and listen. They were completely separate tunes until my mother gathered me in her arms and strung them together as one. It’s impossible to count how often she sang over me, but this I know: it comforted me.

Decades later, I gathered my own children in my arms and rocked away the nights in darkened rooms gently whispering that same strung-together-medley: “Jesus loves me this I know…Oh how he loves you and me…Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. There’s just something about that name…On a hill far away, stood and old rugged cross…Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord.” Every time I sang over them in love. Every time, it comforted them.

I miss those lingering moments of new sleep when I studied their sleeping little faces, inhaled their clean baby hair and thanked God for the precious gifts they were. Read the rest of this entry »

Learning to be loved

by mandyade

LoveisintheAir_SusanaFernandezhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/susivinh_CC BY-ND4.0

LoveisintheAir_SusanaFernandezhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/susivinh_CC BY-ND4.0

Peter was famous for asserting his love and commitment to Jesus, even when he couldn’t live up to his vows. Peter was deeply loved by God, but Peter did not place his significance on how much he was loved, but on how much he loved.

Peter saw himself as the man who loved Jesus, his identity was in his own love and commitment to the Lord, after all he had left all to follow Jesus. Peter’s human love and strength became Peter’s source of significance, which would become Peter’s downfall.

It was only when Peter’s love was put to the test that he realized that human strength is a bubble, a foolish place to put ones identity and significance. I believe it was during the time of Peter’s triple failure that he realized there was something wrong with his thinking.

John was very different to Peter. He saw himself as the man who was loved by Jesus. He identified himself as the ‘beloved’ one and he spoke of the times when he lay on Jesus breast. The most significant moments for John were not the moments when he was performing well, but when he discerned God’s love. This is who John was because this is how John saw himself, John came into agreement with God about who he truly was; God’s beloved.

When John’s and Peter’s love was tested Peter ran away (because human strength alone is not enough). John remained at the cross and even inherited Jesus’ mother because John was not living by the strength of his own love but by the strength of another’s unfailing love. John had tasted how to live from love, not for love. For John understood that he was already deeply loved and all his significance came from how God loved him.

We are all Christ’s beloveds, but only those who believe it and place their identity on it will live in that position.

 

 

 

So This Is Love

by mymorethanme

bros7

My two rowdy boys were outside playing after school with their friends, our neighbors. A fence divides our property from theirs. Johnny was running from our side of the fence (the grassy side) while Gabe was running from our neighbor’s (the driveway side). Not seeing the other one coming they crashed head-on at full speed, each thrown to the ground by the force of the impact. Gabe’s grinding asphalt landing was grittier than Johnny’s grass cushioned fall. Both of Gabe’s knees, his arm, shoulder, and chest took a bloody beating. He jumped up and raced home, adrenaline pumping, face and lips a gray-white ashen pallor, feeling nauseous and close to passing out. Johnny followed, slowly limping behind, helped by his friend, chest aching, unable to clearly speak with the wind knocked out of him. He managed to squeak through tears, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt him. It was an accident. I’m so sorry. It was my fault.”

Gabe forgave Johnny immediately. “Johnny, it wasn’t your fault. We were both running. Like you said, it was an accident.”

The next morning at breakfast Gabe, terribly stiff and sore, with bandages covering leaky, oozing, gooey wounds, brightly piped up, “Hey Johnny, I’m glad I was on the driveway side. I’m glad it wasn’t you!” Our ever-competitive, spunky youngest responded, “What, you’re saying you’re tougher than me?” Gabe gently replied, “No, I’m just older than you and can handle the pain better. I’m glad to take this so you don’t have to.”

I am always blown away when I see Jesus in my sons. And I am always amazed when love and joy are extracted from pain and suffering.

Jesus left the comfort and security of His heavenly home, becoming one of us to become one with us. He took on flesh to be torn apart so we would never have to be apart from Him. He became the sin and darkness He so despised so we could become the glory and light in His Father’s eyes. He emptied Himself, He gave His all, He poured out His love–and it was His call. He wasn’t coerced; He was willing to die. He chose suffering–to be the least, the last, the lowliest–and He told us why.

“I’m glad to take this so you don’t have to.”

Love is a costly choice. It did not come from a posh store and it is not wrapped in glitter and gold, perfectly packaged under a six-foot spruce. It came from a poor stable, wrapped in rags, birthed through tears and pain under a starlit, not so silent night. It is not easy, comfortable, self-preserving, or safe. It is hard, disturbing, sacrificial, and risky. It is peace past calm, joy beyond happiness. Its reward is not recognition, fame, or fortune. Its reward is itself. It is not an it. It is a Him. He is Jesus. Immanuel. God with us.

And He is Love.

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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