Agape VS Eros

So often we forget what true love is, what Agape love is. We want love back so much that we sacrifice the true meaning for our own selfishness. Love is not always this mushy lovey feeling that is accompanied by butterflies. 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.

When this verse says love does not seek its own, its saying that it doesn’t want anything in return. We skip over confrontation, speaking the truth in love, correction, all for the sake of what? Being accepted and wanting love in return? What a confronting scripture this is…a scripture that is just so convicting. As I read through the gospels, it amazes me to see the way Jesus loved others. It is so different then how the world says we should. Notice that many, many people disliked Jesus. Why? Because He didn’t seek His own, He truly wanted their good (even if it didn’t feel good for them in the moment). He consistently rebuked the very people that literally hung Him on the cross-the people He knew were going to be putting Him up on that cross.

How often do we see a family loving a son or daughter to the death? For example: She is deep in addiction and the family keeps bailing her out every time she gets in a bad spot, so she can just keep on going around and around the same mountain. You don’t give someone who is already stealing, in and out of jail, lying, manipulating, etc… money or a place to live. Consequences to actions are so very important and as you read the bible, it is filled with the same message. Being support for them/letting them know you are praying for them, and letting them know you are always there for them when they get a repentant heart is so very important. On another note though the very 50 dollars you give them for food (or whatever you think they will spend it on) may be the very 50 dollars that they buy heroin with and overdose. It’s called enabling and it’s not true love. There is no fear in love and perfect love casts out fear. So if you are giving them money because you are fearful for their life-then what? That is not Gods unconditional love. That is self-seeking. But by the worlds standards-is this love? Most definitely!

-On a personal note-had the Lord never put people in my life to love me in this way…I am fairly positive I would be dead.

This was just one example from one portion of this scripture on love. I ask Lord, that you would reveal what part right now that we could each be working on, and that you would give us the full revelation why it is so important to love like you, and give us the grace to do so. Thank you and I praise you in the precious name of Jesus.

Amen

! Corinthians 13:4-7

1 John 4:18

Glory to Him…and Him alone

I realize some people have a problem with the Message bible but I really like it for reading (not so much studying) but it definitely puts some things into a clearer perspective. I was reading Matthew chapters 7 and 8 when some things started coming together…

 

7:21-23 “Knowing the correct password— saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance— isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience— doing what my Father wills. I can see it now— at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’

8:3-4 Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone. Jesus said, “Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.”

When I read this all I was hearing was ‘Humility’.  Jesus was the humblest person to ever walk the earth, and we are to follow in His footsteps. Now I by no means am I saying we should keep our mouth shut about what He has done, because it is by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony that we overcome (Rev 12:11) , but what is so very important is to give Him the glory, and that not even an ounce should go to ourselves. I know this seems like such a simple word and it is, but it is so deep. I frequently see people talk about how they have laid hands on the sick and they recovered, but very little credit goes to the one who actually did the healing. I think that if we are not able to give Him all the glory then we should remain silent. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted. We are not to promote ourselves. There is a deceiving Spirit that goes around convincing those that are doing the signs and wonders that they are on the right track but if we do not remain humble and give Him the glory, if we miss His will for our lives by getting caught up in the praise of people we can get into some deep trouble.

 

Humility is such a hard concept to grasp- I mean in our culture (USA) we are raised to go after what we want, to be competitive, to be the very best, to go for the boss position, to be number one. But Jesus calls us to humble ourselves and be a servant to all. To not allow our left hand to see what our right hand is doing. Humility has been such a big thing He has worked on in me, which amazes me because I was literally a mess of a human being before I came to the Lord. But the more we work on identity and I know who I am-where I don’t feel the need to appear important because I already know I am to/in Him…and the more I receive His love and grace, the humbler I become. It is only by His grace that I am where I am now in life. I desire to have a heart like His that doesn’t even have that urge to say “Look what I did” but my first response is to give Him all the glory, all the time. I am not there yet but I seek to have a humble heart like His.

Lord, I pray that you would continue to work in my heart to make me humble as you are humble. To never feel even the least bit inclined to give myself a pat on the back but that I would give you ALL the glory ALL the time. I pray that you would reveal to others the parts in them that you want to work in to make more like you. That any pride would go in your Precious name Jesus. I love you and I thank you for loving me.   Amen

We should not come empty handed

carry cross
Matthew 16:24-26
24Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25“ For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26“ For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
          So often, I feel that we hear “we should acknowledge that we come to Jesus with empty hands and we have nothing to give.”  I can kind of understand what people mean when they say this.  Like.. ” I have nothing to offer you Jesus”.  And it sounds good and all on the surface, I mean…I am absolutely nothing without Jesus and I know this but that does not mean I have nothing to offer.  Before you get your knickers in a twist, let me explain…
  Honestly, to me this all sounds like a religious way of giving an excuse to do whatever we feel like.  While the fact of the matter is that Jesus himself, told us to take up our crosses daily.  I don’t know about you but this cross of self-crucifixion can be quite heavy on days, and I am going to have to carry it, or…do what I feel like doing and be disobedient.  We should not be coming to Jesus with empty hands.  We need to be coming to Him carrying our crosses. The cross of self-denial.  The cross that says “I will forgive you even though you really hurt me”, the cross that says “I want to get drunk and act like a fool with my ‘friends’, but I definitely don’t look like Jesus doing this, so I will pray for them and stay home instead”, the cross that says “I cant pay my bills this month, but I am going to trust you Lord that you can handle this and tithe what you told me to”.  You know that ‘cross’.  The cross that America has gotten rid of and decided to live by their own moral guidelines so they can do whatever pleases the flesh.  We should not be coming to Jesus empty handed.  We need to be coming to Jesus carrying not only our cross and our dying flesh, but also bring to Him our willingness to lay down our lives as He laid down His own for each of us.
Lord, I ask for your forgiveness for coming to you empty handed, and living by my own moral guidelines. I completely turn from this selfishness, and I ask you to strengthen me as I  continue to walk this out.  Thank you for showing me this truth and I pray you would reveal this to all the more people.  I praise you and thank you, in the mighty name of Jesus!  Amen

Boxed In

I feel all too often we as a whole body of Christ, tend to box God in.  We think that if it doesn’t happen the way that we think that it should- that it wont actually happen at all.  Between so many of us craving control/ wanting it to happen our way or no way at all and/or us putting God into the shoes of a mere human.  Ephesians 3:20 says ‘Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us’, just shows that He is so much more capable than we give Him credit for. I mean He’s the God that makes tax money come from a fish, the God that spits into dirt, makes mud, wipes it on a blind mans eyes to heal Him.  Now we all know that He could have healed that blind man without wiping his spit made mud on the mans eyes.  But why didn’t He?  I believe it is because of this reason exactly.  Isaiah 55:8,9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’  And while we may not always see the big picture, we as a whole and individually need to know and remember that He does.  I mean this is the God that had some fighting men tooting around some horns and yelling to tear down the walls of Jericho so they could take over the city.  I’d like to put myself in their shoes for a moment and imagine how these men must feel.  These are like heavy duty men.. ya know? So if i was them and the Lord told me He was going to help me, I would be expecting some extra donkeys so more people can ride in, or some equipment to fall from heaven like the manna did to tear down the walls, or more troops to come support us, or bigger muscles, or some amazing secretive plan to go in like black ops or something.  But no, what did He have them do? He had the priests toot some horns and the army give a good loud shout.  I bet that is not what they were expecting, but it is a real good thing Joshua and his troops didn’t have God in a box.. otherwise their victorious ending probably would have turned out quite differently. I mean really think about the endless opportunities that would be opened to us, the hearts that could be touched, the lives transformed.. if we just took God out of the little box we have tried to squeeze Him into.  The bible is packed full of accounts of when God did things that transcend our natural minds. Don’t get me wrong I have been guilty of this, but when He brought it to my attention I realized I had to share! (I was actually watching birds eat out of the birdfeeder when the verse about -not having to worry about anything because He feeds the birds of the air- came across my mind.  I realized when I thought of that verse, I always thought about birds finding seeds in the ground and about how I have never actually seen a bird starving to death.  But what I never pictured was God providing the birds with food through a bird feeder.  And I was like wow my mind is so narrow.. (I mean we have a bird feeder in the back yard). But let me tell you..His mind is filled with endless possibilities)  Anyways I hope and pray you take a step of faith when He tells you something even if you cannot see the big picture, and that if you’ve placed His abilities in a box, that you would let Him out.  And get excited… because you are about to be completely amazed! Matthew 17:27  ‘Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money, take that and give it to them for Me and you’ Joshua 6:2-5 ‘But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.  You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days.  Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns.  When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.” John 9:6,7 ‘After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.  “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.’ Matthew 6:25-34  ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own’

Sinking Peter Walking 

The other morning in my quiet time I really thought I heard the Lord tell me that I was going to get sales that day (I’m a sales rep) and I was like oh okay great.  And I usually get at least one within the first hour or so. But three hours pass and I haven’t gotten one. So I started getting frustrated. I went on lunch. Got reminded that I would be getting sales. Get off of lunch..another couple hours goes by..and I was mad. I was real mad. I had already had a bad week of sales and now here’s another day with no sales. So acting out in my flesh I texted my boss and was like “I’m not getting anything. I’m going home” and I left. The next morning in my quiet time I said “Lord you told me I would get sales?!” And I was then reminded of the story of Peter walking on the water. Everyone knows the story. Peter said Lord if that is really you. Call me out onto the water and Jesus says “come” waves got big and Peter doubted and began to sink. And then I realized I did that! The Lord gave me a word, and because my circumstances were going against it. I doubted and sank. I don’t know about any of you but if you have ever tried to sell something when you are angry or upset. It is impossible. It is. No one wants an angry person, trying to sell a service they don’t want, knocking at their door. It’s a recipe for disaster. Let alone I quit for the day so I couldn’t get a sale anyways. 

So with this revelation being fresh the Lord spoke to me again telling me I would get a sale. I went through the whole day doing m  very best to stand on what He had told me and not doubting. Not one sale from 10am to 7 pm. Not one. At the very last minute before we were calling it a day..a woman calls me and I get two sales.  

This was such a big lesson learned in such a graceful way. To never doubt His word. As long as I stand on it and do not doubt, I will walk on water. 

Weak people? Try strongest people you will ever meet. 

I have recently heard a few people say that “believing in Jesus is weak.” That you use it as “a crutch in life” 

Well let me explain something; it is not weak to be a disciple, it’s being selfless, courageous, faithful, and its probably the hardest thing to do in this world, the last thing it is..is weak. Being a disciple means laying down your life for your neighbor.  It means that even when people treat you like roadkill-you show grace and love them. It means when people invite you to go out partying and drinking (even if your flesh wants to fit in) -you say no.  It means you swim in the opposite direction of the way the current is flowing.  You face rejection because you don’t do what “everyone else is doing”. This life isn’t easy. 

Is it easy to forgive those who ran over your brother, is it easy to wipe the slate clean with the man who abused you, is it easy to love the person who abandoned you? Let me answer this…. no it’s not easy. You say it’s weak to believe in Jesus? To have a so called crutch in life? To live this life of being a disciple, I need help so yes, if that is what you want to call it then yes..I have a crutch in life. But I challenge you to live this life with out Jesus. It would be impossible. 

To all you disciples out there.. you are strong, you are faithful, you are loved, you are blessed. Don’t let the world convince you otherwise. You are doing great! 

Romans 12:2

At war with the flesh

I just ran into something I wrote a little over a year ago so I thought I would share. 

You tell me you love me, you tell me you won’t leave, but Lord I need help to believe. Apart from you I am nothing, I am dust, but with you I am complete, I am unique, I am a child of the most high King. I used to have horns sprouting from my head, until the day you picked me up from the dead. I had murder in my heart, blood in my veins, sin in my life but who was to blame? I tried to point my finger every which way, but fleshly desires consumed me every day. It was a struggle. Daily I tell you, but now with the Spirit  it’s become quite the contrary. No drug even compares to what you have for me Lord. You are the truth, the light and the way. Your mercies are new each day. Oh Lord help me to know that you are here to stay!